Supreme Court of India (File photo)
MANGALURU: The Supreme Court has enhanced the compensation awarded to the next of kin of a 45-year-old man who was killed when Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai crashed on landing in Mangaluru on May 22, 2010 from Rs 7.35 crore to Rs 7.64 crore.
Mahendra Kodkany’s wife, daughter and son will now get Rs 7.64 crore plus 9% interest per annum (on the amount yet to be paid). The original compensation awarded by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission was Rs 7.35 crore with 9% interest.
Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy, who represented the family in the NCDRC and the Supreme Court, said this is the highest compensation awarded to any of the victims of the Mangaluru air crash. The accident, in which the aircraft overshot the runway, went down a hillside and burst into flames, killed 158 of the 166 passengers on board.
While enhancing the compensation, an apex court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi said it was unable to accept the reasons cited by NCDRC in making a deduction from the salary of the victim while calculating compensation. Kodkany was the regional director for the Middle East for a UAE-based company.
“The bifurcation of salary into diverse heads may be made by the employer for a variety of reasons. However, in a claim for compensation arising out of the death of the employee, the income has to be assessed on the basis of the entitlement of the employee,” the order said.
The court also held that Kodkany had been a confirmed employee entitled to adequate weightage in terms of determination of compensation in the event of untimely demise. “We have come to the conclusion that 30% (of his salary) should be allowed on account of future prospects,” it said.