M'lore air crash: HC stays proceedings against AI

M'lore air crash: HC stays proceedings against AI

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday stayed the proceedings against Air India and its chief operating officer in a private complaint holding them responsible for the air crash at Mangalore airport on May 22, 2010.

812 Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, had filed a private complaint before the trial court after the investigation into the accident was closed.

The trial court took cognisance of the complaint stating that there was no action on the matter even after four months of complaint and considered it as a ‘deemed sanction’ by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for prosecution.

The petitioners - Air India and its chief operating officer - moved the High Court challenging the order of the trial court.

Counsel for the petitioners Gurudas Kannur, in his submission said that the respondent, (812 Foundation) filed a private complaint on March 6, 2012 after the entire matter and the investigation was closed.

“ Initially, the investigation proved that the accident was due to the error of pilot. Later, a Court of Inquiry was constituted on June 3, 2010 which also held that the pilots of the aircraft responsible for the crash.

“FIR was filed against Glusico, the pilot and Ahluwalia, the co-pilot. Charges against the co-pilot were dropped later.  The matter was closed as the pilot was dead and the Court of Inquiry did not find any negligence on part of the petitioners,” he explained to the Court.

The petitioners claimed that the Foundation had written to Ministry of Home Affairs seeking sanction for prosecuting the petitioners and the MHA had forwarded the request to Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The matter is under consideration. “Under such circumstances, the trial court without hearing the petitioners exceeded its jurisdiction and took cognisance of the complaint.  There is no such concept under The Aircraft Rules, 1937,” said Kannur. 

Justice K V Keshavanarayana, stayed the proceedings and has adjourned the matter.

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