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Rivers Steam Navigation Co., Ltd. Vs. Khanta Kumari Banik and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1934Cal632
AppellantRivers Steam Navigation Co., Ltd.
RespondentKhanta Kumari Banik and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....substance altogether. in the plaint damages were claimed for a certain amount of money under the fatal accidents act (13 of 1855) and for another amount under other acts on account of loss of khanta's personal effects. so far as the claim under the fatal accidents act goes, the suit was, under the provisions of section 1 of that act, for the benefit of khanta, her husband-the father of the two deceased children-and also for their grandmother who, it appears, was living at the time. under section 3, fatal accidents act, it was obligatory to give in the plaint particulars of all these beneficiaries, but the plaint tiled by khanta was wanting in these particulars. the plaint, so far as it related to the claim under the fatal accidents act, did not comply with the requirements of order 33,.....
Judgment:

Mallik, J.

1. This Rule is directed against an order of the Second Subordinate Judge of Dacca dated 24th June 1933, by which he allowed an application made by one Khanta Kumari Banik for permission to sue as a pauper. Khanta Kumari with three of her children was travelling in a motor-boat called the 'Meghna' on 17th January 1933, when due to negligent navigation of the Serang of the Steamer S.S. ''Mikir,' owned by the Rivers Steam Navigation Company Limited, there was a collision between the steamer and the motor launch, with the result that the motor-boat sank two of Khanta's children, one a boy aged about 12 and the other a girl of 5, were drowned, and Khanta herself lost her personal properties. On these allegations Khanta filed a plaint claiming damages against the Rivers Steam Navigation Company Limited, to the extent of Rs. 5,157, Rs. 3,250 on account of the loss of her two children and the bodily and mental pain sustained by her, and Rs. 1,907, on account of the loss of her personal effects. Khanta filed an application for permission to sue as a pauper on the allegation that she had no sufficient means to pay the court fees that would be payable. The learned Subordinate Judge allowed this application, and it is against this order allowing the application that the present Rule is directed.

2. The order that was made by the learned Subordinate Judge has been assailed before us mainly on two grounds. It was stated that the plaint filed by Khanta. Kumari had not been properly verified and it was said also that the plaint did not contain all the particulars as required for plaints in suits, and it was contended that on these grounds the application for permission to sue in forma pauperis ought to have been rejected Under Order 33, Rule 5, Civil P.C. As regards the first ground, I may mention that there is no substance in it. At the foot of the plaint filed by Khanta Kumari, a verification is to be found-a verification made by Khanta herself, and in this verification it has been stated that some of the statements were true to her knowledge and the others true to her information and belief. This verification was clearly in the form as prescribed by Order 6, Rule 15 of the Code. It was, said that Khanta in that verification had not, in support of the statements which, she stated were true according to her information and belief, disclosed the sources of her information. That may be so and the omission to do so may affect the weight that is to be attached to that verification, but so long as the verification was made in strict accordance with Order 6, Rule 15 of the Code, it cannot be said to be faulty in form.

3. The other ground, namely, that the plaint did not contain, all the particulars with regard to plaints in suits, is not without any substance altogether. In the plaint damages were claimed for a certain amount of money under the Fatal Accidents Act (13 of 1855) and for another amount under other Acts on account of loss of Khanta's personal effects. So far as the claim under the Fatal Accidents Act goes, the suit was, under the provisions of Section 1 of that Act, for the benefit of Khanta, her husband-the father of the two deceased children-and also for their grandmother who, it appears, was living at the time. Under Section 3, Fatal Accidents Act, it was obligatory to give in the plaint particulars of all these beneficiaries, but the plaint tiled by Khanta was wanting in these particulars. The plaint, so far as it related to the claim under the Fatal Accidents Act, did not comply with the requirements of Order 33, Rule 2, Civil P.C., and might therefore be defective in form. But, for that defect in form, Khanta's application for permission to sue in forma pauperis could not, in my judgment, be rejected. The suit was for damages. No doubt a part of the damages was claimed under the Fatal Accidents Act, but there was another part of the claim, not under the Fatal Accidents Act but on account of loss of the petitioner's personal effects. No exception could be taken to that part of the claim in the plaint on the ground of faulty form. The amount claimed for the loss of her own properties was nearly Rs. 2,000 and the court fee that would be necessary for that amount was far in excess of the value of Khanta's belongings.

4. I would therefore for the reasons stated above, discharge the rule. No order is passed as to costs in this Court. It is to be understood that the observations we have made regarding the applicability of the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act will not affect the merits of the case at the time of hearing. They have been made for the purpose of considering the question of pauperism only.

Patterson, J.

5. I agree.


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