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Tuesday February 27, 2024

SHC directs Aviation Division to submit PIA’s ATR plane crash inquiry in 10 days

October 16, 2020

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday gave last chance to aviation division to submit final inquiry report pertained to Pakistan International Airlines’s ATR crash incident at Hawalian in December 2016 within 10 days.

Hearing petition seeking judicial inquiry into the December 2016 flight PK-661 crash inquiry in which 42 passengers, including singer-turned-preacher Junaid Jamshed and his wife, and crew members had lost their lives, SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar inquired federal law officer with regard to completion of the final inquiry report despite incident was occurred on December 7, 2016.

The court observed that why the final report of the ATR plane crash incident have not been concluded by the aircraft accident investigation board despite on last date of hearing the aviation division assured submission of the report.

Federal law officer on behalf of secretary aviation again requested time and submitted that report has been compiled and requested further 10 days time to file the report. The court on request of the federal law officer as last chance directed federal law officer to submit the final report from aircraft accident investigation board with regard to PIA’s ATR 42-5000 crash and adjourned the hearing till October 27 for submitting of the report.

The petitioner, namely Syed Iqbal Kazmi, told the court that an Islamabad-bound flight of the national flag carrier had crashed near Hawalian after it took off from Chitral on December 7, 2016.

He said the CAA director general had written to his seniors making startling disclosures about the functioning of ATR planes. The petitioner said that 20 incidents were recorded in which the engines of ATR planes used by the national flag carrier had stopped during flights. Besides, 90 cases of ATR planes’ removal of engines were recorded as well, he added.

He said that despite having knowledge of the defects in the aircraft, the respondents did not take precautionary measures to avoid accidents and save previous lives. He argued that after the occurrence of such incidents in the past, it was the constitutional obligation of the cabinet division secretary, the CAA DG and the PIA chairman to refrain from purchasing outdated planes, using them and risking the lives of the passengers and crew members.

Kazmi claimed that the respondents had violated Article 9 of the Constitution as well as the civil aviation rules. He pleaded for a judicial inquiry into the crash to fix responsibility on the relevant officials and prosecute them, and for ordering compensation to the legal heirs of the victims.

He requested the SHC to direct the respondents to ground all the planes currently being used by the PIA and to order their inspection by the CAA or any other independent investigating agency or department.