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MAJOR PORT TRUSTS ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 38 of 1963


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VA. Tariff Authority for Major Ports
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Chapter VIII
  • Chapter IX
  • Chapter X
  • Chapter XI
  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 38 of 1963

Preamble

THE MAJOR PORT TRUSTS ACT, 1963

[Act, No. 38 of 1963]

[16th October, 1963]

PREAMBLE

Act Act to make provision for the constitution of port authorities for certain major ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports in such authorities and for matters connected therewith.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fourteenth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, commencement and application

(1) This Act may be called the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

(2) It shall come into force on such date1as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

(3) It applies in the first instance to the major ports of Cochin, Kandla and Visakhapatnam, and the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, apply to the provisions of this Act to such other major port2[* * *] and with effect from such date, as may be specified in the notification.

1. The Act came into force on 29-2-1964.

2. Words and brackets "(not being the major port of Bombay, Calcutta or Madras)" omitted by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 2 (1-2-1975).


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "appointed day", in relation to a port, means the date on which this Act is made applicable to that port;

1['(aa) "Authority" means the Tariff Authority for Major Ports constituted under section 47A;'.]

(b) "Board" in relation to a port, means the Board of Trustees constituted under this Act for that port;

(c) "Chairman" means the Chairman of a Board and includes the person appointed to act in his place under section 14;

(d) "Collector of Customs" has the same meaning as in the Customs Act, 1962;

(e) "Deputy Chairman" means2[the Deputy Chairman, or, as the case may be, a deputy chairman of a Board] and includes the person appointed to act in his place under section 14;

(f) "dock" includes all basins, locks, cuts, entrances, graving docks, graving blocks, inclined planes, slipways, gridirons, moorings, transit-sheds, warehouses, tramways, railways and other works and things appertaining to any dock, and also the portion of the sea enclosed or protected by the arms or groynes of a harbour;

(g) "foreshore", in relation to a port, means the area between the highwater mark and the low-water mark relating to that port;

(h) "goods" includes livestock and every kind of movable property;

(i) "high-water mark", in relation to a port, means a line drawn through the highest points reached by ordinary springtides at any season of the year at the port;

3[(ia) "immovable property" includes wharfage-rights and all other rights exercisable on, over, or in respect of, any land, wharf, dock or pier;]

(j) "Indian Ports Act" means the Indian Ports Act, 1908;

(k) "land" includes the bed of the sea or river below high-water mark, and also things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth;

(l) "low-water mark", in relation to a port, means a line drawn through the lowest points reached by ordinary springtides at any season of the year at that port;

(m) "major port" has the same meaning as in the Indian Ports Act;

(n) "master", in relation to any vessel or any aircraft making use of any port, means any person having for the time being the charge or control of such vessel or such aircraft, as the case may be, except a pilot, harbour master, assistant harbour master, dock master or berthing master of the port;

(o) "owner", (i) in relation to goods, includes any consignor, consignee, shipper or agent for the sale, custody, loading or unloading of such goods; and (ii) in relation to any vessel or any aircraft making use of any port, includes any part-owner, character, consignee or mortgagee in possession thereof;

(p) "pier" includes any stage, stairs, landing place, hard, jetty, floating barge4[, transhipper] or pontoon, and any bridges or other works connected therewith;

4[Explanation.-- For the purposes of this clause, "transhipper" means a floating craft or vessel, whether dumb or self-propelled, on which gears are provided for discharging cargo from a barge or wharf and loading it into a ship;]

(q) "port" means any major port to which this Act applies within such limits as may, from time to time be defined by the Central Government for the purposes of this Act by notification in the Official Gazette, and, until a notification is so issued, within such limits as may have been defined by the Central Government under the provisions of the Indian Ports Act;

(r) "port approaches", in relation to a port, means those parts of the navigable rivers and channels leading to the port, in which the Indian Ports Act is in force;

(s) "Port Trust security" means debentures, bonds or stock certificates issued by a Board in respect of any loan contracted by it under the provisions of this Act or issued by any other authority for the payment of which the Board is liable under this Act;

(t) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules or regulations made under this Act;

(u) "public securities" means--

(i) promissory notes, debentures, stock or other securities of the Central Govern­ment or of any State Government:

Provided that securities both the principal whereof and the interest whereon have been fully and unconditionally guaranteed by any such Government, shall be deemed, for the purposes of this clause, to be securities of such Government;

(ii) debentures or other securities for money issued by or on behalf of any municipal body, Improvement Trust or Port Trust under the authority of any law for the time being in force in India (including the Port Trust securities);

(v) "rate" includes any toll, due, rent, rate, fee or charge leviable under this Act;

(w) "regulations" means regulations made under this Act;

(x) "rules" means rules made by the Central Government under this Act;

(y) "Trustee", in relation to a port, means a member of the Board constituted for the port;

5[(z) "vessel" includes anything made for the conveyance, mainly by water, of human beings or of goods and a caisson;]

(za) "wharf" includes any wall or stage and any part of the land or foreshore that may be used for loading or unloading goods, or for the embarkation or disembarkation of passengers and any wall enclosing or adjoining the same.

