The Bombay High Court allowed an under-arrest passenger vessel to leave its anchor in Mumbai port and move temporarily to safe waters due to cyclone Nisarga.
The 14-deck vessel claims the title of India’s first premium cruise ship. It departed on its first domestic voyage in April 2019 and returned to Mumbai in September, but its operations ceased amid pandemic.
However, MV Karnika has been under arrest due to a ₹30 crore (USD $4 million) dispute among the owners. Local media report the ship was at Y1/Y/2 Anchorage at Port of Mumbai, since the order of arrest on 17 March. There are 63 crew members remaining onboard.
This week, the ship’s operator Jalesh Cruises and the Bombay Port Trust petitioned the Bombay High Court to permit Karnika to head to a safe location, in view of the approaching Nisarga cyclone.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone will be moving across Maharashtra towards Gujarat.
The court approved the application which sought permission for the vessel to temporarily go out of Mumbai and return after the end of cyclone, so that the crew will not be in danger.