The Madras High Court passed an order on hearing the petition filed by P. Rajamani, the owner of the fishing boat that had been badly hit by a cargo vessel 19 nm away from the Colachal harbor, Kanyakumari district. The collision took place on 22 October.
Rajamani’s fishing boat, Shij Mon -1, had 17 crew members on board. All were thrown off and terribly injured when hit by MV Navios Venue, the container vessel. Shij Mon -1 was completely damaged owing to the collision.
The Indian Coast Guard’s patrol vessel managed to rescue two terribly injured fishermen, who were later rushed to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. The remaining 15 could somehow manage to reach the shore with the help of fishing boats that had then been fishing in adjacent sea premises.
Rajamani, the petitioner, prayed that the vessel plies with a Panama flag and if it is allowed to set sail beyond the country’s territorial waters, the fishermen who have been injured would not receive compensation.
He pleaded to the court to take necessary actions regarding detaining the vessel in the Indian Territory. Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the Director-General of Shipping, Mumbai port, and the Indian Coast Guard to detain MV Navios Venue, the Panama-registered vessel, at the Mumbai port for three weeks.
The court ordered notice to the respondents and the ship. It also adjourned the case till 26 November.
Tamil Nadu’s Coastal Marine Police had registered a case per Indian Penal Code’s Sections 280 (a vessel’s rash navigation) and 337 (causing hurt by endangering personal/life safety of others). The case has been registered after a complaint was filed by the boat driver.