Twelveth Edition (2019)

Preface

The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017 was brought in force on April 1, 2018 repealing the obsolete Admiralty Courts Act of 1861. The jurisdiction with respect to maritime claims under the act vest with the respective High Courts and extends up to the territorial waters of their respective jurisdictions. The act also provides for central government extending their jurisdiction. 

The jurisdiction of the High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Gujarat, Hyderabad Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Odisha have Admiralty actions. 

We are of the view that all High Courts having admiralty jurisdiction should be given Pan-India jurisdiction instead of restricting to State territorial waters of the respective High Courts, this will protect claimants interest and also India will be more user friendly for ship arrest. 

A ship sailing arrives to a port for a short period for loading and discharge of a cargo and then sails out for its onward destination either in India or outside India it is near impossible for the claimant to file an action for several reasons thereby frustrating the claimants claim. The new act is already working against the claimants because, the party initiating the suit invokes the Jurisdiction of the High court within whose territorial waters, the vessel is, which leaves the claimant vulnerable when the vessel sails out. If the vessel sails out to another port in India, it falls under the territorial Jurisdiction of another High Court and fresh proceedings to obtain an order of arrest or release will have to be initiated and the court fees will have to be deposited again without getting a refund from the previous court. 

More so, an order of withdrawal of the suit will have to be obtained so that fresh action can be initiated in that other state where the vessel has sailed and with paucity of time, instructing another law firm or a lawyer in that state and preparation for filing of the admiralty suit the vessel will move out of that state by the time an order of arrest is obtained. This frustrates the claimants claim and virtually makes it impossible to initiate any legal action in India or file any admiralty suits.

A claimant who wishes to arrest a vessel for his genuine claim in the jurisdiction of a specific High Court would not be able to arrest the same vessel in the Jurisdiction of another High Court unless he has withdrawn his application in the previous jurisdiction, should the vessel leave the initial port before the Claimant has obtained the arrest order from the first High Court. In this way the vessel owner can dodge the claimant and escape arrest/liability and it is not possible for the claimant to chase the vessel. 

Prior to the new Act, India was considered as one of the best jurisdiction for ship arrest work and had attracted claimants globally to initiate legal action in India. 

The admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court is dependent on the presence of the foreign ship in Indian waters and found on the arrest of that ship. This jurisdiction can be assumed by the concerned High Court, whether or not the defendant resides or carries on business, or the cause of action arose wholly or in part, within the local limits of its jurisdiction. 

The Act could have ideally granted that each of the High courts having admiralty jurisdiction should be given pan India jurisdiction instead of restricting and extending only up to the territorial waters of their respective jurisdictions. 

This act inclines more in the favor of ship owners and P&I Clubs protecting the vessel interest and making it almost impossible for the vessel to be arrested in Indian waters and ought to have taken under its purview, the interest of the claimants and petitioners. 

Also, according to section 9, subsection (1) & (2), The limitation period has decreased from 3 years to 1 year in the case of maritime lien specified in sub-section (1) shall continue to exist on the vessel notwithstanding any change of ownership or of registration or of flag and shall be extinguished after expiry of a period of one year unless, prior to the expiry of such period, the vessel has been arrested or seized and such arrest or seizure has led to a forced sale by the High Court. 

The limitation period has decreased from 3 years to 2 years in the case of a claim under clause (a) of sub- section (1), the period shall be two years from the date on which the wage, sum, cost of repatriation or social insurance contribution, falls due or becomes payable. 

Needless to say that this works against the claimants and crew members because it restricts their chance to obtain justice and redress their grievance or get reimbursed for their loss. 

Otherwise, the Act would be a great advancement to the maritime regime and jurisprudence in India. 

Although the focal points of Ship Arrest in India and Admiralty Laws of India are admiralty laws and procedures, this twelveth edition book contains the entire gamut of admiralty edicts including ship arrest and substantive admiralty law prevalent in India, several new chapters are also introduced including procedures, summary and notes. 

Ship Arrest in India was accessible for private use only, is now available for free to all also sharing the content database of Admiralty Practice in India. The online edition includes a research engine wherefrom you can search for reported or unreported Indian Admiralty court orders or judgments, articles. 

This book is about a subject that has been lurking in the scourges of darkness of Indian maritime history for many decades. It provides an in-depth insight into Indian Admiralty law and procedures, thus placing maritime and admiralty practice at the threshold of the legal fraternity.

This book is a compact, integrated guide to admiralty law and procedure in India. The primary purpose of this book is to better enlighten shipping and industry related professionals to take prompt and decisive decisions.

We seek to clarify what the law requires, allow and prohibit, not to comment on how well it does so or whether what it should. We hope that this publication will contribute towards the realistic assessment and debate of the surrounding issues. 

