Air carrier liability for passenger death Or injury under carriage by air act 1972
Carriers’ liability for passenger death or injury during the transportation by air has become a major area of controversy in India especially post Mangalore air crash. The Carriage by Air Act 1972 dealing with carriers’ liability in India incorporates Warsaw Convention, Hague Protocol and Montreal Convention, the three international instruments ratified by India. The differences in scheme of liability adopted in these instruments have brought forward significant questions in terms of jurisdiction and computation of compensation. In addition, the application of international carriers’ liability regime to domestic carriers with modifications has triggered the questions about justifiability of discrimination. In light of these factors, it is pertinent to address the issues concerning liability for passenger death or injury during the air transportation not only from an academic perspective but also from practical point of views.
The present paper first introduces the structure of liability under the Carriage by Air Act. It moves on to discuss the carriers’ liability and defences against liability for passenger death and injury under three schedules of the Act. Next part of the paper delves into the problems of the regime in terms of jurisdiction, computation of compensation and discrimination in international and domestic carriers’ liability. The last part concludes with suggestions of the author to overcome the problems.
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