Indian Bare Acts

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THE INDIAN PORTS ACT, 1908

Title : THE INDIAN PORTS ACT, 1908

Year : 1908



(1) No person shall, without lawful excuse, lift, injure, loosen or set adrift any buoy, beacon or mooring fixed or laid down by, or by the authority of, the 1*[Government] in any port subject to this Act.

(2) If any person offends against the provisions of this section, he shall for every such offence be liable, in addition to the payment of the amount of damage done, to fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or to imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.

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1. Subs. by the A. O. 1937 for "L. G.".

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If any person willfully and without lawful excuse loosens or removes from her moorings any vessel within any such port without leave or authority from the owner or master of the vessel, he shall, for every such offence, be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months.



(1) No ballast or rubbish and no other thing likely to form a bank or shoal or to be detrimental to navigation, shall, without lawful excuse, be cast or thrown into any such port or into or upon any place on shore from which the same is liable to be washed into any such port, either by ordinary or high tides, or by storms or land-floods 1*[and no oil or water mixed with oil shall be discharged in or into any such port, to which any rules made under clause (ee) of sub-section (1) of section 6 apply, otherwise than in accordance with such rules.

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1. The words "the Secretary of State for India in Council" successively subs. by the A. O. 1937 and the A. O. 1950 to read as above.

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(2) Any person who by himself or another so casts or throws any ballast or rubbish or any such other thing 1*[or so discharges any oil or water mixed with oil], and the master of any vessel from which the same is so cast, 2*[thrown or discharged], shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 3*[five lakh rupees] and shall pay any reasonable expenses which may be incurred in removing the same.

(3) If, after receiving notice from the conservator of the port to desist from so casting or throwing any ballast or rubbish or such other thing 1*[or from so discharging any oil or water mixed with oil], any master continues so to cast 4*[throw or discharge the same], he shall also be liable to simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5*[one year and to fine which may extend to five lakh rupees]

(4) Nothing in this section applies to any case in which the ballast or rubbish or such other thing is cast or thrown into, 1*[or the oil or water mixed with oil is discharged in or into], any such port with the consent in writing of the conservator, or within any limits within which such act may be authorized by the 6*[Government].

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1. Ins. by Act 39 of 1923, s. 3.

2. Subs. by s. 3, ibid., for "or thrown".

3. Subs. by Act 23 of 1992, s. 4, for "five hundred rupees" (w.e.f.12.8.1992).

4. Subs. by s. 3, ibid., for "or throw it".

5. Subs. by Act 23 of 1992, s. 4, for "two hundred" (w.e.f.12.8.1992).

6. Subs. by the A. O. 1937 for "L.G.".

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If any person graves, breams or smokes any vessel in any such port, contrary to the directions of the conservator, or at any time or within any limits at or within which such act is prohibited by the 1*[Government], he and the master of the vessel shall for every such offence be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees each.



If any person boils or heats any pitch, tar, resin, dammer, turpentine, oil or other such combustible matter on board any vessel within any such port, or at any place within its limits where such act is prohibited by the 1*[Government], or contrary to the directions of the conservator, he and the master of the vessel shall for every such offence be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees each.




If any person, by an unprotected artificial light, draws off spirits on board any vessel within any port subject to this Act, he and the master of the vessel shall for every such offence be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees each.



(1) Every master of a vessel in any port subject to this Act shall, when required so to do by the conservator, permit warps or hawsers to be made fast to the vessel for the purpose of warping any other vessel in the port, and shall not allow any such warp or hawser to be let go until required so to do.

(2) A master offending against sub-section (1) shall be punishable for every such offence with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.



(1) A master of a vessel shall not cause or suffer any warp or hawser attached to his vessel to be left out in any port subject to this Act after sunset in such a manner as to endanger the safety of any other vessel navigating in the port.

(2) A master offending against sub-section (1) shall be punishable for every such offence with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.



