Cyclone Nisarga: Bombay HC allows arrested cruise ship "MV Karnika" to temporarily sail to safer waters to avoid Cyclone
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Cyclone Nisarga: Bombay HC allows arrested cruise ship "MV Karnika" to temporarily sail to safer waters to avoid Cyclone

The vessel had been arrested on March 17 following the initiation of a civil suit and was docked at the Mumbai Port.

Angelenne

The Bombay High Court yesterday allowed an arrested cruise ship, MV Karnika to temporarily sail beyond Mumbai's territorial waters to avoid encountering the fast-approaching cyclone Nisarga, which was predicted to hit the coast today. (Monjasa DMCC v. MV Karnika - Bombay High Court order)

The vessel had been arrested on March 17 following the initiation of a civil suit and was docked at the Mumbai Port.

The plea filed by the owners of MV Karnika was taken up by Justice AK Menon yesterday via video conferencing. The Court had ordered,

"I am of the view that MV Karnika and her crew and others must not be imperiled and must permitted to leave for safer waters, as may be suggested by the Port Trust in consultation with the Master of the vessel so as to avoid the path of the cyclone."
Bombay High Court

Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate S Priya appraised the Court that the vessel was a 14-decked passenger cruise ship with about 63 members aboard. Considering the sheer size of the vessel, Priya pointed out that the cyclonic weather may damage not just the vessel itself, but also other proximate vessels, entailing in disastrous consequences.

The plea was supported by the Mumbai Port Trust through advocate Deepak Motiwala, who the Court noted was equally, if not more anxious that MV Karnika moves to safer waters. The Trust had also filed an application in the matter, raising concern that if the vessel were to remain docked during the cyclone, it would pose a serious threat to others in the Mumbai Port.

Further, the plaintiffs and caveators in the case also expressed their agreement in moving the vessel to safer waters, under any condition that the Court may impose for its safe return.

Advocate Shyam Kapadia, along with Advocate Naishadh Bhatia, briefed by Crawford Bayley & Co. appeared for the plaintiff. Advocate Sinha, briefed by HP Law appeared for the caveator.

In view of the consent of all parties concerned and the concerns raised by them, the High Court proceeded to direct that the vessel be immediately moved to safer waters without waiting for a signed copy of the order.

This was directed, while also imposing conditions such as the surrender of passport by the master of the vessel and the submission of an undertaking by the owner of vessel that it will be brought back safely after the cyclone is over.

Read the order:

Monjasa DMCC v. MV Karnika - Bombay HC order.pdf
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