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K.S.M. Somasundaram Vs. the Union of India (Uoi) Represented by the General Manager, Southern Railway and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1964)1MLJ255
AppellantK.S.M. Somasundaram
RespondentThe Union of India (Uoi) Represented by the General Manager, Southern Railway and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....union of india in respect of negligent delivery of goods to a person other than the owner by the railway administration. on 12th june, 1956, the petitioner consigned by railway parcel 72 handloom sarees valued at the amount aforesaid at ambathurai railway station to be delivered to 'self' at victoria terminus, bombay. a railway receipt was given to him. it was endorsed by the, petitioner in favour of kalamandir swadeshi market, bombay; but it did nor reach the addressee. it appears that the railway receipt was received by some person not entitled to the same, but who, thereafter, presented it at the victoria terminus railway station and obtained delivery of goods. there are no means of knowing to whom the delivery was made. the endorsement on the back of the receipt which has now been.....
Judgment:

1. The Civil Revision Petition arises out of a suit filed for recovery of a sum of Rs. 726-14-0 by the petitioner against the Union of India in respect of negligent delivery of goods to a person other than the owner by the Railway Administration. On 12th June, 1956, the petitioner consigned by railway parcel 72 handloom sarees valued at the amount aforesaid at Ambathurai Railway Station to be delivered to 'self' at Victoria Terminus, Bombay. A railway receipt was given to him. It was endorsed by the, petitioner in favour of Kalamandir Swadeshi Market, Bombay; but it did nor reach the addressee. It appears that the railway receipt was received by some person not entitled to the same, but who, thereafter, presented it at the Victoria Terminus Railway Station and obtained delivery of goods. There are no means of knowing to whom the delivery was made. The endorsement on the back of the receipt which has now been produced by the respondent shows as if a certain Chaganlal Kasturchand & Co., has directed the goods to be delivered to one Mr. Shah. It is the case of the petitioner that he had endorsed the receipt on its back in favour of Kalamandir at Bombay. But the receipt as it was presented to the Railway Administration, was pasted with two bits of paper on the reverse. Underneath the paper, there is indication of some scraping of the surface by a sharp instrument, leaving some traces of writing which has been obliterated. Presumably, it was an endorsement in favour of Kalamandir. I have seen up a portion of the paper that has been pasted on the reverse of the receipt, and I find that, there must have been some writing which was first obliterated and the same covered up by the pasting of paper. Whatever that may be, one can see from the way in which the pasting has been done that there is something suspicious about it. It was the plain duty of the Railway Administration to have found out whether there was something underneath the paper pasted on the reverse of the receipt, at any rate, they should not have delivered the goods without taking an indemnity from the person who produced the receipt. Strangely enough, the Railway Administration did not even ascertain the address of the person to whom it delivered the goods. There can be little doubt that the conduct of the concerned officer of the Railway Department in delivering the goods was grossly negligent. They would therefore be liable to reimburse the petitioner for the loss sustained by him. The learned Subordinate Judge has however, on a superficial look at the receipt, assumed that the receipt must have been damaged by accident. This is a fundamental error on his part which has coloured his ultimate conclusion. I am not therefore satisfied with the correctness of his judgment. The decree of the lower Court will be set aside, and there will be a decree in favour of the petitioner for the amount claimed with costs.


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