M'lore aircrash: complaint against AAI, DGCA

Nearly two years after the ill-fated Dubai-Mangalore Air India Express crashed at Kenjar near here killing 158 passengers, Yeshwant Shenoy, a Mumbai based lawyer and president of 812 Foundation, filed a private complaint before the JMFC II against Airport Authority of India, Air India and Director General of Civil Aviation, in Mangalore on Tuesday.

The complaint was filed in JMFC II after the Panambur police reportedly refused to file his complaint.

In the private complaint, Shenoy stated that the accident was a direct consequence of wilful gross negligence on part of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), gross negligence on the part of Air India (AI) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), besides the pilot. The allegation against AAI is that the Non-Frangible ILS structure (in the airport) was not in compliance with the ICAO norms (ICAO Annex 14, 4.2.8) and it was the sole responsibility of the AAI to ensure compliance with the ICAO norms which it did not and caused the death of 158 innocent persons. The cause of death for most of the 158 victims was burn injuries and the Court of Inquiry (CoI) had established that the “non-frangible” ILS structure was the cause of the fire.

The allegation against the Air India is that it failed to check the qualification of the pilot to fly the Boeing 737. “At the time of issue of his (pilot Zlatko Glusica) FATA licence, he was not even eligible to fly a Boeing 737-800 in India as he did not have the required minimum ‘Pilot-in command’ experience on type,” he has stated in the complaint.

The DGCA has been made a party because It failed to verify the ATPL licence of the captain before issuing the FATA licence (DGCA is primarily responsible for clearing/issuing the FATA licence). Shenoy also alleged that the licence may be one of the scam tainted clearances given. Shenoy has filed the private complaint under Section 200 of Cr.P.C against 10 accused  (including Air India, Airport Authority of India and Director General of Civil Aviation and its officers responsible for the tragedy) on Tuesday and the judge is expected to decide on the case on Wednesday.

812 Foundation is a trust formed by Yeshwant Shenoy to help the victims.
Though a complaint was lodged against the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft, AIE 812 Captain Zlatko Glusica, the investigation officer closed the case as per the court directions as the accused was dead. The case was based on a complaint filed by one of the survived passengers of the aircraft, Abdulla Puttur. 

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