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Distressed seamen

161. Relief and maintenance of distressed seamen.-

(1) The Indian consular officer at or near the place where a seaman is in distress shall, on application being made to him by the distressed seaman, provide in accordance with the rules made under this Act for the return of that seaman to a proper return port, and also for the said seaman's necessary clothing and maintenance until his arrival at such port.

(2) A distressed seaman shall not have any right to be maintained or sent to a proper return port except to the extent and on the conditions provided for in the rules.

(3) All repatriation expenses, other than excepted expenses, incurred by or on behalf of the Central Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act shall constitute a debt due to the Central Government for which the owner or agent of the ship to which the seaman in respect of whom they were incurred belonged at the time of his discharge or other event which resulted in his becoming distressed seaman shall be liable; and the owner or agent shall not be entitled to recover from the seaman any amount paid by him to the Central Government in settlement or part settlement of such debt.

(4) All excepted expenses incurred by or on behalf of the Central Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act shall constitute a debt due to the Central Government for which the seaman in respect of whom they were incurred and the owner or agent or the ship to which that seaman belonged at the time of his discharge or other event which resulted in his becoming a distressed seaman shall be jointly and severally liable; and the owner or agent shall be entitled to recover from the seaman any amount paid by him to the Central Government in settlement or part settlement of such debt, and may apply to the satisfaction of his claim so much as may be necessary of any wages due to the seaman.

(5) All excepted expenses incurred in accordance with the provisions of this Act in respect of any distressed seaman by the owner or agent of the ship to which he belonged at the time of his discharge or other event which resulted in his becoming a distressed seaman shall constitute a debt due to the owner or agent for which the seaman shall be liable; and the owner or agent may apply to the satisfaction of his claim so much as may be necessary of any wages due to the seaman; but he shall not be entitled to recover from the seaman any repatriation expenses other than excepted expenses.

(6) In any proceedings for the recovery of any expenses which in terms of sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) are a debt due to the Central Government, the production of any account of the expenses and proof of payment thereof by or on behalf of or under the direction of the Central Government shall be prima facie evidence that the expenses were incurred in accordance with the provisions of this Act by or on behalf of the Central Government.

(7) Any debt which may be due to the Central Government under this section may be recovered by any officer authorised by it in writing in this behalf from the person concerned in the same manner as wages arc recoverable under section 145.



Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 1986 Back




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