HC directs ‘arrest of vessel’ as owner fails to pay Gujarat firm
Gujarat-based Chemoil Adani Private Ltd received relief from the Bombay High Court, which has directed the ‘arrest of a vessel’ owned by a German company that allegedly failed to pay the Adani Group Rs 1.45 crore, reports Urvi Mahajani.mumbai Updated: May 02, 2010 01:40 IST
Gujarat-based Chemoil Adani Private Ltd received relief from the Bombay High Court, which has directed the ‘arrest of a vessel’ owned by a German company that allegedly failed to pay the Adani Group Rs 1.45 crore.
A division bench of Chief Justice Anil Dave and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari directed the re-arrest of M.V. Hansa Sonderburg, having a Liberian Flag and owned by Hansa Sonderburg Shipping Corp. The company owns, manages and charters vessels. Chemoil Adani sells fuel and bunkers to ocean vessels.
A single judge of the high court had passed an order to seize the vessel in October 19, 2009, following a suit filed by Chemoil Adani.
The Adani Group was recently in the news for unsuccessfully bidding for the Kochi Indian Premier League team.
On March 17, the German shipping company got a stay on the arrest order. Chemoil Adani then approached the division bench challenging the stay stating that once the vessel sails, they will lose their chance to get their money.
In April 2009, a UAE-based company, Hull & Hatch Logistics LLC, had chartered the vessel from Hansa until May 2010.
Chemoil Adani and Hull & Hatch Logistics LLC had entered into an agreement on June 29, 2009, to provide 800 metric tonnes (MT) of bunkers to the vessel at Mundra at the rate of Rs 18,241 per MT. In return, Hull &
Hatch Logistics LLC, was to pay for the bunker within 30 days. Chemoil Adani’s counsel, Madhur Baya, said on July 5, 2009, the master of the vessel requested them to supply bunkers for its onward journey to Eden. The bunkers were supplied and an invoice of Rs 1.45 crore was sent. The payment was to be made on or before August 4, 2009.
Since the payment was not made, Chemoil approached the high court. The German company sought release of the vessel stating it was not liable to pay the amount because Hull & Hatch Logistics LLC chartered the vessel.
The company that charters the vessel is liable to bear cost of bunkers and fuel. “Hence, Chemoil Adani should demand from Hull & Hatch Logistics LLC,” Virag Tulzapurkar, counsel for Hansa Sonderburg Shipping Corp said.
However, Baya and the other counsel for Chemoil Adani, Vikram Nankani, argued that the German company owned the vessel and it was their Master of the vessel who had sent a requisition for the bunkers. The high court has said the vessel may be released if Hansa furnishes a surety satisfactory to Chemoil Adani.