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Kasturi Commodities Pvt Ltd. v/s K. Shajahan, Proprietor of M/s. Sabah Ship Suppliers & Another

    Application Nos. 3150 to 3152 of 2013 in C.S. No. 222 of 2013
    Decided On, 26 July 2013
    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
    For the Petitioner: ----- For the Respondent: -------

Judgment Text
1. Application No.3150 of 2013 is filed under Order XIV Rule 8 of the Original Side Rules and Order XLII Rule 11 of the Original Side Rules to permit the applicant to intervene in the suit C.S.No.222 of 2013 as person interested in the defendant Vessel - M.T.Chemical Arrow (for brevity, "the Vessel"), which is now lying at the Port of Kakinada, India.

2. Application No.3151 of 2013 is filed under Order XIV Rule 8 of the Original Side Rules and Order XLII Rule 11 of the Original Side Rules to recall the order dated 19.7.2013 in Application No.2170 of 2013 in C.S.No.222 of 2013 and accept the bid of the applicant.

3. Application No.3152 of 2013 is filed under Order XIV Rule 8 of the Original Side Rules and Order XLII Rule 50 of the Original Side Rules read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure to stay the operation of the order dated 19.7.2013 declaring Maritime Ventures Fund Ltd. as the successful bidder in terms of the Auction Notice dated 11.7.2013.

4. The Admiralty Suit is filed by the Ship Chandler for recovery of money amounting to Rs.54,65,190.50. Along with the suit, Application No.1597 of 2013 was filed for arrest of the Vessel and that was ordered on 4.4.2013. Another application in A.No.1813 of 2013 was filed by crew members, who also filed a claim against the defendant, and an order was passed on 15.4.2013 extending the order of arrest to the said application as well.

5. The Vessel was carrying some cargo, which is perishable in nature and at the behest of M/s.Dharangadhara Chemical Works Limited (DCW Limited), discharge of the cargo was ordered on 22.4.2013 in Application No.1873 of 2013. The said DCW Limited have made further claim together with a plea for arrest in A.No.2437 of 2013, which was ordered on 18.6.2013.

6. On 30.4.2013, the crew filed a memo seeking a direction to maintain the ship and the crew, which was permitted, by order dated 30.4.2013.

7. At the behest of M/s.Sembmarine Kakinada Limited, Kakinada, who claims to be the repairer of the engines and other spares removed from the Vessel, arrest of the Vessel was ordered on 28.6.2013 in A.No.2200 of 2013.

8. A.No.2883 of 2013 filed by the Agents of the Vessel seeking intervention was ordered on 10.7.2013 and their claim is in relation to the agency services rendered by them amounting to Rs.10,81,856/-.

9. The crew of the Vessel filed A.No.2170 of 2013 for sale of the Vessel and since the defendant/Owners of the Vessel did not object to the same, the Court, on 9.5.2013, ordered the sale of the Vessel by inviting sealed tenders. The Advocate Commissioner was directed to file a report along with sealed tenders before this Court on 10.6.2013. In order to ensure wide publication of the sale, the Court ordered publishing the sale of the Vessel in "The Times of India", All India Edition and also on the website of the Kakinada Port Trust.

10. On 30.5.2013, further order was passed in the very same application permitting the prospective purchasers to inspect the Vessel between 3.6.2013 and 21.6.2013, namely for 19 days. As per the order dated 30.5.2013, the last date for receipt of sealed tenders by Advocate Commissioner was fixed on 27.6.2013 and the opening of the sealed tenders was fixed on 28.6.2013.

11. On 28.6.2013, the Advocate Commissioner presented two sealed covers and the valuation report of the Valuer - M/s.Admiralty Marine Services, Chennai, before the Court. On 28.6.2013, the sealed tenders were opened, but the value quoted by the two bidders was not disclosed to anyone. The report of the valuer was verified and on comparison of the valuer's report and the price quoted by the two persons, the Court felt that the margin was wide. It was pointed out by the learned counsel for the two bidders, who have given their offers, that many parts of the Vessel like engine and other spare parts necessary for running the Vessel were taken for repair and had not been repaired and replaced and, therefore, the Vessel is immobile and not conducive for sailing and at best it can be considered only for demolition.

12. The Court, in order to doubly ensure that the value fixed by the Valuer - M/s.Admiralty Marine Services is the correct price, thought it fit not to declare the sale in favour of one or the other party and the Valuer was asked to give a fresh report and be present before this Court on 1.7.2013. On 1.7.2013, the matter was adjourned to 4.7.2013, on which date the Valuer - M/s.Admiralty Marine Services gave a f

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urther report reiterating the value, except for a marginal difference on the lower side for demolition of the Vessel, citing dollar fluctuation. Thereafter, the matter was taken up on 10.7.2013 and a detailed order was passed as under: "2. This Court ordered paper publication for sale of the Vessel - M.T.Chemical Arrow. Consequent to the same, a report has been filed by the Advocate Commissioner setting out the details of intending purchasers. Their details are as follows: Sl. No.<