Decided on October 15,1957

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.) THIS is an appeal by the plaintiff against the judgment and decree of Sub-Judge, first Class, Ambala, dismissing his suit for the recovery of compensation for nondelivery of goods consigned to the Railway administration. The dominion of india, now the Union of India, was the sole defendant in the case.
(2.) ON 27th July, 1947, Mr. N. R. Aggar-wal consigned 65 bags of brass scrap weighing 130 maunds of the value of Rs. 5,460/- to the River Steam Navigation company Limited at Dirbugarh Ghat (ASSAM) to be delivered to self at Jagadhari on the erstwhile N. W. Railway (then the E. P. Railway and now the Northern railway) per navigation receipt No. 17010. The said receipt was endorsed in favour of the plaintiff-appellant against payment. The Navigation Company passed on the goods to the Assam Railway at Amingaon on the 31-7-1947, for being transported by rail to the station of destination. The same day, the goods were despatched by goods train for Nai-hathi, a station on the E. P. Railway. Thereafter the goods were to pass through E. I. Railway before being delivered by N. W. Railway at Jagadhari. The goods do not appear to have reached Naihathi and, therefore, could not be delivered to the plaintiff. On 23-4-1948, the plaintiff served a notice under section 80, Civil Procedure Code, on the General Manager E. P. Railway and then he brought the present suit for recovery of Rs. 5,460/-, the actual price of the non-delivered goods, and Rs. 1,820/- as damages, the total Rs. 7,280/ -. So far, the facts are not disputed before us. In the plaint, it was alleged that the goods were received by the E. P. Railway and, therefore, the said Railway administration was responsible for the loss and payment of the plaintiff's claim and also that the plaintiff had served a notice under Section 77 of the Indian Railways act on the General Manager E. P. Railway. On neither of these points there is any reliable evidence on the record and the findings against the plaintiff are no longer challenged.
(3.) THE defendant denied the plaintiff's claim and raised a number or legal objections to the maintainability of the suit. The trial Court dismissed the suit holding (1) that notice under Section 77, Railways Act, to administrations of all the railways, over which the goods were to be carried, was essential and (2) that notice under section 80, Civil Procedure Code, to E. P. Railway was not a sufficient compliance with the requirement of the section inasmuch as the notice did not disclose a cause of action, nor was it served on the other Railway administrations. On merits, it was found that the plaintiff was entitled to recover only the price of the goods amounting to Rs. 5,460/- and not the damages. Claim for damages is no longer pressed by the appellant and the amount due to the plaintiff as price of the goods is not disputed by the respondent. The dispute therefore is confined to the above two legal objections.;

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