DOMINION OF INDIA Vs. NAGARDAS AND CO
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
DOMINION OF INDIA
NAGARDAS AND CO., REPRESENTED BY ITS MANAGING PARTNER
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Mack, J. -
(1.) Appellant is the Dominion of India and H. E. H. the Nizam of Hyderabad represented by the General Manager of the N. S. Railway, Secunderabad. The appeal is against a remand by the Principal Subordinate Judge of Vijayawada reversing a finding of the District Munsif that a suit filed by Nagardas and Co., merchants of Vijayawada, claiming Rs. 669 as damages in respect of dhoties lost in transit was time-barred. The suit was remanded for fresh disposal on the other Issues.
(2.) The relevant facts are these: Two bales of dhoties Nos. 9588 and 9589 were consigned to Vijayawada on 18-3-1945 from Ahmedabad to the plaintiff firm. Delivery was to be effected to the plaintiff at Vijayawada, the delivery station being on the Nizam's State Railway. The booking station, i.e., Ahmedabad was on the B. B. and C. I. Railway. There is no dispute as regards one bale No. 9589 which was delivered to the plaintiff intact. The other bale No. 9588 arrived at Vijayawada in a damaged condition. The plaintiff took open delivery on 5-4-1945 after obtaining a certificate from the Commercial Inspector of the. N. S. Railway. 140 pairs of dhoties valued at Rs. 661 were found to be missing from this bale. It is the plaintiff's case that he sent notices on 7-4-1945 to the Railway companies concerned i.e. the B. B. and C. I. Railway, G. I. P. Railway and the N. S. Railway claiming damages and he received no reply despite reminders. He did not issue the statutory notice under Section 80, Civil P. C., till 3-9-1946. Not receiving any reply even to this, plaintiff filed the suit on 31-3-1948 only against the N. S. Railway who contended, inter alia, that the suit was time-barred. Plaintiff's contention that the suit was governed by Article 115, Limitation Act, was rightly negatived and is not pressed before me.
(3.) There are only two possible Articles, which apply to a case of this kind, viz., Article 30 or Article 31. Article 30 prescribes a period of one year against a carrier for compensation for losing or Injuring goods from the date when the loss or Injury occurs. Article 31 prescribes a period of one year against a carrier for compensation for non-delivery of or delay in delivering goods from the date when the goods ought to be delivered.;
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