KALIDAS MUKERJEE Vs. EAST INDIAN RAILWAY COMPANY
EAST INDIAN RAILWAY COMPANY
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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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