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KARACHI: A petition was filed in Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday against Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), requesting the court to restrain it from issuing new licenses until reforms are implemented in it.

The petition was filed by Zain A. Soomro Advocate in which CAA, Federal Minister Aviation, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and others have been made respondents.

The petitioner said that the 'right to safe air travel' is a fundamental right, which is guaranteed under Article 9 of the Constitution. As in these modern times no affairs of economy, government, life and business can be carried out in the absence of protection of 'right to safe air travel'.

The petitioner said that the CAA has remained "unquestioned" for decades on its institutional failure to perform its statutory duty under the Civil Aviation Ordinance, 1960 and has completely failed to perform its duties/obligations of an aviation watchdog - the licensing and regulatory body under the ordinance.

The petitioner also submitted that the federation has failed to safeguard the right to life and right to safe air travel of the citizens due to lack of priority and interest. "This is supported by the very fact that no air crash report has ever been completed and published in the history of Pakistan," he added. The petitioner requested that until "significant measures" and reforms are implemented, CAA shall be restrained/banned from issuing new licences. He stated it is high time that the federal government must make efforts on national level for revamping the licensing/regulatory structure of CAA.

The petitioner asked the court to direct to federal government make legislation for introducing penal provisions in the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 under the prohibitory clause in order to deter pilots from furnishing fake documents which will definitely reduce the possibility of air crashes in future.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020