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191. Desertion and absence without leave.-

(1) No seaman lawfully engaged and no apprentice-

(a) shall desert his ship; or

(b) shall neglect or refuse, without reasonable cause, to join the ship or to proceed to sea in his ship or be absent without leave at any time within twenty-four hours of the ship's sailing from a port either at the commencement or during the progress of a voyage, or be absent at any time without leave and without sufficient reason from his ship or from his duty.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the fact that the ship, on which the seaman or apprentice is engaged or to which he belongs is unseaworthy shall be deemed to be a reasonable cause: Provided that the seaman or apprentice has, before failing or refusing to join his ship or to proceed to sea in his ship or before absenting himself or being absent from the ship, as the case may be, complained to the master or a shipping master, surveyor, seamen's welfare officer, port health officer, Indian consular officer or any other officer at any port duly authorised in this behalf by the Central Government, that the ship is unseaworthy.

Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 1986 Back

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