The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered the sale of MT Pratibha Cauvery, which ran aground in the city due to cyclone Nilam on October 31 last year, through the court.

Six crew members died. The tanker was later taken to the Chennai Port Trust.

In its order on applications praying for a direction to sell the ship, Justice R. Sudhakar said the tanker owner had sought for private sale of the ship.

However, taking into consideration the difficulty in arriving at a consensus and with a view to getting the best price from the sale of the ship to consider the claims and ensure transparency in the whole matter and with consent of all parties, he was inclined to order the sale through the High Court Assistant Registrar, Original Side.

Mr. Justice Sudhakar ordered that the ship be sold by inviting offers from prospective buyers.

He said all expenses for all India publication on April 19 and 20 of the sale of the tanker should be borne by the Chennai Port Trust (CPT) at its cost. The same should be reimbursed from out of the sale proceeds on first priority basis.

The publication should be made also on the CPT website free of charge.

The court stipulated tender conditions. The tender should be opened on April 25. Intending purchasers may inspect the tanker on all working days from April 22, the court said.

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