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THE MAJOR PORT TRUSTS ACT, 1963

Title : THE MAJOR PORT TRUSTS ACT, 1963

Year : 1963



(1) With effect from such date as may be specified by notification in the Official Gazette, the Central Government shall cause to be constituted in respect of any major port a Board of Trustees to be called the Board of Trustees of that port, which shall consist of the following Trustees, namely:-

(a) A Chairman to be appointed by the Central Government;

(b)1* one Deputy Chairman or more, as the Central Government may deem fit to appoint;

(c)2* not more than nineteen persons in the case of each of the ports of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and not more than seventeen persons in the case of any other port who shall consist of-

(i) Such number of persons, as the Central Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, to be appointed by that Government from amongst persons who are in its opinion capable of representing any one or more of such of the following interests as may be specified in the notification, namely:

(1) Labour employed in the port;

(2) The Mercantile Marine Department;

(3) The Customs Department;

(4) The Government of the State in which the port is situated;

(5) The Defence Services;

(6) The Indian Railways; and

(7) Such other interests as, in the opinion of the Central

Government, ought to be represented on the Board:

Provided that before appointing any person to represent the labour employed in the port, the Central Government shall obtain the opinion of the trade unions, if any, composed of persons employed in the port and registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and that the number of persons so appointed shall not be less than two;

(ii) Such number of persons, as the Central Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, to be elected by such bodies and representing any one or more of such of the following interests as may be specified in the notification from among themselves, namely:

(1) Ship owners;

(2) Owners of sailing vessels;

(3) Shippers; and

(4) Such other interests as, in the opinion of the Central Government, ought to be represented on the Board:

Provided that in a case where any such body is an undertaking owned or controlled by the Government, the person to be elected by such body shall be appointed by the Central Government.

(2) A Trustee appointed by the Central Government under this Act may be appointed by name or by virtue of office.

(3) Every notification issued under 3*[sub-clause (ii) of clause (c) of sub-section (1)] may also specify the number of Trustees that each of the bodies referred to in that clause may elect.

(4) The election of Trustees under 3*[sub-clause (ii) of clause (c) of sub-section (1)] shall be held within such period as may, from time to time, be specified by the Central Government.

(5) The chief executive authority of every electing body shall communicate forthwith to the Central Government the result of any election held in pursuance of sub-section (4).

(6) The names of persons appointed or elected as Trustees shall be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

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1. Subs. by Act 17 of 1982, s. 3, for cl. (b) (w.e.f. 31.5.1982).

2. Subs. by Act 29 of 1974, s. 4, for cl. (c) (w.e.f. 1.2.1975).

3. Subs. by s. 4 ibid., for certain words (w.e.f. 1.2.1975).

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(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 3, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute in respect of any major port the first Board of Trustees thereof consisting of-

(a) A Chairman to be appointed by the Central Government;

(b) A Deputy Chairman, if the Central Government deems fit to appoint one; and

(c) Such number of other Trustees, 1*[not exceeding seventeen] as that Government may deem expedient, to be appointed by that Government from amongst persons who are in its opinion capable of representing,-

(i) Labour employed in the port;

(ii) Government of the State in which the port is situated;

(iii) Government departments specified 2*[in sub-clause (i) of clause (c)] of sub-section (1) of section 3; and

(iv) Such other interests as, in the opinion of the Central Government, ought to be represented on the Board.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the persons appointed as Trustees under sub-section (1) shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government.

(3) On the constitution of the Board under section 3, the first Board of Trustees shall cease to exist.

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1. Subs. by Act 29 of 1974, s. 4, cl. (d) of sub-section (1) (w.e.f.1.2.1975).

2. Subs. by s. 5, ibid., for certain words.

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Every Board constituted under this Act shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold or dispose of property and may by the name by which it is constituted, sue or be sued.



A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as a Trustee, if he:

(a) Has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or

(b) Is an undischarged insolvent; or

(c) holds any office of profit under the Board:

1*Provided that this disqualification shall not apply to the Chairman, Deputy Chairman or a Trustee who has been appointed to represent the labour employed in the port or appointed by virtue of office as officer or member of an association formed for the purpose of promoting the interests or welfare of any class of employees of the Board;

(d) Has, directly or indirectly, any share or interest in any work done by order of the Board, or in any contract or employment, with, by, or on behalf of the Board:

Provided that no person shall be deemed to have a share or interest in such work, contract or employment by reason only of his-

(i) Having a share in any company or firm which may contract with or be employed by or on behalf of the Board, or

(ii) Having a share or interest in any newspaper in which any advertisement relating to the affairs of the Board may be inserted, or

(iii) Being interested in any loan of money to the Board, or
(iv) having a share or interest in any lease, sale, exchange or purchase of immovable property or any agreement for the same, or

(v) Having a share or interest in any licence by the Board, or right by agreement or otherwise with the Board to the sole or preferential use of any railway siding or any berth for vessels in the docks belonging to the Board, or

(vi) Having a share or interest in the occasional sale to the Board, to a value not exceeding ten thousand rupees in any one financial year, of any article in which he trades.

