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N. BHAGYARAJ V/S THE DISTRICT COLLECTOR, THOOTUKUDI DISTRICT, THOOTUKUDI & OTHERS, decided on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
[ In the Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, W.P.(MD).No. 3166 of 2014 & M.P.Nos.1, 2 & 4 of 2014. ] 30/07/2014
Judge(s) : R. SUBBIAH
Advocate(s) : M. Ajmal Khan, Senior Counsel M/s. Ajmal Associates, assisted by A. Velan. R1 & R2, A. Muthukaruppan, AGP, R3 to R6, N. Dilip Kumar.
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    (Prayer : Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for issuance of a writ of Certiorarified Mandamus to call for the records relating to the impugned proceedings of the 2nd Respondent vide Na.ka.No.638/2013 dated 06.02.2014 and to quash the same as illegal and consequently direct the 2nd respondent to register and grant licence to the ship of the petitioner in accordance with law.)The present writ petition has been filed by the petitioner seeking to quash the impugned order of the 2nd respondent in Na.Ka.No.638/2013 dated 06.02.2014 whereby the 2nd respondent refused to register the mechanized fishing vessel of the petitioner thereby not allowed the petitioner to berth his fishing vessel at the fishing harbour stating that the petitioner's fishing vessel is having the length of more than 20 meters and fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine of less than 150 horse power.2. The case of the petitioner is that he has been in the profession of fishing for the past 15 years. He entered into an agreement with J.Xavier Boat Building Yard for the construction of a deep sea-fishing vessel. While his fishing vessel was under the process of construction the 2nd respondent inspected the premises of the Boat Building Yard and expressed his displeasure to the construction of the petitioner's vessel. Consequently the 2nd respondent vide Na.Ka.No.638/2013 dated 06.02.2014 communicated the petitioner that the fishing vessel exceeding the length of 20 metres cannot be registered and it will not be allowed to enter the port premises by the operation of the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1983 (in short “TNMFR Act''). The said communication was sent to the petitioner based on a resolution dated 19.05.2013 passed by the Thoothukudi Fishing Harbour Management Society for advancement of Fisherman. As per the said resolution the fishing vessels of more than 20 meters shall not be allowed to enter the port premises and use the facilities of port after 01.06.2013. Based on the said resolution a decision was taken by the 2nd respondent that fishing vessels of more than 20 metres shall not be allowed to enter the port premises. This decision of the 2nd respondent was communicated through the impugned order dated 06.02.2014 to the petitioner. Aggrieved over the action of the 2nd respondent the petitioner has made a representation to the 2nd respondent on 17.02.2014. However the representation of the petitioner was not considered by the 2nd respondent. Hence the petitioner has come forward with the present writ petition to quash the impugned proceedings of the 2nd respondent dated 06.02.2014 and consequently to direct the 2nd respondent to register the fishing vessel of the petitioner and to grant licence to his fishing vessel.3. By an interim order dated 04.04.2014 based on the affidavit of undertaking given by the petitioner that he will not venture into the sea for fishing in the event of he being allowed to dock his vessel in the port premises this Court directed the respondents to allow the petitioner to dock his vessel in the port premises pending disposal of the writ petition.4. While so the respondents 3 to 6 viz. 1) Muthunagar Mechanized Boat Owners Association Fishing Harbour South Beach Road Thoothukudi-1 represented by it's Secretary Mr.Joeboy 2)Joe Boy 3)B.Britto & 4)Parthiban filed a petition to implead them as parties in the writ petition. Accordingly by order dated 11.06.2014 they were impleaded as respondents 3 to 6 in this writ petition.5. It is the case of the respondents 3 to 6 that the Government of Tamil Nadu has issued a Government Order in G.O.Ms.No.73 Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries (Fs.1) Department dated 24.07.2009 providing for establishment of management committees involving officials and fishermen for the maintenance of Fishing Harbours. As per the said GO the Thoothukudi Fishing Harbour Management Society was formed. The said Society passed a resolution on 19.05.2013 prohibiting the grant of any new permission to any new fishing vessel constructed beyond the length of 20 meters. The Assistant Director of Fisheries (Fishing Harbour Management) Thoothukudi issued a communication dated 10.12.2013 to the Presidents of all the Mechanized Fishing groups indicating that under the revised regulations Mechanized Fishing Vessels cannot exceed a length of 20 