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352-I. Liability of owner.-

(1) Save, as otherwise provided in sub-sections (2), (3) and (4), the owner at the time of an incident, or, where the incident consists of a series of occurrence at the time of first of such occurrences, shall be liable for any pollution damage caused by oil which has escaped or been discharged from the ship as a result of the incident.

(2) No liability for pollution damage shall attach to the owner under sub-section (1), if he proves that the pollution damage-

(a) resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection or a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character; or

(b) was wholly caused by an act or omission done with intent to cause such damage by any other person; or

(c) was wholly caused by the negligence or the wrongful act of any government or other authority responsible for the maintenance of lights or other navigational aids in exercise of its functions in that behalf.

(3) Where, with respect to any incident the owner proves that the pollution damage resulted, either wholly or partially, from an act or omission done, with intent to cause such damage, by the person who suffered damage, or from the negligence of that person, the owner shall be exonerated wholly or, as the case may be, partially, from liability to that person.

1[(4) When any incident involving two or more ships occurs and pollution damage results therefrom, the owners of all the ships concerned, unless exonerated under sub-section (3), shall be jointly and severally liable for such damage which is not reasonably separable.]

(5) No claim for pollution damage shall be made against any owner otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this section.

1[(6) Without prejudice to any right of recourse of the owner against third parties, no claim for compensation for pollution damage may be made against-

(a) the servants or agents of the owner or the members of the crew;

(b) the pilot or any other person who, without being a member of the crew, renders services for the ship;

(c) any charterer (howsoever described, including a bare-boat charterer), manager or operator of the ship;

(d) any person performing salvage operations with the consent of the owner or on the instructions of a competent public authority;

(e) any person taking preventive measures;

(f) all servants or agents of persons mentioned in clauses (c), (d) and (e),

unless the incident causing such damage occurred as a result of their personal act or omission committed or made with the intent to cause such damage, or recklessly and with knowledge that such damage would probably result.]

Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 1986 Back

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