The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has asked the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to present the transcript from the black box of Airblue flight ED 202.
The court added that investigations have not been conducted in accordance with the terms of references provided by the court.
A PHC division bench comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaisar issued the orders while hearing a writ petition filed by politician Marvi Memon against the Airblue administration.
During the hearing, the bench was informed that since ICAO experts have highlighted that the Safety Investigation Board (SIB) is not an independent entity since it falls within the ambit of the Civil Aviation Authority, it will soon be converted into an separate body.
The summary in this regard has been sent to the prime minister. The CJ then directed the Ministry of Defence to expedite the procedure and immediately make SIB an independent body to ensure transparent investigation into aviation accidents. “The SIB should not even be influenced by the defence secretary,” he said.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) senior legal advisor Obaidur Rehman Abbasi told the bench that all relevant records will be produced before the court on the next date of hearing, February 19. He said all material will be made public after a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Defence, SIB and CAA on January 28.
The Islamabad-bound ED 202 Airblue flight crashed in the Margalla Hills on July 28, 2010 killing all 146 passengers and six crew members.
Compensation to legal heirs
Airblue’s Counsel Abdul Latif Yousafzai informed the bench that families of 127 crash victims out of 152 have been compensated.
Yousafzai added the civil suits of other victims were registered in Sindh and Islamabad high courts too. On this, the court questioned Umar Adam, counsel for the petitioner, who replied that he will consult his clients and will inform the bench in the next hearing about whether to proceed with the petition in Peshawar or solve their cases in other high courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2013.
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