meters and that the request to register any new Mechanized Fishing Vessel of more than 20 meters will not be entertained. In fact by the Government Order in G.O.Ms.No.166 dated 22.08.1995 the Government of Tamil Nadu has empowered the authority to refuse berthing place to any Deep Sea-Fishing Vessel in the notified place of berthing in cases of non-registration non-renewal of fishing licence and non-availability of space in the notified place of berth. The petitioner's fishing vessel is having the length of more than 20 meters and fitted with mechanical means of propulsion of having an engine of more than 150 horse power. Now the petitioner is seeking registration of his mechanized fishing vessel. The competent authority viz. the Assistant Director of Fisheries (2nd respondent herein) can insist upon the petitioner to have the length of the vessel within 20 meters and fit the vessel with an engine with a capacity of less than 150 horse power. On the other hand if the petitioner seeks for registration of his deep sea-fishing vessel he has to go before the Surveyor-in-charge of Mercantile Marine Department Thoothukudi. So far as the registration / license of the petitioner's deep sea-fishing vessel is concerned the same has to be considered only by the Mercantile Marine Department established under the Mercantile Shipping Act 1958 and Marine Product Export Development Authority Act 1972. In fact till date the petitioner has not registered his vessel and he did not obtain any licence for using his fishing vessel from the competent authority under the Mercantile Shipping Act 1958. According to the respondents 4 to 6 if any order is passed in this writ petition allowing the petitioner's deep sea-fishing vessel to berth in the notified area it will directly affect their fishing rights. Thus they sought for dismissal of the writ petition.6. I have carefully heard the submissions made on either side and perused the materials available on record.7. The present writ petition has been filed by the petitioner since the 2nd respondent has refused to register his mechanized fishing vessel and thereby not allowed the petitioner to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour. From a reading of the impugned order passed by the 2nd respondent dated 06.02.2014 it could be understood that the 2nd respondent has not only refused to register the mechanized fishing vessel of the petitioner but also not allowed him to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour. The 2nd respondent has refused to register the petitioner's mechanized fishing vessel stating that since it is with the length of more than 20 meters the same cannot be registered under the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1983 (in short TAMFR Act). By the impugned order the 2nd respondent has also refused to grant permission to the petitioner to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour based on the resolution dated 19.02.2013 passed in the meeting of the Thoothukudi Fishing Harbour management Society in which it has been decided that no new fishing vessel with the length of more than 20 meters shall be permitted to berth in the notified area. Pursuant to the said resolution the Joint Director of Fisheries/President of Fishing Harbour Management Committee Thoothukudi issued a communication dated 10.06.2013 vide his proceedings in Na.Ka.No.544 of 2009 stating that after 01.06.2013 no new Mechanized Fishing Vessel with a length of more than 20 meters will be allowed to berth in the Thoothukdi Fishing Harbour.8. With regard to the refusal to register the petitioner's mechanized fishing vessel it is the main submission of the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner that it is incorrect to state that since the petitioner's vessel is with a length of more than 20 meters he has to approach the competent authority under the Mercantile Marine Department established under the Mercantile Shipping Act 1958 and Marine Product Export Development Authority Act 1972. In this regard the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner invited the attention of this Court to the object of the Marine Product Export Development Authority Act 1972 (in short 'MPEDA Act') Act and submitted that the object of the said Act is only to provide for the establishment of an Authority for the development of the marine products industry under the control of the Union and for matters connected therewith. The MPEDA Act mandates registration of every fishing vessel which is used for transportation of marine products and the said Act does not seek to regulate fishing activities. So far as the present case is concerned the petitioner intends to undertake fishing activity and not transportation of marine products hence the registration of the vessel under MPEDA Act is not necessary. Similarly the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 seeks to regulate and provide registration