Ghatkopar crash: PIL seeks CBI probe

A city-based lawyer filed a criminal PIL in the Bombay High Court on Monday seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the plane crash at Ghatkopar on June 28. Five people including pedestrians and aircraft crew were killed in the mishap. Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy had also filed a PIL drawing attention to the heights of buildings in the airport’s vicinity.

The petitioner has sought to know if the CBI should investigate the role of State government officials in the crash, and if the investigation by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) is sufficient to prevent a similar accident. It also seeks to know if a Court of Inquiry is required.

In the PIL, Mr. Shenoy says he had filed a complaint at Sahar police station on April 12, 2016, against obstacles in the flight path. He had contacted the Commissioner of Police, and was eventually directed to the concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police. In their meeting, Mr. Shenoy claims he apprised the officer of the dangers, but no FIR was registered. He also filed a private complaint with the magistrate, which is pending. He claims in the PIL that had the FIR been registered, the Ghatkopar crash could have been averted.

The PIL requests the court to direct the Central government to order a Court of Inquiry under the Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules 2017. It has sought that the CBI probe be monitored by this court every four weeks.

Mr. Shenoy wants the AAIB to play the entire Cockpit Voice Recorder’s (CVR) recording in court and hand over its transcript. It should also preserve every bit the wreckage and hand over the same to CBI for safe custody till investigations and litigation are done. During pendency of this petition, the State government should seal the CCTV footage, the PIL urges.

The matter will come up before a Division Bench comprising Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai on August 7.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 5:57:04 PM |

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