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Hasan HossaIn and ors. Vs. the King. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1949CriLJ567
AppellantHasan HossaIn and ors.
RespondentThe King.
Excerpt:
- .....captain, one of the terms of which is that the seamen will have all rights in accordance with the british merchant shipping act.3. whilst the ship was in calcutta there was some trouble with these members of the crew and the captain alleges that they refused to work. entries in helot wore made accordingly. the captain was had to sign the crew off but had some difficulty with the local police because they would not allow him to sign off the ores as they had not been signed on in calcutta.4. we may add that there were five members of the crew who had actually signed on in calcutta and they were allowed to be signed off.5. the captain then got the police to make a case under section 103, indian merchant shipping act, before the chief presidency magistrate alleging an offence under 8.103 of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. This rule is against an order of conviction under Section 103 (in), Indian Merchant Shipping Act. The fourteen petitioners were sentenced by a Presidency Magistrate to detention till the rising of the Court and to forfeiture of one day's pay.

2. The petitioners are Somali seamen who were signed on as members of crew of a Nor-weigian ship, S. S. Vest, on 15th August 1947. They had each an agreement with the Captain, one of the terms of which is that the seamen will have all rights in accordance with the British Merchant Shipping Act.

3. Whilst the ship was in Calcutta there was some trouble with these members of the crew and the Captain alleges that they refused to work. Entries in helot wore made accordingly. The Captain was had to sign the crew off but had some difficulty with the local police because they would not allow him to sign off the ores as they had not been signed on in Calcutta.

4. We may add that there were five members of the crew who had actually signed on in Calcutta and they were allowed to be signed off.

5. The Captain then got the police to make a case under Section 103, Indian Merchant Shipping Act, before the Chief Presidency Magistrate alleging an offence under 8.103 of the said Act, with the result above noted and we may observe that the Captain has, by these proceedings, succeeded in his object, the ship having left the port. He has thus not only got rid of the trouble with the crew but got over the difficulty with the police who would not allow the crew to remain in Calcutta, by inducing the police to prosecute a case against them.

6. In our opinion the whole proceedings against the accused are without jurisdiction.

7. Part II, Indian Merchant Shipping hat, which contains Section 103 is applicable as laid down in Section 5 of the Act. Under Clause 2 (c) of that section the provisions of the part are applicable to British {Ships and their crew in matters of discipline in respect of all sea-going ships registered in British India while such ships are in British India. 8. S. Vest is neither a British ship nor was it registered in British India.

8. The provisions of Section 320, Merchant Ship, ping Act. 1891, correspond to Section 103, Indian Mer. chant Shipping Act. The sections are in almost identical terms. The applicability of the section is provided in the Act by Section 260. Under that, the Act applies to all Bea going ships registered in the United Kingdom and to the crew of such ships. Those, the Merchant Shipping Act, 1884, equally has no application for punishing indiscipline on a foreign ship.

9. The whole proceedings, in fact, are mis-conceived.

10. The order of conviction and sentence and the order stopping one day's pay are accordingly set aside. The rule is therefore made absolute.

11. It is highly regrettable that a case affect, ing seamen was held up for such a length of time in this Court. This rule was issued on 24th May 1948 and it came up for hearing on 13th August 1948. The case was not complete until 29th July 1948. It should have been disposed of within at most ft week or ten days.


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