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INDIAN PORTS ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 15 of 1908


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II. Powers of the Government
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Chapter VIII
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 15 of 1908

Preamble

THE INDIAN PORTS ACT, 1908

[Act, No. 15 of 1908]

[18th December, 1908]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to Ports and Port-charges.

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate the enactments relating to ports and port-charges; It is hereby enacted as follows:--

Chapter I

Section 1. Title and extent

(1) This Act may be called The Indian Ports Act, 1908.

(2) It shall extend, save as otherwise appears from its subject or context,--

(a) to the ports mentioned in the First Schedule, and to such parts of the navigable rivers and channels leading to such ports respectively as have been declared t be subject to Act 22 of 1855 for the regulation of Ports and Port-dues) or to the Indian Ports Act, 1875, or to the Indian Ports Act, 1889;

(b) to the other ports or parts of navigable rivers or channels to which the1[Government], in exercise of the power hereinafter conferred, extends this Act.

(3) But nothing in Section 31 or Section 32 shall apply to any port, river or channel to which the section has not been specially extended by the1[Government].

1. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).


Section 2. Savings

Nothing in this Act shall--

(i) apply to any vessel belonging to, or in the service of1[the Central Government or a State Government]2[***], or to any vessel of war belonging to any Foreign Prince or State, or

(ii) deprive any person of any right of property or other private right, except as hereinafter expressly provided, or

(iii) affect any law or rule relating to the customs or any order or direction lawfully made or given pursuant thereto.

1. Substituted for "His Majesty" by A.L.O., 1950 (26-1-1950).

2. The words "or the Government of India" were omitted by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).


Section 3. Definitions

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,--

1(1) "Magistrate" means a person exercising powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973;

(2) "Master", when used in relation to any vessel2[or any aircraft making use of any port], means subject to the provisions of any other enactment for the time being in force, any person (except a pilot or harbour-master a [of the port]) having for the time being the charge or control of the vessel2[or the aircraft, as the case may be]:

(3) "pilot" means a person for the time being authorized by the3[Government] to pilot vessels:

(4) "port" includes also any part of a river or channel in which this Act is for the time being in force;

(5) "port-officer" is synonymous with master-attendant;

3[(6) "ton" means a ton as determined or determinable by the rules made under Section 74 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, for regulating the measurement of the gross tonnage of ships.]

(7) "vessel" includes anything made for the conveyance5[mainly] by water human beings or of property;

6[(8) "major port" means any port which the Central Government may be notification in the Official Gazette declare, or may under any law for the time being in force have declared, to be a major port;]7[and]

8[(9) "Government" as respects major ports, for all purposes and, as respects other ports, for the purpose of making rules under Clause (p) of Section 6(1) and of the appointment and control of port health-officers under Section 17, means the Central Government, and save as aforesaid, means the State Government].

9[(10) *****]

1. Substituted for the Port Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 w.e.f. 09-01-1997.

2. Inserted by the Port Trusts and Ports (Amendment) Act, 1951 (35 of 1951), Section 188 (16-7-1951).

3. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).

4. Substituted by Indian Ports (Amendment) Act (23 of 1992), Section 2 (23-1-1994).

5. Inserted by the Port Trusts and Ports (Amendment) Act, 1951 (35 of 1951), section 188 (16-7-1951).

6. Clauses (8) and (9) were added, by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).

7. Inserted by Indian Ports (Amendment) Act (23 of 1992), Section 2 (23-1-94).

8. Foot-note (a) under Clause (8).

9. Clause (10) defining "State", which was inserted by A.L.O., 1950 was omitted by the Part BStates (Laws) Act, 1951 (3 of 1951), Section 3 and Schedule (1-4-1951).


Chapter II
Powers of the Government

1. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937),


Section 4. Power to extend or withdraw the Act or certain portions thereof

(1)1[***] The2[Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette,--

(a) extend this Act to any port in which this Act is not in force or to, any part of any navigable river or channel which leads to a port and in which this Act is not in force;

(b) specially extend the provisions of Section 31 or Section 32 to any port to which they have not been so extended;

(c) withdraw this Act or Section 31 or Section 32 from any port or any part thereof in which it is for the time being in force.

