UNION OF INDIA Vs. M/S P.P. ENTERPRISES
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
UNION OF INDIA
M/S P.P. Enterprises
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KALYAN RAI SURANA,J. -
(1.) Heard Mr. B. Sarma, the learned Standing Counsel appearing for the Railways, the appellant herein. Also heard Ms. M. Sharma, the learned Counsel appearing for the respondent.
(2.) This appeal under section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 is directed against the judgment and order dated 05.07.2010 passed by the learned Railway Claims Tribunal, Guwahati Bench, Guwahati in Application No. 174/2002 (Old)/ OA I/GHY/2002/0174 (New).
(3.) The case of the respondent, who was the applicant in the claim application is that they had booked a consignment of sugar on 29.10.1999 from station GIMB to station NGC under RR No. 974184. It was projected that the respondent was the owner of goods, holding legal title in terms of section 74 of the Railways Act, 1989 and that the consignment was booked in safe, sound and secured condition under the "Railway Risk" rate. It was projected that the consignment had reached the destination station with undue delay in transit. It was projected that at the time of unloading, the wagon seals and card labels were absent and that the doors were having big gaps and the stacks were in disturbed condition and the wagon was found in a broken and damaged condition with cut holes. On unloading there was a shortage, which was stated to be recorded in the "unloading tally book" and Chief Goods Supervisor at New Guwahati Station was informed about such shortage by letter dated 14.11.1999, with a request to issue short delivery certificate. However, such certificate was not issued because the goods were booked under "said to contain" basis. By stating that 2467 Kg (i.e. 1417 Kg short in 46 katta torn loose in wagon 53113 and 1050 Kg = 21 kattas short in wagon 15209) was found short, prayer for compensation for short delivery was made at the rate of Rs. 18/- per kg. amounting to Rs. 44,406/-, which was claimed with interest at the rated of 18% together with the application fees, advocate fees and proportionate cost. The said application under section 16 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 was filed on 01.07.2002. The appellant had entered appearance as the opposite party in the claim petition and submitted their written statement on 21.06.2007. On 11.06.2010, the respondent's witness submitted his evidence-on-affidavit sworn on 06.07.2005 along with a separate prayer under section 18(3)(b) of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 read with Rule 20(b) of Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1989 by which the following documents were sought to be produced by the Railway:
i. Original Forwarding Notes which our consignor executed in terms of IRCM-Voll-II of 1991 Rule No. 1402 read with Section 64 of Railway Act, 1989.
ii. Loading Tally book of booking station meeting compliance of IRCM-Voll-II of 1991 Rule No. 1512 and 1513.
iii. Original Railway receipt submitted by us at the time of delivery at the destination station.
iv. Seal and card labels of destination point meeting compliance of IRCM-Voll-II of 1991 rule No. 1570, 1578 (a) 1713 and 1714 read with Railway Circular bearing No. C/65/O/69/ID dated 22.04.1975.
v. Copy of unloading tally and Delivery deficiency massage of destination point meeting compliances of IRCM-Voll-II of 1991 rule No. 1715, 1716, 1718, 1720 and 1721.
vi. All records about the movements of the wagons during Railways transit meeting compliance under section 95 and 97 of Railway act 1989 read with IRCM-Vol-II of 1991 rule No. 2124;
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