for ships involved in mercantile activities. Under the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 any ship or vessel which is involved in trade and commerce shall be registered. The petitioner's vessel cannot come within the ambit of Merchant Shipping Act 1958. The Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1983 shall govern the fishing activity within the territory of India along the coast line of Tamil Nadu. Therefore the 2nd respondent herein alone is the competent authority to register the petitioner's vessel.9. Further to fortify his contention the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner has also invited the attention of this Court to the Entry 57 in List-I of Schedule-VII of the Constitution and submitted that fishing and fisheries beyond territorial waters alone come under the domain of the Central Government. But as per Entry 21 in List-II of Schedule-7 of the Constitution ''fisheries” comes under the domain of the State Government. In this regard the learned senior counsel for the petitioner has also invited the attention of this Court to an Order/Notification issued by the Central Government vide F.No.21002/12/2001-FY(Ind) Government of India Ministry of Agriculture Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying & Fisheries dated 18.01.2013 under which the Central Government has issued new guidelines for conduct of fishing operation in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone and the said guidelines will be binding on all deep-sea fishing vessels operating in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone. The said guidelines only regulates the Deep Sea-Fishing Vessel which carry on fishing activities beyond the territorial limits ie. 12 nautical miles from the shore line (Territorial waters). So far as the present case is concerned the petitioner has no intention to carry fishing activities beyond the territorial waters of India ie. beyond 12 nautical miles from the shore line. Under such circumstances the 2nd respondent may be directed to register the petitioner's vessel and permit him to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour.10. Per contra it is the reply of the learned Additional Government Pleader that petitioner's vessel is a deep sea-fishing vessel and it is more than 20 meters length and fitted with mechanical means of propulsion of having an engine of more than 150 horse power. The Deep Sea-fishing Vessel can be registered only under the MPEDA Act. Only the vessels which are less than 20 meters length and fitted with mechanical means of propulsion of having an engine of less than 150 horse power can be registered under the TAMFR Act.11. In this regard the learned counsel for the respondents 3 to 6 has also made an elaborate argument by inviting the attention of this Court to various provisions of the TAMFR Act. The learned counsel for the respondents 3 to 6 by inviting the attention of this Court to Section 10 of the TAMFR Act submitted that a very reading of Section 10 of the said Act would show that the fishing vessels which are not registered under Section 11 of the MPEDA Act alone can be registered under the TAMFR Act. Thus the learned counsel for the respondents 3 to 6 submitted that a very reading of Section 10 of TNMFR Act would show that certain category of vessels have to be registered under the MPEDA Act and not under the TNMFR Act. Therefore it is incorrect to state that all the vessels which are involved in fishing activities have to be registered only by the 2nd respondent herein.12. Further the learned counsel for the respondents 3 to 6 submitted that the State Government of Tamil Nadu had enacted the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act with an intention to secure the principles laid down in Article 39(b)(c) of the Constitution of India. Under the said Act the Government have also framed the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Rules 1983. The object of the TNMFR Act is only to provide for the regulation restriction and prohibition of fishing by fishing vessels in the sea along the whole or part of the coast line of the State. So far as the registration of deep sea vessel is concerned which travel beyond the territorial waters of India ie. beyond 12 nautical miles the competent authority is the one who is appointed under the MPEDA Act.13. In this regard by way of reply the learned senior counsel for the petitioner submitted that as per Section 5 of the TNMFR Act the power to regulate restrict or prohibit fishing in a specified area and other condition incidental to the same is vested with the State Government and similarly under Section 7 of the TNMFR Act the authorised officer under the said Act only can grant licence for fishing vessel. Therefore the 2nd respondent herein alone is the competent authority to register the petitioner's vessel.14. In view of the submissions made on either sides the question that falls