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PIA Fokker crash: appeal for justice

May 05, 2012

THIS is apropos of Abdul Saeed Khan Ghori’s letter ‘Air crash: learning from the past’ (May 1). I believe Mr Ghori has highlighted my case that is pending in the Sindh High Court under suit No812/2007.

I lost my husband in a PIA Fokker crash who was travelling as an international passenger to Istanbul. PIA was obliged to pay compensation at once under carriage by the Air (International Convention) Act, 1966.

But I am suffering because of incompetence or a sort of connivance of PIA’s legal team with the insurer’s representative who refused good-faith settlement of claim. I was thus compelled to knock on the doors of the Sindh High Court.

Unfortunately, it proved to be a beginning of a new agony as the case is pending in the court and there is hardly any headway.

Senior PIA officials know it very well that there is a specific amount of compensation that must be paid to the victims by all means and in all circumstances.

But they continue to defy this right only to see that I and my children get frustrated and accept the paltry amount that suits their motives in violation of the applicable law.

I believe there are six to seven other families of victims, including two judges, a DAG and a brigadier, whose cases are pending in civil courts of Multan and Lahore.

The case of my husband is different as he was an international passenger. His case is required to be dealt with under the specific law as indicated.

I request the managing director of PIA to look into this matter and identify the culprits within his organisation who are failing in their duty to abide by the law in pursuit of their own self-serving motives.

They are keeping me deprived of what is legally due under Carriage by Air (International Convention) Act 1966, then the applicable law.

The compensation amount is to be paid by the insurer.

Both the courts and the law have to be compassionate towards widows and orphans in early dispensation of justice.

What is the use of compensation amount that is not available in time of need to support the education and life maintenance of children?

Is it not the violation of Islamic injunctions, established judicial traditions and statutes of Pakistan that widows and orphans are not preferred in dispensation of justice?

I also request the chief justice of the Sindh High Court to fix day-to-day hearing of my case for urgent disposal. It is time a case law was urgently developed by way of my case, as during the short span of six years over 300 families have become victims of air crash in Pakistan.

Widows and orphans are running from pillar to post to get their lawful right of deserved compensation. After all justice delayed is justice denied.