KOCHI: The Kerala High Court expressed its displeasure at the apathy shown by the Reserve Bank of India in not filing an affidavit in response to a petition seeking action to stop the illegal transshipment by the foreign vessels on the high seas.
The Bench observed the issue as indicated by its earlier order was of crucial importance, not only for the financial sector, but also in the matters relating to the security on the high seas. According to the submission from the Assistant Solicitor General(ASG), the scheme of the Letter of Permit (LOP) formulated by the Centre had since been withdrawn.
The submission was made in response to a petition from M K Salim of Kollam. Salim submitted the foreign vessels had been violating the terms and conditions of the LOP licence, without obtaining registration from the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).
He also objected to the ASG’s submission and said the scheme of LOP had not been withdrawn till date. There was no mention in the letter the LOP licence issued to the Indian companies owning foreign trawling vessels had been stopped forthwith.
However, the Bench observed if the scheme had indeed been withdrawn, there was no reason why the RBI and the ICG should respond to the queries raised by the Bench on February 14. The court asked the ASG to convey its anguish at the lack of representation on behalf of the RBI and the ICG, besides the failure to submit an affidavit.