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The Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Co., Ltd., Madras Vs. Bhimappa and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in17Ind.Cas.419; (1912)23MLJ511
AppellantThe Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Co., Ltd., Madras
RespondentBhimappa and anr.
Cases ReferredPeriannan Chetti v. South Indian Railway Co. I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - lastly it is contended that there is no reliable evidence of the value of goods despatched......before the institution of the suit. article 50 of the limitation act does not therefore bar the suit nor is the suit barred by article 31. no time has been fixed for the delivery of the goods and the correspondence between the parties shows that the matter was being inquired into and the suit was brought within one year from the date of refusal to deliver. we are unable to say that the plaintiffs delayed more than one year from the expiry of a reasonable time within which in the circumstances of the case the goods should have been delivered.2. the next question is whether the notice of the plaintiffs' claim for compensation was given within the period of six months allowed by the railways act. it is conceded that notice of such claim was given to the traffic manager. but it is.....
Judgment:

1. We agree with the Judge that the plaintiffs' claim is not barred by limitation. The burden of proving when the goods were lost is on the Railway Company and they have not proved when they were lost. There is nothing in the evidence to show that they were lost more than one year before the institution of the suit. Article 50 of the Limitation Act does not therefore bar the suit nor is the suit barred by Article 31. No time has been fixed for the delivery of the goods and the correspondence between the parties shows that the matter was being inquired into and the suit was brought within one year from the date of refusal to deliver. We are unable to say that the plaintiffs delayed more than one year from the expiry of a reasonable time within which in the circumstances of the case the goods should have been delivered.

2. The next question is whether the notice of the plaintiffs' claim for compensation was given within the period of six months allowed by the Railways Act. It is conceded that notice of such claim was given to the Traffic Manager. But it is contended that such notice is insufficient and that notice should have been given to the Agent or at any rate the notice was though given only to the Traffic Manager should have reached the Agent within six months of the delivery of fche goods to the Railway Company. We have held that the modes of service prescribed by the Railways Act are not exhaustive and we see no reason to differ from that judgment. Periannan Chetti v. South Indian Railway Co. I.L.R. (1989) M. 137. In the case before us, a rule has been made by the Company that all applications for loss should be made to the nearest Station Master and Traffic Manager, Dharwar. This rule has been complied with in this case. Mr. Chamier argues that this rule is confined to specific property lost. But looking to the rules that precede it we see no reason to restrict the rule to such cases. If a mode of service is prescribed and such rule is complied with, it is not open to the Company to plead that the notice is insufficient.

3. It is also argued before us that the packages contained trinkets of the value of more than one hundred. Rupees. A few of the articles are apparently trinkets but their value is not more than one hundred Rupees. Therefore Section 75 of the Railways Act does not apply. Lastly it is contended that there is no reliable evidence of the value of goods despatched. The evidence is no doubt meagre and there are some suspicious circumstances. But we are unable to say that the Judge who heard the witnesses was wrong in believing that evidence.

4. We dismiss the Appeal with costs.


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