Report No. 151
5. Admiralty Jurisdiction.-
(1) The Admiralty Jurisdiction of the Court shall be as follows, that is to say-
(a) jurisdiction to hear and determine any of the questions and claims mentioned in sub-section (2);
(b) jurisdiction in relation to any of the proceedings mentioned in sub-section (3);
(c) any other admiralty jurisdiction which it had immediately before the commencement of the Act by virtue of the Admiralty Act, 1861 or the Colonial Court of Admiralty Act, 1890 or the Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act (XVI of 1891) or otherwise howsoever;
(d) any jurisdiction connected with ships or aircraft which is vested in the High Court apart from this section and is for the time being, by rules of court made or coming into force after the commencement of this Act, assigned and directed to be exercised by the Admiralty Court.
(2) The questions and claims referred to in sub-section (1)(a) include-
(a) any claim to the possession or ownership of a ship or to the ownership of any share therein;
(b) any question arising between the co-owners of a ship as to possession employment or earnings of that ship;
(c) any claim in respect of a mortgage of or charge on a ship or any share therein;
(d) any claim for damage received by a ship during her stay, business or voyage;
(e) any claim for damage done by a ship including civil liability for oil pollution damage under Parr XB of the Merchant Shipping Act (44 of 1958);
(f) any claim for loss of life or personal injury sustained in consequence of any defect in a ship or in her apparel or equipment, or in consequence of the wrongful act, neglect or default of-
(i) the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship; or
(ii) the master of crew of a ship, or any other person for whose wrongful acts, neglects or defaults the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship are responsible, being an act, neglect or default, in the navigation or management of the ship, in the loading, carriage or discharge of goods on, in or from the ship, or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of persons on, in or from the ship;
(g) any claim for loss of or damage to goods carried on in a ship;
(h) any claim arising out of any agreement relating to the carriage of goods in a ship or to the use or hire of a ship;
(i) any claim in the nature of salvage of life, vessel, cargo, property, equipment or wreck or preservation thereof;
(j) any claim in the nature of towage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;
(k) any claim in the nature of pilotage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;
(l) any claim in respect of goods, materials, bunker or other necessaries supplied to a ship or any services rendered to a ship for her operation or maintenance;
(m) any claim in respect of a construction, repair or equipment of a ship or in respect of any charges or dues to the Port Authorities under the Indian Ports Act (Act 15 of 1908) or the Major Port Trusts Act (Act 38 of 1963);
(n) any claim by a master or member of the crew of a ship for wages including any sum allotted out of wages or adjudged to be due by way of wages and any claim by or in respect of a master or member of the crew of a ship for any money or property which, under the provisions of any law, is recoverable as wages and in the manner in which wages may be recovered;
(o) any claim by a master, shipper, charterer or agent in respect of disbursements made on account of a ship;
(p) any claim arising out of an act which is or is claimed to be a general average act;
(q) any claim arising out of bottomry;
(r) any claim for the forfeiture or condemnation of a ship or of goods which are being or have been carried, or have been attempted to be carried, in a ship, or for the restoration of a ship or any such goods after seizure, or for droits of Admiralty.
(3) The proceedings referred to in sub-section (1)(b) include:
(a) any application to the High Court under the Merchant Shipping Act (44 of 1958) for the appointment of a person to act as a substitute for a person incapable of acting;
(b) any action to enforce a claim for damage, loss of life or personal injury arising out of-
(i) a collision between ships; or
(ii) the carrying out of or omission to carry out a manoeuvre in the case of one or more of two or more ships; or
(iii) non-compliance, on the part of one or more of two or more ships, with the collision regulations;
(c) any action by shipowners or other persons under the Merchant Shipping Act (Act 44 of 1958) for the limitation of the amount of their liability in connection with a ship or other property.
(4) The jurisdiction of the Court under sub-section (2)(b) includes power to settle any account outstanding and unsettled between the parries in relation to the ship, and to direct that the ship, or any share thereof, shall be sold, and to make such other order as the court things fit.
(5) The reference in sub-section (2)(i) to claim in the nature of salvage includes a reference to such claims for services rendered in saving life from a ship or in preserving cargo, apparel or wreck as under section 390-404 of the Merchant Shipping Act (Act 44 of 1958), are authorised to be made in connection with a ship.
(6) The preceding provisions of this section shall apply-
(a) in relation to all ships or aircraft, whether Indian or not and wherever the residence or domicile of their owners may be;
(b) in relation to all claims, wherever arising (including, in the case of cargo or wreck salvage, claims in respect of cargo or wreck found on land); and
(c) so far as they relate to mortgages and charges, to all mortgages or charges, whether registered or not and whether legal or equitable, including mortgages and charges created under foreign law:
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be construed as extending to cases in which money or property is recoverable under any of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act (44 of 1958).