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Ram Kishun Ram Vs. North-western Railway and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1923All122; 77Ind.Cas.1020
AppellantRam Kishun Ram
RespondentNorth-western Railway and anr.
Excerpt:
railways act (ix of 1890), sections 72, 76 - risk note, construction of--railway liable for loss of goods--deterioration of goods--damages, whether can be recovered. - - now, there clearly was no loss......has been considerable argument at the bar as to whether tie consignment was despatched under a risk-note. we agree with the learned district judge that the consignment was despatched under a risk-note. under the terms of that risk-note the north-western. railway company would only be responsible, in-the event of the loss0of the consignment or one or more complete packages forming part of the consignment, due to the wilful neglect of the railway administration, or to theft by or to the wilful neglect of its servants, transport agents or carriers. now, there clearly was no loss. the claim is a claim for deterioration, and been although the deterioration may have been due to the wilful neglect of the north-western railway or some other railway company working in connection therewith, in.....
Judgment:

1. The facts of the suit out of which the present appeal arises are these: The plaintiff-appellant, Ram Kishun Ram, gave an order to a firm of brokers at Ballia, called Chunni Lal Ganpat Rai, to obtain for him 184 bags of flour from Amballa. The brokers placed the order with a firm at Amballa who complied with it by loading 184 bags at tie Amballa Railway Station of the Noth-Western Railway and consigning them, at reduced rata to Ballia. It is. admitted by the North-Western Railway and the Bengal and North-Western Railway Companies, who were co-defendants in the suit, that the consignment, instead of being despatched to Ballia was despatched to Bally. Ballia is the headquarters of a District in the United Provinces some 88 miles from Benares Cantonment, by the narrow gauge system of the Bengal and North-Western Railway. Bally is small town six miles from Calcutta, and about 424 miles from Benares by the broad gauge system of the Oudh and Rohlkhand Railway and the East Indian Railway. The mistake in sending the consignment to Bally instead of Ballia was about as aggravated a mistake as sending a assignment to Cawnpore instead of to Calcutta. As a result, the Government was completely lost sight of for sometime. When it was traced, the grain had deteriorated and the plaintiff-appellant refused to take delivery. It is admitted that the grain had deteriorated considerably and that the consignment, which was of a value of nearly Rs. 3,000, was sold, by auction, for under Rs. 1500. The present suit has been instituted by the plaintiff-appellant to recover something under Rs. 3,000. The Subordinate Judge of Ghazipur decreed him Rs. 2,781-13-9. The North-Western Railway appealed and the District Judge of Ghazipur reduced the decretal amount to Rs. 1,422. The plaintiff-appellant prefers this appeal here.

2. There has been considerable argument at the Bar as to whether tie consignment was despatched under a Risk-Note. We agree with the learned District Judge that the consignment was despatched under a Risk-Note. Under the terms of that Risk-Note the North-Western. Railway Company would only be responsible, in-the event of the loss0of the consignment or one or more complete packages forming part of the consignment, due to the wilful neglect of the Railway Administration, or to theft by or to the wilful neglect of its servants, transport agents or carriers. Now, there clearly was no loss. The claim is a claim for deterioration, and been although the deterioration may have been due to the wilful neglect of the North-Western Railway or some other Railway Company working in connection therewith, in fact it is difficult to understand how such a mistake could have been made except by the grossest disregard of all reasonable precaution, unfortunately for the plaintiff-appellant, deterioration, due to such neglect, would afford no cause of action to him as the consignment was seat under a Risk-Note. It certainly does not seem desirable that a Railway Company should be able to contract itself out of liability for such a gross and flagrant error as the one disclosed. It seems difficult to believe that any responsible person could have made the mistake which occurred here, but, be that as it may, the Company's answer is complete. The case is covered by the Risk-Note and this appeal must be dismissed. It is dismissed accordingly with costs.


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