The book does not indulge exhaustively in any topic neither does it predicts any outcome of any particular case nor can it be considered as a substitute for competent legal counsel. Although we believe that the entire text is accurate at the time of publication, if it does not already fall short of this standard, it surely will with the passage of time. 

This book is the first of its kind on admiralty laws published in India. Utility of the book with respect to a second central aim, to advance general understanding about the regulation of admiralty laws in India, is less apt to erode.


Dr. Shrikant Pareshnath Hathi 
and 
Mrs. Binita Shrikant Hathi
Mumbai, India, August 24, 2019


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Captain Suresh Divekar
Dr.Anil Sharma
Hassan Zubedi
Captain Leontopoulos C
Afia SenGupta
Bruce Hailey
Marcello Cignolini 
Charlie Zhou 
Duncan Ross
Charles Hattersley
Pravin Mhatre
Uttam Hathi
Leonard van Houten
Ruben J. Levy
A.B.M Shamshud Doulah
Ilan Orly
Alberto Batini
Sameer Gupta
Shailesh Kothari
Ahmad Ali 
Vladimir Mednikov
Alessandro Palmigiano
Dr Christian Farrugia
Henrik Kleis
Panayiotis Neocleous
Dr. Carlos Alfredo Lopez Guevara
Thomas Tan
Suhail Farooqui
Rogaciano Rebelo
Pritish Das
Monika Gothankar
Natasha Sailopal
Vidya Rajan
Rajnandini Muduli
Sophia Bose
Ben Chow
Trevor Gu
Sharad Shetty
Howard Zelfde
Henk Jansen
Reinier Detailleur
Julian Castillero
Vijay Ghosh
Aaleah Wright
Lacey Lopez
Daeja Hill
Jessie Simms
Martin Ang
Dr. Steve Smith
Dr. Aaron Brown
Mohamed Mirza
Roger Peng
James Clark
Anthony Bauer
Aiden Hansen
Alec Jones
Dr. Abraham Johnson
Kaaren Jensen
Dr. Aleela Miller
Kachina Williams
Dr. Alena Anderson
Jaison Watson
James Peter
Chris Cooper
Thom Smith
Kadee Pedersen
Dimple Chaterjee
Ben Jones
Andrea Wang
Sherwyn James
Kylie Dsouza
Dimitris Alegre
Arjun Agarwal
Sophia Watson
Charles Brooks
Reyansh Khatri
Evan Kelly
Colton Sanders
Emily Hayes
Vihaan Patel
Thomas Diaz
Corbin Griffin
Quinn Russell
Uriel Alexander
Carter Bryant
Taylor Gonzales
Aditya Reddy
Ella Foster
Weston Simmons
Christian Butler
Walter Washington
Warren Flores
Arnav Ahuja
Charlotte Hughes
Eadgar Scott
Rohit Garg
Dabil Green
Sanjay Chopra
Emma Patterson
Quinton Long
Caleb Rivera
Shaurya Bakshi
Tucker Cooper
Cameron Richardson
Skylar Cox
Dhruv Arya
Tanner Howard
Camila Torres
Krishna Balakrishnan
Urijah Peterson
Krish Banerjee
Una Gray
Clara Ramirez
Ishaan Burman
Caden James
Arush Bhatt
Daisy Haves
Fabian Jenkins
Anik Mukherjee
Ajay Mehta
Gabriela Coleman
Dakota Henderson
Akshay Dasgupta
Jack Ross
Harper Barnes
Dalton Wood
Chetan Modi
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Vijay Rao
Gael Price
Daniel Sanders
Fatima Kelly
Abhay Ray
Bodhi Shah
Kamal Zacharia
Navin Bose
Advik Randey
Hannah Brooks
Issac Watson
Daphne James
Ramesh Gupta
Eammon Baker
Rajesh Ganguly
Agnes Nelson
Gage Bailey
Felix Murphy
Harley Bell
Ayush Chaterjee
Dawson Morgan
Iris Cook
Siddharth Puri
Advaith Ranganathan
Raghav Seth
Parth Sachdev
Shivansh Sharma
Samar Das
Kaden Reed
Desmond Rogers
Kaithlyn Morris
Kamal Datta
Navin Deol
Fab King
Gabbrielle Young
Hadden Allen
Iaain Hall
Rohan Deshpande
Iaasha Walker
Jaan Lee
Gabor Lewis
Fabiola Clark
Kacy Martinez
Advik Dewan
Fabri Garcia
Hadeki Thompson
Ayush Kohli
Lace Martin
Jabaree Harris
Raghav Mangal
Mabyn White
Parth Jha
Shivansh Joshi
Devansh Kapadia
Nacy Thomas
Tejas Jain
Nadene Moore
Abhay Grover
Vinod Kaur
Rahul Dhar
Badon Carter
Agustin Mitchell
Alabama Perez
Cabel Turner
Prem Dixit
Alana Phillips

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