The Indian Naval Armament Act, 1923

The Indian Naval Armament Act, 1923 was enacted on 5th March, 1923. Act came in to force o 10th November, 1923 or any such date when central government thinks fit by notification in official gazette. Act is useful to give effect on treaty for limitation of naval Armament and for Exchange of information. For this act, “ship means, any boat, vessel, battery, or craft whether wholly or partly constructed which is intended to float or is capable of floating on water and includes equipment belonging to any ship”.

Licence is granted by act to build or provide any vessel or ship for war, any person who does not have licence cannot build any vessel or ship for war. So, licence will allow to build any vessel of war or alter, arm or equip any ship so that it is adapted for use of war or use to dispatch or deliver or allow to dispatch from any place in states which are wholly or partly in use of war. For the purpose of this act license is granted by central government and it can refuse so if such appears to central government as to protect observances of obligations imposed by treaty and license is granted only on condition and such conditions are subject to provision of the act.

If any person who breach any provision laid in this act such person is punished with imprisonment for two years and fine up to one thousand rupees or both, but if such rules are breached by company or corporation is also punishable but if it is proved that such offence made was not in his consent or before committing such offence they where not consulted. If any ship or vessel wholly or any part equipped for armed or war has breached rules which are mentioned in act then such vessel or ship is asked to forfeit as per mentioned in act. Magistrate of 1st class or any presidency of Magistrate is asked to forfeit the ship, and report of same shall be submitted to superior officials.

Application can be made for forfeit of ship under act made or by authority from central government to competent court within local limits, then on receipt on application made court will provide with notice and further fix date for hearing of application made for temporary disposal of ship, and when court is satisfied that ship is liable to forfeit by this act then shall pass such order in related to forfeit of ship to government. Once the ship is forfeited to government then it will be disposed as central government may direct. In any trial or appeal question asked in relation to ship or vessel equipped for war or armed for alteration and to adapt shall be referred to central government and also to be determined by central government and thus, its order will be final and binding.

Once the ship is sized and not released by competent authority in sea and if ship is taken in sea then master is liable for punishment with fine with one thousand and owner who sends ship in sea is punishable unless it proves that offence was consented by him or offence committed was without his knowledge thus, any expense asked to paid for offence committed. Any act done in good faith or as per provision of act then no suit or any legal proceeding will lie against such person doing so.

by Samata. H. Joshi