New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) IndiGo staff inappropriately handled a specially-abled child and his parents at the Ranchi airport on May 7, aviation regulator DGCA stated on Monday while citing “prima facie” findings of its panel.
A show-cause notice has been issued to the airline over “non-conformances” with regulations, asking it to respond by May 26, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, adding appropriate action under the law would be taken after hearing the submissions.
IndiGo had on May 9 said the specially-abled boy was denied boarding as he was “visibly in panic”. As the boy was prohibited from boarding the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight, his parents – who were accompanying him – also decided not to enter the plane.
In a statement, the DGCA said its three-member fact-finding committee – formed on May 9 after outrage over the incident – has submitted its report on the Ranchi incident.
The proceedings of the committee were partly held in the open and partly in-camera in line with the request of the affected family, it said.
“The findings of the committee prima facie indicate inappropriate handling of passengers by the Indigo staff thereby resulting in certain non-conformances with the applicable regulations,” it mentioned.
In view of this, it has been decided to issue a show-cause notice to the airline through its authorised representative to explain why suitable enforcement action should not be taken against them for the non-conformances, it said.
“To meet the ends of justice, the airline has been provided an opportunity for a personal hearing as well as for making written submissions in the next ten days from today i.e. till May 26, 2022. After hearing their submissions, appropriate action as per law would be taken,” it added.
When asked about the DGCA’s statement on Monday, IndiGo said, “We have received the communication from DGCA on the matter and will respond in due course.” The regulator had on May 9 announced that its three-member fact-finding inquiry team will investigate this incident and submit a report within a week.
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta had expressed regret over the incident and offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the specially-abled child.
Dutta had said the airline staff took the best possible decision under difficult circumstances.
Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said on Twitter that no human being should have to go through this and he is investigating the Ranchi incident.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had on May 9 asked the Jharkhand police to lodge an FIR against IndiGo as there was a prima facie violation of section 7 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, which is cognisable in nature.
NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo had also asked the DGCA to initiate an inquiry into the matter and take necessary action against the airline and its manager. PTI DSP RT
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