Chennai: Having being ticked off by the Madras high court recently for booking crew members of the US anti-piracy ship under the Arms Act after the mercenary vessel was apprehended last year with loads of guns on board near Thoothukudi coast, the TN police has decided to go on appeal to the Supreme Court, sources said.
In July, the Madras high court had observed that the presence of MV Seaman Guard Ohio (flying the Sierra Leone flag) within Indian territorial sea was out of necessity (for food and fuel) and that the crew and the security guards cannot be prosecuted for an offence under the Arms Act.
However, the top brass of the state police headquarters are said to have decided to fight the case in Supreme Court saying that MV Seaman Guard Ohio was a threat to India, particularly when the country had witnessed militants sneaking into the country through the sea route and unleashing an attack on the country.
The ship, described as a floating armoury by the police, was detained in October last year with a huge cache of arms and ammunition. However, the court had trashed conspiracy theories and quashed the criminal case against all the 35 crew members, including five Britons.
Various Indian security agencies, including Indian Coast Guard, Customs, Intelligence Bureau and the Q -Branch, which deals with extremism in the state, and the costal security group were involved in the probe. On October 16, 2013 Q -Branch sleuths seized 35 firearms, 5,682 rounds of ammunition and 102 magazines kept in the vessel without any documents for such possession. Two days later, all the crewmembers were arrested....
Location: Tamil Nadu