Lawyers representing Bhoja Air on Monday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking the quashing of a First Information Report (FIR) against Farooq Bhoja filed at Koral Police Station.
The petition filed by Bhoja Air Secretary Syed Mehmood Ali challenges the FIR lodged against Bhoja and unnamed company officials. The report was filed after the flight 213 of the airline crashed on April 20 in Hussainabad, killing all 127 people onboard.
Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan will decide on the maintainability of the petition on May 14 after the IHC office had raised an objection on the case.
Making the interior and defence secretaries, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general, inspector general of the Islamabad police and SHO Koral respondents, petitioner’s counsel Khalid Mehmood maintained that after the plane crash, the Koral police had registered a case against Farooq Bhoja and others which is illegal and mala fide.
Advocate Khalid Mehmood argued in his petition that the various aviation-related ordinances are special laws which govern all aspects of handling an air crash including the subsequent inquiry and consequent action, while the registration of FIR has been done under a general law. “It is a settled law that special enactments always prevail over the general law,” he said.
He maintained that there is genuine apprehension that any employee of the company or of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) may be arrested and humiliated by the police after a similar case is registered. Mehmood said that the CAA DG had confirmed in a press conference that Bhoja Air was issued an Air Operations Certificate (AOC) after the completion of all regulatory requirements.
After meeting all operational, security and safety requirements, the airline successfully operated its first flight from Karachi to Lahore in March 2012, he added.
He further maintained that interior ministry had placed the name of Farooq Bhoja on the Exit Control List despite the fact that Bhoja is a minority shareholder in the airline.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.