The Supreme Court was informed by the Centre on Friday that 68 Indian fishermen, caught by Sri Lankan Navy in December 2021, have been released and repatriated to the country.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Vikram Nath while taking into note the status report filed by the Centre closed that case which sought direction to the Centre to negotiate with the Sri Lankan government authorities to release the arrested Indian fisherman and their mechanised boat.
“We have perused the status report filed on behalf of the Union of India supported by an affidavit dated October 28, 2022. It has been stated in this report that all the 68 Indian fishermen who were apprehended between 18th to 20th December 2021 by Sri Lankan Navy, have been released and repatriated to this country.
In such circumstances, we do not find any reason to keep the present petition pending. Accordingly, the same is disposed of,” the bench stated in its order.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by one KK Ramesh regarding the arrested fishermen and 10 boats which have been seized by the Sri Lankan Navy in December 2021 on the grounds of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line while fishing.
The petition also stated that more than 100 fishermen have been illegally arrested and kept in Sri Lankan prisons where they are ill-treated, which is a violation of Human Rights.
During the hearing when the petitioner’s counsel asked the court to look into the issue regarding the marine boundary between India and Sri Lanka which has resulted in such incidents, the bench said that it cannot get into the issues regarding international treaties.
On the request of the advocate to pass directions regarding the release of the merchandised boats of the fishermen, the apex court asked him to approach the jurisdictional court.