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Firm Laxmi Dutt Roopchand Vs. Union of India (Uoi) and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 1884 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1975SC760; (1975)77PLR647; (1975)1SCC341; 1975(7)LC153(SC)
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 379 and 411
AppellantFirm Laxmi Dutt Roopchand
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi) and anr.
Appellant Advocate K.R. Nagaraja,; S.K. Mehta and; M. Quamruddin, Advs
Respondent Advocate S.N. Prasad and ; Girish Chandra, Advs.
Excerpt:
.....kewalram ahuja and another v. the state of bombay, [1952] s c.r. 710 and gopi chand v. delhi administration, a.i.r. 1959 s.c. 609, considered. per sarkar and subba rao, jj. (dissenting).-whether a law offends art. 14 or not does not depend upon whether it is prospective or retrospective for both prospective and retrospective' statutes may contravene the provisions of that article. although the general rule is that a law must apply to all persons, it is permissible to validly legislate for a class within certain well recognised limits. the true test of a valid classification is that it must be capable of being reasonably regarded as being based upon a differentia which distinguishes that class from others, and the differentia itself must have a reasonable relation with the object..........can claim damages against the union in respect of a consignment delivered for carriage by the railway administration.2. the respondent jhanak lal on 11 january, 1956 consigned 35 bags of brass for carriage by railway from sindi railway station to mirzapur. the railway receipt was consigned to self. the railway police on 15 january, 1956 seized the goods at sindi railway station.3. jhanak lal was prosecuted in respect of the goods for an offence under section 379/411, indian penal code. he was acquitted on 27 june, 1957. the magistrate mentioned in the judgment that the brass which had been seized be returned to jhanak lal. it may be stated here that the criminal court made the aforesaid order because jhanak lal being the consignor and consignee was prima facie entitled to.....
Judgment:

A.N. Ray, C.J.

1. This appeal by special leave turns on the question as to whether the appellant can claim damages against the Union in respect of a consignment delivered for carriage by the Railway Administration.

2. The respondent Jhanak Lal on 11 January, 1956 consigned 35 bags of brass for carriage by Railway from Sindi Railway Station to Mirzapur. The railway receipt was consigned to self. The Railway Police on 15 January, 1956 seized the goods at Sindi Railway Station.

3. Jhanak Lal was prosecuted in respect of the goods for an offence under Section 379/411, Indian Penal Code. He was acquitted on 27 June, 1957. The Magistrate mentioned in the judgment that the brass which had been seized be returned to Jhanak Lal. It may be stated here that the Criminal Court made the aforesaid order because Jhanak Lal being the consignor and consignee was prima facie entitled to possession.

4. Jhanak Lal received the goods back from the Police in whose custody they were.

5. The appellant in a letter dated 26 July, 1956 asked the Railways to pay Rs. 7098/- as the price for non-delivery of 35 bags of brass. The Railway Administration informed the appellant on 16 January, 1957 that the consignment had been seized by the Railway police in a theft case. The appellant was asked to, approach the Court for release of the consignment. The appellant did not take any steps in the criminal Court. It is to be noticed that the appellant never claimed to be the indorsee of the Railway Receipt.

6. The appellant brought a suit on 27 August, 1958 against the Union and Jhanak Lal. The appellant claimed to be indorsee of the Railway Receipt. The Courts found that there was no negligence on the part of the Railway Administration in respect of carriage of goods.

7. The appellant obtained a decree against Jhanak Lal. The decree represents the value of the goods. The Railway Administration committed no breach of duty in respect of carriage. The appellant obtained a remedy against Jhanak Lal, who obtained the goods.

8. The appeal is dismissed. Parties will pay and bear their own costs.


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