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Kerala HC has a midnight sitting to hear an admiralty suit

Kochi, Jan 25, 2022 – In a rare instance, on Monday close to midnight, a bench of the Kerala High Court had a sitting to hear an admiralty petition when Justice Devan Ramachandran heard a petitioner who wanted the court to prevent a ship from leaving the Cochin Port.

All the parties appeared on-line and the sitting began at 11.30 p.m.

The hearing was done as there were invoices amounting to $27,297 and $72,000 and the vessel, MV Ocean Rose, was due to leave the Cochin Port at 5 a.m. on Wednesday and the petitioners wanted to stop the vessel.

Justice Ramachandran in his interim order stated that he is of the prima facie view that a case of arrest has been made out.

“I hereby direct the registrar to issue an order of arrest for MV Ocean Rose along with her hull, engines tackes, machinery, boats, bunkers, equipment, peripherals, and others lying at the Port of Cochin within the territorial waters of this court and that said warrant be executed at any time of day or night. It is resultantly ordered that the executive of Port Trust effect this warrant and arrest,” ordered Ramachandran.

The Court also pointed out that if the principal sum of Rs 2.43 crore owed along with interests and legal fees is recovered then the warrant of arrest shall stand withdrawn on furnishing security to the satisfaction of the Court.

Meanwhile, the interim order also states that if the payment is not made within 15 days, steps can be taken to auction the vessel and the money recovered.

The petitioner had supplied water to the vessel which came with sulphur to the FACT unit, near here.  (Agency)

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