M'lore air crash victims' kin to approach SC

The family of a victim Mohammed Rafi of Kerala had approached the single bench of Kerala High Court demanding a comepnsation of Rs 75 lakh to the family members. The Court had even asked Air India to pay the amount. However, when Air India questioned the verdict in the division bench of the High Court, it gave a judgement that compensation of Rs 75 lakh need not be paid. Air India should solve the problem after holding discussion with the kin of the victims. Rafi’s father Abdul Salam had filed a case in the High Court. In this background, there is a need to fight for justice, said the Association members.

Association President Mohammed Beary said “Air India is not ready to pay the compensation which is due to them. Our pain will not be reduced with the compensation. However, disbursing a justifiable compensation is their duty. In this background, we have decided to approach Supreme Court.”

“As per the Montreal convention, the victims family members should be paid justifiable compensation. However, there has been a delay in payment of compensation. The Central government should set up a separate court to deal with the compensation for the aircrash victims,” he said.

“All the members should file a case in the Supreme Court with regard to Abdul Salam case. About Rs 15 lakh would be required to fight in the Supreme Court. Abdul Salam alone can not bear the expenses. Hence, let us fight through the Association,” said Treasurer Abdul Razak.

“If those who already received the compensation are not happy with the amount, then they can approach the court of law. Those who are in need of money urgently, then they can file a case in the court and get compensation.”

Citing a case, he said Petricia D’Souza of Shakthinagar had received a compensation of Rs 10 lakh from Air India. However, she approached court to get additional compensation to pay the fee for her son’s education, the court has ordered to pay additional Rs 10 lakh. Hence, those who had received the compensation, can also file a case in the court.
To fight in the Supreme Court, each family will have to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. Those who had received the compensation will have to pay upto Rs 30,000.
Advocate Sridharan who had argued in favour of Abdul Salam said “the judgement of the divisional bench is not final. The victims will get success if they approach the Supreme Court. We have already filed a case in the divisional bench to review the judgement. The verdict will be announced soon.”

He said: “We have to file the case in the court within two years to get the comepnsation. If we fail to file the case, then the victims will not get any compensation.”

‘We have been holding meetings for the last 16 months. However, we have failed to come to a conclusion. We can not wait for long. About 48 persons who have not received any compensation will jointly approach the court,” warned a victim.

Victims speak
Shahina of Highland said: “I was in distress after losing my husband in the aircrash. So I had to claim the compensation given by the Air India. I have three children. I have to give them good education. Demanding additional compensation, I will file a case in the court in Mangalore. I will fight till I get justifiable compensation.”

Krishna Koikunhi, a native of Kerala who was one among the survivors in the mishap said “Air India had paid a sum of Rs 5 lakh to the injured. Though they had promised to provide employment, it has informed us that it can not provide employment now. I am still at home and searching for a job.”

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