Om Parkash, J.C. -
(1.) This petition, under Article 133 of the constitution of India, and Sections 109 and 110 C.P.C., for the grant of a certificate, that the case is fit one for appeal to the Hon'ble Supreme Court, is directed against the judgment and decree of this Court, dated 10-11-1962. The facts, in brief, giving rise to the petition, are as follows:
(2.) There is a suspension bridge, on river Sutlej, near village Dehar, Tehsil Sundernagar, District Mandi. The bridge was suspended on two galvanised iron, ropes, on each side. It was to be widened, and, on each side, one additional galvanised iron rope was to be added. The contract for this work was given to the petitioner, by the Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department. The work was in progress in August, 1955. On 29-8-1955, Mehanga Ram, son of respondents Nos. 1 and 2, was passing over the bridge. All of a sudden, the bridge tilted and Mehanga Ram fell down into the river. Despite efforts, his body was not traceable and it was alleged that he had died as a result of falling down. Respondents Nos. 1 and 2, along with their two daughters, brought a suit, in forma pauperis, against the petitioner, and respondent No. 3, for recovery of Rs. 20,000/-, as damages, alleging that death it Mehanga Ram was due to the neglect of duty, on the part of the petitioner and respondent No. 3, a notice, under Section 80, C.P.C., had been served on respondent No. 3, before the institution of the suit.
(3.) The suit was contested by the petitioner and respondent No. 3. It was denied that death of Mehanga Kara was the result of any neglect of duty on the part of the petitioner or any of his labourers. It was, further, deniea that Mehanga Ram was the son of respondents Nos. 1 and 2, it was pleaded that respondent No. 2 had been married to one Panchhi Ram and that Mehanga Ram was born of that union. It was, further, pleaded that the suit was barred by limitation, as the notice, served on respondent No. 3, was not in accordance with law and the period of notice could not be excluded in computing the period of limitation. Respondent No. 3 had taken up an additional plea that it could not be made vicariously liable for any neglect of duty on the part of the petitioner as he was an independent contractor.;