Kerala High Court: The Bench of Shaji P. Chaly, J. allowed a civil writ petition against an order of Port Officer refusing to grant transfer of area of operation of a water scooter.
Petitioner herein was the owner of a water scooter which was purchased in terms of a sale order issued by the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation. As per the certificate of registration and certificate of survey, the area for operation of said water scooter was Cherai in Kochi.
Petitioner entered into an agreement with one M/s. Empire General Contracting Company to provide the said water scooter for operation at Sun Moon Valley Boating Centre, Madupetty Dam under Kerala Hydel Tourism Centre on a profit-sharing basis. This agreement was executed on the basis of work order issued by Director, Kerala Hydel Tourism Centre in favour of Empire General Contracting Company. He filed an application to change ownership and area of operation of the water scooter with necessary documents and the prescribed fee. However the same was rejected by the Port Officer. Aggrieved thereby, the instant petition was filed.
The Court noted that the petitioner had followed all guidelines as prescribed under Sections 19M and 19L of the Inland Vessels Act, 1917 and Rule 24 of the Kerala Inland Vessels Rules, 2010. Thus, the order passed by Port Officer was arbitrary and illegal.
In view of the above, the impugned order was quashed and Port Officer was directed to reconsider petitioner’s application, bearing in mind the afore-quoted provisions of law at the earliest and at any rate, within a month from the date of this judgment.[Raheesh Babu TD v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 963, Order dated 20-03-2019]