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The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. Vs. the Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rule No. 2895 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1973Cal287,76CWN765
ActsCalcutta Port Act, 1890 - Section 89
AppellantThe Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd.
RespondentThe Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta and anr.
Appellant AdvocateManas Nath Roy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateB.B. Mitter, Adv.
Excerpt:
- .....copy of the judgment of the full bench had been lost and as such, the delay is condoned.2. the opposite party no. 2 had a cargo of iron ore to be loaded into a ship 'm. m. jag manek' and of which the petitioner is the owner; and in august. 1964, the vessel was berthed at no. 5 k. g. dock. the loading operations were being carried on by the men of the stevedore. messrs. sharma & co. at about 0.50 a.m. while the porters of the above stevedore were working at hatch no. 2 of the vessel and had lowered the hopper tub no. 53 loaded with iron ore inside the hatch, they negligently failed to handle the said tub properly with the result that it dashed against the coming of the hatch and it got damaged considerably and its handle was also broken. the port commissioner, opposite party no. 1,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.K. Chakravarti, J.

1. This Rule has been issued in respect of an order passed by a Full Bench of the Calcutta Small Cause Court by which it had dismissed an application fled by the petitioner under Section 33 of the Presidency Small Cause Court Act This application had been filed out of time and there was an application for condonation of the delay. I am satisfied that the original copy of the judgment of the Full Bench had been lost and as such, the delay is condoned.

2. The opposite party No. 2 had a cargo of iron ore to be loaded into a ship 'M. M. Jag Manek' and of which the petitioner is the owner; and in August. 1964, the vessel was berthed at No. 5 K. G. Dock. The loading operations were being carried on by the men of the Stevedore. Messrs. Sharma & Co. At about 0.50 a.m. while the porters of the above Stevedore were working at hatch No. 2 of the vessel and had lowered the hopper tub No. 53 loaded with iron ore inside the hatch, they negligently failed to handle the said tub properly with the result that it dashed against the coming of the hatch and it got damaged considerably and its handle was also broken. The Port Commissioner, opposite party No. 1, therefore, sued the petitioner as also the opposite party No. 2 to recover a sura of Rs. 563.75 P. for the above damage. The suit was not contested by the opposite party No. 2, but the petitioner contended that it was not liable but the liability would be that of the opposite party No. 2. This plea was not accepted by the learned trial Court, who decreed the suit in full against the petitioner, and the application by the petitioner under Section 33 was also dismissed on the same ground.

3. Mr. Marias Nath Roy, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioner, submits that the petitioner had nothing to do with the appointment of the Stevedore, but the Stevedore had been appointed by the opposite party No. 2, end as such, the petitioner would not be liable for the damage. As the Calcutta Port Act 1890 stands, it appears that the Port Commissioners recognize only thevessel in question and none else in respect of the transactions it may have with regard to or in connection with any loading and unloading of any vessel on its docks. Section 89 of the Act bears a clear indication to that effect. Under it, if any damage or mischief is caused by any of the persons employed in the vessel, the Master or Agent would be summoned to answer touching such damage or mischief. There can he no doubt of the fact that the Stevedore's men were persons employed in the vessel. Mr. Roy points out that they were not employed by the Master or Agent of the vessel. But the section does not refer to the persons who employed them and such consideration would be irrelevant. It would suffice if, the damage is caused by any person employed in the vessel. In the circumstances, the suit was rightly decreed against the petitioner and this Rule fails and is discharged.

4. Each party will, however, bear its own costs is this Court.


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