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The Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983

( Ordinance NO. XXVI Of 1983 )

Chapter 13

PROPERTY OF DECEASED SEAMEN

Master to take charge of the effects of deceased seamen
163. (1) If any seaman or apprentice engaged on any ship, the voyage of which is to terminate in Bangladesh, dies during that voyage, the master of the ship shall immediately report the death to the Shipping Master at the port of engagement of the seaman, and take charge of any money or effects belonging to the seaman or apprentice which are on board the ship.
 
 
 
 
(2) The master may, if he thinks fit, cause any effects to be sold by auction at the mast or otherwise by public auction.
 
 
 
 
(3) The master shall enter in the official log book the following particulars, namely:-
 
 
 
 
(a) a statement of the amount of money and a description of the effects;
 
 
 
 
(b) in the case of a sale, a description of each article sold and the sum received for each; and
 
 
 
 
(c) a statement of the sum due to the deceased for wages and of the amount of deduction, if any, to be made from the wages.
 
 
 
 
(4) The said money, effects, proceeds of sale of effects, and balance of wages, are in this Ordinance referred to as the property of the seaman or apprentice.
Disposal of property of seaman who dies during the voyage
164. (1) Where a seaman or apprentice dies as aforesaid and the ship before coming to a port in Bangladesh, touches and remains for more than forty eight hours at some port elsewhere, the master shall report the case to the Bangladesh Consular Officer at such port and shall give to that officer any information he requires as to the destination of the ship and probable length of the voyage.
 
 
 
 
(2) The Bangladesh Consular Officer may, if he thinks it expedient, require the property of the seaman and apprentice to be delivered and paid to him and shall thereupon give to the master a receipt thereof and endorse under his hand upon the agreement with the crew such particulars with respect thereto as the Government may specify.
 
 
(3) The receipt shall be produced by the master to the Shipping Master within forty eight hours after his arrival at his port of destination in Bangladesh.
 
 
 
 
(4) Where a seaman or apprentice dies as aforesaid and the ship proceeds at once to a port in Bangladesh without touching and remaining as aforesaid at a port elsewhere or the Bangladesh Consular Officer does not require the delivery and payment of the property as aforesaid, the master shall, within forty eight hours after his arrival at his port of destination in Bangladesh, pay and deliver the property to the Shipping Master at that port.
 
 
 
 
(5) A deduction claimed by the master in such account shall not be allowed unless verified by an entry in the official log book, and also by such vouchers, if any, as may be reasonably required by the Shipping Master.
 
 
 
 
(6) A Shipping Master shall grant to a master, upon due compliance with such provisions of this section as relate to acts to be done at the port of destination, a certificate to that effect.
Liability of master in respect of property of deceased seaman, etc.
165. (1) If the master fails to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance with respect to taking charge of the property of a deceased seaman or apprentice, or to making in the official log book the proper entries relating thereto, or to the payment or delivery of the property, he shall, notwithstanding any penalty to which he may be liable under this Ordinance, be accountable for the property to the Shipping Master as aforesaid, and shall pay and deliver the same accordingly; and shall, in addition, be punishable, for each offence, with fine not exceeding three times the value of the property not accounted for or, if such value is not ascertained, with fine which may extend to five thousand Taka.
 
 
 
 
(2) The property may be recovered in the same Court and in the same manner in which the wages of seamen may be recovered under this Ordinance.
Property of deceased seaman left abroad but not on board ship
166. If any seaman or apprentice on a Bangladesh ship, or engaged in Bangladesh on any other ship, the voyage of which is to terminate in Bangladesh, dies at any place outside Bangladesh leaving any money or effects hereinafter referred to as the property of a deceased seaman or apprentice not on board the ship, the Bangladesh Consular Officer at or near the place shall claim and take charge of such money and other effect.
Dealing with property of deceased seamen
167. (1) A Bangladesh Consular Officer or a Shipping Master to whom the effects of a deceased seaman or apprentice are delivered or who takes charge of such effects under this Ordinance may, if he thinks fit, sell any of the property of a deceased seaman or apprentice delivered to him or of which he takes charge under this Ordinance and the proceeds of any such sale shall be deemed to form part of the property of the deceased seaman or apprentice.
 