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

2. Substituted for the words "the Deputy Chairman of a Board" by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (17 of 1982), Section 2(a) (31-5-1982).

3. Inserted by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 3(a) (1-2-1975).

4. Inserted the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 2(b).

5. Substituted the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 3(b).


Chapter II

Section 3. Constitution of Board of Trustees

(1) With effect from such date as may be specified by notification in the Official Gazette, the Central Government shall cause to be constituted in respect of any major port a Board of Trustees to be called the Board of Trustees of that port, which shall consist of the following Trustees, namely:--

(a) a Chairman to be appointed by the Central Government;

1[(b) one Deputy Chairman or more, as the Central Government may deem fit to appoint;]

2[(c) not more than nineteen persons in the case of each of the ports of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and not more than seventeen persons in the case of any other port who shall consist of--

(i) such number of persons, as the Central Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, to be appointed by that Government from amongst persons who are in its opinion capable of representing any one or more of such of the following interests as may be specified in the notification, namely:--

(1) labour employed in the Port;

(2) the Mercantile Marine Department;

(3) the Customs Department;

(4) the Government of the State in which the port is situated;

(5) the Defence Services;

(6) the Indian Railways; and

(7) such other interests as, in the opinion of the Central Government, ought to be represented on the Board:

Provided that before appointing any person to represent the labour employed in the port, the Central Government shall obtain the opinion of the trade unions, if any, composed of persons employed in the port and registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and that the number of persons so appointed shall not be less than two;

(ii) such number of persons, as the Central Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, to be elected by such bodies and representing any one or more of such of the following interests as may be specified in the notification from among themselves, namely:--

(1) ship-owners;

(2) owners of sailing vessels;

(3) shippers; and

(4) such other interests as, in the opinion of the Central Government, ought to be represented on the Board;

Provided that in a case where any such body is an undertaking owned or controlled by the Government, the person to be elected by such body shall be appointed by the Central Government.]

(2) A Trustee appointed by the Central Government under this Act may be appointed by name or by virtue of office.

(3) Every notification issued under3[sub-clause (ii) of clause (c) of sub-section (1)] may/ also specify the number of Trustees that each of the bodies referred to in that clause may elect.

(4) The election of Trustees under3[sub-clause (ii) of clause (c) of sub-section (1)] shall be held within such period as may, from time to time, be specified by the Central Government.

(5) The chief executive authority of every electing body shall communicate forthwith to the Central Government the result of any election held in pursuance of sub-section (4).

(6) The names of persons appointed or elected as Trustees shall be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

1. Clause (b) substituted by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (17 of 1982), Section 3 (31-12-82).

2. Substituted for clauses (c) and (d) by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 4(a) (1-2-1975).

3. Substituted for the words, brackets, letter and figure "clause (d) of sub-section (1)" by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 4(b).


Section 4. First Board of Trustees

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 3, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute in respect of any major port the first Board of Trustees thereof consisting of--

(a) a Chairman to be appointed by the Central Government;

(b) a Deputy Chairman, if the Central Government deems fit to appoint one; and

(c) such number of other Trustees,1[not exceeding seventeen], as that Government may deem expedient, to be appointed by that Government from amongst persons who are in its opinion capable of representing,--

(i) labour employed in the port;

(ii) Government of the State in which the port is situated;

(iii) Government departments specified1[in sub-clause (i) of clause (c)] of sub­section (1) of section 3; and

(iv) such other interests as, in the opinion of the Central Government, ought to be represented on the Board.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the persons appointed as Trustees under sub-section (I) shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government.

(3) On the constitution of the Board under section 3, the first Board of Trustees shall cease to exist.

1. Substituted for the words "not exceeding twenty-two" in Clause (c), and, the words "in sub-clauses (ii), (iii), (v) and (vi) of clause (c)" in sub-clause (iii), by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), S. 5 (1-2-1975).


Section 5. Board to be body corporate

Every Board constituted under this Act shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold or dispose of property and may by the name by which it is constituted, sue or be sued.

