Supreme Court issues contempt notice to DGCA
The apex court stated that it has directed the contempt notice to seek clarifications from the aviation regulator but has not asked its legislative body to appear in court.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued contempt notice to Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and sought explanation from him for not complying with its order to bring new set of rules to rationalise the flying hours for pilots.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and J S Khehar issued notice to DGCA on a contempt petition filed by an association of Indian pilots seeking its direction for the aviation regulating body for not bringing new Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) to minimise accidents caused by pilot fatigue.
The bench asked the DGCA to respond within three weeks but exempted him from appearing personally before it which is the normal procedure while hearing a contempt petition.
The apex court had directed the DGCA in May 2011 to expedite the process of bringing new CAR to rationalise the flying hours for pilots.
The petitioner, the Society for Welfare of Indian pilots, alleged that it is urgent to implement new regulation as many of airplane accidents are happening due to fatigue of pilots as the probe in Mangalore plane crash of 2010, in which 158 people died, suggested that the pilot was asleep during part of the flight.
Senior advocate K T S Tusli submitted that DGCA is selectively relaxing rules for a few private airlines, putting passenger safety at risk and it is not taking action against those airlines which are flouting the rules.