 
 
 
(2) Before selling any valuable comprised in the said effects, such Officer or Shipping Master shall endeavour to ascertain the wishes of the next of kin of the deceased seaman or apprentice as to the disposal of such valuables and shall, if practicable and lawful, comply with such wishes.
 
 
 
 
(3) A Bangladesh Consular Officer to whom any property of a deceased seaman or apprentice is delivered or who takes charge of any such property under this Ordinance shall remit the property to the Shipping Master at the port of engagement of the deceased seaman or apprentice in such manner and shall render such accounts in respect thereof as may be prescribed.
Recovery of wages, etc. of seamen lost with their ship
168. (1) Where a seaman or apprentice is lost with the ship to which he belongs, the Government or such Officer as the Government may appoint in this behalf, may recover the wages and the compensation due to him from the owner, master or agent of the ship in the same Court and in the same manner in which seaman's wages are recoverable, and shall deal with those wages in the same manner as with the wages and compensation due to other deceased seamen or apprentices under this Ordinance.
 
 
 
 
(2) In any proceeding for the recovery of the wages and compensation, if it is shown by some official records or by other evidence that the ship has, twelve months or upwards before the institution of the proceeding, left any port, she shall, unless it is shown that she has been heard of within six months after the departure, be deemed to have been lost with all hands on board either immediately after the time she was last heard of or at such later time as the Court hearing the case may think probable.
 
 
(3) Any duplicate agreement or list of the crew made out, or statement or a change of the crew delivered under this Ordinance at the time of the last departure of the ship from Bangladesh, or a certificate purporting to be a certificate from a Bangladesh Consular Officer at any port out of Bangladesh, stating that certain seamen or apprentices were shipped in the ship from the said port shall be, in the absence of proof to the contrary, sufficient proof that the seamen or apprentices therein named as belonging to the ship were on board at the time of the loss.
Property of seamen dying in Bangladesh
169. If a seaman or apprentice dies in Bangladesh and is at the time of his death entitled to claim from the master or owner of the ship in which he has served any effects or unpaid wages, the master, owner or agent shall pay and deliver or account for such property to the Shipping Master at the port where the seaman or apprentice was discharged or was to have been discharged or to such other Officer as the Government may direct.
Payment over of property of deceased seamen by Shipping Master
170. Where any property of a deceased seaman or apprentice is paid or delivered to a Shipping Master, the Shipping Master, after deducting for expenses incurred in respect of that seaman or apprentice or his property such sums as he thinks proper to allow, may-
 
 
 
 
(a) pay and deliver the residue to any claimants who can prove themselves to the satisfaction of the Shipping Master to be entitled thereto, and the Shipping Master shall thereby be discharged from all further liability in respect of the residue so paid or delivered; or
 
 
 
 
(b) if he thinks fit so to do, require probate or letters of administration of a certificate under the Succession Act, 1925 (XXXIX of 1925), to be taken out, and thereupon pay and deliver the residue to the legal representative of the deceased.
Disposal of unclaimed property of deceased seamen
171. (1) Where no claim to the property of a deceased seaman or apprentice received by a Shipping Master is substantiated within one year from the receipt thereof by such Shipping Master, the Shipping Master shall cause such property to be sold and pay the proceeds of the sale into the public treasury.
 
 
(2) If, after any money had been so paid into the public treasury, any claim is made thereto, then if the claim is established to the satisfaction of the Shipping Master, the amount, or so much as shall appear to be due to the claimant, shall be paid to him, and if the claim is not so established, it shall be rejected and the claimant may thereupon apply by petition to the Supreme Court which shall, after taking evidence either orally or on affidavit, make such order on the petition as shall seem just:
 
 
 
 
Provided that, after the expiration of six years from the receipt of such property by the Shipping Master, no claim to such property shall be entertained by the Shipping Master without the sanction of the Government.
Power to make rules
172. The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Chapter.
 
 
 
 

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs