Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Jul 17, 2013, 09:54 PM IST
New Delhi: Flying a MiG-21 amounted to "violation of his fundamental right to life", a serving wing commander has told the Delhi high court, seeking redressal after a regular flight exercise in 2005 went awry, leaving him with debilitating neck and back pain that has rendered him unfit for flying and even day-to-day tasks. But the fact is that India can't afford to ground this aircraft because we have no other viable alternative in place. Government needs to act fast to go for replacement of the aircraft, but going by the past record, situation is not going to change anytime soon.
The court on Tuesday directed the Centre to provide a list of MiG-21 crashes that have taken place till date and posted the matter for October 10, 2013.
The petition was filed by Sanjeet Singh Kaila, a serving officer in the Indian Air Force, who cited "violation of his fundamental right to life, especially the right to work in a safe environment" under Article 21 of the Constitution.
In his plea, Kaila said he was posted at Air Force Station Nal in Rajasthan as a Squadron Leader in 2005. On January 4 that year, he embarked on a regular flight exercise along with three other pilots. "Immediately after take-off, the petitioner experienced a drift to the left side of the aircraft. Simultaneously, the petitioner was informed by the other pilot flying the second aircraft, of a fire at the rear end of his aircraft. Assessing the emergency, the petitioner promptly carried out all the essential directives and got the tyres of the aircraft down for a landing," the petition said.