The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958

 
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[THE MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT, 1958 ACT NO. 44 OF 1958

[30th October, 1958.]

An Act to foster the development and ensure the efficient maintenance of an Indian mercantile marine in a manner best suited to serve the national interests and for that purpose to establish a National Shipping Board 2*** to provide for the registration of Indian ships and generally tamend and consolidate the law relating to merchant shipping.

PART

PRELIMINARY

PART I 3*

PRELIMINARY

  1. Short title and commencement.

  2. Short title and commencement. (1) This Act may be called the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

    (2) It shall come into force on such date3* as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, and different dates3* may be appointed or different provisions of this Act.

  3. Application of Act.

    4*[2. Application of Act. (1) Unless otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act which apply to--

    (a) any vessel which is registered in India; or (b) any vessel which is required by this Act to be so registered; or (c) any other vessel which is owned wholly by persons to each of whom any of the descriptions specified in clause (a) or in clause (b) or in clause (c), as the case may be, of section 21 applies, shall so apply wherever the vessel may be.

    (2) Unless otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act which apply to vessels other than those referred to in sub-section (1) shall so apply only while any such vessel is within India, including the territorial waters thereof.]

    [See footnote 1 for this section]

  4. Definitions.

  5. Definitions. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

    1*[(1) "cargo ship" means a ship which is not a passenger ship;]

    2*[(1A)] "coasting ship" means a ship exclusively employed in trading between any port or place in India and any other port or place on the continent of India or between ports or places in India and ports or places in Ceylon or Burma;

    (2) "coasting trade of India" means the carriage by sea of passengers or goods from any port or place in India to any other port or place on the continent of India;

    (3) "collision regulations" means the regulations made under section 285 for the prevention of collisions at sea;

    (4) "company" means a company as defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956; (1 of 1956)

    (5) "country to which the Load Line Convention applies"

    means,--

    (a) a country the Government of which has been declared 3* under section 283 to have accepted the Load Line Convention and has not been so declared to have denounced that Convention;

    (b) a country to which it has been so declared that the Load Line Convention has been applied under the provisions of 4*[article thirty-

    two] thereof, not being a country to which it has been so declared that that Convention has ceased to apply under the provisions of that article;

    (6) "country to which the Safety Convention applies" means,--

    (a) a country the Government of which has been declared under section 283 to have accepted the Safety Convention and has not been so declared to have denounced that Convention;

    (b) a territory to which it has been so declared that the Safety Convention extends, not being a territory to which it has been so declared that that Convention has ceased to extend;

    (7) "court" in relation to sections 178 to 183 (inclusive)

    means a civil or revenue court;

    [See footnote 2 for this section]

    (8) "Director-General" means the Director-General of Shipping appointed under section 7;

    (9) "distressed seaman" means a seaman engaged under this Act who, by reason of having been discharged or left behind from, or shipwrecked in, any ship at a place outside India, is in distress at that place;

    (10) "effects", in relation to a seaman, includes clothes and documents;

    (11) "equipment", in relation to a ship, includes boats, tackle, pumps, apparel, furniture, life saving appliances of every description, spars, masts, rigging and sails, fog signals, lights, shapes and signals of distress, medicines and medical and surgical stores and appliances, charts, radio installations, appliances for preventing, detecting or extinguishing fires, buckets, compasses, axes, lanterns, loading and discharging gears and appliances of all kinds and all other stores or articles belonging to or to be used in connection with or necessary for the navigation and safety of the ship;

    1*[(11A) "family" means,--

    (i) in the case of male, his wife, his children, whether married or unmarried, his dependent parents and his deceased son's widow and children:

    Provided that if a person proves that his wife has ceased under the personal law governing him or the customary law of the community to which the spouses belong, to be entitled to maintenance she shall no longer be deemed to be a part of such person's family for the purpose of this Act, unless such person subsequently intimates by express notice, in writing, to the Central Government that she shall continue to be so regarded; and (ii) in the case of female, her husband, her children, whether married or unmarried, her dependent parents, her husband's dependent parents and her deceased son's widow and children:

    Provided that if a person by notice in writing to the Central Government expresses her desire to exclude her husband from the family, the husband and his dependent parents shall no longer be deemed to be a part of such person's family for the purpose of this Act, unless such person subsequently cancels in writing any such notice.

