The country’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, headed for the scrapyard, got a breather from the SC on Monday, as it stayed the vessel’s scrapping.
The ship was due to go to the scrapyard on May 17, after it was sold for `60 crore, through an e-auction to Mumbai-based IB Commercials Pvt Ltd.
A Bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan ordered a status quo on the matter till the next hearing. The court issued notices to the Ministry of Defence.
Kiran Paigankar and other activists had approached the court in a bid to save the vessel.
The vessel, commissioned in the Navy in 1961, was decommissioned in 1997, and anchored at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. During the hearing of Paigankar’s PIL in January, the Centre informed the Bombay HC that the 15,000-tonne steel ship had completed its operational life.
The Maharashtra Government expressed its inability to preserve it as a floating museum, owing to constraints, following which the HC dismissed Paigankar’s PIL.