Compensation for delay in departing or proceeding on voyage
290. (1) If a ship fails to depart or proceed on voyage from any port or place on the date advertised under sub section (3) of section 289, the master, owner or agent shall be liable to pay as compensation to each pilgrim who has paid his passage money on or before that date the sum of fifty Taka for each completed day during which the departure or proceeding on voyage of the ship is delayed after that date:
Provided that such compensation shall not be payable in respect of any period during which the departure of the ship is impossible owing to any cause not arising from the act or default of the master, owner or agent, the burden of proving which shall lie on the master, owner or agent:
Provided further that, where compensation has been paid or has become payable to any pilgrim in respect of delay in the departure or proceeding on voyage of the ship from any port or place and the departure or proceeding on voyage of the ship from any other port or place is thereafter delayed, the pilgrim shall be entitled to compensation only in respect of any period by which the duration of such further delay exceeds the duration of the delay in respect of which he has already received or become entitled to compensation.
(2) In the event of such failure as is referred to in sub section (1), the master, owner or agent shall be bound forthwith to inform the Port Hajj Officer at the port or place at which the delay occurs of the number of passage tickets of each class which have been issued for the voyage on or before the advertised date of departure or proceeding on voyage.
(3) Any sum payable to the pilgrims as compensation under sub-section (1) shall be paid to the Port Hajj Officer at the port or place at which the delay occurs by the master, owner or agent on receipt by him of a notice from that Officer specifying the sum payable; and the Port Hajj Officer shall, in such manner as may be prescribed, pay to each such pilgrim the compensation paid in respect of his detention:
Provided that, if an objection is made by the master, owner or agent that the sum specified in any such notice or any part of such sum is not payable by him, the sum paid or, as the case may be, the balance thereof remaining after payment to the pilgrims entitled thereto of compensation the right to which is not in dispute, shall be held in deposit until the objection has been decided:
Provided further that if, for any reason, the compensation due to any pilgrim cannot be paid to him at the time of embarkation or at or before the time of his disembarkation at the port of his destination, the sum so remaining unpaid shall be made over to such authority as is referred to in sub section (3) of section 287.
(4) If the master, owner or agent objects that the sum specified in the notice issued under sub section (3) or any part thereof is not payable by him, he may, at the time of payment of such sum, give to the Port Hajj Officer notice of his objection, together with a statement of the grounds thereof, and the Port Hajj Officer shall thereupon either cancel or modify the aforesaid notice in accordance with the objection and refund the sum held in deposit under sub section (3), or refer the objection for decision to a Magistrate of the first class exercising jurisdiction in the port or place at which the ship is delayed; and the decision of the Magistrate on such reference shall be final.
(5) If the Magistrate decides on a reference under sub section (4) that any sum held in deposit is not payable as compensation under sub section (1), such sum shall be refunded to the master, owner or agent, as the case may be.
(6) On the failure of any ship carrying pilgrims to depart or proceed on a voyage from any port or place on the date advertised under sub section (3) of section 289, the Port Hajj Officer at that port or place shall forthwith give notice of such failure to the officer authorised to grant port clearance to ships thereat, and such officer shall refuse port clearance to the ship until the master, owner or agent produces to him a certificate of the Port Hajj Officer that all sums payable by way of compensation under this section up to the day on which the ship is to depart or proceed on voyage have been paid.
(7) Nothing in this section or in section 289 shall apply to any advertisement made before the time prescribed under sub section (3) of section 289, and intended to give the public information of the approximate date of the departure or proceeding on voyage of a ship carrying pilgrims, where such advertisement clearly states that the date so advertised is approximate only and that the correct proposed date will be advertised later.