Chapter 86

Tenth Edition (2017)

Pan India Ship Arrest

An order of arrest of a ship from Bombay High Court can be executed in any Indian territorial waters. In the appeal court judgment of the Bombay High Court, dated 20th July 2001 in M.V. Umang in Appeal no. 59 of 2000 in Notice of Motion no. 1153 of 1998 in Admiralty suit no. 33 of 1997 the court ruled that its admiralty jurisdiction extends throughout the territorial waters of India. An appeal was filed in the Supreme Court of India and in view of the matter being settled the court was of the view that the question of territorial jurisdiction raised did not require consideration and was left open.

When time comes for decision as to which court of India one should approach for obtaining an order of arrest, Bombay High Court is preferred as order for arrest of a vessel obtained from the Bombay High Court can be executed anywhere in Indian territorial waters, wherever the vessel is found.

However, this pan-India admiralty arrest jurisdiction is only with the Bombay High Court while other High Courts with admiralty jurisdiction i.e. Calcutta, Madras and Gujarat High and other admiralty courts jurisdiction is within their State territorial waters.

BCAS: 7103-1001