Owners of MT Pratibha Cauvery, which ran aground here and was later salvaged, on Wednesday told the Madras High Court that they would deposit Rs. 30 lakh towards payment of interim compensation to six persons who died in the incident.

The government informed the court that the legal provision in the criminal case relating to the incident had been altered from 174 Cr. P.C. to 304 (ii) IPC.

When writ petitions seeking interim compensation for the victims’ families came up before Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar, the shipping ministry filed a counter.

In an affidavit, Pratibha Shipping Company, Mumbai, which owned the tanker, requested the court to appoint a licensed surveyor to survey the ship and arrive at an appropriate value and sell the vessel.

The sale proceeds would be deposited with the registrar-general, High Court, for disbursement of compensation to the claimants.

In the affidavit, the chairman and managing director said that for payment of interim compensation to the families of the six deceased engineers, Rs. 30 lakh would be deposited with the High Court. Counsel said the sum would be deposited by December 5.

The interim compensation could then be given to the claimants.

Advocate-General A. Navaneethakrishnan, said the criminal case which initially had been registered under section 174 (Police to enquire and report on suicide etc) Cr. P.C. and for `man missing,’ had now been altered to a case under section 304 (ii) (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder) IPC.

He sought time to file a status report on December 5. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on that date.

Meanwhile, the managing director and three others have filed anticipatory bail petitions before the Madras High Court.

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