The Delhi high court on Monday sought the Centre’s response to a woman’s plea seeking a higher compensation of Rs 5 crore as well as cancellation of permit of an air service provider after the death of her husband and daughter in a helicopter crash on way to the Vaishno Devi shrine.
The crash occurred on November 25, 2015, within seconds of takeoff.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also issued notice to aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the company operating the air transport service and the insurance firm with whom the helicopter was insured, on the plea of the woman named Priya.
The court asked the DGCA whether its policy on grant of licence to air transport service providers deals with the issue of providing insurance cover for no fault liability in case of crashes.
The judge asked the regulator to place its policy before the court on the next date of hearing on April 26.
It asked for the policy of the DGCA as its lawyer told the court that there was a maximum compensation limit of Rs 20 lakh for no fault liability, but no minimum amount.
Priya has sought a compensation of Rs 5 crore from the air service provider, Himalyan Heli Services Pvt Ltd, as well as cancellation of its permit to operate.
In her plea, she has also sought damages from the DGCA and civil aviation ministry for allowing the air transport company to fly the helicopter allegedly without mandatory safety and insurance compliance.
The petitioner has contended that the chopper service operator tried to lower the amount payable for her husband and daughter’s death to Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, respectively, from the initial offer of Rs 25 lakh each.