India has a long history of dealing with the sea and has a distinct tradition of many years of trade and commerce within and beyond its territorial borders. The history of the Indian Ocean dates back to the 3rd millennium BC when many ships sailed from India to and from India. Therefore, although there is no codified law as it exists today, customs and regulations relating to the sea and maritime activities have existed since ancient times. This article analyses Maritime Law in India and the law on ship arrests, including the jurisdiction of ship arrests in India, permissible arguments, and procedural issues. Prior to independence, maritime law in India was governed by the British Government. Coastal Vessels Act, 1838, Inland Steam Vessels Act, 1917, Admiralty Crimes (Colonial) Act, 1849, Indian Registration of Ships Act, 1841, Indian Ports Act, 1908, Shipping Control Act, 1947 with various aspects of the sea in India.
Authored by Rupa Paul, Amity University, Kolkata.