352C. Limitation Fund and consolidation of claims 2***.-
3[(1) Where any liability is alleged to have been incurred by a person referred to in sub-section (1) of section 352A in respect of claims arising out of an occurrence, and legal proceedings are instituted in respect of claims subject to limitation, then such person may apply to the High Court for the setting up of a limitation Fund for the total sum representing the amounts set out in the Convention or the rules made in this behalf under this Part applicable to claims for which that person may be liable together with interest thereon from the date of occurrence giving rise to the liability until the date of the constitution of the Fund.]
(2) The High Court to which the application is made under sub-section (1) may determine the amount of the owner's liability and require him to deposit such amount with the High Court 1[or produce a guarantee acceptable or produce a bank guarantee in respect of the amount as in the opinion of the High Court is satisfactory and the amount so deposited or guarantee so given] shall constitute a limitation Fund for the purposes of the claims referred to in sub-section (1) and shall be utilised only for the payment of such claims.
(3) After the Fund has been constituted, no person entitled to claim against it shall be entitled to exercise any right against any other assets of the owner in respect of his claim against the Fund, if that Fund is actually available for the benefit of the claimant.
(4) Subject to the provisions of this Part, the High Court may distribute the amount constituting the Fund rateably amongst the several claimants and may stay any proceedings pending in any other court in relation to the same matter and may proceed in such manner and subject to such rules of the High Court as to making persons interested parties to the proceedings, and as to the exclusion of any claims which do not come in within a certain time, and as to requiring security from the owner, and as to payment of any costs, as the High Court thinks fit.
2[(5) Where the person referred to in sub-section (1) or his insurer establishes that he has paid is whole or in part any claims in respect of which he can limit his liability under this Part, the High Court shall place him in the same position and to the same extent in relation to the Fund as the claimant whose claim has been paid and allow to acquire by subrogation the rights which the person so compensated would have enjoyed under this Part: Provided that the right of subrogation provided for in this sub-section may also be exercised by persons other than those therein mentioned in respect of any amount of compensation which they might, have paid to that extent if prescribed by the rules made in this behalf under this Part.
(6) Where the person liable or any other person has established that he may at a later date be required to pay in whole or in part, any of the claims under this Part, which could be settled from the Fund, the High Court may notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section order that a sufficient sum may be provisionally set aside for the purpose to enable the person to enforce his claim against the Fund at a later date in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (5).]
(7) If the owner is entitled to make a claim against a claimant arising out of the same occurrence, their respective claims shall be set off against each other and the provisions of this Part shall only apply to the balance, if any.