MFA 18/2009. Gauhati High Court

Case NumberMFA 18/2009
Judgement DateMarch 02, 2021
CourtGauhati High Court

IN THE GAUHATI HIGH COURT

(HIGH COURT OF ASSAM: NAGALAND: MIZORAM & ARUNACHAL PRADESH)

M.F.A No. 18/2009

Union of India

(Represented by the General Manager, N.F. Railway), Maligaon, Guwahati-11, Assam.

………….. Appellant

-VERSUS- M/S Ganapati Enterprise Kyal Market, Fancy Bazar, Guwahati-1, Assam

……………… Respondent

-BEFORETHE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE S. SERTO

For the Appellant : Mr. S.Sarma,

Ms. B. Devi,

Mr. H.K.Das, Advs.

For the Respondent : Mr. K.P. Maheshwari,

Mr. A. Goyal,

Ms. Manisha Sharma, Advs.

Date of hearing : 16-02-2017

&

Date of judgment : 02-03-2017

JUDGMENT & ORDER (CAV)

Heard Ms. B. Devi, learned counsel for the appellant/N.F. Railway and also heard Mr. A. Goyal, learned counsel for the respondent/claimant.

  1. This is an appeal under section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 directed against the judgment and order dated 28.08.2007, passed by the Railway Claims Tribunal, Guwahati Bench at Guwahati in Application No. 245/2001.

  2. The fact and circumstance leading to this appeal are stated as follows;-On 19.03.2001, the respondent herein submitted a claim petition before the Railway claims Tribunal, Guwahati Bench, Guwahati, claiming that he, as the proprietor of the farm M/S Ganapati Enterprise, had booked 5,849 kattas of sugar with the appellant/railways in safe, sound and secure condition, under the railway risk rate , after meeting all statutory and legal requirements of the Railways for transportation from NACC to NGC on 30.12.1999, under invoice/RR No. 188/931387. And following the booking the consignment arrived at the destination, but after delay in transit, and at the same time, with seal and card labels absent, doors in open condition and stakes in disturbed condition, suggesting criminal interference while enroute, and, on unloading the goods it was found that there was shortage of 414 Kgs. The Railway officers there and then verified the same and recorded in Railways record known as

    “Unloading tally books” , however, refused to issue shortage certificate and did not do so even after a request was made through a letter dated

    12.05.2000, on the pretext that the goods were booked under “Said to contain” remarks, as such, they are not bound to issue such certificate. Therefore, the General Manager, N.F. Railway was informed through letter

    dated 15.11.2000 and, requested to issue a short delivery certificate. A copy of the same was also sent to DCM, N.F. Railway, Guwahati. The General Manager, N.F. Railway also did not issue the certificate and settled the claim, therefore, a claim notice under section 106(B) of Railway Act was sent to the appellant on 02.03.2000. But, since no positive response was received a claim case was filed before the learned Tribunal claiming a sum of Rs. 6,297/- as value of the shortage in the consignment along with interest @ 10% p.a., and application fee of Rs. 380/- and Advocate fee as per rule.

    The respondent/claimant also prayed to the learned Tribunal to direct the appellant/respondent to produce the following documents;-

    (i) original RR remarks,

    (ii) loading tally books on delivery,

    (iii) Unloading tally books at destination,

    (iv) seal and card labels in original,

    (v) Railway officers as witness who put his signature remarks letter dated 12.01.2000 indicating inability to issue shortage certificate on delivery certificate.

    The respondent/claimant supported his claim with an affidavit sworn by him on 17.05.2007. He also filed a copy of the invoice for purchase of the sugar, copy of the letter dated 15.11.2000 addressed to the General Manager, N.F. Railway, Guwahati requesting him to issue instruction to the destination railway authorities to issue proper certificate and settled compensation claim, and the copy of the notice under section 106(B) of the Indian Railway Act, served to the General Manager, N.F Railway, Maligaon, P.O. Guwahati. A receipt issued by the N.F. Railway acknowledging the receipt of the letter dated 15.11.2000 was also submitted.

    The learned Tribunal on receipt of the application issued notice to the appellant/respondent and the respondent submitted their objection

    denying all the claims of the respondent/claimant but admitting that the consignment was booked with them.

    It appears from the record of the learned Railway Claims Tribunal that the appellant were directed to produce ORRS, including tally books , delivery books, DDm, seal and card labels to prove that delivery of the consignment was in safe and sound condition.

  3. After hearing the parties the Tribunal passed the...

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