KALIDAS MUKERJEE Vs. EAST INDIAN RAILWAY COMPANY
LAWS(PVC)-1901-2-28
PRIVY COUNCIL
Decided on February 21,1901

Kalidas Mukerjee Appellant
VERSUS
EAST INDIAN RAILWAY COMPANY Respondents

JUDGEMENT

CHANCELLOR, J. - (1.) IN this case the plaintiff, who is entitled to bring the action, sues the defendant company for the death of his son, who was killed by an explosion in a railway carriage. The explosion was caused by the bringing. into the carriage of a quantity of fireworks. The carriage was one in which smoking was permitted; and a small charcoal stand was there for the accommodation of the smokers. The two persons responsible for bringing in the combustibles themselves became the victims of the explosion; but the action is brought against the railway company upon the allegation that they were guilty of negligence in permitting the explosives to be brought into the carriage.
(2.) NO precise evidence was given as to the course of business at the station at which the two persons in question got in. The fact that the fireworks were brought in was clear. But it is contended that it was the duty of the company to see that dangerous articles, such as fireworks, should not be permitted to be brought into a passenger train. That it would be negligence knowingly to permit such articles to be carried in a passenger carriage is obvious enough, but it is not suggested, so far as the railway company or their servants are concerned, that they were knowingly permitted to be brought in. The sole question is whether, upon such facts as are here proved, their Lordships can find reasonable evidence of a neglect of duty on the part of the company, in not detecting the nature of the parcel or parcels which it is presumed that one, or both, of the persons who brought the fireworks to the train had with them when they passed the ticket barrier at the station at which they got into the train.
(3.) NO evidence is given by any one of the appearance, or even the bulk, of the parcel or parcels. No evidence is given by the railway company of any inspection of any passenger's luggage at the station in question. The parcel, whatever it was, was placed under the seat of the carriage; and some expert evidence was given that the extensive explosion which occurred, and in which the two people responsible for carrying the fireworks were themselves killed, might be caused by half a dozen bombs such as are usually used on such an occasion as these fireworks were intended for, namely, a Hindu marriage; and these bombs are described as being about the size of ordinary cricket balls.;


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