Amend law for hiking compensation to aircraft victims: experts | india | Hindustan Times
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Amend law for hiking compensation to aircraft victims: experts

india Updated: Sep 02, 2007 11:16 IST

PTI
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If an Indian and a foreigner die together in an air crash, the kin of the latter may get 17 times more compensation than that of the former.

The reason for such a glaring discrimination is that India is yet to ratify an international treaty called Montreal Convention, 1999, which ensures higher compensation to the air passengers in case of an accident.

"India is a signatory to it (Montreal Convention) but is yet to ratify it. Thus, regrettably, our own laws have discriminated against our own citizens. This situation must be rectified," Sanat Kaul, a former Joint Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, has said.

Under the convention, "approximately Rs 70 lakh {or 1,00,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)} is payable by the airline on death irrespective of the its fault."

Above that, the compensation may also include "payments based on the 'presumption of fault' of the carrier," said Kaul, who is now the Chairman of International Foundation for Aviation and Development (IFFAAD), a non-profit forum.

Signed by 78 countries, the Montreal Convention, 1999, is regarded as the most effective compensation mechanism for the air-crash victims till date. It unifies most of the international regulations regarding compensation.

"A passenger cannot derive full benefit of international treaties till his country has ratified the convention under which compensation is being sought," said Kaul. He has represented India in the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Further, the convention also provides for jurisdiction of the accident cases within the country of residence of the claimant.