The Madras High Court on Wednesday declined to grant anticipatory bail to six persons in connection with the case of MT Pratibha Cauvery running aground on October 31 last year.

Six crew members died in the accident that took place when Cyclone Nilam struck the Chennai coast.

In the order dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of Sunil Anandrao Pawar, managing director, Pratibha Shipping Company, Mumbai, and five others, Justice R. Subbiah said he was of the opinion that prima facie some material had been produced by the prosecution to show there were lapses on the part of the accused.

The prosecution’s report revealed, even on the date of the accident, the tanker did not have sufficient fuel and the company was unable to provide necessary assistance.

Further, the communication between the Master and the company showed there were lapses on the part of the accused, as a result of which six crew members died.

The prosecution said custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary as, prima facie, it appeared the tanker was not seaworthy.

There were several lapses by the Directors in providing assistance and there was poor maintenance of the tanker.The Judge granted conditional bail to two other directors, Suresh Anandrao Pawar and Madhan Anandrao Pawar, on execution of a bond for Rs. 10,000 with two sureties each for a like sum.

They should stay in Chennai and report before the police daily until further orders, he said.

The prosecution said custodial interrogation of

the accused was necessary

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