(2) A notification under Clause (a) or Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) shall define the limits of the area to which it refers.

(3) Limits defined under Sub-section (2) may include any piers, jetties, landing-places, wharves, quays, docks and other works made on behalf of the public for convenience of traffic, for safety of vessels, or for the improvement, maintenance or good government of the port and its approaches, whether within or without high-water mark, and, subject to any rights of private property therein, any portion of the shore or bank within fifty yard of high water-mark.

(4) "In Sub-section (3) the expression "high-water-mark" means the highest point reached or by ordinary spring tides at any season of the year.

1. The words "with the previous sanction of the Governor-General in Council" were omitted by the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act, 1916 (6 of 1916), Section 2.

2. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937),


Section 5. Alteration of limits of ports

(1) The1[Government] may,2[***] subject to any rights of private property, alter the limits of any port in which this Act is in force.3[Explanation.--For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the power conferred on the Government by this sub-section includes the power to alter the limits of any port by uniting with that port, any other port or any part of any other port.]

(2) When the1[Government] alters the limits of a port under Sub-section (1), it shall declare or describe, by notification in the4[Official Gazette], and by such other means, if any, as it thinks fit, the precise extent of such limits.

1. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1978).

2. The words "with the previous sanction of the Governor General in Council and" were omitted by the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act, 1916 (6 of 1916), Section 2.

3. Inserted by the Port Laws (Amendment) Act (17 of 1978), Section 2 (4-5-1978).

4. Substituted for the words "Gazette of India", by A.O., 19. Section 5A


Section 6. Power to make port-rules

(1) The 1 [Government] may, in addition to any rules which it may make under any other enactment for the time being in force, make such rules, consistent with this Act, as it thinks necessary for any of the following purposes, namely:--

(a) for regulating the time and hours at and during which, the speed at which, and the manner and conditions in and on which, vessels generally or vessels of any class defined in the rules, may enter, leave or be moved in any port subject to this Act;

(b) for regulating the berths, stations and anchorages to be occupied by vessels in any such port;

(c) for striking the yards and top masts, and for rigging-in the booms and yards, of vessels in any such port, and for swinging or taking-in davits, boats and other things projecting from such vessels;

(d) for the removal or proper hanging or placing of anchors, spars and other things being in or attached to vessels in any such port;

(e) for regulating vessels whilst taking-in or discharging passengers, ballast or cargo, or any particular king of cargo, in any such port and the stations to be occupied by vessels whilst so engaged;

2 [(ee) for regulating the manner in which oil or water mixed with oil shall be discharged in any such port and for the disposal of the same;]

3 [(eee) for regulating the bunkering of vessels with liquid fuel in any such port and the description of barges, pipe lines or tank vehicles to be employed in such bunkering;]

(f) for keeping free passages of such width as may be deemed necessary within any such port, and along or near to the piers, jetties, landing places, wharves, quays, docks, moorings and other works in or adjoining to the same; and for marking out the spaces so to be kept free;

(g) for regulating the anchoring, fastening, mooring and unmooring of vessels in any such port;

(h) for regulating the moving and warping of all vessels within any such port and the use of warps therein;

(i) for regulating the use of the mooring buoys, chains and other moorings in any such port;

(j) for fixing the rates to be paid 4 [In a port other than a major port] for the use of such mooring to the 5 [Government] or of any boat, hawser or other thing belonging to the 5 [Government];

6 [(jj) for regulating the use of piers, jetties, landing places, wharves, quays, warehouses and sheds when belonging to the Government;

(jja) for fixing the rates to be paid for the use of piers, jetties, landing places, wharves, quays, warehouses and sheds of any port, other than a major port, when belonging to the Government;]

7 ["(k) for licensing and regulating catamarans plying for hire, and flats and cargo, passenger and other boats plying, whether for hire or not, and whether regularly or only occasionally, in or partly within and partly without any such port, and for licensing and regulating the crews of any such vessels; and for determining the quantity of cargo or number of passengers or of the crew to be carried by any such vessels and the conditions under which such vessels shall be compelled to ply for hire and further for conditions under which any licence may be revoked;

(kk) for providing for the fees payable in respect of the services specified in Clause (k) for any port, other than a major port;"]

(l) for regulating the use of fires and lights within any such port;

