Forfeiture of vessels etc., seized
48. (1) Any vessel, fishing gear or fishing appliances, explosives, poison or other noxious substance or apparatus seized under sub section (1) of section 33 or the proceeds of sale under section 38 shall, subject to the provisions of sub section (3),-
(a) if a prosecution is to be brought under this Ordinance, be held in such custody as may be prescribed pending the outcome of such prosecution; or
(b) if no prosecution is to be brought under this Ordinance, be held in the custody as aforesaid for a period of one month at the end of which period they shall be deemed to be forfeited to the Government unless, during such period, any written claim is received from the skipper, owner or charterer, if any, contesting such forfeiture.
(2) Where any written claim contesting forfeiture is received under clause (b) of sub section (1), either-
(a) the subject matter of the claim shall be released and delivered to the claimant forthwith; or
(b) the claim shall be referred to the Court for its decision.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the Court may order the release of any fishing vessel, fishing gear or fishing appliances seized under section 33 on receipt of a satisfactory bond or other security from any person claiming such property.