Friday, August 21, 2020

Kerala Plane Crash: Why Is Sushant Singh Rajput's Life More Important Than 18 Deaths, Asks Expert

After the Supreme Court ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, air safety activists have amplified similar demands in Air India Express Plane Crash case in Kozhikode on August 7.

A Public Interest Litigation is already pending before the Kerala High Court in which advocate Yashwant Shenoy has demanded a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the reason for the crash and a CBI investigation for potential criminal action against the officers involved.

Shenoy has been fighting for safe air operations in India for the past ten years and has filed several cases in various courts in which he has highlighted glaring instances of negligence and violations of norms.

“Sometimes I wonder had Sushant Singh Rajput perished in the Kozhikode plane crash, would we still have the whole country wanting the CBI to investigate,” Shenoy said, questioning why Sushant Singh’s life is more important than 18 deaths in Air India Express Plane Crash.

At present, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau constituted a panel of experts to ascertain the cause of the accident and the local police lodged an FIR to investigate criminal negligence persons involved in the crash.

So what exactly is the problem with these two investigations? 

Shenoy and others say that the Court of Inquiry is an open inquiry as opposed to the closed inquiry carried out currently by the AAIB.

Shenoy says that he is fully aware that judges are non-technical people, however, other members of COI can be technical.

“The requirement of the Judge is to ensure that every issue taken up is recorded and nothing is tampered with. This can be accomplished only by a Judge and after the Mangalore experience we can vouch that no high-ranking officer of the Air Force is capable of conducting an independent and impartial investigation,” Shenoy argues in his PIL.

Kerala Plane Crash: Why Is Sushant Singh Rajput's Life More Important Than 18 Deaths, Asks Expert
21/08/20 Jeevan Prakash Sharma/Outlook
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