KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has dismissed petitions of legal heirs of some victims, who had lost their lives in a Pakistan International Airlines plane crash near the Karachi airport, challenging execution of release and discharge document for payment of compensation.

The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed observed that what was being sought through these petitions was not the performance of a statutory obligation, but enforcement of a mere offer or an inchoate agreement.

“In the matter at hand, the conditions necessary for founding a cause on the doctrine of promissory estoppel are conspicuously absent as there has been no irrevocable commitment of property or detrimental change of position on the part of the petitioners in reliance of a representation made, and the mere obtainment of a Succession Certificate does not qualify as such a step or otherwise suffice for that purpose,” it added.

“Furthermore, it falls to be considered that none of the Petitioners have as yet executed the RDA, hence a determination as to the scope of Section 28 of the Contract Act or Rule 25 and the legality and effect of that document, whether in terms of those provisions or otherwise, is neither necessitated nor appropriate at this stage and would properly be a matter to be determined if and when such a document as may be executed by any of the Petitioners is cited by way of defense in any proceeding as may initiated by the executant for asserting a further claim,” the order further said.

Five petitioners moved the SHC through their lawyers Farrukh Usman and Jibran Nasir, and argued that the PIA and other respondents while acting by mala fide intentions designed an unwarranted RDA and mandated it for legal heirs to inevitably sign the same for payment of compensation.

They contended that the respondents by virtue of execution of such RDA, intended to circumvent the right to claim compensation based on fault and negligence as envisioned under the Carriage By Air Act, 2012 and proposed to seek the waiver of all claims and remedies.

The PK-8303 had crashed in Model Colony in May 2020 which led to loss of 97 of the 99 passengers and crew members on board.

Plea against Saddar road closure

The Sindh High Court has given final chance to the local administration to file comments on two petitions filed against the closure of a road in Saddar to vehicular traffic.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi warned that the court would summon the administrator of district municipal corporation south if the reply was not filed till May 25. It directed the DMC to inform it that under which law the road had been closed.

Dilawar Khan and other shopkeepers had filed a petition in the SHC in February stating that a portion of Mir Karam Ali Khan Talpur Road opposite Empress Market in Saddar had been closed to traffic for around five years.

The petitioners submitted that initially, the thoroughfare was closed to set up a food street and recently, the city administration had started digging work on the same road on the pretext of beautification of the city.

They submitted that the closure of road had not only been disturbing traffic flow in the area but also affecting their business.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2022

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