Air India yet to pay many kin

Mlore air crash

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav went one step ahead and said that the victims’ kin would get compensation in three months.
But it’s one year since the aircraft crashed and so far, Mulla & Mulla, the legal firm designated by Air India to settle the cases, has settled only 55 cases (52 dead and 3 survivors).

As many as 60 persons have approached (16 more will approach soon) two foreign lawyers — Urban Olson and Stephen Erikson, both from Stockholm in Sweden, as victims’ kin alleged that representatives of Mulla & Mulla were ‘bargaining’ with the victims’ kin.

Alleging that H D Nanavathi, the head of Mulla & Mulla, have been ‘fixing’ price for victims (Rs 30 lakh for women and Rs 25 lakh for children), Mangalore Air Crash Victims’ Families Association President Mohammed Beary sought to know whether there is any discount in air ticket just because somebody is woman or child.

Citing an example, he said that one person succeeded in getting Rs 1.2 crore while another got only Rs 40 lakh, though both were supposed to get the same amount. Interestingly, the Association has asked seven questions to the Air India under RTI more than a month ago and there is no answer from Air India till date.

Abdul Raheman said that he has not received any call till date from Air India with regard to compensation. He said that there are many more like him who have not heard from Air India till date. Raheman had lost his wife Shaheed Nusrath and son Zeeshan, in the air crash.

Compensation a mirage?

So far,  Air India has settled 55 cases while 60 persons have approached the foreign law firm. Out of the remaining, few are waiting for the Kerala court verdict. If the court verdict is in favour of the victims, then Air India has to pay not less than one lakh Special Drawing Rights as per the Montreal Convention which is around Rs 70 lakh.  But sources said that it may take a long time to settle the cases. Even if the court rules in favour of the victims, then AI will definitely go to SC and until then the
victims’ kin will have to wait.

AI refuses to answer

Mangalore Air Crash Victims’ Families Association has asked 7 questions to Air India under RTI more than a month ago, but there is no reply from them till date. Air India refused to accept it saying that there is no department to answer such queries in Air India. Again, the same set was sent to Air India CMD in the first week of April, but there is no reply for the same till date, said Beary.

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