Mangaluru, March 7, 2021: The Karnataka High Court quashed an order passed by a magistrate in Mangaluru taking cognisance of offences against Air India Limited and Airports Authority of India and their executives Ansbert D’Souza from Mumbai and Peter Abraham from Kerala, in relation to a plane crash that took place in 2010.
Allowing the criminal petitions filed by them, Justice Ashok G Nijagannavar observed that the people sought to be prosecuted were government servants. “Therefore, without sanction to prosecute, the complaint was not at all maintainable,” the judge said.
The judge also said that the Court of Inquiry report into the incident did not indicate that the petitioners, who have been arraigned as accused, were responsible for the accident. “The conclusion drawn by the Court of Inquiry should not have been overlooked by the magistrate,” the judge said.
Bajpe police had registered the case against the petitioners based on the order passed by the magistrate in response to a private complaint filed by 812 Foundation, an NGO, on March 5, 2012, but there was no explanation for the delay in filing the complaint.
The petitioners moved the HC seeking to quash the order passed by the JMFC-II Court in response to the private complaint whereby the magistrate took cognisance of the offence along with deemed sanction against the petitioners.