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1. Subs. by Act 29 of 1974, s. 6, for the former proviso (w.e.f.1.2.1975).

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(1) The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act:

(a) Every person elected or appointed by name to be a Trustee shall hold office to which he is elected or so appointed, for a term of two years commencing on the 1st day of April next following his election or appointment, as the case may be:

Provided
that the term of office of a member elected to represent any body of persons shall come to an end as soon as he ceases to be a member of that body;

(b) A person appointed by virtue of an office to be a Trustee shall, until the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette otherwise directs, continue to be a Trustee so long as he continues to hold that office.



(1) The Central Government shall remove a Trustee if he:

(a) Becomes subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in section 6; or

(aa) 1*has, in the opinion of the Central Government, ceased to represent the interest by virtue of which he was appointed or elected; or

(b) Refuses to act or becomes incapable of acting; or

(c) Is, without the permission of the Board previously obtained, absent from six consecutive ordinary meetings of the Board; or

(d) Is absent from the meetings of the Board for a period exceeding six consecutive months; or

(e) Acts in contravention of the provisions of section 19.

(2) A Trustee may resign his office by giving notice in writing to the Chairman who shall forward the same to the Central Government, and on such resignation being accepted by that Government he shall be deemed to have vacated his office.

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1. Ins. by Act 29 of 1974, s. 7 (w.e.f. 1.2.1975).

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Any person ceasing to be a Trustee shall, unless disqualified under section 6, be eligible for re-appointment or re-election.



(1) In the case of a vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by name or an elective Trustee caused by the expiration of the term of office of such Trustee, the appointment to fill such vacancy shall be made or an election to fill such vacancy shall be completed, as the case may be, within two months immediately preceding the date of expiration of such term.

(2) In the case of a vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by the Central Government by virtue of an office, the appointment to fill such vacancy shall be made within one month of the occurrence of such vacancy.

(3) In the case of a casual vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by name or an elective Trustee caused by the death of such Trustee or by virtue of the provisions of section 8, such vacancy shall be filled within one month of the occurrence thereof by appointment or election, as the case may be, in the manner here in before specified:

Provided that the Trustee so appointed or elected shall retain his office so long only as the vacating Trustee shall have retained the same if such vacancy had not occurred:

Provided further that no such casual vacancy occurring within three months of the date of expiry of the normal term of office of the vacating Trustee shall be filled up under this sub-section.



Nothing in the foregoing provisions shall prevent a person being appointed by the Central Government to fill any vacancy in the office of a Trustee appointed by the Central Government after the expiration of the period specified in section 10, if for any reason it has not been possible for the Central Government to make the appointment within the said period.



(1) If the Central Government is satisfied that an electing body has failed to elect a Trustee within the period specified there for in sub-section (4) of section 3.or section 10 for reasons beyond its control, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that the election shall be held on or before such date as may be specified in the notification.

(2) In the event of default being made in electing any Trustee within the period specified therefor under sub-section (4) of section 3 or under section 10, or as the case may be, on or before the date specified in the notification issued under sub-section (1), it shall be lawful for the Central Government to appoint a person by notification in the Official Gazette and the person so appointed shall be deemed to be an elective Trustee.



Where a Trustee is appointed under section 11 or under sub-section (2) of section 12.or elected in pursuance of a direction issued under sub-section (1) of section 12, the term of office of such Trustee shall commence on the date on which his appointment or election, as the case may be, is notified in the Official Gazette and shall expire on the date on which his term of office would have expired if his appointment or election had been made within the period specified under section 10, or, as the case may be, under sub-section (4) of section 3.14.Absence of Chairman and Deputy Chairman.



If the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman is, by infirmity or otherwise, rendered incapable of carrying out his duties or is absent on leave or otherwise, in circumstances not involving the vacation of his appointment, or is sent on deputation outside India for any of the purposes of this Act, the Central Government may appoint another person to act in his place during his absence:

Provided that the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman, while on deputation outside India may, if the Central Government by order so directs and subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified in that order, exercise such of the powers and perform such of the duties conferred or imposed on the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman, as the case may be, by or under this Act as he may deem necessary, and the Chairman or Deputy Chairman while exercising such powers and performing such duties shall be deemed to be a Trustee notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act.

