Two crew members of merchant vessel MV Nordlake, which collided with a naval ship on January 30, got a major reprieve from the Bombay high court on Friday.
A division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi directed the Yellow Gate police to immediately release the passports of Abeywickrama Weerandanda, a Sri Lankan, and Sorour Mahmoud Mohammed El Agamy, an Egyptian national.
The duo was part of the 24 crew members on board the German vessel when it collided with INS Vindhyagiri. Their counsel, Ashok Mundargi, said they moved the high court after the Yellow Gate police refused to release their passports although the Director General of Shipping intimated them about completion of the investigation.
According to their petition, the accident was because of the negligence of another vessel MV Seaeagle and naval ships INS Vindhyagiri and INS Godavari.
However, the police registered a case against the crew members of MV Nordlake and also impounded their passports and continuous discharge certificates, one of the documents required for sailing.
The court has given the Yellow Gate police time till Monday to submit an affidavit, stating reasons for withholding the master’s passport.