In the matter of Patanjali Foods Limited v. MT Syrma, a lawsuit brought by Patanjali Foods Limited under Sections 4(1)(d) and 4(1)(f) of the Admiralty Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims Act, 2017 calling for the arrest of the defendant ship M T SYRMA. According to a sales agreement dated 30-03-2023, the plaintiff had requested 5000 metric tonnes of RBD Palm Olein from MMTC Transnational Pte. Ltd. According to the contract, MGV Commodity Pte Ltd. was to load the products from Kuala Tanjung, Indonesia, and the plaintiff was to receive them at Kakinada, an Indian port. The plaintiff paid the entire amount owed, as well as the freight and customs duties. On April 6, 2023, when the defending vessel arrived at the discharge port, it was discovered that the quantity on board was lower than the entire quantity, resulting in a final deficiency of 1.37% of the quantity specified in the bill of lading. After that, the plaintiff served a legal notice on the owner of the defendant’s vessel demanding that he compensate him for the loss he had endured, including payment of the full amount, goods on the entire cargo, and customs duties on 43.736 MT of RBD Palm Olein. The complainant had lost Rs. 63,23,732 as a result of the delivery of 68.734 MT less RBD Palm Olein than was ordered.
Analysis of Court Decision
The Port Officer and the Customs Authorities at Deendayal Port were instructed to arrest, seize, or detain the defendant vessel by the Gujrat high court single judge bench of Justice Nikhil S. Kariel.
The court had ordered the registrar of the court to issue a warrant for the arrest of MT SYRMA and all of its accessories, which are now anchored in Indian territorial waters at the Deendayal Port in Kandla. The court further ordered the defendant vessel to be arrested and detained by the port officer and customs authorities at Deendayal Port. The Court further ordered the Customs Officer at Deendayal Port to inform the Chief Engineer of the Defendant Vessel of this order through her agent. The Court further ordered that if the defendant is interested in paying the full cost of short delivery of 68.734Mts. of RBD Palm Olein, including freight and customs duty and legal costs of Rs. 15,00,000/-, aggregating to Rs. 78,23,732/-, along with additional interest on Rs. 63,23,732/- at the rate of 18% from the date of filing the suit, the said warrant of arrest shall not be executed against the defendant.