A Court of Inquiry into the Mangalore air crash that claimed 158 lives is likely to be set up next week, highly-placed sources said on Friday.
"The Court of Inquiry is likely to be set up any time next week," the sources said, adding that the legalities of its constitution, including whether it would be headed by a serving or former High Court judge, have been studied.
However, a prominent person with knowledge of the aviation sector, apart from a judge, can also be appointed as the head of such an inquest panel as per the provisions of the law. But the sources maintained that, so far, most of such Courts have been headed by judges.
The Court would be assisted by two assessors having aviation background, they said, adding that one of them could be from engineering and the other from operations so that all aspects of Saturday's crash could be inquired into.
Almost all the material evidences collected from the crash site have been taken over by the Inspector of Accidents, appointed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation a day after the crash.
These would be handed over to the Court of Inquiry, once it takes over charge.
The sources said the issue of whether to start decoding the Flight Data Recorder or black box the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit, is likely to be decided after the Court is set up.
Several theories relating to the crash like the plane took an "incorrect" flight path or missed the touchdown point or a brake failure occurred, pilots' fatigue or a judgemental error by the pilots have been given out as prima facie reasons by technical experts, but all of them said the final report of the probe should be awaited.
The Boeing 737-800 of the Air India Express had overshot the Bajpe Airport runway on May 22 and its 90 metre long spillover area, plunged into a ravine and burst into flames claiming 158 lives.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and top officials have already said the runway was operationally compliant and technically fit for flying a Boeing 737-800, the plane was two years old with no history of defects and both the pilots, Capt Zlatko Glusica and Capt SS Ahluwalia, were very experienced and had carried out a large number of take-offs and landings in Mangalore.