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Scindia orders probe after viral video of Bobby Kataria smoking in flight surface, says 'hazardous'


NEW DELHI: Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday ordered a probe after a video showing bodybuilder Bobby Kataria smoking on a SpiceJet flight surfaced on social media.

The video shows Kataria -- who has 6.3 lakh followers on Instagram -- lighting a cigarette on one of the middle rows of a SpiceJet plane. Passengers are not allowed to take a lighter on the plane. Passengers are also not allowed to smoke in the plane.

According to sources, the smoking incident took place on SpiceJet's SG706 flight that was coming from Dubai to Delhi.

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."

However, the airline has responded saying, the matter had been investigated thoroughly in January 2022, when the video was brought to their notice and a complaint had been filed by the airline with Udyog Vihar PS in Gurugram.

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

As per the regulations of aviation regulator DGCA, an airline has the power to ban an "unruly" passenger for a certain period of time if he or she violates any rules.

(With inputs from agencies)