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

UN Throws the Book at North Korea Ship Operator

A U.N. Security Council committee on Monday blacklisted the operator of a North Korean ship, which was seized near the Panama Canal last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms,

Desulfurization of Exhaust Gases in Shipping

Are shipowners prepared to enter SECA zones?   Due to existing regulations on air exhaust emissions from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and with

Tanker with Iraqi Kurdish Oil Anchors off Texas Port

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was anchored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, and must undergo a routine safety inspection by the U.S. Coast

Marine Electronics

Raytheon Anschütz Debuts ShipGuard at SMM

In view of an increasing demand for security of merchant ships and maritime trade, Raytheon Anschütz, a German-based manufacturer of Integrated Bridge Systems,

ISS's Innovative Series of New Travel Apps for Cruise Industry

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) the world’s leading maritime services provider, has launched an innovative series of travel apps for the cruise industry in Greece,

More VDR Orders for Danelec in China

Danelec Marine has received orders to supply Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) for 18 offshore support vessels in China.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
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)