KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to furnish a comprehensive report in a case pertaining to the 2016 Havelian plane crash.
A division bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, was hearing a petition filed by the parents of a pilot, who was killed in the crash, seeking directives for the authorities concerned to punish those responsible for the tragic incident.
Forty-seven passengers, including TV personality Junaid Jamshed, were killed when the ill-fated plane, PK-661, crashed in Havelian while travelling from Chitral to Islamabad.
During the hearing, Justice Mazhar asked, “Did PIA fix the responsibility for the crash after a probe report?” The report would not have come to the fore had this court not passed the order, he remarked.
“The report took four years to reach the court,” the SHC judge observed and expressed resentment over CAA and PIA officials for appearing before the court without reading the report.
“42 people died in the crash. What lessons did you learn from the tragedy?” he asked. “I had told you to come to the court after reading the report but no one has done so.” The officials said PIA and CAA are putting in place more measures to improve operational safety to deter such crashes.
“Who was responsible for the previous crash? You were taking safety measures back then,” Justice Mazhar snapped.
The court directed the authorities to submit a report on the procedure of issuing maintenance certificates for the ATR planes.
The petitioners alleged that CAA and PIA permitted faulty planes to take off. The plane with a broken blade was allowed to fly, they said. The mother of the martyred pilot burst into tears in the courtroom demanding that criminal proceedings be initiated against all those responsible for the crash.
The hearing was adjourned until December 17.