LAHORE: The report of an inquiry into the Karachi plane crash that had claimed lives of 98 people has been challenged before the Lahore High Court for being “illegal”.

The father and a brother of the deceased first officer, Usman Azam, of PK-8303, flight that crashed while landing in Karachi on May 22, 2020, assailed the report and the special investigation board through a writ petition.

The petitioners through counsel Nabeel Javed Kahloon submit that the aviation secretary constituted the four-member board to probe the plane crash. They say the board submitted its report to the secretary, which was later published on June 22.

The petitioners argue the notification of the constitution of the investigation board issued by the aviation secretary was in violation of section 6 of the Civil Aviation Rules, 1994. They state the board members had no knowledge of the aviation technicalities.

They contend the board was not competent to hold the inquiry, therefore, all the investigation completed by it stands illegal in the eyes of law.

They argue that the respondent secretary failed to appreciate the fact that “ill-conceived policies and bad management” turned PIA into a white elephant.

They ask the court to declare the formation of the investigation board and its report as unlawful and also order the government to constitute a fresh board to re-investigate the crash of PK-8303 by taking into confidence all the stakeholders as per the law.

The petitioners further ask the court to suspend the operation of the inquiry report till final decision of the petition.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2020