The decision depends on the outcome of their review before the Kerala High Court

The families of Mangalore air crash victims have decided to approach the Supreme Court if the review of the order of the Division Bench of Kerala High Court does not favour them.

What started out as a muddle that required everything to be said in three languages, the meeting of the Association of Mangalore Air Crash Victims' Families here on Sunday soon made everyone realise that time was running out for them.

Many families of the victims have been demanding higher compensation for their kin who died on May 22, 2010 when flight IX-812 skidded off the runway at the airport. Around 60 families have approached a Swedish law firm called Liman after rejecting the compensation offered by Air India's lawyers Mulla and Mulla Associates.

Meanwhile, Abdul Salam had filed a case in the Kerala High Court demanding higher compensation in accordance with the Montreal Convention.

A single judge Bench of the High Court of Kerala ruled that he should be paid Rs. 75 lakh, but a Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the order. Mr. Salam has since filed a petition to review the order.

At Sunday's meeting, the topic of discussion was whether or not to approach the Supreme Court if the review of the order did not result in a favourable order for Mr. Salam.

Mr. Salam's advocate Shridharan said that if the verdict came out in favour of Mr. Salam, it would benefit others too.

Soon it was decided that they would approach the Supreme Court and that those who wished could contribute around Rs. 10,000.

Those who have taken compensation could contribute Rs. 30,000 if they wished. All payments should be made directly to the bank account of the association to keep track of the transactions, they said.

Time running out

Mr. Shridharan said that the claimants only had two years from the date of the crash to claim the compensation, otherwise, they “would not get a single rupee”.

A lawyer who was present at the meeting said that even if the apex court ruled in Mr. Salam's favour, each claimant would have to individually approach the courts seeking higher compensation.

Abdul Razak, an office-bearer, said the families who had received compensation but wanted to attempt for more, those who were not yet called by Mulla and Mulla Associates for negotiations, and those who had approached the Swedish lawyer should all discuss their problems with the lawyer separately as they all faced different issues.