Air crash investigations: IHC irked by delay in Bhoja probe

Sets up commission to look into the real causes behind the tragic incident.

Azam Khan July 06, 2013
Debris of Bhoja Air plane. PHOTO: REUTERS


Islamabad High Court (IHC) took note of the delay in the investigation of the Bhoja airline crash on April 20 last year, in which all 152 passengers on board had died. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ordered that a judicial commission, headed by Justice (retd) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, should dig out the real cause behind the tragic incident.

The victims’ families took the airline’s administration to court when it failed to provide compensation to families, while demanding fair investigation into the tragic incident.

As per the terms of reference, the commission will answer seven questions in three-month time.

The question whether Bhoja’s licence was issued in accordance with the requirements of law is an important one. Professional qualifications, experience and health of the cockpit crew of Bhoja Air Flight no. B-213, as well as, questions about the plane’s airworthiness history, mileage and maintenance record remain critical.

Moreover, the judicial commission seeks to review the inquiries conducted by various bodies including Civil Aviation Authority, Capital Development Authority, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), aircraft manufacturer, insurance companies and the airliner itself. The high court also asked the commission to suggest steps to avoid such tragedies in the future.

The commission shall have all the authority and powers to call upon any person relevant for examination, to inspect documents and take the same on record. The court will take up the case after the submission of the commission’s report.

The airline was asked by the IHC to pay a fee of five million rupees to the chairman of the commission and one million rupees to the associate member.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2013.


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