MUHAMMADI STEAMSHIP CO Vs. KESERISHIH VALLABDAS
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
MUHAMMADI STEAMSHIP CO.
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(1.) This second appeal is filed by defendants 1 and 2 in a suit for compensation for non delivery of goods by a carrier.
(2.) The facts may be shortly stated as follows: The Industrial Leather Company Limited, Bombay, shipped from Bombay to Cochin Port a consignment of five bundles of leather goods valued at Rs. 1,039-8-0 on board the ship S.S. Mount Kyllene belonging to the 1st defendant Steamer Company in the month of August 1948. On the arrival of the steamer at Cochin Port and the unloading of the cargo the plaintiffs agents Sitaram Warehouse, Mattancherri, were informed by the 2nd defendant who was the local agent of the 1st defendant that the goods had arrived. Thereupon the plaintiffs agents handed over the shipping documents and got the delivery order Ext. A on 21st January 1948 from the 2nd defendant. The goods were however not delivered on presentation of the delivery order. The plaintiff then forwarded a bill for the value of the goods and freight with 10 per cent added towards damages and incidental charges. On this the defendants wanted time to investigate but ultimately, after a good deal of correspondence, on 23rd February 1950, plaintiff was informed that his claim in respect of the goods stood rejected because it had been made too late. According to the plaintiff the defendants had been taking time on false pretext and prevented him from seeking remedy earlier. The suit was therefore laid on 5th April 1950 as for compensation for non delivery of goods and as against both the defendants 1 and 2.
(3.) Defendants 1 and 2 contested the suit. The 1st defendant rested his defence mainly on a plea of limitation. According to him the goods ought to have been delivered as soon as the ship had arrived at Cochin Port on 6th September 1948. The cause of action for damages for non delivery should therefore be deemed to have arisen on such date. The suit brought by plaintiff more than one year later must accordingly be held to be barred. Contention was also raised that the plaintiff was not entitled by way of loss of profit to the extent of Rs. 109-2-0 claimed in the plaint. The 2nd defendant denied liability because he was only an agent of the 1st defendant in the whole matter.;
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