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The Shipping Development Fund Committee (Abolition) Act, 1986

The Shipping Development Fund Committee (Abolition) Act, 1986 (Act no. 66 of 1986) being the Act of Central Government was basically enacted with the view to have abolition of the provisions of the Shipping Development Fund Committee constituted under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (Act no. 44 of 1958). The Act was assented on 24th December, 1986. As per notification of the Central Government, the Act was brought into force on 3rd April, 1987. The Act was Amended in the year 1987 by The Shipping Development Fund Committee (Abolition) Amendment Act, 1987 (Act no. 41 of 1987) and by the Repealing and Amending Act, 2001 the said Amending Act of 1987 was repealed entirely.

The Act under second Chapter makes provisions as to abolition of the ‘Shipping development fund committee’ as per section 3, which was constituted under the provisions of the section 15 of the Act of 1958 and thereby the amendment in the long title of that Act where the words ‘Shipping Development Fund’ should be omitted and also the Part IV of that Act should also be omitted. The Chapter further requires vesting of assets and liabilities of the Shipping Development Fund Committee in the Central Government. In other words, every rights, privileges of that Committee should be treated as that of Central Government, also all properties including cash, reserved funds, etc. should also be vested with the Central Government. Also every borrowing, liabilities and Contracts, etc. which were under the control of the Committee should be treated as that of the Central Government on such abolition.

Section 5 says that whatever suits or other legal proceedings of any nature relating to fund or otherwise to the Committee are pending either by such Committee of against it, should be treated as discontinued after such abolition of the Committee, however, the suits or other legal proceedings can be continued by or against the Central Government.  Further, any money or otherwise any cash balance which were pending with the Committee before abolition are to be credited by such abolition to the Consolidated Fund of India as its part. Not only this, but any employees or officer who were appointed or employed with that Committee, should also be the part of the Central Government with all their rights and privileges in respect of pensions, gratuity and also terms and conditions of service.

The Central Government is empowered to require owner of the Ships by written notice to discharge his dues under certain circumstances which he has granted by that Committee under the agreement, even without having regard to the terms of that agreement. The circumstances includes false or misleading information in any material particular was given by such owner for procuring or continuing to procure the benefits of such financial assistance or even where such owner if failed to comply the terms or conditions mentioned in the agreement. There are also other circumstances provided under several clauses under section 8 of the Act. The Central Government is also empowered to appoint a receiver to detain and possess the ship or other assets which the owner of the ship owns in case of his failure to complying with the aforesaid notice. The power of the Receiver to also include the selling by public auction of ship or otherwise the assets, demanding and recovering incomes thereof relating to which the Receiver was appointed and other mentioned powers under section 9 of the Act. Further, the section 10 requires appointment of Directors and Administrators in relation to the same purpose and also the purposes provided under this provision. And section 11 and 12 deals with relevant provisions thereto. Section 13 of the Act specifies that any managing or other Director or even any person in charge of management of the Owner of Ship (being company) aforementioned will not be having any right to any compensation for their loss of offices under this Act.

The Act speaks for the delegation of powers to the persons designated by the Central Government. Section 18, however, protects the actions or thing, taken or done in good faith or in pursuance with the provisions of this Act, by the Central Government, Director or Administrator, etc. Even if any loss or expenses which such Directors or administrators or other will incurred, then the Central Government to indemnify those authorities. And such Directors, administrator and designated persons as aforesaid are public servants within the meaning of provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

 by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.