The company that owns MT Pratibha Cauvery, the tanker which ran aground here during cyclone Nilam and was later salvaged, on Tuesday submitted before the Madras High Court that interim compensation would be paid to the families of the victims.
Six crew members died in the cyclone.
Counsel for Pratibha Shipping Company Ltd, Mumbai, made the submission when writ petitions seeking compensation to the families and a judicial enquiry came up for further hearing before Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar.
In a petition, filed through counsel S. Prabakaran, Sankara Narayanan stated that his brother Anand Mohandoss, a Second Engineer, was one of the victims.
He alleged that as no proper food and water were provided to his brother for several days. He died of starvation soon after falling from a life boat. This clearly showed the ship owners’ negligence.
He sought a direction to the authorities and the ship owners to pay his family an interim compensation of Rs. 25 lakh.
When the matter came up, the Additional Commisioner of Police (South Zone), Chennai, filed a status report stating that the investigation conducted so far, “lends credible evidence to suspect commission of cognisable offences.” However, it could be positively concluded only on completion of investigation, which was hampered by the lack of documents.
The Additional Solicitor General submitted that the list of documents sought for by the police would be furnished within two days, if a fresh representation was made.
Counsel for the company submitted that pursuant to the summons issued, the owners would appear before the Inspector, Sastri Nagar police station, on November 23 for interrogation. Interim compensation would be paid to the families.
The Judge posted the case on November 26 for filing further status report and payment of interim compensation.