TRIVENI KODKANY Vs. AIR INDIA LIMITED
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
AIR INDIA LIMITED
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DHANANJAYA Y.CHANDRACHUD,J. -
(1.)On 22 May 2010, flight IX 812 of Air India Express from Dubai to Mangalore crashed at Mangalore airport. One of the passengers aboard the ill-fated aircraft, who died in the accident, was Mahendra Kodkany. Mahendra was an expat employed as a Regional Director for the Middle Eastern Region with GTL Overseas (Middle East) FZ-LLC. His spouse, Triveni Kodkany submitted a claim on 10 March 2011 for compensation from Air India. Air India paid an amount of Rs 4,00,70,000 to her on 20 March 2012 against an indemnity. Apart from this, an amount of Rs 40 lakhs was in addition paid to the parents of the deceased. On 18 April 2012, the parents and the brother of the deceased instituted a suit against Air India to claim compensation. The Trial Court by its judgment dated 27 September 2018 decreed the claim of the mother of the deceased in the amount of Rs 70 lakhs. The claims of the father and the brother were dismissed.
(2.)The complaint out of which the present appeals arise was instituted on 18 May 2012 by the surviving spouse, son and daughter of the deceased before the NCDRC, claiming compensation of INR 13.42 crores, together with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum from the date of the accident and other consequential payments. Air India contested the proceedings before the NCDRC. The NCDRC allowed the complaint and awarded compensation of AED 58,81,135 equivalent to Rs 7,35,14,187 on the basis of a conversion rate of Rs 12.50 per AED. The NCDRC noted that an amount of Rs 40 lakhs has been paid to the parents of the deceased apart from a sum of Rs 4 crores which was paid to the complainants. Both those sums were directed to be deducted from the rupee equivalent of AED 58,81,135. The balance of the principal sum due was determined at Rs 2,95,14,187. Simple interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum was awarded from 22 May 2010 till the date on which an amount of Rs 40 lakhs was paid to the parents of the deceased. The complainants were held to be entitled to interest on the amount of Rs 6,95,14,187 with effect from the date on which the payment was made to the parents of the deceased till the date on which Rs 4 crores was paid to the complainants. They were also held entitled to interest on the remaining amount with effect from the date on which Rs 4 crores were paid to the complainants until the date on which the entire principal sum is actually paid.
(3.)Cross appeals have been filed in these proceedings. Chronologically, the first appeal was filed by the complainants. Air India has also filed an appeal challenging the order of the NCDRC. For convenience of reference, we will refer to the parties as the complainants and Air India.
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