SpiceJet on Thursday was directed to pay Rs 10 lakh as damages to a differently-abled flyer for forcibly offloading her in 2012. The Supreme Court took into account the “mental and physical suffering” experienced by Jeeja Ghosh, who suffers from cerebral palsy. The court said "unreasonable discrimination” was shown towards her when she was de-boarded from the flight with “total lack of sensitivity”.
The airline had asked Ghosh to leave the flight allegedly because there was some blood or froth oozing out from the sides of her mouth, which they said violated guidelines. However, she denies this claim. “…Nobody even cared to interact with her and asked her the reason for the same. No doctor was summoned to examine her condition,” the court said. Ghosh was not provided with “appropriate, fair and caring treatment” and the decision to offload her was “uncalled for”, a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal said, PTI reported.
Ghosh reacted to the verdict by saying, "I'm really excited not because this is my victory, but a victory of the entire specially-abled community," ANI reported.
She was offloaded from a SpiceJet Kolkata-Goa flight on February 19, 2012, when she was going to attend a conference hosted by NGO Able Disable All People Together, which is the second petitioner in the case.