Indian Court Renders Decision on Carrier's Responsibility

Monday, April 14, 2003
The high court in Kerala, India, has rendered a landmark decision holding that the burden of narrating what happened on board a vessel on the high seas in the lead-up to a fire and consequent loss of cargo is upon the shipowner. The case related to short-delivery due to fire in a cargo of ammunition comprising charges, fuses and projectiles on board the vessel 'Indian Grace' during its voyage from Udevella to Cochin. The division bench comprising Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice K Padmanabhan Nair held that it was the bounden duty of the carrier to explain in what manner the fire occurred on board the ship, and that the said onus could not be shifted to the plaintiff (government of India). Their lordships took note of the statement in the deposition of Richard Knott of Brooks Bell and Co that the fire could have originated from a discarded lighted cigarette tossed by the stevedores through the channel of the ship leading to the bottom of the hold, where a cargo of paper pulp was stowed. The high court rendered its judgment in an appeal brought by the shipowner against the judgment of the trial court which had found the shipowner negligent in stowing together cargo comprising ammunition and paper pulp. The trial court declined to acknowledge the validity of a certificate issued by Swedish port authorities evidencing that the vessel was stowed in accordance with the IMDG Code. Dismissing the appeal, the high court deviated from its earlier reported decisions wherein it had been held that, once the shipowner has discharged its burden of proving that the loss occurred as a result of an excepted peril, the onus would then shift to the cargo owner to show that the carrier was not entitled to the benefit of exceptions under Article IV Rule 2 (b) of the Hague Rules scheduled to the Indian Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1925. The contention of the shipowner that it was not liable as per the terms of contract and the law for any loss resulting from the negligence of its servants and agents was rejected by the court. Source: Maritime Advocate
Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

China's Air Drills Roil South China Sea Waters

China's air force conducted its first drill above the western Pacific Ocean on Monday, the Defence Ministry said, in a move that could exacerbate tensions with

Drydocks World, Maritime World Win Excellence Awards

Drydocks World and Maritime World have won the Excellence Award given by the International Maritime Club at the Golden Bells Awards 2015 - Middle East. Drydocks

Ocean 3 launched at the AGCT, Rijeka

China Shipping Container Line’s (CSCL) Xin Qin Huang Dao recently made its maiden call at the Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT), International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

Marine Electronics

Maersk to Install Transas ECDIS on 100 Vessels

Maersk Line, the world's largest container company, has selected Transas Marine for ECDIS implementation on more than 100 vessels, Transas announced today. The

KVH Outlines Ship-to-Shore Connectivity

The next generation of connectivity between ship and shore will be dominated by the development of applications to help ship owners and managers reduce costs by enhancing operational efficiency,

MARIN, Cruden, Tree C Technology Forge Small Ship Simulator

Severe vibrations and shocks of up to 9G over an average of 1000 hours per year. That’s what instructors of fast small ships such as the Fast Raiding, Interception

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1437 sec (7 req/sec)