Gujarat High Court: In a suit filed under Section 4(1)(d) and 4(1)(f) of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017 by Patanjali Foods Limited (‘plaintiff’), wherein arrest of the defendant vessel M T SYRMA (IMO 9204805) was sought, the Single Judge Bench of Nikhil S Kariel J., ordered the Port officer and the Custom Authorities at Deendayal Port to effect the arrest, seizure or detention of the defendant vessel.
The plaintiff had placed an order for supply of 5000 metric tons (‘MT’) of RBD Palm Olein (Edible Grade) with MMTC Transnational Pte. Ltd under Sales Agreement dated 30-03-2023. As per the agreement, the goods were to be loaded from Kuala Tanjung, Indonesia by MGV Commodity Pte Ltd. and to be received by the plaintiff at Kakinada, Indian Port. The plaintiff made the full payment of the quantity along with the freight and customs duty. As the defendent vessel arrived at the discharge port on 06-04-2023, it was found that the quantity on board was less than the total quantity leading to the shortage of final 1.37% against the Bill of lading quantity. Thereafter, the plaintiff issued a legal notice to the owner of the defendant vessel to make the payment for the loss suffered by the plaintiff not only on the payment of entire amount but also on paid freight on entire cargo and the customs duty for 43.736 MT of RBD Palm Olein. Due to the delivery of less quantity of goods to the tune of 68.734 MT of RBD Palm Olein, the plaintiff had suffered loss of Rs. 63,23,732/-
Court’s Order The Court had directed Registrar of the Court to issue a warrant for the arrest of MT SYRMA (IMO- 9204805) along with her hull, engines, gears, tackles, bunkers, machinery, apparel, plant, furnitures, equipments and all appurtenances, at present lying at the Deendayal Port, Kandla within the Indian territorial waters. The Court also directed the Port officer and Custom Authorities at Deendayal Port to effect the arrest, seizure or detention of the defendant vessel. Further, the Court directed the Customs Officer at Deendayal Port to intimate about this order to the Master/Chief Engineer of the Defendant Vessel through her Agent.
The Court further ordered that in the event that the defendant or those interested in depositing the amount of Rs. 63,23,732/- towards the entire cost of short delivery of 68.734Mts. of RBD Palm Olein including freight and Customs duty and legal cost of Rs. 15,00,000/- aggregating Rs. 78,23,732/- together with further interest on Rs. 63,23,732/- at the rate of 18 percent from the date of filing of the suit, the said warrant of arrest shall not be executed against the defendant Vessel.
[Patanjali Foods Limited v. MT Syrma, R/Admiralty Suit No. 12 of 2023, Order Dated: 20-06-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Petitioner: Advocate MS Paurami B. Seth.