The Supreme Court has awarded Rs 7.64 crore compensation to the next of kin of a 45-year old man who was killed when Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai crashed on landing in Mangaluru on May 22, 2010 that killed 158 of the 166 passengers on board.
The family members of Mahendra Kodkany, which includes his wife, daughter and son, who were earlier granted Rs 7.35 crore as compensation by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), will now get the enhanced amount along with 9 per cent interest per annum (on the amount yet to be paid).
The amount has to be paid by Air India. Kodkany was the regional director for the Middle East for a UAE-based company.
In its order, an apex court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi said it was unable to accept the reasons cited by NCDRC in making a deduction from the salary of the victim while calculating compensation.
The bifurcation of salary into diverse heads may be made by the employer for a variety of reasons. However, in a claim for compensation arising out of the death of the employee, the income has to be assessed on the basis of the entitlement of the employee," it said.
The accident, in which the aircraft overshot the runway, went down a hillside and burst into flames, killed 158 of the 166 passengers on board.
The top court further held that Kodkany had been a confirmed employee entitled to adequate weightage in terms of determination of compensation in the event of untimely demise.
In the event that the amount which has been paid by Air India is in excess of the amount payable under the present judgment in terms of our above order, we direct under Article 142 of the Constitution (discretionary power to the Supreme Court), that the excess, if any, shall not be recoverable from the claimants, it said.