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Oil spill: Relief for captains of Chitra, Khalijia

In a reprieve for the captains of cargo vessels MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia 111, which collided with each other resulting in an oil spill, a local court today restrained the police.



Mumbai: In a reprieve for the captains of
cargo vessels MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia 111, which collided
with each other resulting in an oil spill, a local court today
restrained the police from arresting them without giving a
72-hour prior notice.

The court was hearing the anticipatory bail pleas filed
by the captains of both the ships after a case was registered
against them for rash navigation and negligence.

Principal Judge of the sessions court M L Tahalayani
disposed of both the pleas when the prosecution told the court
the investigation was still on and that they had no intention
of arresting the captains as of now.

The court, while directing the police to give the
captains a 72-hour notice in case of arrest, came down heavily
on the police for a slow investigation.

"It is a very serious case and the police are yet to
ascertain which channel the vessel Chitra was coming on.
According to the captain of Chitra he was on channel number 12
which is meant for inward bound ships. But according to the
captain of Khalijia, Chitra was on channel number 13," the
court remarked.

The police needs to find out which channel both the
ships were on so as to ascertain who was at fault, the judge
said.

According to Laxman Dubey, the captain of Khalijia,
Chitra was cruising at a high speed and there was no
negligence on his part.

However, the captain of Chitra, Minguelinho Ranjit
Martin, in his plea has said it was Khalijia`s fault.

The captain and crew members of both the vessels were
booked under various sections of the IPC and Environment
Protection Act including section 280 (rash navigation of
vessel), 336 (endangering life of others) and 427 (mischief
causing damage).

The two merchant vessels had collided on August 7 near
the Mumbai coast resulting in a major oil spill from MSC
Chitra. Although no one was injured, 33 crew members,
including two Pakistanis, were rescued from both the ships.

PTI

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