Dubai: Air India crash kin yet to receive compensation

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  • No compensation has reached kin since Air India tragedy

Dubai, 21 October 2010: Families of Air India crash victims are accusing the airline and its lawyers of soft-pedalling on the compensation claims, and are considering taking legal recourse.


Almost five months after one of the worst air crash incidents that claimed the lives of 158 passengers onboard the Dubai-Mangalore aircraft on May 22, families said they have not even been contacted by Mulla and Mulla Advocates.


Marina Fernandes cries as she holds Violla, daughter of her sister Saritha Fernandes and her husband Naveen Fernandes, who died in the Air India Express plane crash.


At a press conference held in Dubai yesterday, relatives of the victims also accused H.D. Nanavati who represents the Mumbai-based legal firm appointed by Air India, of "bargaining to bring down the compensation amount."


Abdul Rahman who lost his wife and nine-year-old son broke down in tears as he explained how traumatic it has been for him to reach out to the concerned officials.


"It is not just about the money. It is a huge emotional issue for us. They must understand that they can never compensate us enough for the pain we are going through. I have been in touch with all the families and I know most of them have rejected the amount offered by Mulla and Mulla," said Rahman.


According to the claimants, Air India should pay them at least 7.6 million rupees (Dh628,826) in addition to claims of loss and pain caused, in accordance with the Montreal Convention where as the current offers are to the tune of three to four million rupees.


Last month Nanavati had clarified that compensation is calculated as a statutory liability of the air carrier under the Carriage by Air (CA) Act 1972, which incorporates the Montreal convention.


"There appears to be some misunderstanding on the part of the claimants with regard to the manner in which compensation is being paid to the family members of the victims of Mangalore aircrash," Nanavai said.


Proof of loss

Under the Montreal Convention, the amount of compensation is to be worked out in each case separately on ‘proof of loss basis’, which is an exercise essentially to place the family members in the same position as they would have been in had the deceased not died in the accident," he was quoted by the Indian media.


However, Rafeeq Eroth, President of Malabar Pravasi Coordination Council (MPCC) that is coordinating efforts to expedite the compensation claims for victims said the families are considering filing a legal petition in Dubai from where they purchased the tickets as per the Montreal convention.


"We are emotionally paralysed. And it is just the beginning of our trauma. The claim is our right. I want the concerned authorities to come forward and do the necessary without putting through the legal hassles," said Santosh Rai who lost his wife and two children aged nine and nine months.


Umain Altaf, 22 who lost his father in the crash, and now has to support his family including a brother who is mentally unstable said the legal firm is unwilling to listen to his woes.


Officials from Mulla and Mulla were not available for a comment.




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Comments on this Article
Camil D’Souza, Udyavara udupi Thu, October-21-2010, 9:51
It’s with great regret to hear that Air India is still delaying the compensation to families of Air India crash victims of May 22nd . For some reasons i think air india is broke and in future travellers should more cautious and think twice before travelling throgh this airlines because of their negligence. Why they appointed the mulla and mulla in first place? if they cant handle the payment of compensation on time ? in future they should recruit experinced pilots but not foreigners who are not worth flying our airlines. so in future air india must think twice before hiring junky pilots.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Thu, October-21-2010, 7:35
The claimants of the tragedy aught to have received by this time relief of Rs. 10-0 2-0 2-0= 14-00 lakhs .If not they may contact to me at Udupi on or after 1-11-2010 for taking up the matter with the Mangalore D.C. with proof of travel and death in the tragedy. Effor further relief the authorrity is actively making arrangements as per law and every one has to follow the procedure. Law only renders true justice. Delay depends upon how we interpret the Law and put forth our claim.
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