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Video of bodybuilder Bobby Kataria smoking in SpiceJet flight goes viral; Scindia investigating incident

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday ordered an investigation after a video showing bodybuilder Bobby Kataria smoking on a SpiceJet flight surfaced on social media.

Video of bodybuilder Bobby Kataria smoking in SpiceJet flight goes viral; Scindia investigating incident snt
New Delhi, First Published Aug 11, 2022, 3:48 PM IST

Following the appearance on social media of a video depicting bodybuilder Bobby Kataria smoking on a SpiceJet flight, aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday demanded an investigation.

In the video, Kataria, who has 6.3 lakh Instagram followers, is seen lighting a cigarette on a SpiceJet plane's back row. A lighter is not permitted for passengers to bring on board. Additionally, smoking is not permitted aboard aircraft.

Also read: SpiceJet passengers walk on Delhi airport's tarmac after waiting for bus for 45 min

According to SpiceJet, the smoking incident happened on a Dubai-Delhi flight on January 20 as customers were boarding and the cabin crew was busy with the onboarding process.

After investigation, it mentioned the airline had put the passenger on the "no flying list" for 15 days in February. 

According to the rules set forth by the DGCA, an airline has the authority to suspend a "unruly" passenger for a predetermined amount of time if they disobey any regulations.

When the video of this incident was posted on Twitter on Thursday, Scindia responded, "Investigating it. There will be no tolerance towards such hazardous behaviour." 

Also read: SpiceJet clears all principal dues with Airports Authority of India

Sources from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said on Thursday that the video of this incident came to their knowledge in January this year. They then wrote to the concerned airline and subsequently sent a complaint to the police in Gurugram. 

"We understand the police filed a complaint against him there (in Gurugram)," one CISF source said. 

In a statement, SpiceJet said, "This is with reference to a video on social media of a passenger smoking onboard a SpiceJet aircraft. The matter had been investigated thoroughly in January 2022 when the video was brought to our notice and a complaint had been filed by the airline with the Udyog Vihar Police Station in Gurugram." 

The video, the investigation had revealed, was shot on January 20, 2022, while passengers were boarding flight SG 706 scheduled to fly from Dubai to Delhi. 

"The said passenger and his co-passengers shot the video on the 21st row when the cabin crew were occupied with completing the onboarding procedure. None of the passengers or crew was aware of the act. The matter came to the airline's notice on January 24, 2022, through social media posts," it said. 

"The matter was referred to the Internal Committee constituted as per the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on the handling of unruly passengers (not consisting of any SpiceJet employee). The said the passenger was put on a no flying list by the airline for 15 days in February 2022," the carrier said.

Also read: Following multiple snags, DCGA orders SpiceJet to operate 50% flights for 8 weeks

(With inputs from PTI)

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