HC stays Centre notification on commercial rights of ships

Petitioners had contended that the notification was irrational

June 04, 2019 01:58 am | Updated 08:44 am IST - New Delhi

A view of Delhi High Court. File

A view of Delhi High Court. File

The Delhi High Court has stayed a Central government notification under the ‘Make in India’ programme, under which an Indian-built ship gets commercial rights higher than an Indian flag vessel’ in securing Indian business.

By the February notification, it was decided that the chartering of ships/vessels through open/global tender process should give preference to bidders who offer Indian built ships.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait remarked that the February notification “may result in increase in shipping capacity as also chartering of ships by non-ship owners”.

“The proposed new regime under the impugned notification, in fact, attempt to create a scenario wherein a foreign-built, foreign-owned, foreign flag vessel is treated on the same pedestal as a foreign-built, Indian-owned and Indian flag vessel,” the judge said.

The High Court, which had in March this year stayed the notification, remarked that the notification and circular are against the Scheme of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

The court order came on a bunch of petition challenging the notification on the ground that the new regime post the notification created a scenario when an Indian flag vessel owned and offered by an Indian citizen/Indian company/ Indian society is placed on the same pedestal as a foreign flag vessel offered by an Indian citizen/ Indian company/ Indian society.

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