BINAPANI BASU Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) An application under section 16(3) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) which had been registered as Misc. Case No. 103 of 1980 was dismissed by the learned District Judge, Howrah, by his order dated August 28, 1982. It was so dismissed not on merits but on the technical ground that such an application was not maintainable in law. Feeling aggrieved, the applicant has moved the present revisional application challenging the said order. The application is being heard on contest by the respondent the Union of India.
(2.) In laying her claim for compensation under section 16(3) of the Act, the applicant made out a case that the telegraph authorities were engaged in pulling and connecting telephone wire from a telephone post situate on the south of the dwelling house of the applicant at Andul Daspara Road to a brick built pillar set up for the said purpose at the subscriber's premises on an adjoining plot on August 26, 1977. The dais wire was being drawn and connected ?over, in, upon and across the private path/passage and over the eastern verandah? of the applicant's house. The applicant's further case was that there was gross neglect on the part of the telephone authorities in doing the said act when they failed to take proper caution to see whether the pillar that had been set up by the subscriber, was strong enough to sustain the pull of the wire. It was alleged that as a matter of fact a high pillar was wrongfully and illegally built upon the boundary wall of the subscriber without any tolerable foundation in spite of objections on the part of the applicant. While it was being so done, according to the applicant, the pillar gave way, fell upon the applicant's house and damaged her verandah. Having suffered damage in that process, she claimed appropriate damages from the telegraph authorities of the respondent No.1. When the telegraph authorities refused to compensate her, she filed the application under section 16(3) of the Act out of which the present revisional application arises.
(3.) The application was contested by the respondent No. 1 the Union of India. The damage sustained by the applicant could not be denied. But Union of India took the stand that the damage which the applicant had suffered was due to neglect on the part of the subscriber when the subscriber set up a pillar not founded on any sufficiently strong foundation. According to the Union of India, therefore, the damage, if any, was to be compensated by the subscriber and not the telegraph authorities. We may point out at this stage that the claim of the applicant that the telephone wire for the subscriber was being placed over the applicant's house, was not disputed as a fact though the respondent No. 1 took the stand that on that particular date and time there was no drawing of any line or making of any construction by the telegraph authorities; according to the respondent No. 1, none of their men was involved in the act resulting in the accident on the date of occurrence.;
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