103. Special provisions with regard to agreements with crew of Indian ships.-
(1) The following provisions shall have effect with respect to every agreement made in India with the crew of an Indian ship, namely:-
(a) the agreement shall, subject to the provision of this Act as to substitute, be signed by each seaman in the presence of a shipping master;
(b) the shipping master shall cause the agreement to be read over and explained to each seaman, in a language understood by him or shall otherwise ascertain that each seaman understands the same before he signs it, and shall attest each signature;
(c) when the crew is first engaged, the agreement shall be signed in duplicate, and one part shall be retained by the shipping master, and the other part shall be delivered to the master, and shall contain a special place or form for the descriptions and signatures of substitutes or persons engaged subsequently to the first departure of the ship;
(d) when a substitute is engaged in the place of a seaman who has duly signed the agreement and whose services are within twenty-four hours of the ship's putting to sea lost by death, desertion or other unforeseen cause, the engagement shall, if practicable, be made before a shipping master, and if not practicable, the master shall, before the ship puts to sea, if practicable, and, if not, as soon afterwards as possible, cause the agreement to be read over and explained to the substitute; and the substitute shall thereupon sign the same in the presence of a witness, who shall attest the signature.
(2) In the case of an agreement made in India with the crew of a foreign-going Indian ship the following provisions shall have effect in addition to the provisions specified in sub-section (1), namely:-
(a) the agreement may be made for a voyage of the ship or, if the voyages of the ship average less than six months in duration, may be made to extend over two or more voyages, and agreements so made are in this Act referred to as running agreements;
(b) a running agreement may be made to extend over two or more voyages so that it shall terminate either within six months from the date on which it was executed, or on the first arrival of the ship at her port of destination in India after the expiration of that period, or on the discharge of cargo consequent upon such arrival, whichever of these dates shall be the latest: Provided that no such running agreement shall continue in force, if, after the expiration of such period of six months as aforesaid, the ship proceeds on a voyage from a port outside India to any other such port which is not on the direct route or a customary route to her port of destination in India;
(c) on every return to a port in India before the final termination of a running agreement, the master shall discharge or engage before the shipping master at such port any seaman whom he is required by law so to discharge or engage, and shall upon every such return endorse on the agreement a statement (as the case may be) either that no such discharges or engagements have been made or are intended to be made before the ship leaves port, or that all those made have been made as required by law;
(d) the master shall deliver the running agreement so endorsed to the shipping master, and the shipping master shall, if the provisions of this Act relating to agreements have been complied with, sign the endorsement and return the agreement to the master.
(3) In the case of an agreement made in India with the crew of a home-trade Indian ship of two hundred tons gross or more, the following provisions shall have effect in addition to the provisions specified in sub-section (1), namely:-
(a) the agreement shall not be for a period longer than six months, but if the period for which the agreement was entered into expires while the ship is not in an Indian port, the agreement shall continue in force until the ship is again in an Indian port: Provided that, except with the consent in writing of the seaman concerned, the agreement shall not continue in force for more than three months after the expiration of the period for which it was entered into;
(b) an agreement for service in two or more ships belonging to the same owner may be made by the owner instead of by the master, and the provisions of this Act with respect to the making of the agreement shall apply accordingly.