TRAVELLERS CLUB AND ANR Vs. STATE OF ASSAM AND 3 ORS
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Travellers Club And Anr
State Of Assam And 3 Ors
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Arup Kumar Goswami, J. -
(1.) Heard Mr. K. N. Choudhury, learned Senior counsel, appearing for the petitioners. Also heard Mr. Y. Doloi, learned Standing counsel, Transport Department, appearing for respondent No. 1, 2 and 3 as well as Ms. R. D. Mozumdar, learned counsel, appearing for respondent No. 4/Insurance Company.
(2.) The petitioner No. 1 is a firm of which petitioner No. 2 is the Managing Partner. The petitioners and the respondent No. 2 had entered into an agreement on 25.09.2007 to use two vessels of the Inland Water Transport Department, namely, S.B. Ranganadi and S.D.B. Manashi, for the purpose of river cruising over the river Brahmaputra for twelve hours a day, from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., twenty-five days in a month. For the aforesaid purpose, necessary expenditure for modernizing and upliftment of the vessels, including its decoration, furniture and fixtures, sitting arrangement, suitable arrangement for restaurant, entertainment programme, ticket counter, construction of Ramp, approach, Jetty, publicity and advertisement, etc., were to be incurred by the hirer, i.e., the petitioners, under the supervision of an Officer of the Inland Water Transport Department, Government of Assam, and such cost was not to be reimbursed.
(3.) The instant writ petition revolves around the vessel, namely, S.D.B. Manashi. In the year 2011, while the said cruise vessel was in operation under the petitioners, some leakages at the bottom of the vessel were detected and the petitioner No. 2, by his communication dated 15.02.2011 informed the respondent No. 2 to repair the vessel for smooth and safe running of the vessel. On 10.04.2012, the vessel sank in the river Brahmaputra and although, later on, the vessel was recovered, the same could not be repaired as the cost of retrieval/rectification would have been more than the value at which the vessel had been insured.;
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