ISLAMABAD -UNS- The defunct Bhoja Air, whose Boeing 737–236 aircraft had crashed in Islamabad in 2012, had asked the Civil Association Authority (CAA) to grant the doomed aircraft permission to fly without an Airworthiness Certificate, stated a report submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan by the federal government on Monday.
The report — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — says that the airline committed a series of violations, including the initiation of its operations “when the company was financially not in the soundest of health and seemed not to possess requisite infrastructure”.
Neither was the airplane certified to carry passengers nor was the crew trained to handle emergency situations such as analysing rough weather, the report added.
The airline’s flight 213 had crashed during landing at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, killing all 146 passengers and six crew members on board.
The report further said that the airplane’s pilot did not have enough experience to fly a commercial carrier and was not given relevant training for the job.
The report was submitted in the apex court during a hearing conducted on the nonpayment of compensation to the families of the victims of a trio of infamous air crashes, including the Air Blue crash of 2010 and PIA crash of 2016.
The Bhoja Air’s counsel told the court that all the affectees had been paid; however, the affectees’ counsel drew the court’s attention towards the fact that one of the accused nominated in the tragedy’s FIR is out on bail. The court said that cases against those who are out on bail should be decided within a month.
The counsel of Air Blue, one of whose aircrafts crashed near Islamabad in 2010 and left all 146 on board dead, told the court that all but six of the tragedy’s affectees have been compensated. “Six families chose not to take the compensation money,” the counsel said.
“It is the affectees’ right to claim compensation,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked.
The counsel of the victims’ families said that their clients are willing to accept compensation but the matter is also being litigated in civil courts.
The chief justice also observed that the Air Blue management was told to deposit the compensation funds with the registrar but it only deposited cheques. “The Air Blue management kept the money with itself and earned mark-up on it,” Justice Nisar said.
The court ordered for the compensatory cheques to be cashed out and the money to be invested in a profitable scheme. Furthermore, the court said that the civil cases should be heard within three months after summer vacations.
The chief justice also imposed a Rs50,000 fine on Air Blue for not submitting its response to the court on time.
Meanwhile, the PIA counsel told the court that all the victims’ families had been compensated except for one, which has filed a lawsuit against the national carrier.