Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the Centre to file an affidavit explaining the steps taken by it to prevent Indian fishermen from crossing the international maritime boundary line and enter the Lankan waters.
A division bench, comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad, asked why the Centre has not thought of supplying global positioning system (GPS) to the fishermen to help them know the area and the boundary where they can go fishing.
The bench was hearing a plea from Fisherman Care, a non-governmental organisation, on Friday. The petitioner sought to raise the matter of human rights violations committed by the Lankan Navy against Indian fishermen, with the International Court of Justice for taking action against the Lankan Navy for allegedly violating the 1974 pact between the two countries. The bench then posted the matter after two weeks for further hearing.
On August 21, the court had directed the Tamil Nadu government to file the status of the plea filed by former chief minister, late J Jayalalithaa, in her capacity as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary before the Supreme Court in 2008.
Jayalalithaa had sought a direction to the Centre to declare as null and void the 1974 and 1976 agreements under which Katchatheevu was ceded, saying the accords were the root cause of the untold misery suffered by the state’s fishermen.
The additional director of fisheries has submitted before the court the steps taken by the state government on the issue of arrests and attacks on fishermen in the Palk Bay.