Important Legal News | 18th October

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Supreme Court Issues Notice to Air India Over Compensation for 2020 Kerala Plane Crash

In response to a Special Leave Petition, the Supreme Court has issued notice to Air India Express regarding compensation claims from the 2020 Air India Express Flight IX-1344 crash in Kerala. The petitioners argue that the airline offered nominal compensation through negotiating agencies, which they accepted as an interim settlement while anticipating additional claims under first-tier liability provisions.

Dissatisfied with the response from Air India Express, they approached the Kerala High Court, where their claims were rejected. The Supreme Court now steps in to address the dispute. The petitioners assert that international treaties guarantee a minimum compensation and India’s obligations under the Montreal Convention of 1999 should be honoured. The case is titled “Ashraf v. Union of India.”

Supreme Court Rules Consumer Disputes Non-Arbitrable: No Compulsion into Arbitration

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has declared consumer disputes as non-arbitrable, asserting that consumers cannot be forced into arbitration merely based on their status as signatories to an arbitration agreement. The Court, comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia, emphasised that the Consumer Protection Act serves as a welfare legislation aimed at safeguarding consumer interests.

This ruling reaffirms the paramount importance of consumer protection in disputes and preserves the right of consumers to address grievances through the legal framework designed for their benefit.

Supreme Court Highlights Barriers in Disability Rights, Grants Relief to Color-Blind Individual

The Supreme Court has raised concerns about disability conditions outlined in the Right to Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (RPwD Act), emphasising the need for a different approach. In a case involving a person with colour blindness denied a position as an Assistant Engineer, the Court ruled that the conditions for “benchmark disabilities” were creating barriers. It applied the principle of “reasonable accommodation” and granted relief to the appellant.

The Court noted that benefits under the RPwD Act were restricted to specific categories of disabilities and set a threshold of 40 percent disability. This categorisation, in the Court’s view, formed significant barriers. The Court stressed the importance of an inclusive approach to accommodate those who don’t fit standard disability categories. (Mohamed Ibrahim v. Managing Director)

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