Film production house booked for flying drone inside Gurugram township without permission

A Mumbai-based film production house was booked for allegedly flying a heavy commercial drone with a movie camera inside a Sector 65 township without permission and for intruding upon the privacy of the residents, police said on Tuesday.

Police said that one of the residents, Karan Ambardar, who in his mid-thirties, spotted the drone hovering outside the balcony of his apartment located on the 30th floor of one of the towers in the township around 7.30pm on Monday, after which he chased away a group of people controlling it from outside the society.

Based on Ambardar’s complaint, police registered an FIR against the production house under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector 65 police station on Monday night.

Police said they found that the drone-flying was part of the production house’s activities during the shoot for a Hindi film. They added they will soon ask those flying the drone to produce documents of its purchase and required permits to operate it.

Police said the complainant alleged that the drone was shooting videos around the 35th floor of the tower where he lives.

“I heard a buzzing sound around 7.30pm on Monday and discovered a drone flying around. Several residents had spotted it in the last three-four days but they were unable to track who was flying it. We all initially thought a child inside the township was playing a prank,” he said.

Amabardar alleged that he tried to locate the controller and found three persons outside the township flying the drone.

“When I spoke to them, they denied having any permission from local police or the builder. They immediately landed the drone, fearing we would seize it and left the spot in a cab,” he said.

The complainant said this was completely unacceptable as it invaded the privacy of the residents.

“We spotted a drone flying around our society in June as well, but were unable to figure out who flew it at the time,” he alleged.

When asked for a comment on the matter, the developer, through its representative, said the management of the condominium had been handed over to the residents’ welfare association. However, the RWA could not be contacted for a comment on the matter.

Inspector Deepak Kumar, station house officer of Sector 65 police station, said no permission was taken to fly the drone. “Further investigation is on. Those who own and operate the drone will be served notice to join the investigation,” he said.

The SHO said prior permission is required from authorities concerned to fly a drone for commercial purposes and the equipment must be registered with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

In April, the Sector 18 police had registered an FIR against a (then unidentified) person for flying a drone over the Indian Air Force’s ammunition depot at the base station in Gurugram twice, breaching security protocols. The person who flew the drone was later arrested.

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