KANSAI STEAMSHIP CO. LTD. Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ANR.
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Kansai Steamship Co. Ltd.
Union Of India And Anr.
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Dipak Kumar Sen, J. -
(1.) Under a contract of charter-party entered into by and between; Kansai Steamship Company Ltd. of Japan and the Union of India on the 13th November, 1981, the sea going vessel M. V. Maresol" (hereinafter referred to as the said vessel) owned by Kansai Steamship Company Ltd. was chartered to the Union of India for carriage of an agreed quantity of Muriate of Potash (Trimmed) in bulk from the port of Vancouver, Canada to the ports of Haldia and Calcutta in the east coast of India or other ports in the west coast of India for agreed freight payable by the Union of India. The charter - party contained, inter alia, the following clauses:-
"Clause 11. The ship-owners in all matters arising under or affecting this contract (including matters before loading or after discharge) shall be entitled to the like privileges and rights and immunities as are contained in sections 2 and 5 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1924, and in Article IV of the Schedule thereto (see back) as being agreed terms of this contract, This charter-party shall be deemed to be a contract for the carriage of goods by sea to which the said sections and the said Article apply."
"Clause 17. Any dispute arising under this charter shall be settled in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1950 in London each party appointing an Arbitrator, and the two Arbitrators in the event of disagreement appointing an Umpire whose decision shall be final and binding upon both parties hereto. The Arbitrators shall be commercial men.
(2.) A cargo of Muriate of Potash in bulk was loaded on the said vessel at Vancouver against Bill of Lading issued on behalf of the Master of the said vessel. It was recorded in tire Bill of Lading that the goods would be delivered in India to the order of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and the party to be notified was the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India Limited. The Bill of Lading also contained the following endorsement:-
"All terms, conditions and exceptions of charter-party currently in effect shall be deemed to be incorporated in this Bill of Lading in the event of any conflict between any terms and conditions of the charter - party and this Bill of Lading, terms and conditions of the charter-party will prevail".
(3.) The said vessel arrived at the port of Cuddalore in India on or about the 30th December, 1981 where a portion of the said cargo was discharged The balance of the cargo was discharged at Calcutta in January, 1982.. On or about the 7th January, 1983 the Union of India and one Indian Potash Ltd. filed a suit against Kansai Steamship Company Limited in this Court being Admiralty Suit No. 2 of 1983 claiming, inter alia, a decree for Rs 3,59,193.61 p. alleging that 301 138 tonnes of the said-cargo was delivered short by the said vessel and the owners of the vessel as carriers failed and neglected to carry and deliver the cargo in terms of the contract of carriage.;
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