Chennai: The Madras high court has quashed criminal proceeding against captain of oil tanker M T Pratibha Cauvery, which ran aground and led to the death of six sailors off Chennai coast on October 31, 2012, for abetting death of the crew members.
When the matter came up for hearing, Justice M. S. Ramesh has quashed the criminal proceedings pending against Sunil Kumar Rai, captain of Pratibha Cauvery, allegedly for abetting the death of six ship crewmembers during onslaught of Nilam Cyclone in 2012, before a magistrate court in Saidapet.
Allowing a criminal original petition filed under Sec. 482 Cr PC from Rai challenging the proceedings, Justice Ramesh said the prosecution has not clearly established the proximity between Rai's acts and the death of the vessel crewmembers and the act was due to the omissions on his part. Hence, no useful purpose would be served in rendering a finding on the other aspects.
Quashing the criminal proceeding against the captain, the judge said vessel was sailing under proper authority from Kolkata to Chennai and came to be stranded while awaiting further orders for repairs from the port authorities. Unless and until the prosecution clearly establishes that there was a proximity between the acts of the petitioner and the death of the crew members of the vessel and such an act was due to the omissions on the part of the petitioner herein, no useful purpose would be served in rendering a finding on the other aspects.