The Peshawar High Court has ordered budget airline Airblue to deposit the remaining compensation amount for legal heirs of the 2010 crash victims with the PHC’s registrar.
The court has also asked the remaining 42 legal heirs to contact the registrar’s office and submit all relevant documents, including secession certificates, enabling them to collect the amount.
The orders were issued on Tuesday as a PHC division bench, headed by Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan resumed hearing into the writ petition filed by former MNA Marvi Memon.
“We have been complying with court orders. An independent inquiry will be conducted into the deadly 2010 Airblue crash and the April 2012 crash of Bhoja Air without any interference from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Ministry of Defence,” said Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi, who appeared before the court.
Sethi said that in the Airblue case, 102 legal heirs had been compensated and others will soon be paid after an allocation is made in the budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013.
“A two-member team of international experts, who are senior officials of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), will reach Pakistan on June 3 to conduct an inquiry into both incidents.”
She also said that a high-level commission has been tasked to re-visit all licences issued to airline companies in the past 25 years.
Following the assurance, the court also withdrew contempt of court notices issued to Sethi and CAA Director-General Nadeem Yousafzai. The court also exempted the officials from appearing at the next hearing scheduled for June 28.
“We don’t summon senior officials for amusement. We are compelled to call them keeping in view the problems the people are confronted with. The country has been surrounded by conspiracies. A successful institution like the Pakistan International Airlines has collapsed. At least we should make efforts not to let the remaining few institutions sink,” the chief justice remarked.
Addressing officials of the CAA and defence ministry, he said: “We gave you space, removed every obstacle that could create hurdles for you but we will continue our struggle until every single legal heir of the Airblue crash victims is compensated.”
“Rights of the common Pakistani are equal to the rights of the prime minister and the president of Pakistan,” the chief justice remarked.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2012.
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