Skip to content


South Indian Railway Company Ltd. Vs. V.M.K.S. Dandayutham Chettiar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1934Mad715
AppellantSouth Indian Railway Company Ltd.
RespondentV.M.K.S. Dandayutham Chettiar
Cases ReferredJamunadas Ranjas v. E.I. Ry. Co.
Excerpt:
- - in that case misconduct under risk note form h was construed to mean 'failure to do what is required of a person to do. ' failure to provide against such ordinary contingency such as rain-water forcing itself into the waggon and causing damage to grain' was construed to be misconduct in that case. the damage that was caused was clearly the result of an......consigned to him were found wet. the defendant company claimed exemption from liability for the damage caused as the goods were sent under risk note form h. under this contract the company will be liable if it is proved that the damage was caused on account of the 'misconduct' of the railway department or its servants. the question is whether there has been such misconduct as is contemplated by the risk note form h in this case. it is admitted-see d.w. 1-that the bags of rice became wet on account of the rain blowing into the waggon through the crevices of the doors; but there is evidence that the waggon in which the goods were despatched was found watertight at the last periodical examination on 1st july 1930, and also when it was re-examined on 12th november 1931. it was between.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. The petitioner is the S.I.R. Co. This petition is to revise an order of the District Munsif of Udumalpet awarding damages to the plaintiff for the loss caused to him on account of rain leaking into the waggon, as a result of which 15 bags out of the 141 bags of rice consigned to him were found wet. The defendant company claimed exemption from liability for the damage caused as the goods were sent under risk note form H. Under this contract the company will be liable if it is proved that the damage was caused on account of the 'misconduct' of the Railway Department or its servants. The question is whether there has been such misconduct as is contemplated by the risk note form H in this case. It is admitted-see D.W. 1-that the bags of rice became wet on account of the rain blowing into the waggon through the crevices of the doors; but there is evidence that the waggon in which the goods were despatched was found watertight at the last periodical examination on 1st July 1930, and also when it was re-examined on 12th November 1931. It was between these dates that the goods were carried by the company. In M. & S.M.Ry. Co. v. Sunderjee Kalidas 1933 Cal. 742, it was pointed out that

misconduct is not necessarily established by proving oven culpable negligence. It is something opposed to accident or negligence and is the intentional doing of something which the doer knows to be wrong or which he does recklessly not caring what the results may be.

2. In B.B. & C.I. Ry. Co. Rajnagar Spinning Weaving and Manufacturing Co. 1930 Bom. 129, it was held that the word 'misconduct' suggests

that a railway servant has been guilty of doing something which was inconsistent with the conduct required of him by the rules of the company. In the absence of proof that there was any breach of duty by the railway servant or any infringement of the rules which regulate their terms of employment, no fair inference of misconduct on the part of the railway administration servants could properly arise.

3. Having regard to these decisions, and (the evidence in the case which shows that there was no negligence on the part of the railway company as the waggon in which the bags were sent was water, (tight, it is difficult to hold that misconduct on the part of the railway department or its servants has been proved.

4. But in a case in Jamunadas Ranjas v. E.I. Ry. Co. 1933 Pat. 630, , which is very similar to the present case on the facts, it was held that 'misconduct' was proved. In that case misconduct under risk note form H was construed to mean 'failure to do what is required of a person to do.' 'Failure to provide against such ordinary contingency such as rain-water forcing itself into the waggon and causing damage to grain' was construed to be misconduct in that case. This case entirely supports the respondent. The learned Judge observed.

that the fact that the rain-water did enter the waggon and cause damage to the plaintiff's consignment is itself sufficient to show that; proper and requisite precautions were not taken by the railway department to provide against such risk contingency.

5. Having regard to the facts of the present case I am unable to follow the above decision. The railway company have done all that they could. They could not do more than what they did, viz., provide a water-tight compartment for carrying the bags. The damage that was caused was clearly the result of an. accident and not misconduct on the part of the railway company. I would therefore set aside the lower Court's decree and dismiss the plaintiff's suit with respect to both his claims. In the circumstances each party will bear its own costs throughout.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //