Press release from Business Wire India
Source: Lex Nexus
Friday, January 23, 2009 01:00 PM IST (07:30 AM GMT)
Editors: General: Law & justice, People; Business: Heavy industries, Law firms
Release no: 19051
Ship “King” Arrested following Bombay High Court Order
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Friday, January 23, 2009 — (Business Wire India) — The acting Admiralty Judge of the Bombay High Court Her Ladyship Ms. Roshan Dalvi on January 14, 2009 evening passed an order for arrest of the vessel m.v. King that had headed for Alang at Gujarat, the biggest ship-breaking yard in the world. The Gujarat Maritime Board and the Customs at Alang acted very swiftly in arresting the vessel on January 15, 2009 morning and an immediate search of the Bill of Entry registry was done to ensure that King was within the definition of the term ‘ship’. No Bill of Entry of the vessel was allowed to be filed for demolition, also stopping all process of the King.
The vessel King changed her name several times before she arrived Alang to create confusion. The vessel, King Carrier her original name, owned by Arwad King Inc, Panama was arrested by an order dated October 24, 2008 of United Republic of Tanzania, in the Resident Court of Mtwara at Mtwara at Tanzania. On November 30, 2008 night the vessel jumped arrest and escaped by lifting her anchor without informing or obtaining any port clearance which is a mandatory requirement for all vessels before she leaves a port. There was no trace of the vessel since then. Mr. Shrikant Hathi solicitor and partner of the law firm LEX Nexus states that Lloyds Marine Intelligence Unit finally traced the vessel also seeking assistance of local agents at Alang confirming vessel movements. It is also learnt that the vessel to hide by camouflage is flying Kiribati flag instead of Georgian flag at Alang.
Mr. Hathi states that ‘assuming the vessel King arrived Alang with name change and flag change to be sold or already sold, the vessel was arrested first by an order of Tanzania Court, accordingly was ‘custodia legis’ and could not be validly or legally sold to and any sale is illegal, null and void and ‘non-est’ this is followed by an order of arrest of the vessel King by the Bombay High Court and a maritime claim/ statutory claim constitutes a maritime lien in law and survives change of ownership even in the hands of a bonafide purchaser for value without notice’
LEX Nexus, Solicitors for Olam International Ltd filed Admiralty suit in the Bombay High Court in extreme haste and urgency on learning that the defaulting vessel arrived Alang changing her name. The suit was filed at Tanzania and also at Bombay for damage done by vessel to cargo of Chinese White Rice that was loaded at Dalian, China purchased by Olam International Ltd of 9251200 metric tons. During the voyage from Dalian the vessel suffered cracks and holes to port and starboard sides as a result of which water entered into her holds, the vessel was diverted to Port Louis, Mauritius for emergency repairs. Underwater repairs and welding of steel plates were carried out but Mauritius Port Authority would not allow the rice to be discharged therefore the vessel proceeded to Mtwara Port with damaged rice contaminated with sea water rendering unfit for human consumption. Olam International Ltd made several request for security for the cargo claim and since no security was provided by the vessel owners Olam International was compelled to initiate legal action against the vessel at Tanzania court followed by Bombay High Court claiming USD 81,66,719=21 plus interest.
Binita Hathi, Partner, Lex Nexus, +91 9869025182, email@example.com
LAW, PEOPLE, HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LAW FIRMS
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