Decommissioned Indian aircraft carrier INS Viraat is now a private property, the Supreme Court observed on April 5, while hearing a plea filed by Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited to convert the warship into a museum. Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited has sought a stay on the dismantling of INS Viraat, stating they want to convert it into a maritime museum.
Chief Justice Sharad A Bobde said: “The ship is now private property and 40 percent of it has been already dismantled. It cannot be given the status of an aircraft carrier now.”
The court had put a stay on dismantling of INS Viraat, which retired from service in 2017, after it was informed that a private firm wants to preserve the massive ship. Earlier, when Bombay High Court was hearing the case, it had asked the Centre to decide if it will entertain Envitech Marine Consultants’ request to turn the decommissioned aircraft carrier into a maritime museum. The Union Government had responded saying it had no objection to the idea provided the petitioner repurchased it from the bidder who had bought it at the auction for scrapping