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Grounded by AI, refused take-off nod by Indigo... Sena MP has to take train

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad continued to be in the national limelight on Friday — for all the wrong reasons. National carrier Air India cancelled his Pune flight ticket for assaulting one of its staffers at Delhi airport on Thursday and later in the day budget carrier IndiGo too refused to take him on board.

The Sena MP had booked a ticket on the IndiGo flight to Pune for Friday evening, which was cancelled by the airline, sources said. "He had booked on IndiGo's fight today at 5:50 pm from Delhi to Pune. But the airline has cancelled the booking and is refunding the entire amount," the source added. In Tata-SIA joint venture carrier Vistara also joined the national carrier Air India and four private carriers' decision to ban Gaikwad from flying.
Meanwhile, Gaikwad boarded the Hazrat Nizamuddin-Rajdhani Express for Mumbai on Friday evening. According to television news channel Times Now, Gaikwad boarded the train from Nizamuddin Railway Station here but disembarked at Mathura station complaining of chest pain.

The Delhi Police on Friday registered an FIR against Gaikwad and transferred the case to its Crime Branch, said Dependra Pathak, Delhi Police's chief spokesperson and special commissioner(operations). Gaikwad, on his part, today filed a complaint to DCP (Airport) Sanjay Bhatia alleging misbehaviour by Air India officials. Pathak said Gaikwad's complaint has been sent for legal examination.

The government maintained that there was no law under which such proscription can be made. Minister of State for Law P P Chaudhary told a private television news channel that if a person commits a crime he can be punished but he cannot be prevented from flying. Sources in Air India cited Chapter IV of Carriage by Air Act, 1972, which confers on the airlines the right to refuse a ticket to any person. Sources also cited Rule 22 and 23 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, to justify the ban on Gaekwad.
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