75. Formal Investigation- Where it appears to the Central Government that it is expedient to hold a formal investigation of an accident, it may, whether or not an investigation or an inquiry has been made under rule 71 or 74, by order direct a formal investigation to be held and with respect to any such formal investigation the following provisions shall apply, namely-
(1) The Central Government shall appoint a competent person (hereinafter referred to as "the Court"), to hold the investigation, and may appoint one or more persons possessing legal, aeronautical, engineering, or other special knowledge to act as assessors. It may also direct that the Court and the assessors shall receive such remuneration as it may determine.
(2) The Court shall hold the investigation in open court in such manner and under such conditions as the Court may think fit for ascertaining the causes and circumstances of the accident and for enabling it to make the report hereinafter mentioned :
Provided that where the Court is of opinion that holding the investigation is likely-
(a) to be prejudicial to the interests of any country; or
(b) to jeopardise the personal safety of a person who is willing to make any statement or give evidence,
the Court may, hold in camera, the whole or part of the investigation.
(3) (i) The Court shall have, for the purpose of the investigation, all the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Produre, 1908 and without prejudice to these powers the Court may:-
(a) enter and inspect, or authorise any person to enter and inspect, any place or building, the entry or inspection whereof appears to the Court requisite for the purposes of the investigation; and
(b) enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel the production of documents and material objects; and every person required by the Court to furnish any information shall be deemed to be legally bound to do so within the meaning of section 176 of the Indian Penal Code.
Provided that the information, books, papers, documents and articles, including cockpit voice recordings and transcripts from such recordings shall not be made available for purposes other than the investigation of the accident, except for the purposes of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (22 of 2005):
(ii) The assessors shall have the same powers of entry and inspection as the Court.
(4) The investigation shall be conducted in such manner that, if a charge is made or likely to be made against any person, that person shall have an opportunity of being present and of making any statement or giving any evidence and producing witnesses on his behalf.
(5) Every person attending as a witness before the Court shall be allowed such expenses as the Court may consider reasonable :
Provided that, in the case of the owner or hirer of any aircraft concerned in the accident and of any person in his employment or of any other person concerned in the accident, any such expenses may be disallowed if the Court, in its discretion, so directs.
(6) The Court shall make a report to the Central Government in the format specified by the Director-General.
(7) The assessors (if any) shall either sign the report, with or without reservations, or state in writing their dissent therefrom and their reasons for such dissent, and such reservations or dissent and reasons (if any) shall be forwarded to the Central Government with the report. The Central Government may cause any such report and reservation or dissent and reasons (if any) to be made public, wholly or in part, in such manner as it thinks fit.
[Amended by (i) GSR No. 816(E) dated 29-10-1985, and
(ii) GSR No.
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