Air India got some relief from the Kerala high court on Friday, when it set aside the order of a single judge who had asked the state-run carrier to pay the equivalent of Rs 75 lakh as minimum compensation to the kin of the 158 people who died in the Mangalore air crash in May last year.
The court said Air India only needed to pay actual damages proven by claimants in case of death or injury. It did, however, ask the airline to offer a “reasonable minimum” as a goodwill gesture to ensure that prolonged litigation can be avoided.
This paper has reported extensively about the state of air safety in this country. While prevention is infinitely better than cure, what is also needed is a compensation system that recognizes the need for speedy delivery of money and making sure the amount is not laughably insignificant.
If that needs a change in the law, then so be it.