    Explanation.--In either of the above two cases, if the child, or, as the case may be, the child of a deceased son, of a person has been adopted by another person and if under the personal law of the adopter adoption is legally recognised, such a child shall be considered as excluded from the family of the first mentioned person.]

    (12) "fishing vessel" means a ship fitted with mechanical means of propulsion which is exclusively engaged in sea fishing for profit;

    (13) "foreign-going ship" means a ship, not being a home trade ship, employed in trading between any port or place in India and any other port or place or between ports or places, outside India;

    1*[(14) "free board" means the distance measured vertically downwards, amidships, from the upper edge of the deck line to the upper edge of the related load line;]

    (15) "High Court", in relation to a vessel, means the High Court within the limits of whose appellate jurisdiction--

    (a) the port of registry of the vessel is situate;

    or (b) the vessel is for the time being; or (c) the cause of action wholly or in part arises;

    (16) "home-trade ship" means a ship not exceeding three thousand tons gross which is employed in trading between any port or place in India and any other port or place on the continent of India or between ports or places in India

    [See footnote 3 for this section]

    and ports or places in Ceylon, Maladive Islands, Federation of Malaya, Singapore or Burma;

    (17) "Indian consular officer" means the consul-general, consul, vice-consul, consular agent and proconsul appointed as such by the Central Government, and includes any person authorised by the Central Government to perform the functions of consul-general, consul, vice-consul, consular agent or proconsul;

    (18) "Indian ship" means a ship registered as such under this Act and includes any ship registered at any port in India at the commencement of this Act which is recognised as an Indian ship under the proviso to sub-

    section (2) of section 22;

    1*[(18A) "international voyage" means a voyage from or to a port or place in India to or from a port or place outside India;]

    (19) "load line certificate" means the certificate issued under section 316 or section 321;

    2*[(20) "Load Line Convention" means the International Convention on Load Lines signed in London on the 5th day of April, 1966, as amended from time to time;]

    (21) "Marine Board" means a Board of Marine Inquiry convened under section 373;

    (22) "master" includes any person (except a pilot or harbour master) having command or charge of a ship;

    1*[(22A) "nuclear ship" means a ship provided with a nuclear power plant;]

    (23) "owner" means-

    (a) in relation to a ship, the person to whom the ship or a share in the ship belongs;

    (b) in relation to a sailing vessel, the person to whom the sailing vessel belongs;

    (24) "passenger" means any person carried on board a ship except--

    (a) a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship on the business of the ship;

    [See footnote 4 for this section]

    (b) a person on board the ship either in pursuance of the obligations laid upon the master to carry shipwrecked, distressed or other persons or by reason of any circumstances which neither the master nor the charterer, if any, could have prevented or forestalled;

    (c) a child under one year of age;

    (25) "passenger ship" means a ship carrying more than twelve passengers;

    (26) "pilgrim" means a person making a pilgrimage and, in the case of a passenger on board a pilgrim ship, includes every person accompanying or travelling with the person making the pilgrimage;

    1*[(27) "pilgrimage" means pilgrimage to any holy place in the Hedjaz or to any other place declared by the Central Government to be a place of pilgrimage by notification in the Official Gazette;

    (28) "pilgrim ship" means a special trade passenger ship which makes a voyage to or from the Hedjaz, or, as the case may be, to or from any other place of pilgrimage declared as such by the Central Government in pursuance of clause (27), during the season of the pilgrimage and which carries pilgrims in a proportion of not less than one pilgrim for every one hundred tons of the gross tonnage of the ship;]

    (29) "port of registry", in relation to a ship or a sailing vessel, means the port at which she is registered or is to be registered;

    (30) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

    (31) "proceeding" in relation to sections 178 to 183 (inclusive) includes any suit, appeal or application;

    (32)...

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