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Laxminarayan Bijeram Vs. G.i.P. Railway Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Extraordinary Application No. 130 of 1923, Suit No. 2218 of 1922.
Judge
Reported inAIR1924Bom386; (1924)26BOMLR285
AppellantLaxminarayan Bijeram
RespondentG.i.P. Railway Co.
Excerpt:
railway company--consignment--risk-note form, b--deviation of route--loss of consignment---liability of railway.;the plaintiff consigned, under risk-note form b, seven bags of miscellaneous goods, from bombay to dhulia via chalisgaon, by the defendants' line of railway. six of the bags arrived safely at their destination. the seventh bag, instead of being taken out at chalisgaon, was carried on to jalgaon, whence it was brought back and delivered to the plaintiff at dhulia some days afterwards. the plaintiff having found a shortage in the last bag sued to recover its price from the defendants:-;decreeing the claim, that as there was deviation from the route originally intended when the goods were delivered for transit, the onus lay upon the railway company, if they claimed exemption under..........goods to the defendant company for carriage from bombay to dhulia via chalisgaon. he signed risk note in form b. six bags were delivered correctly at dhulia. one bag unfortunately, instead of being taken out at chalisgaon, was carried on to jalgaon, and some days afterwards was brought back and delivered to the plaintiff. plaintiff complained that there was a shortage of nineteen seers in the contents. the defendant company admitted the shortage. they claimed, however, exemption from liability on the strength of the risk note. we think there was a clear deviation from the route originally intended when the goods were delivered for transit. in these circumstances, we think that in any event the onus would lie upon the railway company, if they claimed exemption under the risk note,.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, C.J.

1. Plaintiff delivered seven bags of miscellaneous goods to the defendant company for carriage from Bombay to Dhulia via Chalisgaon. He signed risk note in Form B. Six bags were delivered correctly at Dhulia. One bag unfortunately, instead of being taken out at Chalisgaon, was carried on to Jalgaon, and some days afterwards was brought back and delivered to the plaintiff. Plaintiff complained that there was a shortage of nineteen seers in the contents. The defendant company admitted the shortage. They claimed, however, exemption from liability on the strength of the risk note. We think there was a clear deviation from the route originally intended when the goods were delivered for transit. In these circumstances, we think that in any event the onus would lie upon the railway company, if they claimed exemption under the risk note, to prove that the shortage had not occurred during the deviation. That they never attempted to do. The case we have been referred to, viz., Aranachellam Chettiar v. The Madras Railway Company I.L.R. (1909) 33 Mad. 120, does not assist the railway company, because the facts in that case were entirely different. The Court there relied upon the decision in Helen v. London and North Western Railway Company (1863) 4 B. &. Section which it was held that a customer dealing with a company is bound not only by the ordinary route, but also by the ordinary train arrangements and hours of arrival according to which they profess to carry.

2. Here it cannot bo said that the deviation was due to the ordinary train arrangements, for it was clearly due to a mistake on the part of the company's servants. We think the case of ValiMahomed v. G I.P. Railway (1922) 24 Bon. L.R. 316 is clearly applicable. In that case it was proved that the loss had occurred during the deviation. But the general principle was laid down that the company by carrying the goods via Kalyan, went outside the terms of the contract and could no longer rely on the protection afforded by the risk-note so as to be absolved from liability for the loss which had occurred.

3. We must, therefore, make the rule absolute, and pass a decree in favour of the plaintiff for the amount claimed with costs throughout.


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