Relief and maintenance of distressed seamen
175. (1) The Bangladesh Consular Officer at or near the place outside Bangladesh where a seaman is in distress shall, on application being made to him by or on behalf of the distressed seaman, provide, in accordance with rules made in this behalf, for the return of the seaman to a proper port and also for his necessary clothing and maintenance until his arrival at such port.
(2) Where any expenses other than excepted expenses are incurred by or on behalf of the Government on account of a distressed seaman either for his maintenance, necessary clothing, conveyance to a proper return port, or in case of death, for his burial, or otherwise in accordance with this Ordinance, those expenses, together with the wages, if any, due to the seaman, shall be a charge upon the ship, whether a Bangladesh ship or not, to which the distressed seaman belonged, and shall be a debt due to the Government from the master of the ship, or from the owner of the ship for the time being, or, where the ship has been lost, from the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the loss, or where the ship has been transferred to some person not being a citizen of Bangladesh, either from the owner for the time being or from the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the transfer, and also, if the ship be a ship other than a Bangladesh ship, from the person, whether principal or agent, who engaged the seamen for service in the ship.
(3) All excepted expenses incurred by or on behalf of the Government in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance shall constitute a debt due to the Government for which the seaman in respect of whom they were incurred and the owner or agent of the ship to which that seaman belonged at the time of his discharge or other event which resulted in his becoming a distressed seaman shall be jointly and severally liable; and the owner or agent shall be entitled to recover from the seaman any amount paid by the owner or agent to the Government in settlement or part settlement of such debt, and may apply to the satisfaction of claim so much as may be necessary to any wages due to the seaman.
(4) All excepted expenses incurred in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance in respect of any distressed seaman by the owner or agent of the ship to which the seaman belonged at the time of his discharge or other event which resulted in his becoming a distressed seaman shall constitute a debt due to the owner or agent for which the seaman shall be liable; and the owner or agent may apply to the satisfaction of his claim so much as may be necessary of any wages due to the seaman, but shall not be entitled to recover from the seaman any repatriation expenses other than excepted expenses.
(5) In any proceedings for the recovery of any expenses which in terms of sub-section (2) or sub section (3) are a debt due to the Government, the production of an account of the expenses and proof of payment thereof by or on behalf of or under the direction of the Government shall be prima facie evidence that the expenses were incurred in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance by or on behalf of the Government.
(6) Any debt which may be due to the Government under this section may be recovered by any Officer authorised by it in writing in this behalf from the person concerned in the same manner in which wages may be recovered by seamen.
(7) For the purpose of this section, “excepted expenses” are expenses incurred in cases where the certificate of the proper authority obtained on leaving a seaman behind states, or the Government is otherwise satisfied, that the cause of the seaman being left behind is desertion, or disappearance, or imprisonment for misconduct, or discharge from the ship on the ground of misconduct, or otherwise due to the fault of the seamen.