CHARGULLA SITARAMA RAO Vs. PATEL ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
CHARGULLA SITARAMA RAO
PATEL ENGINEERING CO. LTD.
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M.Krishna Rao, J. -
(1.) This appeal is filed by the plaintiff under Cl 15 of the Letters Patent.
(2.) The plaintiff filed the suit O. S. No. 2 of 1964 in the Court of the Agent to the Government, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Khammam for an account of the damages sustained by the plaintiff till the date of suit and also subsequent damages till the end of his lease period and for other ancillary reliefs. The plaint allegations are as follows : The plaintiff a resident of Bhadrachalam was the highest bidder of an auction held on 4-3-1964 with respect to the Bhadrachalam public ferry rights for a sum of Rs. 29,200.00-. An agreement was entered into between the plaintiff and the Panchayat Samithi laying down the conditions under which the plaintiff has to run the ferry. Under the said agreement the plaintiff claims an exclusive right to run a ferry and collect tolls within the limits prescribed in the notification. The defendant is an Engineering Contractor who undertook to lay a bridge across the river Godavari at the place where the plaintiffs ferry is located. The defendant is bound to use the plaintiffs vessels and pay him the toll charges for conveying his men and materials across the river within the ferry limits. In spite of a notice of demand, the defendant failed to pay the said charges. The action of the defendant in employing his own vessels for conveying the workers and material constitutes an infringement and disturbance of the plaintiffs exclusive right and hence the plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for the loss sustained by him.
(3.) The defendant contested the suit stating that he had already started his work even during the period of the previous ferry contractor, that there was no such objection or claim by the previous ferry contractor and that as he did not use the boats belonging to the plaintiff, he is not liable to pay the ferry or toll charges. He constructed a temporary bridge for the use of V. I. Ps. And the same was abolished. The plaintiff has no cause of action against the defendant under law and hence the suit is liable to be dismissed. The trial Court dismissed the suit holding that the plaintiffs exclusive right exists only at a single spot where his ferry starts, that he has no exclusive right within the limits prescribed in the notification and that the limits prescribed in the notification are not valid in law. Aggrieved by this judgment of the trial Court the plaintiff filed an appeal ( A. S. No. 484 of 1968 ) in this Court, Parthasarathi , J. who heard the appeal confirmed the judgment of the trial Court holding that the plaintiff does not possess any exclusive right for the entire area which was notified and that there was no infringement of plaintiffs rights, as the defendant did not carry or convey passengers for hire or remuneration and that as the defendant carried his own men in his boats there was no infringement of plaintiffs right. Against the said judgment, the plaintiff filed the present appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent.;
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