Thursday, July 21, 2011

HC orders 75L payout for AI Mangalore crash victims

Thiruvananthapuram/Mangalore: The Kerala high court on Wednesday ordered Air India to pay Rs 75 lakh to the families of each of the kin of those killed in last year’s Mangalore air crash.
Justice P R Ramachandra Menon said Air India was liable to pay the compensation equivalent to 1 lakh Special Drawing Rights (SDR), a kind of International Monetary Fund currency. The bench was hearing Abdul Salam and Ramla’s petition. Their 24-year-old son, B Mohammed Rafi, was killed in the crash. The petition challenged AI’s Rs 35 lakh compensation and said victims’ families were entitled to damages of Rs 1.5 crore for the carrier’s liability as per international law.
The HC noted India was a party to the Montreal Convention and said it was meant to ensure parity in compensation. The payout would be distributed over one year and will cost AI about Rs 118 core. The amount of compensation in rupees varies as SDR value is based on a basket of currencies and fluctuates between Rs 70-75 lakh.
An Air India Express flight from Dubai carrying 166 people overshot the Mangalore tabletop runway and fell off a cliff while landing on May 22, 2010. It killed 158 people and eight survived.

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