for consideration is_ Whether this Court can direct the 2nd respondent to register the fishing vessel of the petitioner?15. Before entering into the discussion on the submissions made on either side it would appropriate to extract the provisions of law. The definitions for 'Fishing Vessel' and 'Mechanized Fishing Vessel' as defined under Section 3(e) & (g) of the TNMFR Act.TNMFR Act 3(e) ''fishing vessel'' means a ship or boat whether or not fitted with mechanical means of propulsion which is engaged in sea-fishing for profit and includes_(i) a deep sea-fishing vessel (ii) a mechanized fishing vessel (iii) a catamaran (iv) a country craft including Vallom or(v) a canoe engaged in sea-fishing;3(g) ”mechanised fishing vessel'' means a ship or boat fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine of not less than fifteen Horse Power but not more than one hundred and twenty Horse Power and measuring in length not less than eight meters and not more than fifteen meters but does not include a deep sea-fishing vessel and a ''deep sea-fishing vessel” means a ship or boast fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine of not less than one hundred and twenty Horse Power and measuring in length not less than fifteen meters;Section 5 of TNMFR Act reads as follows:-Power to regulate restrict or prohibit certain matters within specified area_ (1) The Government may having regard to the matters referred to in sub- section (2) by notification _(a) regulate restrict or prohibit the fishing in any specified area by such class or classes of fishing vessels as may be specified in such notification; or(b) regulate restrict the number of fishing vessels which may be used for fishing in any specified area; or(c) regulate restrict or prohibit the catching in any specified area of such species of fish and such period as may be specified in the notification; or(d) regulate restrict or prohibit the use of such fishing gear in any specified area as may be specified in the notification; or(e) fix the hours in a day during which any person may carry on fishing in any specified area using such class or classes of fishing vessels as may be specified in such notification.(2) In issuing a notification under sub-section (1) the Government shall have regard to the following matters namely:—(a) the need to protect the interest of different sections of persons engaged in fishing particularly those engaged in fishing using traditional fishing craft such as catamaran country craft or canoe;(b) the need to conserve fish and to regulate fishing on a scientific basis;(c) the need to maintain law and order in the sea;(d) such other matters as may be prescribed.(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (2) no owner or master of a mechanized fishing vessel shall use or cause or allow to be used such fishing vessel for fishing operation in the sea within three nautical miles from the coast line in the State and the owner or master of a mechanized fishing vessel shall use or cause or allow to be used such mechanized fishing vessels only beyond three nautical miles from the coast line in the State and such operation beyond three nautical miles shall be subject to the conditions specified in the schedule to this Act.(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (2) no owner or master of a deep sea fishing vessel shall use or cause or allow to be used such fishing vessels for fishing operation in the sea within three nautical miles from the coastline in the State and the owner or master of a deep sea fishing vessels shall use or cause or allow to be used such deep sea fishing vessel only beyond three nautical miles from the coastline in the State and such operation beyond three nautical miles shall be subject to such conditions as the Government may by notification specify.Section 7 of TNMFR Act reads as follows:-Licensing of fishing vessels.— (1) The owner of a fishing vessels may make an application to the authorised officer for the grant of a licence for using such fishing vessel for fishing in any specified area.(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in such form contain such particulars and be accompanied with such fees as may be prescribed.(3) The authorised officer may after making such enquiry as he deems fit and having regard to the matters referred to in sub section (4) either grant or refuse to grant to the owner of the fishing vessels a licence for using such fishing vessel for fishing in the specified area or specified areas.(4) In granting or refusing licence under sub section (3) the authorised officer shall have regard to the following namely:—(a) whether the fishing vessel is a registered fishing vessel.(b) the condition of the fishing vessel including the accessories and fishing gear with which it is fitted.(c) any notification issued under section 5.(d) such other matters as may be prescribed.