THE UNION OF INDIA (UOI) AND ORS. Vs. MURALIDHAR AGARWALLA AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
The Union Of India (Uoi) And Ors.
Muralidhar Agarwalla And Ors.
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Thadani, J. -
(1.) THIS is first appeal from the judgment and decree of the learned Subordinate Judge, L.A.D., dated 31 -3 -1949, by which he decreed the suit with costs against the Dominion of India and defendants 2, 3 & 4, and dismissed it with no order as to costs, against the fifth defendant.
(2.) THE plaintiffs brought a suit for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 7,331/7/ - as compensation for the loss of 106 maunds and 201/2 seers of oil, out of a consignment of 075 tins of rapeseed oil weighing 302 maunds and 21 seers, delivered at the Alwar Railway Station of the B.B & C.I. Railway, for carriage to Nalbaria station on the B.A. Rly., in Assam, under Invoice No. 1, R.R. No. 6173, dated 31 -12 -1914. It was the plaintiffs' case that they had purchased the consignment from the holder of the R.R. duly endorsed in their favour, in the ordinary course, the consignment should have reached its destination in about 10 days, but it was delayed for some 20 days, and when it reached its destination, it was found that several tins were broken; 385 tins out of 375 tins were found in good condition; 165 out of the total number of tins contained less then half the oil, and 125 tins were entirely empty. They alleged that the loss was due to gross carelessness, negligence and misconduct, of the Railway Administration or its servants, and vaguely alleged rough handling and pilferage; after serving the statutory notice upon the Dominion of India and upon the General Managers of the Railways concerned, they brought the present suit.
(3.) THE defendants' case was that the consignment was booked under Risk Note "A" exonerating the Railway from all liability for loss arising from the condition of the consignment, except upon proof of misconduct on the part of the Railway Administration, or its servants. They denied that there was any misconduct, negligence or carelessness on the part of the Railway Administration or its servants; the oil was packed in defective containers incapable of withstanding ordinary transport by Rail. The execution of Risk Note Z was admitted, but it was contended that their liability was to be, governed by the contents of Risk Note A, having regard to the fact that the entire consignment was delivered to the plaintiffs.;
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