(m) for enforcing and regulating the use of signals or signal-lights by vessels by day or by night in any such port;

(n) for regulating the number of the crew which must be on board any vessel afloat within the limits of any such port;

(o) for regulating the employment of persons engaged in clearing or painting vessels, or in working in the bilges, boilers or double bottoms of vessels in any such port;

8 [(p) 9 [***] for the prevention of danger arising to the public health by the introduction and the spread of any infectious or contagious disease from vessels arriving at, or being in any such port, and for the prevention of the conveyance of infection or contagion by means of any vessel sailing from any such port and in particular and without prejudice to the generality of this provision, for--

(i) the signals to be hoiste and the places of anchorage to be taken up by such vessels having any case, or suspected case of any infectious or contagious disease on board, or arriving at such port from a port in which, or in the neighbourhood of which, there is believed to be, or to have been at the time when the vessel left such port, any infectious or contagious disease;

(ii) the medical inspection of such vessels and of persons on board such vessels;

(iii) the questions to be answered and the information to be supplied by masters, pilots and other persons on board such vessels;

(iv) the detention of such vessels and of persons on board such vessels;

(v) the duties to be performed in cases of any such disease by masters, pilots and other persons on board such vessels;

(vi) the removal to hospital or other place approved by the health officer and the detention therein of any person from any such vessel who is suffering or suspected to be suffering from any such disease;

(vii) the cleansing, ventilation and disinfection of such vessels or any part thereof and of any articles therein likely to retain infection or contagion and, destruction of rats or other vermin in such vessels; and

(viii) the disposal of the dead on such vessels; and]

(q) for securing the protection from heat of the officers and crew of vessels in any such port by requiring the owner or master of any such vessel--

(i) to provide curtains and double awnings for screening from the sun's rays such portions of the deck as are occupied by, or are situated immediately above, the quarters of the officers and crew;

(ii) to erect windsails so far as the existing portholes or apertures in the deck admit of their being used for ventilating the quarters of the officers an crew;

(iii) when the deck is made of iron and not woodsheathed, to cover with wooden planks or other suitable non-conducting material such portions of the deck as are situated immediately above the quarters of the officers and crew;

(iv) when the quarters used by the crew and the galley are separated by an iron bulk-head only, to furnish a temporary screen of some suitable non-conducting material between such quarters and the galley.

10 [*******]

(2) The power to make rules under Sub-section (1) 11 [***] is subject to the condition of the rules being made after previous publication: Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be construed to affect the validity of any rule in force immediately before the commencement of the Indian Ports Act, 1889, and continued by Section 2, Sub-section (2), of that Act.

12 [(2A) Every rule made by the State Government under this Act shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made, before the State Legislature.

(2B) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid as House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session, or in two or more successive sessions and if before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid both the House agree any modification in the order or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so however that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.]

(3) If any person disobeys any rule made under Clause (p) of Sub-section (1), he shall be punishable for every such offence with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

(4) If a master fails wholly or in part to do any act prescribed by any rule made under Clause (p) of Sub-section (1), the health-officer shall cause such act to be done, and the reasonable expenses incurred in doing such act shall be recoverable by him from such master.

1. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).

2. Inserted by the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act, 1923 (39 of 1923), Section 2.

3. Inserted by the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act, 1925 (9 of 1925), Section 2.

4. Inserted by the Port Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 w.e.f. 09-01-1997.

5. Substituted for the word 'Crown' by A.L.O, 1950.

6. Substituted by the Port Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 w.e.f. 09-01-1997. Prior to substitution it reads as under

"(jj) for regulating the use of piers, jetties, landing places, wharves, quays warehouses and sheds when belonging to the Government and for fixing the rates to be paid for the use of the same;]"

7. Substituted by the Port Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 w.e.f. 09-01-1997. Prior to substitution it reads as under

"(k) for licensing and regulating catamarans plying for hire, and flats and cargo, passenger and other boats plying whether for hire or not, and whether regularly or only occasionally, in or partly within and partly without any such port, and for licensing and regulating the crews of any such vessels; and for determining the quantity of cargo or number of passengers [or of the crew] to be carried by any such vessels and may by such rules provide for the fees payable in respect of any such license, and in the case of [vessels] plying for hire, for the rates of hire to be charged and conditions under which such vessels shall be compelled to ply for hire, and further for the conditions under which any license may be revoked;"

8. Substituted for the original Clause (p) by the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act, 1911 (4 of 1911), Section 2.

