Supreme Indian Court refuses to release the Cyprus ship in collision case

By Curious

The Supreme Court of India refused to stay the release of a Cyprus commercial vessel on Monday, which had collided with an Indian naval ship near port of Mumbai, causing, as per the Centre, big damage to the latter and a loss of Rs 1,057 crores.
Refusing the Centre’s plea, a bench of justice H L Dattu and justice CK Prasad, however, told it was keeping open a question of law on the problem and no interim order might be passed by it at this stage.
“We think how vigilant you are that your naval vessel has been hit by a merchant ship,” the bench stated, in response to Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising’s plea to stay the Bombay High Court’s order to release the Cyprus vessel.
The ASG's repeated plea that the loss to the government of Indian was phenomenal and the lost naval vessel was only 1 of its kind in the country failures to convince the apex court. “So we had lost even that 1 vessel,” the bench retorted while declining to interfere with the order of a division bench of the Bombay High Court.
The bench also wanted to know the counsel to explain as to what the government was going to achieve by prolonged detention of the merchant vessel. To this the counsel submitted that if the vessel owner failed to indemnify the loss then the government of India can auction the vessel and recover the loss.
But that argument is too failed to convince the court which refused to stay the high court order.
The 2 vessels had collided at the Mumbai port on January 31 last year. The Cyprus-flagged MV Nordlake was exiting the port as the Indian warship INS Vindhyagiri was trying to manage its way in. A major blaze had been broken out on the Indian naval ship following the incident.
The Centre had earlier approached the apex court searching to restrain the Cyprus vessel from leaving Indian territorial waters.
It had searched an urgent hearing of the issue pleading that the case be heard as the arrested vessel might sail out of Indian jurisdiction after the Bombay High Court order, which had told that the foreign vessel might leave Indian waters after paying a total equal to the valuation of the ship, which is around Rs 48 crores.
Despite that the bench had refused to give an urgent hearing but had kept the hearing for today. The government claimed that the damage to its warship was extensive and had sought compensation of around Rs 1,058 crores.