Supreme Court

6 June 2017

It then moved towards the ship dismantling site of Alang in May 2006, but an application in the Supreme Court of India prevented it from entering Indian waters. Because of the monsoon, the owner of the ship at that time, pleaded humanitarian grounds and the Court permitted anchorage at Pipavav port near Alang. 5 days after being anchored, it was beached at Alang breaching the order of the Supreme Court that only permitted its anchorage. Throughout this itinerary, the Norwegian Cruise Line sold the ship to Bridgend Shipping of Monrovia for scrapping. It was then sold to Haryana Ship Demolition Pvt.

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Ltd, which finally sold it to its current owner Priya Blue Industries Pvt. Ltd, a ship dismantling company in Alang. Such a practice is commonly used by European shipowners in order to avoid their obligation to decontaminate ships before they send it for scrapping. 21 19 See Anonymous, note 4 above. 20 See note 5 above. 1 Lyla Bavadam, ‘Shipload of Trouble’, Frontline, 16 November 2007. A public interest litigation challenging the import of hazardous wastes into the country was filed in 1995 in the Supreme Court of India by the Research Resource Policy.

The petition provided that the import of hazardous/toxic wastes endangering the environment and lite ot the people ot India is unconstitutional’ . 22 It is under this writ petition, that in September 2007 the Supreme Court of India granted the permission to dismantle the Blue Lady at Alang. 23 The Supreme Court ordered the constitution of a Committee of Technical Experts (hereinafter referred to as CTE) whose task was to find out whether the infrastructure as existing at Alang presently is adequate’24 in order to dismantle the Blue Lady.

The Supreme Court of India specifically asked the Committee to review three aspects: whether pre-conditions for dismantling have been complied with; whether 80 per cent of the asbestos is reusable; what steps have been taken to control the environmental impacts of asbestos dust generated in the process of dismantling;25 The report was submitted by the CTE on May 2007 and accepted by the Court on September 2007. The Supreme Court argued that it accepted the report 22 See Research Foundation for Science Technology and Natural Resource Policy v.

Union of India and Others, Supreme Court of India, Civil Original Jurisdiction Writ Petition no. 657 of 1995, available at http:// www. elaw. org/node/1400. 23 Research Foundation for Science Technology and Natural Resource Policy v. Union of India and Others, Supreme Court of India, Civil Original Jurisdiction Writ Petition no. 657 of 1995, Judgement of 11 September 2007. 24 ld. 25 ld. mainly because ‘it was all pervasive and it contains opinions of expert including retired navel officers’. 26 According to the report ‘beaching is an irreversible process’.

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