9. The words "subject to the control of the Governor-General in Council" were omitted by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).

10. Clause (1-A) which was inserted by the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act, 1922 (15 of 1922), Section 2 and amended by A.O., 1937 and Act 11 of 1931, Section 2, was omitted by the Employment of Children Act, 1938 (26 of 1938), Section 8 (1-12-1938).

11. The words "and Sub-section (1-A)" were omitted by Act 26 of 1938, Section 8.

12. Inserted by the Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1983 (20 of 1983), Section 9 (15-3-1984).


Chapter III

Section 7. Appointment of conservator

(1) The1[Government] shall appoint some officer or body of persons to be conservator of every port subject to this Act.

(2) Subject to any direction by the1[Government] to the contrary.--

(a) in ports where there is a port officer, the port-officer shall be the conservator;

(b) in ports where there is no port-officer, but where there is a harbour-master the harbour-master shall be the conservator.

(3) Where the harbour-master is not conservator, the harbour-master and his assistants shall be subordinate to, and subject to the control of, the conservator.

(4) The conservator shall be subject to the control of the1[Government], or of any intermediate authority which2[the Government] may appoint.

1. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).

2. Substituted for the words "that Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).


Section 8. Power of conservator to give and enforce directions for certain specified purposes

(1) The conservator of any port subject to this Act may, with respect to any vessel within the port, give directions for carrying into effect any rule for the time being in force therein under Section 6.

(2) If any person willfully and without lawful excuse refuses or neglects to obey and lawful direction of the conservator after notice thereof has been given to him, he shall for every such offence, be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, and in the case of a continuing offence with a further fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for every day during which, after such notice a aforesaid, he is proved to have willfully and without lawful excuse continued to disobey the direction.

(3) In case of such refusal or neglect, the conservator may do, or cause to be done, all acts necessary for the purpose of carrying the direction into execution, and may hire and employ proper persons for that purpose and all reasonable expenses incurred in doing such acts shall be recoverable by him from the person so refusing or neglecting to obey the direction.

Section 9. Power to cut warps and ropes

The conservator of any such port may, in case of urgent necessity, cut, or cause to be cut, any warp, rope, cable or hawser endangering the safety of any vessel in the port or at or near to the entrance thereof.

Section 10. Removal of obstructions within limits of port

(1) The conservator may remove, or cause to be removed, any timber, raft or other thing flating or being in any part of any such port, which in his opinion obstructs or impedes the free navigation thereof or the lawful use of any pier, jetty, landing-place, wharf, quary, dock, mooring or other work on any part of the shore or bank which has been declared to be within the limits of the port and is not private property.

(2) The owner of any such timer, raft or other thing shall be liable to pay the reasonable expenses of the removal thereof, and if such owner or any other person has without lawful excuse caused any such obstruction or impediment or causes any pubic nuisance affecting or likely to affect such free navigation or lawful use, he shall also be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees.

(3) The conservator or any Magistrate having jurisdiction over the offence may cause any such nuisance to be abated.

Section 11. Recovery of expenses of removal

If the owner of any such timber, raft or other thing, or the person who has caused any such obstruction, impediment or public nuisance as is mentioned in the last foregoing section, neglects to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in the removal thereof, within one week after demand, or within fourteen days after such removal has been notified in the Official Gazette or in such other manner as the1[Government] by general or special order directs, the conservator may cause such timber, raft or other thing, or the materials of any public nuisance so removed, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be sold by public auction;

and may retain all the expenses of such removal and sale out of the proceeds of the sale, and shall pay the surplus of such proceeds, or deliver so much of the thing or materials as may remain unsold, to the person entitled to receive the same;

and, if no such person appears, shall cause the same to be kept and deposited in such manner as the1[Government] directs;

and may, if necessary, from time to time, realize the expenses of keeping the same, together with the expenses of sale, by a further sale of so much of the thing or materials as may remain unsold.

1. Substituted for the words "Local Government" by A.O., 1937 (1-4-1937).