HC permits Navy to destroy INS Vindhyagiri

Bombay High Court granted permission to Indian Navy to destroy a naval ship which had been grounded in the city dockyard for over a year.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted permission to the Indian Navy to destroy a naval ship which had been grounded in the city dockyard for over a year, after its collision with a container vessel.

Justice Roshan Dalvi, who gave the permission to the Navy, was hearing an application filed by the Navy seeking permission to destroy its ship INS Vindhyagiri on the ground that ammunition were stored in it.

The Navy also said that it would not be safe to keep the ship in such a state for a long period.
MV Nordlake, a Cyprus-flagged container vessel, while proceeding in the channel out of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust on its outward voyage with a port pilot onboard, collided with INS Vindhyagiri on January 30 last year.

After collision, the naval ship was grounded in the dockyard. The Navy had to seek the court`s permission to destroy the ship as the high court is presently hearing a dispute over damages sought by the Navy from the company owning the container vessel.

"The dockyard where INS Vindhyagiri is presently grounded is occupied by several other naval warships. There are other merchant vessels that also ply into the city port which is in the same vicinity. Keeping such ammunition is unsafe and may cause risk to the other ships," the application filed by Navy reads.
The Navy further said that it would be highly dangerous to remove the ammunition from the naval ship without risking an explosion.

"It is imperative not only in national interest, but also in the interest of the safety of life and property in the vicinity that the naval ship be disposed off in the mode and manner that authorities destroy old and decommissioned ships," the application stated.