Chapter 30

Twelveth Edition (2019)


A ship is liable to be forfeited under section 33, 35, 68 and 69 (Part V) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958,

'33.Power of Central Government to inquire into title of Indian ship to be so registered“

(1) Where it appears to the Central Government that there is any doubt as to the title of any Indian ship to be registered as an Indian ship, it may direct the registrar of her port of registry to require evidence to be given to his satisfaction within such time, not being less than thirty days as the Central Government may fix, that the ship is entitled to be registered as an Indian ship.

(2) If within such time as may be fixed by the Central Government under sub-section (1) evidence to the satisfaction of the registrar that the ship is entitled to be registered as an Indian ship is not given, the ship shall be liable to forfeiture.'

'35. Custody and use of certificate“

(1) The certificate of registry shall be used only for the lawful navigation of the ship, and shall not be subject to detention by reason of any title, lien, charge or interest whatever, had or claimed by any owner, mortgagee or other person to, on or in the ship.

(2) No person, whether interested in the ship or not, who has in his possession or under his control the certificate of registry of a ship, shall refuse or omit without reasonable cause to deliver such certificate on demand to the person entitled to the custody thereof for the purposes of the lawful navigation of the ship or to any registrar, customs collector or other person entitled by law to require such delievery.

(3) Any person refusing or omitting to deliver the certificate as required by sub-section (2) may, by order, be summoned by [any Judicial Magistrate of the first class or any Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be,] to appear before him and to be examined touching such refusal; and if the person is proved to have absconded so that the order of such Magistrate cannot be served on him, or if he persists in not delivering up the certificate, [the said Magistrate] shall certify the fact, and the same proceedings may then be taken as in the case of a certificate mislaid, lost or destroyed, or as near thereto as circumstances permit.

(4) If the master or owner of an Indian ship uses or attempts to use for her navigation a certificate of registry not legally granted in respect of the ship, he shall be guilty of an offence under this sub-section and the ship shall be liable to forfeiture. '

'68. Liabilities of ships not recognised as Indian ships”

Where it is declared by this Act that an Indian ship shall not be recognised as such, that ship shall not be entitled to any privileges, benefits, advantages or protection usually enjoyed by Indian ships or to use the Indian national colours for Indian ships or to assume the Indian national character, but so far as regards the payment of dues, the liability to fine and forfeiture and the punishment of offences committed on board such ship, or by any persons belonging to her, such ship shall be dealt with in the same manner in all respects as if she were a recognised Indian ship.'

 '69. Proceedings on forfeiture of ship-

Where any ship has either wholly or as to any share therein become subject to forfeiture under this Part, any commissioned officer of the Indian Navy, any customs collector or any Indian consular officer or any other officer authorised by the Central Government, may seize and detain in the ship, and bring her for adjudication before the High Court, and the High Court may thereupon adjudge the ship with her equipment to be forfeited to the Government, and make such order in the case as to the High Court seems just and may award to the officer bringing in the ship for adjudication such portion of the proceeds of the sale of the ship or any share therein as the High Court thinks fit.

BCAS: 7103-1001