(5) A licence granted under this section shall be in such form and subject to such conditions including conditions as to payment of such fees and furnishing such security for the due performance of the conditions as may be prescribed:Provided that different fees and different amounts by way of security may be prescribed in respect of licences for different classes of fishing vessels.(6) A licence granted under this section shall be valid for the period specified therein or for such extended period as the authorised officer may think fit to allow in any case.Section 10 of TNMFR Act reads as follows:-Registration of fishing vessels –(1) The owner of every fishing vessel not being a fishing vessel registered under section 11 of the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act 1972 (Central Act 13 of 1972) shall register such fishing vessel under this Act.(2) Every application for registration of such fishing vessel shall be made by the owner thereof to the authorised officer in such form and shall be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed_(a) before the expiration of one month from the date of which he first became the owner of such fishing vessel; or(b) before the expiration of three months from the commencement of this Act whichever is later;Provided that the authorised officer may for sufficient reason to be recorded in writing extend the time limit for registration any such period as he thinks fit.(3) The authorised officer shall issue to the owner of the fishing vessel registered by him a certificate of registration in the prescribed form and shall enter in a register to be kept by him in such form as may be prescribed the particulars of such certificate.(4) The certificate of registration once issued shall continue to be in force unless it is cancelled or suspended by the authorised officer.(5) Every fishing vessel registered under this section shall carry a registration mark assigned to it by the authorised officer displayed in the prescribed manner.(5-A) No fishing vessel shall be registered under this section unless such vessel carry buoy first aid box equipment for communication and such life saving and fire fighting appliances as may be prescribed.(5-B). The owner of a fishing vessel which has been registered under this section before the date of commencement of the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation (Amendment) Act 2000 shall provide buoy first aid box equipment for communication and such life saving and fire fighting appliances as may be prescribed in such fishing vessel within thirty days from such commencement.(6) No fishing vessel other than the registered fishing vessel shall be entitled to a licence under Section 7.MPEDA Act Definition for ''Fishing Vessel” given under Section 3(g) of Marine Products Export Development Authority Act 1972 (MPEDA Act) reads as follows:- “fishing Vessel” means a ship or boat fitted with mechanical means of propulsion which is exclusively engaged in sea-fishing for profit;Section 11 of the MPEDA Act reads as follows:-Section 11_ (1)Every owner of a fishing vessel processing plant or storage premises for marine products or conveyance used for the transport of marine products shall before the expiration of one month from the date on which he first became owner of such fishing vessel processing plant storage premises or conveyance or before the expiration of three months from the date of coming into force of this section whichever is later apply to the authority for registration under this Act of every such fishing vessel processing plant storage premises or conveyance owned by him;(2) Registration once made shall continue to be in force until it is cancelled by the authority.16. From a reading of Sections 3(e) & (g) and Section 10 of the TNMFR Act it could be seen that all the fishing vessels except the vessels which are required to be registered under Section 11 of MPEDA Act can be registered with the 2nd respondent. 'Deep Sea-Fishing Vessel' means a ship or boat fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine of not less than 120 Horse Power and measuring in length not less than fifteen meters. Now as admitted by both sides by the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation (Amendment) Act 2011 the length of the fishing vessel viz. 15 meters has been amended as 20 meters and engine capacity viz. 120 horse power has been amended as 150 horse power.17. Admittedly in this case the petitioner's vessel is fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine of more than 150 horse power. However he had stated that its length is only 19.5 meters and it is having the capacity to travel beyond the territorial waters of India ie beyond 12 nautical miles. But the petitioner has filed an affidavit of undertaking before this Court stating that he will do his fishing activities only within the territorial waters of India. From the said affidavit it could be easily inferred that his vessel is having the