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Lifeline for Viraat when SC stops dismantling | India News

NEW DELHI: Throwing a life preserver to the decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat, 62, currently being decommissioned at an Alang junkyard, the Supreme Court on Wednesday halted the decommissioning of the warship at the request of a private company that offered Rs 100 crore to buy back the ship and make it a museum and war memorial.
A CJI SA Bobde bank and judges AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices to the Center and to the scrap dealer, Shree Ram Group, that it had purchased the retired warship for nearly Rs 35 million at auction and is dismantling it in the shipbreaking facility in Alang. India had acquired the aircraft carrier in 1986 and incorporated it into the Indian Navy after extensive refurbishment.
The petitioner Envitech Marine Consultants Pvt Ltd had unsuccessfully relocated the Bombay HC expressing his intention to preserve the warship as a museum and war memorial. The HC had left in the hands of the Center the granting of the certificate of no objection to the scrapping of ships based in Alang for selling it to the company. The Defense Ministry on November 27 had rejected the statement. For the petitioning company, its MD Rupali Sharma said that 25% of the ship was dismantled when the company representatives last inspected it. The bank asked him how much the company was willing to pay for the decommissioned aircraft carrier. Sharma said his company could pay Shree Ram Group up to Rs 100 million. Shree Ram Group’s Dr. Mukesh Patel reportedly said he wanted Rs 125 crore for the ship and had expressed his willingness to reduce it to Rs 100 crore.
While seeking a response from the Center and the shipbreaking company, the bank said: “Issue notice. Meanwhile, the parties are ordered to maintain the status quo with respect to the dismantling / scrapping of the subject vessel known as INS Viraat, to date. ”

Times of India

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