HC orders compensation for 1988 air crash victims

HC orders compensation for 1988 air crash victims

Ahmedabad: Twenty-one years after an Indian Airlines air crash in which 131 persons were killed, the Gujarat high court ordered on Wednesday that a compensation of Rs6 crore be paid to the families of 34 victims who had approached the court for higher quantum.

The verdict was given by a division bench of justices M S Shah and H N Devani while upholding a lower court order and directed IA and Airport Authority of India(AAI) to pay the compensation to the petitioners by 31 December, 2009.

The court also rejected the plea by the two agencies for a stay on the order to enable it to approach a higher court.

The compensation amount would be paid along with an interest of 9% per annum calculated from 1989 when the petitioners had approached the lower court.

The IA Boeing 737 plane had crashed a few kilometres away from the Ahmedabad airport on 19 October, 1988 killing 131 people on board including the crew members.

The family members of 34 victims had approached the lower court demanding compensation higher than that given by the airline claiming that the accident was caused due to negligence of IA and AAI.

The high court while upholding the March 2003 sessions court court order to IA and AAI to pay compensation of over Rs6 crore to the petitioners however altered the ratio of compensation and asked the airline to pay 90% and the aviation body the remaining 10%.

The sessions court had earlier asked IA to give 70% while AAI the remaining 30%.