Air India files appeal against compensation order

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Mangalore air crash
Kochi, Aug 13: Air India on Friday filed an appeal in the Kerala High Court challenging its order to pay compensation of Rs 75 lakh to kin of each of 158 passengers killed in the Mangalore air crash in May last year.

The petition questioned whether the Montreal Convention, incorporated into Indian laws by the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Act 2009, imposes on AI a minimum liability of one lakh Special Drawing Rights (equivalent to Rs 70 lakh) per passenger in the event of death in an air accident. SDR is a special currency issued by IMF.

It said a single judge's conclusion that AI has to pay one lakh SDRs to each of the victim's relatives was ''totally inconsistent'' with and contrary to relevant statutory provisions in the convention and incorporated in the Third schedule to Act, 1972.

As such, it was inconsistent with and contrary to the application of this treaty by its sister signatories, AI said in the appeal, likely to come up before the court on Monday.

The appellant stated that the liability of an air carrier for the death of a passenger consequent to an air accident is governed by the amended Carriage by Air act to the exclusion of all other laws in force in India.

Air India said it had disbursed an ad hoc compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family members of each adult passenger and Rs five lakh to the family members of each deceased child as interim compensation.

PTI

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