Chapter 62

Tenth Edition (2017)

Applicable Law

The three Indian High Courts at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay were vested with Admiralty jurisdiction as was vested in the Court of Admiralty in England in the year 1890 (now other High Courts viz Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa also having Admiralty Jurisdiction) and, as will be observed from the cases, they have referred to, relied on and have been guided by the decisions of the England Court for not only ascertaining the Admiralty jurisdiction and practice of the High Court in England in the year 1980 but also on questions of interpretation of the various sections of the Admiralty Court Act 1840 and the Admiralty Court Act 1861, of the British Parliament which, as observed, continues to be the law of India notwithstanding their repeal in England. The said decisions will continue to be relevant as will also the opinions contained in such maritime law classics as William & Bruce's Jurisdiction and Practice of the English Courts of Admiralty: Actions and Appeals; Roscoe's The High Court of Admiralty; Abbot's Law Relating to Merchant Ships and Sea-men; Halsbury's Laws of England (2nd edn.), Vol. I; as also Admiralty Practice by McGuffie, Fugeman & Gray (Vol. 1; British Shipping Laws).

Though not binding on them, the dicta in some of the recent English cases in Admiralty and some other countries of the Common wealth, principally Australia and Canada, may be relied upon as authorities of highly persuasive value in deciding a point of practice though not to add to the Admiralty causes presently taken cognizance of.
The applicable laws for ship arrest are the Admiralty Court Act, 1861, Admiralty Court Act, 1890 and Admiralty Court Act 1891.
BCAS: 7103-1001