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'Premature': Kerala HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Probe Into Air Crash Occurred At Calicut International Airport

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 Nov 2020 11:44 AM GMT
Premature: Kerala HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Probe Into Air Crash Occurred At  Calicut International Airport
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The Kerala High Court has dismissed a PIL filed by a lawyer seeking a probe into air crash that occurred at the Calicut International Airport on 7th August 2020.Advocate Yeshwant Shenoy had approached the High Court seeking an open enquiry about the air crash by appointing retired Judges. He contended that the investigation can never be independent or impartial, unless it is open to the...

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The Kerala High Court has dismissed a PIL filed by a lawyer seeking a probe into air crash that occurred at the Calicut International Airport on 7th August 2020.

Advocate Yeshwant Shenoy had approached the High Court seeking an open enquiry about the air crash by appointing retired Judges. He contended that the investigation can never be independent or impartial, unless it is open to the public and headed by a Retired Supreme Court Judge or at least a retired High Court Judge. He had also sought a direction to shut down the Calicut airport permanently for operations of both narrow body and wide body aircrafts.

The bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly observed that there is clear cut procedure in Aircraft (Accident and Incidents Investigation) Rules, 2017 prescribed to deal with the investigation of an aircraft accident and that the entire matter in respect of the investigation is under the control of the Government of India and the appropriate statutory authorities and if there are any shortcomings in the matter of enquiry, it is for the Government of India or the authorities to take appropriate decisions at the appropriate time.

The court also observed that the CBI investigation sought for is also a premature one, because if any criminality is involved in the air crash, it can only be identified by the Investigating team appointed as per the order of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB).

"True, the Central Government is vested with powers to conduct a formal investigation in accordance with the powers conferred under Rule 12 of Rules 2017, but we do not think that it is a mandatory requirement whereas the investigation by the AAIB under Rule 5 is a mandatory requirement. In short, we have no hesitation to say that the writ petition filed by the petitioner is a premature one, since the investigation is going on by the investigators appointed by appropriate statutory authority. The only contention of the petitioner with respect to the appointment of the investigators is that one of the members is not competent or a fit person due to some earlier incident. Now, in spite of making allegations, the said person is not made a party in the said writ petition and no documents are produced to substantiate the allegations. Moreover, the entire matter in respect of the investigation is under the control of the Government of India and the appropriate statutory authorities and if there are any shortcomings in the matter of enquiry, it is for the Government of India or the authorities to take appropriate decisions at the appropriate time.", the court said while dismissing the PIL.

 

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