Detention of unsafe ships by the Central Government
336. Power to detain unsafe ship and procedure for detention.-
(1) Where an Indian ship in any port to which the Central Government may specially extend this section is an unsafe ship, that is to say, is by reason of the defective condition of her hull, equipment or machinery, or by reason of overloading or improper loading, unfit to proceed to sea without serious danger to human life, having regard to the nature of the service for which she is intended, such slip any be provisionally detained for the purpose of being surveyed and either finally detained or released as follows, namely:-
(a) The Central Government, if it has reason to believe, on complaint or otherwise, that any such ship is unsafe, may order the ship to be provisionally detained as an unsafe ship for the purpose of being surveyed.
(b) A written statement of the grounds of such detention shall be forthwith served on the master of such ship.
(c) When the Central Government provisionally orders the detention of a ship, it shall either refer the matter to the Court of survey for the port where the ship is detained, or forthwith appoint some competent person to survey such ship and report thereon; and, on receiving the report, may either order the ship to be released or if in its opinion the ship is unsafe, may order her to be finally detained, either absolutely or until the performance of such conditions with respect to the execution of repairs or alterations, or the unloading or reloading of cargo, as the Central Government thinks necessary for the protection of human life.
(d) Before an order for final detention is made, a copy of the report shall be served upon the master of the ship, and within seven days after such service the owner or master may appeal against such report, in the manner prescribed, to the court of survey for the port where the ship is detained.
(e) Where a ship has been provisionally detained and a person has been appointed under this section to survey such ship, the owner or master of the ship, at any time before such person makes that survey, may require that he shall take with him as assessor such person as the owner or master may select, being a person named in the list of assessors for the Court of survey or, if there is no such list, or if it is impracticable to procure the attendance of any person named in such list, a person of nautical engineering or other special skill and experience. If the surveyor and assessor agree that the ship should be detained or released, the Central Government shall cause the ship to be detained or released accordingly, and the owner or master shall have no right of appeal. If the surveyor and assessor differ in their report, the Central Government may act as if the requisition had not been made, and the owner or master shall have a right of such appeal touching the report of the surveyor as is hereinbefore provided in this section.
(f) Where a ship has been provisionally detained, the Central Government may at any time if it thinks it expedient, refer the matter to the Court of survey for the port where the ship is detained.
(g) The Central Government may at any time, if satisfied that a ship detained under this section is not unsafe, order her to be released either upon or without any conditions.
(2) Any person appointed by the Central Government for the purpose (in this Act referred to as a detaining officer) shall have the same power as the Central Government has under this section of provisionally ordering the detention of a ship for the purpose of being surveyed, and of appointing a person to survey her, and if he thinks that a ship so detained by him is not unsafe, may order her to be released.
(3) A detaining officer shall forthwith report to the Central Government any order made by him for the detention or release of a ship.
(4) A ship detained under this section shall not be released by reason of her Indian register being subsequently closed.