Orissa High Court vacation bench rejects plea for recall of cargo ship arrest order

The high court issued the February 23 interim order on Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT)’s admiralty suit for recovery of Rs 7.95 crore towards berth and penal berth charges from MV Debi.
Orissa High Court
Orissa High Court Photo | Express

CUTTACK: The vacation bench of Orissa High Court has rejected a plea for recall of the order for the arrest of a Panama registered cargo ship MV Debi anchored at Paradip, which was issued on February 23, 2024.

The high court’s admiralty judge had issued the February 23 interim order on Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT)’s admiralty suit for recovery of Rs 7.95 crore towards berth and penal berth charges from MV Debi.

PICT has a multipurpose berth at Paradip port on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis and operates a multipurpose clean cargo terminal catering to various customers. The admiralty suit also sought the arrest of the vessel for enforcement of maritime claim under the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017.

MV Debi had filed an interlocutory application for recall of the interim order. However, vacation judge V Narasingh on Thursday said, “This court is of the considered view that in the present IA, the Defendant (MV Debi) in the guise of the current application in nomenclature of an application for recall is in fact seeking review of the order dated 23.2.2024 which is untenable.”

The IA is not sustainable in terms of Section 14 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017, which provides for assailing such interim order in intra-court appeal to a division bench, Justice Narasingh further observed.

Starting from Egypt, MV Debi had reportedly arrived at Paradip via the Gresik port in Indonesia and was scheduled to leave for Denmark with steel plates. But, 22 kg of cocaine was allegedly seized from the vessel on December 1, 2023.

The vessel has since been stranded at Paradip.

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