If any person, without lawful excuse, discharges any firearm in any port subject to this Act, or on or from any pier, landing-place, wharf or quay thereof, except a gun loaded only with gun-powder for the purpose of making a signal of distress, or for such other purpose as may be allowed by the 1*[Government], he shall for every such offence be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

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1. Subs. by the A. O. 1937 for "L. G.".

78.punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

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If the master of any vessel in which fire takes place while lying in any such port willfully omits to take order to extinguish the fire or obstructs the conservator or the port-officer, or any person acting under the authority of the conservator or port-officer, in extinguishing or attempting to extinguish the fire, he shall be




(1) No person, without the permission of the conservator, shall, in any port subject to this Act, creep or sweep for anchors, cables or other stores lost or supposed to be lost therein.

(2) If any person offends against the provisions of sub-section
(1), he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees.




(1) No person without the permission of the conservator shall in any port subject to this Act remove or carry away any rock, stones, shingle, gravel, sand or soil or any artificial protection from any part of the bank or shore of the port;

and no person shall sink or bury in any part of such bank or shore, whether the same is public or private property, any mooring-
post, anchor or any other thing, or do any other thing which is likely to injure or to be used so as to injure such bank or shore, except with the permission of the conservator, and with the aid or under the inspection of such person, if any, as the conservator may appoint to take part in or overlook the performance of such work.

(2) If any person offends against sub-section (1), he shall for every such offence be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees and shall pay any reasonable expenses which may be incurred in repairing any injury done by him to the bank or shore.


Special Rules



(1) No vessel of the measurement of two hundred tons or upwards shall enter, leave or be moved in any port to which this section has been specially extended without having a pilot, harbour-
master or assistant of the port-officer or harbour-master on board;

1*[and no mechanically propelled vessel of any measurement less than two hundred tons and no other vessel of any measurement less than two hundred tons and exceeding one hundred tons] shall enter, leave or be moved in any such port without having a pilot, harbour-master or assistant of the port-officer or harbour-master on board,

79.unless authority in writing so to do has been obtained from the conservator or some officer empowered by him to give such authority:

2*Provided that the 3*[Government] may, by notification in the
Official Gazette, direct that in any port specified in such notification the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply to sailing vessels of any measurement not exceeding a measurement so specified.

(2) 4*Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1), the owner or master of a vessel which is by that sub-section required to have a pilot, harbour-master or assistant of the port-officer or harbour-
master on board, shall be answerable for any loss or damage caused by the vessel or by any fault of the navigation of the vessel, in the same manner as he would have been if he had not been so required by that sub-section:

Provided that the provisions of this sub-section shall not take effect till the first day of January, 1918, or such earlier date as the Central Government may notify in that behalf in the Official
Gazette.

(3)5* If any vessel, except in case of urgent necessity, enters, leaves or is moved in the port contrary to the provisions of sub-
section (1), the master of the vessel shall for every such offence be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, unless upon application to the proper officer the master was unable to procure a pilot, harbour-master or assistant of the port-officer or harbour-master to go on board the vessel.

6* * * * *

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1. Subs. by Act 55 of 1952, s. 3, for "and no vessel of any measurement less than two hundred tons and exceeding one hundred tons".

2. Added by Act 36 of 1925, s. 2.

3. Subs. by the A. O. 1937 for "G. G. in C."

4. Ins. by Act 6 of 1916, s. 5.4. The original sub-sections (2), (3) and (4) re-numbered as sub-
sections (3), (4) and (5) respectively by s. 5, ibid.

5. Sub-sections (4) and (5), as re-numbered by s.

6, ibid., rep. by Act 36 of 1925, s. 2.80

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(1) Every vessel exceeding the measurement of two hundred tons and lying in any port to which this section has been specially extended shall be provided with a proper force-pump and hose and appurtenances, for the purpose of extinguishing any fire which may occur on board.

(2) The master of such a vessel who, having been required by the conservator to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1), neglects or refuses, without lawful excuse, so to do for the space of seven days after such requisition, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.


Last updated on April, 2016

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