The Supreme Court today refused to grant controversial US ship Oriental Nicety,earlier known as ‘Exxon Valdez’ and involved in one of the worst US oil spills off Alaska in 1986,an immediate permission to anchor off the Gujarat coast.
A vacation bench of justices Deepak Verma and S J Mukhopadhyaya said it would await response of the Ministry of Shipping and Transport on the issue before passing any orders.
Senior counsel Vikas Singh appearing for the ship owner submitted his client had complied with all the norms set in 1995 for de-contamination of foreign vessels before entering the Indian waters or for anchoring on its coast.
He denied the allegations that the ship contain hazardous materials.
The bench,however,said it was not inclined to pass any order. “We will wait for the response of the Union shipping ministry,” the bench said.
The apex court on an application by the NGO Research Foundation of India,had on May 3 directed the Union shipping ministry to it inform it by August 13 on steps taken by the government to prevent dismantling of ships in India in the wake of allegations of violation of international convention on trans boundary movements of hazardous wastes.
The apex court’s direction had come on the plea of counsel Sanjay Parikh,who,appearing for the NGO,had sought a ban on the entry of foreign tanker Oriental Nicety,and restrain it from anchoring near Alang beach in Gujarat.
According to Parikh the International Basel Convention 1989 mandates a ship to be decontaminated from the exporting country before being sent abroad for its dismantling.