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Maritime and Admiralty

Maritime and Admiralty Jurisdiction of Bombay High Court is governed presently under the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlements of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017. The said Act applies to every vessel irrespective of the Residence and domiciles of the owner.

The majority of litigation in Bombay High Court pertains to arrest of ships for moving maritime claims. Every country engaged in maritime commerce has in its national legal system a special branch of law called maritime. This special branch of law exercises the special action of jurisdiction known in English law admiralty jurisdiction although maritime law and admiralty court are part of national legal system. They have an international aspect because maritime commerce is by its very nature international.

There are two forms of admiralty action – action in rem and action in personam. The action in rem is one in which the Plaintiff seeks to make a good claim to or against the certain property in respect of which or in respect of damage done by which he alleges that he has an actionable demand thus in collusion action and in other cases where Plaintiff claims maritime lien he can for which the rest be within the jurisdiction by process served upon it and procure its arrest and detention by the court until either the owners appeal it by giving security for the amount claim by in or until the court gives judgments upon the claim if it’s successful.

The effect may be given to judgment by sale of the property to satisfy it. The effect of such judgment or sale is that the order of the Court touches directly upon the status of the property and transfers an absolute title to the purchaser and action in personam does not thereby transfer to the purchaser and absolute title. The only such title is as the owner may be in fact have had. Therefore, the action may be initiated either as action in rem or action in personam depending upon the condition specified in admiralty law in each form of action.

In modern times the only action in rem known to English law is that which lies in admiralty jurisdiction of court it being regarded as an action against particular thing namely Ship or its cargo or certain other property associated with the ship and not against the owner of it. The proceedings commences by showing the process on the ship and taking steps to arrest it so that it does not move out of jurisdiction and in the event that no person appears in Court to defend it the whole action would continue against the Ship and in the end the ship may be proceeded against and sold by the order of Court to satisfy the claim of the Plaintiff. Whereas in an action in personam, the Plaintiff is allowed to take piece of defendants property to satisfy the judgment only if he has succeeded in the action.

The rule is dictated by necessity to preventing the just claim from being defeated by the mere effect with the ship going out of the jurisdiction. The wrong doer, wrong doing ship, ship owner or other person vicariously liable may be out of the jurisdiction of court and being a foreign affiliation no valid writ can be issued.

The Maritime lien is defined as lien for salvage, damages or wages made in respect of any maritime adventure charged upon the vessel. The concept of maritime lien is part of substantive maritime law but it is associated with admiralty action in rem and it has played a pivotal role in the development of admiralty jurisdiction.

Mareva Injunctions: The purpose is to prevent judgments in the favor of the Plaintiff being rendered infructuous by removal of assets of Defendant from jurisdiction or by mere other dealing with such asset the order of the Court is not to seize any asset as in the case of attachment before judgment by the common law or the equity courts but to restrain the owner from dealings with the asset or assets in certain ways the order need not be in respect of single asset as in arrest.

We cater to the following in the Maritime and Admiralty Sector;

Maritime and Admiralty Sector
  • Advising on Regulations concerning Indian Territorial Waters, viz. Arrest, Bail and Sale of vessels.
  • Domestic and international regulatory requirement compliances.
  • Vessel and Corporate finance.
  • Defending Marine Professionals.
  • Negotiating Contracts of Carriage, Bid Preparations, Carriage of Goods, Casualties, Charter Parties, Claims for Necessary Supplies, Claims for Repair, Maritime Claims, Maritime Liens, Mortgages, Multimodal Negotiations, Ownership Dispute, Purchase of Ships, Recoveries, Claims for Wages, Commercial Disputes, Conflict of Laws, Containers Contracts, Damages, Freight Forwarders Liabilities, Release of Ship, Sale of Ships, Salvage Claims, Ship Finance, Ship Registration & Ship Repair, Limitation of Liability Litigation.
  • Breach of Safe Port Warranty, Damage to Ship by Cargo, Supply of Bad Bunkers.
  • Admiralty Litigation before the Admiralty Courts and Arbitration.
  • Advising on Marine Insurance and Reinsurance.
  • Cargo claims negotiations and litigation.
  • Drafting & Reviewing of Commercial Agreements, Shipbuilding Contracts & Management Agreements.
  • International sale of goods.
  • Advising on Import and Export procedures.
  • General Average, Grounding, Collision cases, Pollution incidents & Salvage matters.
  • Charter disputes, Bills of lading, Commercial fraud & Commodity disputes.