capacity of travelling beyond the territorial waters for fishing activities. Therefore the vessel owned by the petitioner is only a Deep Sea-Fishing Vessel. Since the vessel can travel beyond the territorial waters to carry on fishing activities the competent authority to register the vessel is only the authority under the MPEDA Act. In this regard a reference could be placed on the Judgment delivered by this Court reported in W.P.No.39122/2013 40864/2003 etc. in the case of The Thoothukudi Mavatta Then Paguthi Nattupadgu kattumara Meenava Samuthaya Sangam Vz. The Mechanised Boat Finding Development Association and others wherein it has been held as follows:-“15. All fishing vessels defined under Section 3 of the Act are required to be registered under Section 10 of the Act except those that are registered under the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act 1972 (Act 13 of 1972) (hereinafter referred to as MPEDA). However mechanised fishing vessels deep sea fishing vessels and others are all required to be licensed under Section 7 of the Act read with Rule 4 4A and any fishing vessel of whatever category they may belong cannot cause or allow to use that vessel for fishing in view of the express prohibition under Section 8 of the Act without complying with Rules 4 and 5 as amended. Under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1958 and the Amendment Act 1983 the fishing vessels are also covered with regard to registration and operation. It provides for appointment of crews with certificates of competency issued by the Mercantile Marine Department under the Ministry of Surface Transport Government of India. As per clauses (d) and (g) of sub-section (4) of Section 76 for manning both deck as well as Engine certified skipper Grade II and certified Engine Driver are to be appointed. It is also mandatory on the part of the deep sea fishing vessels to comply the above provision. It is brought to my notice that in conformity with the above Act the Government notified the conditions stipulating provisions for complement of crew life saving appliances operation timings with regard to entering and leaving the port etc. As rightly pointed out by the learned Advocate General the impugned orders in Writ Petition No. 40864/2002 were issued only as executive instructions to the Assistant Director of Fisheries (Marine) Tuticorin with regard to complement of crew accordingly the said letter issued to the petitioner Association is not illegal and not ultra vires. The Assistant Director of Fisheries has reproduced the grades of the certificate of competency and insisted the set of crews stipulated in Merchant Shipping Act to be appointed in deep sea fishing vessels. As rightly pointed out by the learned Advocate General the Marine Products Export Development Authority is only a registration authority and not a regulatory authority on marine fishing. It is also brought to my notice that as on date no licence for deep sea fishing vessels has been granted as they have not satisfied the conditions laid down in Notification in accordance with Section 5 (4) of the Tamil Nadu Act VIII of 1983.16. The Central Act XLIV of 1958 deals with crew qualifications according to the tonnage and power of the vessels. Section 7 6(4)(a) to (g) deals with certificate of competency and Section 78 deals with grades of certificates for skipper second hand Engineer Engine driver of a fishing vessel. There is no dispute that every fishing vessel i.e. deep sea and mechanised are bound to comply with the requirements of the Central Act and also that of the State Act for the purpose of venturing into the sea. Accordingly while the area of operation of the State Act is upto 12 nautical miles (territorial waters) from the shore line of the State concerned the area of operation of the Central Act encompasses from the shoreline to the 12 nautical miles up-to 24 nautical miles and beyond into the International Zone. Fishing vessels i.e. deep sea and mechanised (as defined under the Tamil Nadu Act VIII/1983) are by the said Tamil Nadu Act and Rules permitted to operate in territorial waters after obtaining registration and the licence as applicable to their category as hereunder:a) Mechanised Fishing vessels-upto 120 HP-beyond 3 nautical miles from 5 A.M. to 9 P.M. on the same day (as per Schedule to Section 5 (3) of the Act; and b)Deep sea fishing vessels above 120 HP beyond 3 nautical miles in waters above 25 fathoms - from 6 hours to 18 hours.Inasmuch as their area of operation begins from the coast line beyond territorial waters the deep sea vessels and mechanised vessels are mandatory bound to comply with the requirements and regulations of the Tamil Nadu Act VIII/1983 and the Central Act XLIV/1958 referred above. It is demonstrated before me that all members of the Mechanised Boat Fishing Development Association are all business-men and not traditional fishermen carrying on the avocation of