Itanagar: Authorities were directed by a court on Saturday to pay compensation to the families of those killed in a helicopter crash in 2011 at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. A division bench of the Itanagar permanent bench of the Gauhati High Court directed civil aviation regulator DGCA, Arunachal Pradesh, the Civil Aviation Department and Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd to pay the compensation.
The bench, comprising justices Prasanta Kumra Deka and Ajit Borthakur, gave the direction after hearing a batch of writ appeals filed by Shailendra Kumar Sarawgi and others who are relatives of four of the 19 killed in the helicopter crash on April 19, 2011 at the time of landing at Ugweny Sangpo helipad in Tawang.
The court directed the authorities to pay a compensation of Rs 45 lakh to each of the four victims whose legal heirs filed the cases and further directed to deposit
the amount jointly in the registry of the high court.
The court further gave liberty to the heirs of the victims to approach the appropriate forum under the private law for claiming compensation under Rule 25 of the Schedule of Carriage by Air Act, 1972.
The court held that the victims of the Pawan Hans helicopter lost their lives due to negligence.
The bench also held that the loss of lives amounted to the curtailment of their right to live, a constitutional right under Article 21 of the Constitution, and accordingly imposed exemplary compensation.