Hinting at the grim state of India’s air assets, the Supreme Court on Monday commented that the Mirage-2000 which crashed in Bengaluru on February 1 was an old-generation aeroplane, and the accident was waiting to happen.
“We are using Mirage of 3 or 3.5 generation. It’s bound to crash,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told the petitioner Alakh Alok Srivastava, dismissing his plea for a judicial inquiry into the crash.
As the petition came up before the bench, which also comprised Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the CJI asked the petitioner whether he knew what generation fighter the plane which crashed in Bengaluru killing two pilots – Squadron Leader Sameer Abrol and Squadron Leader Siddharth Negi – belonged to.
The lawyer could not give a clear answer, inviting CJI’s comments, who also said that other countries were using advanced generation planes.
The petition had sought a court-monitored committee, comprising a retired SC judge and defence experts, to hold an inquiry into the crash.
The court said “it was an accident after all”, and turned down the demand.
The petition had said, “In view of the alarming increase in a number of crashes of various aircrafts and helicopters belonging to the Indian Armed Forces in the recent times, leading to loss of precious lives of a number of air warriors, the petitioner has preferred the instant PIL.”