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 June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Flirting with Default, Argentina Enjoys Oil Drilling Boom

Holders of Argentina's  defaulted debt and their supporters have warned the country risks being frozen out from international capital markets unless it finds

Mexico's Senate OKs Bills Expanding Power of Energy Regulators

Mexico's Senate gave general approval on Monday to legislation laying out expanded powers for energy regulators, part of the fine print needed to implement a constitutional

South Korea Police: Body May Be Ferry Disaster Fugitive's

South Korean police are trying to confirm the identity of a body they believe may have been the fugitive head of the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April,

Marine Electronics

Singapore Approves Danelec New-Generation VDR

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has issued a certificate of approval for the Danelec DM100 VDR for installation on ships under the Singapore registry.

Hamburg Süd Launches Free App

Hamburg Süd has just released a free app for smartphones and tablets that is available for its customers to download. The Hamburg Süd app allows customers to access information about Track & Trace,

New Digital Product : Luxembourg

Regs4ships announced the launch of our 19th flag to its Digital Maritime Regulations (DMR) product.   From July 18, 2014 Regs4ships will be able to offer a Luxembourg

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar 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: 0.1133 sec (9 req/sec)