fishing. Though all of them registered under the EMPEDA it is pointed out that they do not possess licence as deep sea fishing vessel in accordance with the Tamil Nadu Act VIII/1983 and also do not possess requirements of insurance life saving appliances fire fighting devices radio appliances and complement of crew as required under the said Tamil Nadu Act. They also do not possess any registration under the Central Act XLIV of 1958 and they also do not possess complement of crew life saving devices fire fighting appliances and radio equipments etc. under the Central Act.”A reading of the above said judgment would show that the deep see fishing vessels are bound to comply with the requirements of the Central Act and also that of the State Act for the purpose of venturing into the sea. When that being the position with regard to the deep sea fishing vessels the competent authority to register the vessels is only under the MPEDA Act and not under TNMFR Act. Though the learned senior counsel for the petitioner made a submission by referring to Sections 5 and 7 of TAMFR Act that the power to regulate and grant licence is only with the authority under the said Act and as such all the fishing vessels have to be registered only with the competent authority appointed under the said Act I am of the opinion that the said submission is not legally sustainable for the reason that the question of regulating and granting licence to the fishing vessel would arise only after registering the vessel. Under Section 10 of the TNMFR Act it has been clearly stated that the owner of every fishing vessel not being a fishing vessel registered under section 11 of MPEDA Act alone can register the vessel. Therefore it is clear only certain categories of vessels can be registered under the said Act and not the vessels which is to be registered under the MPEDA Act.18. Therefore I am not inclined to accept the submissions made by the learned senior counsel for the petitioner that under the MPEDA Act the petitioner's fishing vessel need not be registered since the petitioner's fishing vessel is connected only with the fishing activities and on the other hand the object of MPEDA Act is only to provide for the establishment of an authority for the development of the marine products industry under the control of the Union and for the matters connected therewith. Even in the Registration Form-I mentioned under Rule 3 of the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Rules 1983 fees for registration of the vessels were prescribed only for the following categories of vessels viz. (a)Mechanised Fishing Vessel (b)Country craft cluding Vallam or Canoe (c)Catamaran. Among the categories of the vessels mentioned in Form-I 'deep sea-fishing vessel' does not find a place. Therefore it is clear that under TNMFR Act except deep sea-fishing vessel the other vessels can be registered by the 2nd respondent. So far as the deep sea-fishing vessel is concerned which is having the length of more than 20 meters and fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine capacity of more than 150 horse power the competent authority for registration is only the Surveyor (in-charge) Mercantile Department as per the Notification dated 02.07.2013 vide GSR.449(E) issued by the Ministry of Shipping (Merchant Shipping).19. It is a categorical submission of the learned senior counsel for the petitioner that the MPEDA Act mandates registration of every fishing vessel which is used for transportation of marine products and the said Act does not seek to regulate fishing activities. Similarly the conjoint reading of the object of Section 22 and Section 435(d) & (e) of Merchant Shipping Act would show that it is not for regulating fishing activities and it is only for a registration of all ships. Thus according to the learned senior counsel for the petitioner there is no provision to register the fishing vessel engaged in fishing activities under the Central Act and so far as registration is concerned it has to be done only under the State Act. But on a perusal of Form-I prescribed under Rule 33 of MPEDA Rules for registration of the fishing vessel under EMPEDA Act I find that in the said application-form several particulars have been sought for registration of the fishing vessel. Form-I prescribed under Rule 33 of MPEDA Rules is extracted hereunder_Form – ITHE MARINE PRODUCTS EXPORT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY RULES 1972(See Rule 33)Form of application for registration of fishing vessels1. Name and address of the applicant (in full)2. Name of the fishing vessel3. Particulars of registration if any done previously4. Particulars of registration under the Merchant Shipping Act 19535. Where and when the fishing vessel was secured6. Particulars of fishing vessel(a) Length(b) Breadth(c) Draft(d) H.P. of the Engine(e) Type of vessel7. Place where constructed8. Year of construction9. The Port where it is