121. Discharge and leaving behind of seamen by masters of Indian ships.-
(1) The master of an Indian ship shall not-
(a) discharge a seaman before the expiration of the period for which he was engaged, unless the seaman consents to his discharge; or
(b) except in circumstances beyond his control, leave a seaman or apprentice behind; without the authority of the officer specified in this behalf by the Central Government and the officer aforesaid shall certify on the agreement with the crew that he has granted such authority, and also the reason, for the seaman being discharged or the seaman or apprentice being left behind.
(2) The officer aforesaid to whom application is made for authority in terms of sub-section (1) shall investigate the grounds on which the seaman is to be discharged or the seaman or apprentice left behind and may in his discretion grant or refuse to grant such authority: Provided that he shall not refuse to grant his authority if he is satisfied that the seaman has without reasonable cause-
(a) failed or refused to join his ship or to proceed to sea therein; or
(b) been absent from his ship without leave, either at the commencement or during the progress of a voyage for a period of more than forty-eight hours.
(3) The officer aforesaid shall keep a record of all seamen or apprentices discharged or left behind with his authority; and whenever any charge is made against a seaman or apprentice under section 191, the fact that no such authority is so recorded shall be prima facie evidence that it was not granted.