Chapter 52

Tenth Edition (2017)

Presence of a Ship (Res) at the time of filing of Admiralty Suit

It is not necessary that the vessel should take berth, the vessel can be anywhere in the Indian territorial waters. An order of arrest of a ship can be obtained from the Bombay High Court and executed anywhere in India but Madras High Court and Ahmedabad High Court (Gujarat) has reservations that the ship should be in their respective jurisdiction to file an Admiralty suit in their court.

In Great Pacific Navigation (Holdings) Corporation Ltd -vs- m.v. Tongli Yantai, the Bombay High Court on October 14, 2011 in appeal allowed that an order from Bombay High Court can be executed in any Indian territorial waters and is in agreement with the decision of the learned single judge answering the preliminary issue with regard to the jurisdiction of the court in Geetanjali Woollen Pvt. Ltd. Vs. M.V. X-Press Annapurna And Ors. dated 9th August, 2005 (2005 (6) BCR 31). It was also held by the single judge that the Court can acquire jurisdiction if the writ or if the warrant of arrest is executed on the ship when it arrives within the territorial jurisdiction of this Court. Although the question on jurisdiction was left unanswered by the appeal court in M.V. X-Press Annapurna And Ors. Vs. Geetanjali Woollen Pvt. Ltd, dated 11th March 2011, as it was in their opinion not necessary to decide that question in appeal. In an unreported appeal court judgment, dated 20th July 2001 in M.V. Umang, the Bombay High Court ruled that its admiralty jurisdiction extends throughout the territorial waters of India.
BCAS: 7103-1001