UNION OF INDIA Vs. SITA RAM SAH
LAWS(PAT)-1979-8-13
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
Decided on August 18,1979

UNION OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
SITA RAM SAH Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

CHOA MAHTON V. UNION OF INDIA IN COUNCIL [REFERRED TO]
A.RAFEEQ AHMAD AND CO V. THE UNION OF INDIA AND ANOTHER [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA VS. MAMCHAND AGARWALLA [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA VS. SHANKERLAL [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Hari Lal Agrawal, J. - (1.)This is a defendants' second appeal. It was placed earlier before a learned Single Judge, but in view of some conflict between the decisions of different High Courts and there being no authoritative decision of this Court on the point, he referred the same to a Division Bench and accordingly it was placed before us. The question is as to whether section 76 of the Indian Railways Act is controlled by section 74 (3) or is independent of the same.
(2.)On 24.10.1962, 136 bags of onions were despatched from Hajipur Ghat railway station to Samapur railway station both on the North Eastern Railway. According to the plaintiff's case, the normal time taken in such a transit was only two days, but it reached the destination after an abnormal delay on 12.11.1962 when the assessment delivery was taken and the goods were found to have deteriorated to the extent of 60 per cent. Necessary certificate (Ext. 3) was given to the plaintiff to that effect. According to the plaintiff's case, on account of the above deterioration he suffered a loss of Rs. 1,578.10. He accordingly instituted the suit after serving the required notices under the law.
(3.)According to the case of the defendants, the wagon in question had arrived at Sonapur on the very next day of the booking, i. e., on 25.10.1962, but could not, proceed onwards on account of the circumstances beyond their control, namely, the state of emergency created by the Chinese aggression which resulted in heavy military movement, leading to congestion on the line on which the wagon had to travel. The consignment accordingly proceeded on its onward journey on 30.11.1962 through a route other than the normal one and reached the destination on 7.11.1962 by which time the contents had become rotten. There was no negligence or misconduct on the part of the railway administration or its employees. There were a large number of other pleas with which we are not concerned here. It may, however, be mentioned that the consignment was booked at "owner's risk" rate.


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