The Inland Vessels Act, 2021
64. Limitation of liability.-
(1) The owner, operator, master or any person in-charge of a vessel or member of crew of any mechanically propelled vessel may limit the extent of his liability for-
(a) claims in respect of loss of life or personal injury, or loss of, or damage to, property including damage to jetties, wharfs, harbour basins and waterways and aids to navigation, occurring on board or in direct connection with the operation of such vessels or with salvage operations, and consequential loss resulting therefrom;
(b) claims arising out of loss resulting from delay in the carriage of cargo and passengers or their luggage by inland waters;
(c) claims arising out of other loss resulting from infringement of rights other than contractual rights, occurring in direct connection with the operation of such vessel or salvage operations;
(d) claims in respect of the raising, removal, destruction or rendering harmless of a vessel or the cargo which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned;
(e) claims of a person, other than the person liable, in respect of measures taken by such person in order to avert or minimise loss and for further loss caused by such measure;
(f) claims for the loss of life or personal injury to passengers of such vessel brought by or on behalf of any person-
(i) under the contract of passenger carriage; or
(ii) who, with the consent of the carrier, is accompanying a vessel for live animals which are covered by a contract for the carriage of goods, carried in such vessel.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, no person shall be entitled to limit his liability for-
(a) claims for salvage; or
(b) claims stipulated as exempted from the application of limitation of liability under any other law for the time being in force in India.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the act of invoking limitation of liability shall not be construed as constituting an admission of liability by any person who takes the defence.
(4) For the purposes of this Chapter, the liability of the owner or operator of a mechanically propelled inland vessel shall include the liability in an action brought against such vessels.
(5) The limits of liability and the criteria in determining compensation for any claim as provided under sub-section (1) shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
(6) The person entitled to limit liability under sub-section (1) may apply to the High Court of respective jurisdiction for constituting a limitation fund for the consolidated rate as provided for under this Chapter.
(7) Where a vessel or other property is detained in connection with a claim, covered under this Chapter, the High Court may order release of such vessel or other property, upon an application made by the person, who is entitled to limit their liability and by-
(a) ensuring that such person, who is entitled to constitute the limitation fund has submitted his availability in person to the jurisdiction of the High Court; or
(b) depositing sufficient fund or financial guarantee as determined by the High Court as security; or
(c) constituting the limitation fund, as the case may be.