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Piari Lal, Gopi Nath Vs. the East Indian Railway Company - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1924)ILR46All691
AppellantPiari Lal, Gopi Nath
RespondentThe East Indian Railway Company
Cases ReferredGreat Indian Peninsula Railway Company v. Saheb Ram
Excerpt:
railway receipt - mercantile document--goods consigned to self and receipt endorsed over to third party--rights of endorsee. - - the consignor endorsed the railway receipt to the plaintiff's firm which took delivery. the goods were consigned by sukhdin to self and he then endorsed on the railway receipt delivery to one naraindas. naraindas on his side endorsed it in favour of the plaintiff of that suit, dolatram......from kidderpore docks to shikohabad by the firm of hemraj, durga das. the consignor endorsed the railway receipt to the plaintiff's firm which took delivery. the plaintiff's firm then brought this suit for price of seven bags, the shortage in the consignment when it arrived at shikohabad. the learned judge of the appellate court was of opinion that there was no contract between the plaintiff and defendant companies and that, therefore, the plaintiff was not entitled to sue. the language of the judgment, however, is in favour of the plaintiff. the learned judge was of opinion that a carrier's contract is with the person in whom the property in goods is vested at the time the contract of carriage was entered into. the learned judge did not go further and inquire whether the consignor had.....
Judgment:

Dalal, J.

1. Only one point is decided by the lower appellate court, that the plaintiff, the firm of Piari Lal Gopi Nath, had no right to sue the East Indian Railway Company for damages caused on the consignment. The consignment was made from Kidderpore docks to Shikohabad by the firm of Hemraj, Durga Das. The consignor endorsed the railway receipt to the plaintiff's firm which took delivery. The plaintiff's firm then brought this suit for price of seven bags, the shortage in the consignment when it arrived at Shikohabad. The learned Judge of the appellate court was of opinion that there was no contract between the plaintiff and defendant companies and that, therefore, the plaintiff was not entitled to sue. The language of the judgment, however, is in favour of the plaintiff. The learned Judge was of opinion that a carrier's contract is with the person in whom the property in goods is vested at the time the contract of carriage was entered into. The learned Judge did not go further and inquire whether the consignor had transferred all his rights and interests in the contract to the plaintiff. The Bombay case of Dolatram Dwarkadas v. The Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Co. (1914) I.L.R. 38 Bom. 659, is an authority for the proposition that the title of the consignor can be conveyed to another person by an endorsement on a railway receipt. In that case one Sukhdin Ramlal consigned 115 bags of wheat from a station on the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway to Ahmedabad. The goods were consigned by Sukhdin to self and he then endorsed on the railway receipt delivery to one Naraindas. Naraindas on his side endorsed it in favour of the plaintiff of that suit, Dolatram. Under these circumstances, a Bench of the Bombay High Court held that the railway receipt was a mercantile document of title arid that the endorsee of such a railway receipt had sufficient interest in the goods covered by it to maintain an action for damages against the railway company, the carrier. If A makes a contract, there can be no doubt that A can pass over the benefit of that contract to a third person. The question here is whether the endorsement of the railway receipt did pass the benefit of the contract to the endorsee. On the authority of the Bombay case I hold that it did. The learned, counsel for the respondent quoted another Bombay case, Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company v. Saheb Ram (1903) 5 Bom. L.R. 953. That case, however, was of a consignee of goods and not of a person to whom the benefit of the contract of the consignor was conveyed by the consignor. In my opinion the plaintiff had a right to sue.

2. As other points have not been determined by the learned Judge of the lower appellate court, I set aside his decree and direct that court to decide the appeal after decision of the other issues. Costs here and hitherto shall abide by the result.


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