Kasargod, June 25: More than two years after the Mangalore air crash that left 158 dead, families of the four-member cabin crew of the ill-fated Air India Express aircraft are awaiting compensation, with one family approaching the Kerala High Court.
Parents and sister of Mohammed Ali, a flight steward from Bhopal who died when the aircraft crashed on May 22, 2010, has filed a petition at the high court alleging that the National Aviation Company Ltd (the new name of Air India) is forcing them to accept a compensation limited to a maximum of Rs 35 lakh under Workmen's Compensation Act of 1923 whereas they should be treated as claimants towards compensation of an international passenger.
In the petition filed through advocate Kodoth Sreedharan, the family contends that cabin crew also falls under the category of international passenger according to Carriage by Air Act of 1972 and should be paid one lakh Special Drawing Rights, which equates to Rs 75 lakh each, as stipulated by the Montreal Convention that governs compensation rules for air disasters.
The family has also alleged that the aviation company is denying full compensation of Rs 75 lakh and is bargaining for lesser payment though the company has received the full insured amount from the insurer. A petition with similar contention by the father of one of the deceased passengers, Arikkad Abdul Salam, is pending before the Supreme Court. He approached the SC after a division bench of the Kerala High Court overturned a siangle bench's order asking the company to pay Rs 75 lakh as compensation.