14A.  1*Acting Chairman or Deputy Chairman

The Central Government may, pending the consideration of the question as to who may be appointed as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Board under section 3 or section 4, appoint a person to be the acting Chairman or Deputy Chairman thereof and notify his name in the Official Gazette and the person so appointed shall, until the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette otherwise directs, be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of such Board appointed under section 3 or section 4, as the case may be.

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1. Ins. by Act 17 of 1982, s. 4 (w.e.f. 31.5.1982).

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The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman shall be paid such salary and be governed by such terms and conditions of service as may, from time to time, be determined by the Central Government.



(1) A Board shall meet at such times and places and shall, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3) and (4), observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings as may be provided by rules made under this Act.

(2) The Chairman or, in his absence, the Deputy Chairman, and in the absence of both, any person chosen by the Trustees present from among themselves, shall preside at meetings of the Board.

(3) All questions at a meeting of the Board shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the Trustees present and voting and, in the case of an equality of votes, the person presiding shall have a second or casting vote.

(4) No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Board unless not less than five Trustees are present throughout such meeting.




(1) A Board may, from time to time, constitute from amongst the Trustees one or more committees, each consisting of such number as the Board may consider necessary, for the purpose of discharging such of its functions as may be delegated to such committee or committees by the Board.

1*[(1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or any other provision of this Act, the Board may appoint a person who is not a Trustee to be a member of any committee constituted under that sub-section and a person so appointed shall, for the purpose of the discharge of his functions as such member, be deemed to be a Trustee.]

(2) A committee constituted under this section shall meet at such times and at such places and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum) as may be provided by regulations made under this Act.

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1. Ins. by Act 17 of 1982, s. 5 (w.e.f. 31.5.1982).

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 (1). 1*The Trustees shall be paid by the Board such fees and allowances for attending the meetings of the Board or of any of its committees and for attending to any other work of the Board as may be provided by rules made under this Act:

Provided that no fees shall be payable to the Chairman, Deputy Chairman or any other Trustee who is a servant of the Government.

(2) 2*A member of a committee appointed under sub-section (1A) of section 17 shall be paid the same fees and allowances for attending the meetings of the committee and for attending to any other work of the Board as are payable to a trustee under sub-section (1):

Provided that the Board may, with the prior approval of the Central Government, pay to any such member fees and allowances at a rate higher than that provided in the case of Trustees.

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1. S. 18 re-numbered as sub-section (1) by s. 6, ibid. (w.e.f.31.5.1982).

2. Ins. by s.6, ibid. (w.e.f. 31.5.1982).

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No Trustee shall vote or take part in the discussion of any matter coming up for consideration at a meeting of the Board or any of its committees if the matter is one in which he has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest by himself or his partner, or in which he is interested professionally on behalf of a client or as agent for any person other than the Government 1*[or an undertaking owned or controlled by the Government] or a local authority or a trade union registered under 1*[the Trade Unions Act, 1926 (16 of 1926), or other than as officer or member of an association formed for the purpose of promoting the interests or welfare of any class of employees of the Board.]

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1. Ins. by subs. by Act 29 of 1974, s. 8 (w.e.f. 1.2.1975)

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No act or proceeding of a Board or of any of its committees shall be invalid merely by reason of:

(a) Any vacancy therein or any defect in the constitution thereof, or

(b) Any defect in the election or appointment of a person as a member thereof, or

(c) Any Trustee having acted or taken part in any proceedings in contravention of section 19, or

(d) Any irregularity in its procedure not affecting the merits of the case.



A Board may, with the approval of the Central Government, specify:

(a) The powers and duties conferred or imposed upon the Board by or under this Act, which may also be exercised or performed by the Chairman; and

(b) The powers and duties conferred or imposed on the Chairman by or under this Act, which may also be exercised or performed by the Deputy Chairman or any officer of the Board and the conditions and restrictions, if any, subject to which such powers and duties may be exercised and performed:

Provided that any powers and duties conferred or imposed upon the Deputy Chairman or any officer of the Board under clause
(b) shall be exercised and performed by him subject to the supervision and control of the Chairman.



(1) It shall be the duty of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman to attend every meeting of the Board unless prevented by sickness or other reasonable cause.

(2) The Chairman shall, as soon as possible, transmit to the Central Government a copy of the minutes of every meeting of the Board and shall furnish to that Government such reports, returns, documents or other information as it may, from time to time, call for.

(3) The Chairman shall exercise supervision and control over the acts of all employees of the Board in matters of executive administration and in matters concerning the accounts and records of the Board.
Last updated on April, 2016

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