Section 6. Disqualification for office of Trustee

A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as a Trustee, if he--

(a) has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or

(b) is an undischarged insolvent; or

(c) holds any office of profit under the Board;

1[provided that this disqualification shall not apply to the Chairman, Deputy Chairman or a Trustee who has been appointed to represent the labour employed in the port or appointed by virtue of office as officer or member of an association formed for the purpose of promoting the interests or welfare of any class of employees of the Board;]

(d) has, directly or indirectly, any share or interest in any work done by order of the Board, or in any contract or employment, with, by or on behalf of the Board ;

Provided that no person shall be deemed to have a share or interest in such work, contract or employment by reason only of his--

(i) having a share in any company or firm which may contract with or be employed by or on behalf of the Board, or

(ii) having a share or interest in any newspaper in which any advertisement relating to the affairs of the Board may be inserted, or

(iii) being interested in any loan of money to the Board, or

(iv) having a share or interest in any lease, sale, exchange or purchase of immovable property or any agreement for the same, or

(v) having a share or interest in any licence by the Board, or right by agreement or otherwise with the Board to the sole or preferential use of any railway siding or any berth for vessels in the docks belonging to the Board, or

(vi) having a share or interest in the occasional sale to the Board, to a value not exceeding ten thousand rupees in any one financial year, of any article in which he trades.

1. Substituted by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 6 (1-2-1975).


Section 7. Term of office of Trustees

(1) The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act,--

(a) every person elected or appointed by name to be a Trustee shall hold office to which he is elected or so appointed, for a term of two years commencing on the 1st day of April next following his election or appointment, as the case may be :

Provided that the term of office of a member elected to represent any body of persons shall come to an end as soon as he ceases to be a member of that body;

(b) a person appointed by virtue of an office to be a Trustee shall, until the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette otherwise directs, continue to be a Trustee so long as he continues to hold that office.

Section 8. Vacation of office of Trustees

(1) The Central Government shall remove a Trustee if he--

(a) becomes subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in section 6; or

1[(aa) has, in the opinion of the Central Government, ceased to represent the interest by virtue of which he was appointed or elected; or]

(b) refuses to act or becomes incapable of acting; or

(c) is, without the permission of the Board previously obtained, absent from six consecutive ordinary meetings of the Board; or

(d) is absent from the meetings of the Board for a period exceeding six consecutive months; or

(e) acts in contravention of the provisions of section 19.

(2) A Trustee may resign his office by giving notice in writing to the Chairman who shall forward the same to the Central Government, and on such resignation being accepted by that Government he shall be deemed to have vacated his office.

1. Inserted by the Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Act (29 of 1974), Section 7 (1-2-1975).


Section 9. Eligibility of Trustee for reappointment or re-election

Any person ceasing to be Trustee shall, unless disqualified under section 6, be eligible for reappointment or re-election.

Section 10. Filling of vacancies in office of Trustee,

(1) In the case of a vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by name or an elective Trustee caused by the expiration of the term of otfice of such Trustee, the appointment to fill such vacancy shall be made or an election to fill such vacancy shall be completed, as the case may be, within two months immediately preceding the date of expiration of such term.

(2) In the case of a vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by the Central Government by virtue of an office, the appointment to fill such vacancy shall be made within one month of the occurrence of such vacancy.

(3) In the case of a casual vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by name or an elective Trustee caused by the death of such Trustee or by virtue of the provisions of section 8; such vacancy shall be filled within one month of the occurrence thereof by appointment or election, as the case may be, in the manner hereinabove specified :

Provided that the Trustee so appointed or elected shall retain his office so long only as the vacating Trustee shall have retained the same if such vacancy had not occurred :

Provided further that no such casual vacancy occurring within three months of the date of expiry of the normal term of office of the vacating Trustee shall be filled up under this sub-section.

Section 11. Saving provision for appointment of Trustee by Central Government after prescribed period

Nothing in the foregoing provisions shall prevent a person being appointed by the Central Government to fill any vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by the Central Government after the expiration of the period specified in section 10, if for any reason it has not been possible for the Central Government to make the appointment within the said period.

Section 12. Power of Central Government to extend time for election or appoint Trustees in default of election

(1) If the Central Government is satisfied that an electing body has failed to elect a Trustee within the period specified therefor in sub-section (4) of Section 3 or Section 10 for reasons beyond its control, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that the election shall be held on or before such date as may be specified in the notification.

(2) In the event of default being made in electing any Trustee within the period specified therefor under sub-section (4) of Section 3 or under Section 10, or as the case may be, on or before the date specified in the notification issued under sub-section (1), it shall be lawful for the Central Government to appoint a person by notification in the Official Gazette and the person so appointed shall be deemed to be an elective Trustee.