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A. Krishnaiyya Vs. Dominion of India, Represented by the General Manager, M. and S.M. Rly., Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 1123 of 1952
Judge
Reported inAIR1955Mad619
ActsRailways Act, 1890 - Sections 47, 47(1) and 67(3)
AppellantA. Krishnaiyya
RespondentDominion of India, Represented by the General Manager, M. and S.M. Rly., Madras
Appellant AdvocateJohn and ;Row, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateS.S. Ramchandra Iyer, Adv.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
.....47, 47 (1) and 67 (3) of railways act, 1890 - civil revision petition - petitioner holder of season ticket - season ticket enabled him to travel by second class - on particular day petitioner obliged to travel in class lower than class for which he held ticket - petitioner contends that he is entitled to refund of difference between fare paid by him and fare payable for class of carriage in which he travelled - railway administration at liberty to alter and vary train without liability of any kind to holders of season tickets - no refund admissible in event of failure to provide class of accommodation for which season ticket issued - held, ticket holder obliged to travel by lower class on account of exercise of power by railway administration to vary or alter train - petition..........administration and in favour of the petitioner in this court.2. the petitioner is the holder of a season ticket to travel between pointed and madras. at the time he was possessed of this ticket, he was employed as an arbitrator under the town planing act and he had to go to madras in connection with his official duties. on a particular day, it is stated that the petitioner was obliged to travel in a class lower than the class for which he held the season ticket.it may be noted that his season ticket was for enabling him to travel by the second class but on the day in question he actually travelled by third class because in the train by which he was obliged to travel there was no second class accommodation. thereupon he gave notice to the railway administration and not being satisfied.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J.

1. This civil revision petition has arisen out of an order passed by the Full Bench of the Presidency Court of Small Causes on a new trial application filed by the railway administration against a decree passed by the learned Registrar of the Court of Small Causes, Madras, in the sum of Re. 0-2-6 against the railway administration and in favour of the petitioner in this Court.

2. The petitioner is the holder of a season ticket to travel between Pointed and Madras. At the time he was possessed of this ticket, he was employed as an arbitrator under the Town Planing Act and he had to go to Madras in connection with his official duties. On a particular day, it is stated that the petitioner was obliged to travel in a class lower than the class for which he held the season ticket.

It may be noted that his season ticket was for enabling him to travel by the second class but on the day in question he actually travelled by third class because in the train by which he was obliged to travel there was no second class accommodation. Thereupon he gave notice to the railway administration and not being satisfied with the response from the said administration, he filed the suit and obtained a decree for Re. 0-2-6 from the Registrar of the Small Causes Court, Madras.

3. The railway administration not being satisfied with this decree took the matter by way of a new trial application before a Full Bench of the Court of Small Causes, The Full Bench in a well considered order set aside the decree of the learned Registrar. Consequently the plaintiff has preferred this civil revision petition.

4. Even at the outset it may be observed that both the petitioner and the respondent administration have shown gross lack of a sense of proportion in pursuing a matter which involved just a trivial sum of Re. 0-2-6. It is very strange that neither side realised the enormous waste of money and time in pursuing a matter of such two penny importance; but the justification that has been held nut by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that this involves a matter of principle and that it is applicable to all season ticket holders and that therefore it assumed importance in the eye of both the railway administration and also the petitioner himself.

I do not think that there is much substance in this. It would have been better if the parties had chosen a better opportunity where a greater stake was involved to fight out the question of a principle like this.

5. However that be, since the matter has been argued before me, I have to dispose it of.

6. The point now urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that under Section 67(3), Railways Act, he is entitled to a refund of the difference between the fare paid by him and the fare payable for the class of carriage in which he travelled actually while he held a ticket for a class much superior to the one in which he travelled. This subsection as has been argued by learned counsel for the respondent, cannot be made applicable, in my opinion, to the case of season ticket holders.

Though a ticket has been defined by the Act to include a season ticket, as well, still what is contemplated in Sub-section (3) of Section 67 cannot be saici to apply to season ticket-holders. It must be remembered that season ticket holders are issued these season tickets on concession rates and subject to certain conditions and terms which both parties have to comply. One of the conditions to which the holder of the season ticket must be deemed to have agreed is that the railway administration is at liberty to alter and vary the train, without liability of any kind to the holders of season tickets, and is not accountable for any stoppage, hindrance or delay in the proper starting or arriving of any train, arising from negligence, accident or any other cause: nor is any refund admissible in the event of either the class of accommodation for which the season ticket is issued nut being provided on the train for any reason or there being no room in the particular class of accommodation.

The season ticket holder in this case having regard to these terms when the season ticket was issued to him, cannot now question the right of the railway administration to alter and vary the trains and he cannot make the railway administration liable for any loss or damage that might arise to him by reason of such alteration, or variation of the train. In this case it cannot be disputed that the ticket holder was obliged to travel by the lower class only on account of the exercise of the railway administration of this right under this rule to vary or alter the train.

Therefore considered as a contract between the two parties the terms under which the season ticket has been issued will govern the relations between the parties and construed from that point of view, the ticket holder cannot enforce any liability against the railway administration if he suffers by reason of any alteration, or variation of the trains.

7. The next point urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that this rule which has been framed under the power vested in the railway administration under Section 47, Clauses (b) and (g) is 'ultra vires' of Section 67(3) and therefore it is not enforceable. I cannot agree with this contention either. The power given to the railway administration under Section 47 is wide enough to cover not merely for providing For the accommodation and convenience of passengers and regulating the carriage of their luggage and generally for regulating the travelling upon, and the use, working and management of the railway.

When the railway administration issues season, tickets at concession rates, for the convenience of passengers, it is open to the railway administralion to frame the rule in exercise of its powers vested under Section 47 to regulate the travelling of ticket holders also. So a rule framed in exercise of that power cannot be said to be 'ultra vires' of Section 67(3) of the Act.

8. Further the language of Section 67(3), as has been pointed out by the learned Full Bench of the Court of Small Causes is not also capable of being applicable to season ticket holders. That section seems to apply to persons who by single tickets for travelling and not to persons who travel on the basis of season tickets which are issued on different termsand conditions which are stipulated for and govern the use of the season tickets issued.

In Sub-clause (2) of Section 67 in order to claim a refund where a ticket holder does not have room available in the class of carriage for which he has purchased a ticket, he has to return the ticket within three hours after the departure of the train. Sub-clause (3) of Section 67 contemplates that, when a ticket holder is obliged to travel in a class lower, than the one for which he has purchased a ticket, he has to deliver his ticket and then only he is entitled to a refund.

This only contemplates that he can do so after completing the journey by the lower class while holding the ticket for higher class, which does not happen in the case of a season ticket holder. There is no question of a season ticket holder delivering up a season ticket at the counter where the collector stands for collecting the tickets from the persons who have travelled in the train,

On the other hand what the season ticket holder is expected to do is to show the ticket to the collector and pass out of the gate or the counter as the case may be. If it were intended that season ticket holders should also be brought within the scope of Section 67(3) the legislature would certainly, have used language suitable for the case of season ticket holders which has not been the case in this subsection.

Therefore it will be incorrect to say that Section 67 (3) is also capable of application to season ticket holders, who are governed by the special terms and conditions in the matter of the issue and use of the season tickets.

9. Therefore on a consideration of all the aspects placed before me by the learned counsel for the petitioner and also by the respondent, the railway administration, I do not think that there are any merits in this civil revision petition. It deserves to be dismissed and is hereby dismissed. As to costs, I do not make any order.


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