CHENNAI: AIADMK coordinator and former chief minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday condemned the Sri Lankan court's order to impose a fine of Rs 1 crore for the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen.
"Usually courts function to give justice for all the people and, however, it was shocking to note courts were giving such verdicts," the AIADMK leader said in a statement.
Pointing out that fishermen from Rameswaram were arrested by the Lankan navy in the mid-sea and seized the boats on the charges of violating international maritime boundary, he said, the fishermen were also produced before the court and lodged in the jail.
Panneerselvam said when the case came before the Sri Lankan court, the judge had not only ordered to lodge the fishermen in the prison again but also said that if they have to be released from the jail each person should pay Rs 1 crore. "It is totally against the justice, which had shocked our fishermen," he said.
Stating that due to poor economic conditions, fishermen from the State venture into the sea for fishing amid a continuous threat by the Lankan navy, the deputy leader of the opposition said, "The court's order was an injustice to the core."
"If they (fishermen) have the capacity to pay the amount, why are they carrying out fishing activities," he said adding that the court would have imposed the penalty, possibly after considering the economic crisis of the Srilanka.
The AIADMK leader said that if there is a severe economic crisis, Sri Lanka should seek money from other countries, and instead, getting money in the form of fines from the Indian fishermen cannot be accepted.
"It was the duty of the Tamil Nadu government to rescue the fishermen and their boats," he said adding that the Chief Minister should take immediate steps to secure the release of our fishermen with the help of the Union government.