The Bombay High Court ordered the arrest of a cargo vessel, owned by relatives of NCP leader Sharad Pawar, on Wednesday. The order was passed after Mumbai-based Pratibha Shipping Company failed to pay dues to the Singapore-based Chandling Company.
The vessel will be arrested at Visakhapatnam, where it is anchored. As per the order, the ship won’t get clearance from the port authority to move.
The directors of Pratibha Shipping, brothers Madan Anand (55) and Suresh Anand Rao Pawar (51), were earlier arrested in May by the Chennai police over the death of six of their crew. The new case involves Chandling’s Avalontec ship that provided supplies to vessels of Pratibha Shipping. The two companies did business for three years, but last year Pratibha Shipping was unable to make payments and the Singapore firm moved the Bombay High Court. In September 2012, the HC ordered the arrest of the vessel, MT Pratibha Neera.
Pratibha Shipping then made half the payment of 89,795 Singapore dollars to Avalontec, and an agreement was made that if Pratibha Shipping failed to pay the dues in time, its ship would be arrested again.
Solicitor Shrikant Hathi said, “The last date to pay 98,859 Singapore dollars was in February, but the shipping company failed to do so. Therefore, we again moved the high court. On Wednesday the vessel MT Pratibha Neera, presently at Visakhapatnam, was ordered to be arrested by Admiral Justice SJ Kathawala.”
Justice Kathawala in his order said, “Port, custom, CISF and all concerned authorities shall render all assistance in effecting the arrest of vessel MT Pratibha Neera.”
In May 2013, the directors of Pratibha Shipping were arrested for the death of six crewmembers of Pratibha Cauvery, who died when the vessel ran aground off the Chennai coast during Cyclone Nilam last October. The parents of one of the drowned sailors had recently committed suicide after they did not get the compensation ordered by the Madras High Court.