Saturday, January 26, 2013

India: High court relief for airline staff who spilt tea on infant, mom

KOCHI: The Kerala high court has quashed a case of culpable criminal negligence registered against an airline crew member for spilling hot tea on an infant and its mother during a flight.

Justice S S Satheesachandran quashed the criminal proceedings against Changanassery resident Prakash Philip, a crew member of Kuwait Airways, after the company and the complainant, a Malayali woman residing in New York, informed the court that further prosecution in the case was not needed as compensation has been given already.

In July 2008, Prakash, who was a member of the aircrew in the Kochi-bound flight, had spilt a jug of hot tea on the infant and mom.

Based on the woman's complaint, Chengamanadu police on July 14, 2008, registered a case against Prakash for causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.

While an investigation in the matter was pending, an agreement was entered into on March 17, 2010, between the company and the complainant outside India for providing compensation and withdrawing the case.

Subsequently, Prakash filed a petition at the high court seeking to quash the case against him. Along with the petition, he also produced a copy of the agreement between the company and the complainant.

Advocate M Sreekumar, who appeared for the crew member, argued that continuation of criminal proceedings was not called for as an agreement has been effected between the parties.

On behalf of the complainant, advocate Prakash P George submitted that a full and final settlement was reached between the parties and that his party was no longer interested in prosecuting the crew member.

Quashing the case against the crew member, the court held, "Over and above the settlement effected by parties, the incident, more so an accident, had taken place by chance during the course of a flight, is also taken into account to consider whether prosecution of the accused is called for when compensation had been provided for injuries suffered by the victims."


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