Some families of the 2010 Mangalore air crash victims, who were unhappy with the quantum of compensation, may now file cases in a civil court here seeking its intervention on Monday.
Mangalore Air Crash Victims' Families Association president Mahammad Beary told The Hindu on Saturday that around five or six relatives of the victims of the May 22 air crash in which 158 persons died, were likely to file cases.
The Dubai-Mangalore Air India overshot the tabletop runway and plunged into the wooded area. There were eight survivors in the incident.
Mr. Beary said the cases for compensation or for increase in the compensation have to be filed within two years of the accident as per the Montreal convention.
The second anniversary of the air crash accident is on Tuesday.
Though many relatives of the victims were not happy, all of them were not willing to wage a legal battle with Air India and had decided to accept the quantum of compensation given after negotiations with the law firm hired by the airlines.
Some of them were reluctant as they would have to pay stamp duty of Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh depending on the compensation sought.
He said those who had not filed applications for compensation too could file cases before two years of the accident. Stating that the number of persons who may file cases was not known, he added, “We are watching the situation.”
He pointed out that the Kerala High Court had stated that the victims' relatives could file cases in civil court for higher compensation.
It may be noted that in August 2011, the court had observed that the carrier was liable to pay any actual damages proved by the claimants in the case of death or in the case of injured.
The liability so payable could be determined through negotiated settlements or in a civil court of competent jurisdiction, it had said.
About the exact quantum of relief given by Air India, the Association has filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2006, Mr. Beary said.
Mr. Beary said the association was pursuing the matter of building a monument for the victims.
It may be noted that a memorial with the names of all the victims etched on black granite at the site of the accident at Kenjar near here was vandalised in October 2010 allegedly over a land dispute. Mr. Beary said he had heard that the Air India would have a monument built through the local grama panchayat at Maravoor.
Besides pursuing this, the association would submit a memorandum to the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda after the Association's meeting on May 22, regarding protecting the site in Panambur where 12 unidentified bodies were buried.
There was no public function planned this year on May 22 as was done last year. The office-bearers of the Association would offer condolence at a meeting to be held here on the day, Mr. Beary said.