proposed to operate10. Number of crew11. Mode of payment of registration feesPlace:Date: Signature of applicantVerificationI........................... do hereby declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief the above information is correct and complete.Place :Date : SignatureNote: A lay-out of the fishing vessel should be sent along with this application.Under Serial No.3 particulars of registration if any done previously has been sought for. Under Serial No.4 particulars of Registration under the Merchant Shipping Act 1953 has been sought for. Since the particulars of Registration under the Merchant Shipping Act has been sought for in the Form provided under Rule 33 of MPEDA Act the definition given under the Merchant Shipping Act for 'fishing vessel' has to be taken into consideration for the registration of vessel. In the Merchant Shipping Act the 'fishing vessel' is defined under Section 3(12) of the Act as follows:-3(12). “fishing vessel” means a ship fitted with mechanical means of propulsion which exclusively engaged in as fishing for profit;The same definition was given for 'fishing vessel' in Section 3(g) of MPEDA Act also. Therefore a reading of definition that has been given in both the Central Acts would give a clear inference that if the fishing vessel fitted with mechanised means of propulsion which exclusively engaged in fishing for profit needs to be registered under the said Act. Hence except the categories of vessels mentioned in TNMFR Act other vessels have to be registered with competent authority empowered under the Central Acts. Therefore the submission made by the learned senior counsel for the petitioner that all the fishing vessels engaged in fishing activities have to be registered only under the State Act is not legally sustainable.20. It is yet another submission of the learned senior counsel for the petitioner that the petitioner's vessel is having the length of less than 20 meters and as such the 2nd respondent is the competent authority to register his vessel the said claim of the petitioner was disputed by the respondents. According to the respondents the petitioner's vessel is having the length of more than 20 meters and the vessel is fitted with mechanical means of propulsion having an engine capacity of more than 150 horse power hence the petitioner's vessel cannot be registered by the 2nd respondent.21. Therefore from the rival submissions of both sides I am of the opinion that the issued involved in this writ petition requires determination of several disputed questions of facts. But it is well settle legal position that disputed questions of facts can not be gone into in the writ petition since this Court can not conduct any roving enquiry on the disputed facts in the writ petition filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India. If the petitioner feels aggrieved by the order of the 2nd respondent he has to seek alternative remedy of appeal under Section 14 of the TNMFR Act. Hence on the ground of availability of alternative remedy also this writ petition is liable to be dismissed.22. It is the further submission of the learned senior counsel for the petitioner that by the impugned order dated 06.02.2014 the petitioner was not permitted to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour and hence a direction may be issued to permit the petitioner to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour by quashing the said order. The first requirement to berth the vessel in the fishing harbour is the registration of the vessel. Only after registering the vessel the question of permitting the vessel to berth in the fishing harbour can be considered. But in the instant case the petitioner's vessel has not been registered so far. Since the petitioner's vessel has not been registered so far at this stage the question of directing the respondents to permit the petitioner to berth his vessel does not arise. Further by the impugned order dated 06.02.2014 the 2nd respondent has communicated the petitioner that his vessel cannot be permitted to be registered and permitted to be berthed in the fishing harbour based on the resolution dated 19.05.2013 passed in the meeting of the Thoothukudi Fishing Harbour Management Society. But the said resolution dated 19.05.2013 was not challenged by the petitioner. Without challenging the said resolution the petitioner cannot ask for quashing of the consequential impugned order. Therefore the second prayer of the petitioner to direct the 2nd respondent to permit the petitioner to berth his vessel in the fishing harbour also cannot be granted.23. For the foregoing reasons I do not find any merit in the writ petition and the same liable to be dismissed. Accordingly the writ petition is dismissed. Consequently the interim order dated 04.04.2014 passed by this Court is vacated and the connected Miscellaneous Petitions are closed. However there is no order as to costs.