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Kerala HC dismisses plea for CBI probe into Air India Express crash

Mishap had taken 19 lives in August; Activist-lawyer Yeshwanth Shenoy had also sought closure of Kozhikode airport

air india express | Kerala High Court

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

air india, plane crash, Kozhikode
Mangled remains of an Air India Express flight, en route from Dubai, after it skidded off the runway while landing at Karippur in Kozhikode

The has dismissed a writ petition seeking a judicial probe and a Central Bureau of India investigation into the crash which killed 19 passengers in August.

Activist-lawyer Yeshwanth Shenoy had moved the high court demanding setting up of a court of inquiry to probe the incident. Shenoy had also sought a CBI investigation and closure of all operations at Kozhikode airport in view of safety issues.

The bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly however refused to a parallel investigation into the matter.

"When there is a procedure prescribed under law and the investigation is going on, we do not think, it is right on the part of a writ court to interfere with the same and order a parallel investigation by appointing a former Judge of the Supreme Court or of any High Court," the bench observed in its judgment today.

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"We are also of the opinion that the investigation sought for by the petitioner by directing the CBI to register an FIR is also a premature one, because if any criminality is involved in the air crash, it can only be identified by the investigating team appointed as per order of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau," it added.

The government had on August 13 ordered a five member team headed by former Boeing 737 examiner S S Chahar to probe the accident. Other members of the probe team also include operations expert Ved Prakash, senior aircraft maintenance engineer Mukul Bharadwaj, aviation medicine expert Group Captain (Dr) Y S Dahiya and AAIB deputy Jasbir Singh Largha.

A Boeing 737 aircraft of broke into two pieces after overshooting the runway at Kozhikode airport on August 7. The aircraft was returning from Dubai.

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First Published: Mon, November 16 2020. 17:15 IST