Mirage-2000 crash: Plea in SC on crash of aircraft, choppers of Indian armed forces

The PIL has sought setting up of a court-monitored committee comprising a retired judge of the apex court and experts from Indian defence services to conduct a thorough enquiry into the Mirage crash.

Published: 06th February 2019 08:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2019 08:04 PM   |  A+A-

Two Indian Air Force IAF pilots were killed after a Mirage 2000 trainer fighter aircraft on a test sortie crashed at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL airport in Bengaluru on Friday. | Express Photo Services

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court Wednesday over the "alarming increase" in crash of aircraft and helicopters of the Indian Armed Forces, seeking direction to the Centre to take steps to ensure that such accidents do not occur in future.

The public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed after a Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed on February 1 at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Airport here killing both the pilots -- Squadron Leader Samir Abrol and Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi, both from Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment.

The PIL has sought setting up of a court-monitored committee comprising a retired judge of the apex court and experts from Indian defence services to conduct a thorough enquiry into the Mirage crash.

The PIL, filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, said the committee should fix responsibilities of erring government officials and others for the lapses leading to such incidents and also to suggest measures to ensure that it does not occur again in future.

The petitioner has referred to a recent media report which said that Indian Armed Forces have lost over 35 aircraft and helicopters in crashes since 2015-16 in which 45 lives have been lost.

Since 2011, the Indian Air Force, the Army and the Navy have recorded accidents of over 75 aircraft and helicopters in which over 80 persons have died, the plea said referring to the report.

Srivastava said he has filed the plea in view of "alarmingly increasing number of crashes of various aircrafts and helicopters belonging to the Indian Armed Forces in the recent times, leading to loss of precious lives of a number of air warriors of India".

He said that issue raised in the plea pertained to "sheer violation of fundamental rights of the victims of Indian Air Force jet crash".

In a separate development, the bereaved family of Abrol has said that while the bureaucracy enjoys its "corrupt cheese and wine", the air warriors are given "outdated machines" to fight.

An emotional poem penned by Abrol's brother Sushant, posted on Facebook, states it is an "unforgiving" job to be a test pilot given the risks it posses.

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