//France should take back Clemenceau: SC panel

France should take back Clemenceau: SC panel

Press Trust of India, Chennai, February 6, 2006

The Supreme Court Committee to decide on Clemenceau on Monday said it would shortly submit its report to the court. The court wondered why France was not taking the controversial warship back.

"The ship, which has done so much service for the country … Why should it go through all this humiliation," the chairman of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee, SCMC Dr G Thyagarajan said after a meeting attended by scientists, environmentalists and bureaucrats.

"Can’t France end its (ship’s) agony by taking it back?" he wondered. Declining to reveal the nature of discussions during the meeting, Thyagarajan said the committee was expected to reach a conclusion soon and would present it to the apex court.

He said the committee was debating the "correctness of credibility of the ship, with regard to international conventions", to ensure that it met requirements of Indian law to enter the country’s waters and whether "breaking up" the ship, containing toxic waste, was in keeping with Indian law.

Following strong protests by environmentalists in India and in France over allowing the ship to dock at Alang ship-breaking yard, the Supreme Court had asked the committee to look into the matter and fixed February 13 for next hearing.