The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered notice to Central and State governments on a public interest writ petition seeking a direction to authorities to install technical aids to enable fishermen to identify the maritime boundary line separating the country from Sri Lankan waters.
When the petition filed by S. Gnaneswaran, an advocate, came up before a Bench, comprising Justice S. Rajeswaran and Justice K.B.K. Vasuki, the Assistant Solicitor General and Government Pleader accepted notice on behalf of the Central and State governments.
The matter was posted for hearing on June 13. In his petition, Mr. Gnaneswaran contended that more than 400 fishermen from Tamil Nadu had been killed by the Sri Lankan Navy in the waters between India and Sri Lanka after they crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
Unable to identify boundary line
The fishermen crossed the IMBL only because they were unable to identify the boundary line. Such incidents could be avoided if a chain of ‘automatic identification system' stations could be installed along the coast. In addition, Global Positioning System (GPS) should be installed in all mechanised boats free of cost.