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Baijnath Prasad Surajlal Vs. Union of India (Uoi) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rule No. 1927 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1971Cal321
ActsRailways Act, 1890 - Section 72
AppellantBaijnath Prasad Surajlal
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi)
Appellant AdvocateM.N. Ghose and ;Jamini K. Banerjee, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateAjoy K. Basu, Adv.
Cases ReferredUnion of India v. Shew Bux Satyanarayan
Excerpt:
- .....it was found that a portion of the same had been damaged. the inspector of railways granted a damage certificate to the extent of 20 per cent, on 136 bags and 5 per cent, on 197 hags. the plaintiff claimed damages for this loss. both the courts below have found that the railways were responsible for this damage but they held, specially on the authority of the decision in union of india v. shew bux satyanarayan, : air1965cal636 . that it was the duty of the plaintiff to prove the actual loss and damages as to the quantity and extent and as, according to the courts below they could not do the same, the suit was dismissed.2. mr. manindra nath ghose, learned advocate for the petitioner, submits that the court below had misinterpreted the decision as, in that case, the certificate was.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.K. Chakravarti, J.

1. This Rule was issued at the instance of a plaintiff whose suit for damages against the Union of India representing the Railways was dismissed by the courts below on the ground that the plaintiff has not been able to prove the quantum and extent of actual loss. A consignment of onions was booked atNasik Road Railway Station on the 17th of November. 1962 and when the consignment reached Kharagpur on the 6th of December, 1962, it was found that a portion of the same had been damaged. The Inspector of Railways granted a damage certificate to the extent of 20 per cent, on 136 bags and 5 per cent, on 197 hags. The plaintiff claimed damages for this loss. Both the courts below have found that the Railways were responsible for this damage but they held, specially on the authority of the decision in Union of India v. Shew Bux Satyanarayan, : AIR1965Cal636 . that it was the duty of the plaintiff to prove the actual loss and damages as to the quantity and extent and as, according to the courts below they could not do the same, the suit was dismissed.

2. Mr. Manindra Nath Ghose, learned Advocate for the petitioner, submits that the court below had misinterpreted the decision as, in that case, the certificate was given as 'without prejudice' whereas in the instant case there is no such averment. I have been led through the entire decision and. in my view, as in that case the certificate was prefaced as 'without prejudice' the court held that it was necessary for the plaintiff still to prove the extent and quantity of the damage. That principle cannot be applied to the facts and circumstances of this case where an accredited officer of the Railways had himself granted the certificate and that must be presumed to have been done on proper inspection. The plaintiff might not choose to be bound by it but the Railways cannot escape from that certificate. In this view of the matter, I am of opinion that the plaintiff is entitled to get some damages from the Railways.

3. The next question is as to the quantum of the same. On the basis of the damage certificate it would appear that the total quantity of damage will be 16 quintals and 67 kilogram. The plaintiff has proved that he has purchased at the rate of Rs. 42.87 and he prayed for damages at that rate together with the price of 333 bags. It is no doubt a fact that he has not been able to prove satisfactorily that this entire quantity had to be destroyed. But we cannot arrive at a figure of the damage with mathematical accuracy. That the bags had been damaged to such an extent that they could not be sold has also not been proved.

4. In the circumstances, in my view, a sum of Rs. 375/- would be a sufficient measure of damages. The Rule is accordingly made absolute and the judgment and decree passed by the learned courts below set aside, and the suit is decreed in part for the sum of Rs. 375/-only. Each party will bear its own costsall through. This sum the opposite party will pay to the petitioner or deposit in the trial court within four months from date.


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