Gau HC | Parties agreeing to rate of Compensation at argument stage, Tribunal granting compensation accordingly, held, the judgment will be a consent decree  

Gauhati High Court

Gauhati High Court: Rumi Kumari Phukan, J., held that if the amount of compensation has already been agreed in a compensation claim, no appeal would lie against the same.

The present appeal was directed against the judgment and order passed by the Railway Claims Tribunal, whereby the Railway authority was directed to pay Rs.57,375 as compensation.

According to the applicant, a clubbed consignment (300 packets of dried peas and 400 packets of Arhar Dal) was booked from DKZ to NGC. At destination, as per Delivery Certificate, 45 packets of Arhar Dal were found short. As per the applicant at Rs.25.50 per kg., the compensation was amounted to Rs.57,375 for which the applicant had filed the claim petition and stated that the respondent railway was fully liable.

The respondent-Railway submitted that the question of negligence and misconduct did not arise, as the consignment was loaded by the sender at the forwarding station and unloaded by the consignee at the destination station. It was also argued by the respondent-Railway that the nature of relief as sought for in the application was not admitted since there was no contract between the parties in this case to pay cost and interest and the applicant was not entitled for the same. The Railway Claims Tribunal decided all the issues in favour of the applicant and passed the impugned judgment.

According to Section 93 of the Railway Act, the Railway Authority is responsible for the loss, destruction, damage of the articles loaded for transportation.

The applicant made specific claim about the damage at the time of delivery of consignment with the further claim that wagon seals and card labels were absent, with damage to the body of the wagon with leakage etc. Further, the unloading report revealed that S/Side W/D without original seal and card label, protection seal were badly broken thereby the applicant disputed that the respondent had not taken due care of consignment after such entrustment.

Noticing that at the stage of argument both the parties agreed for the compensation at the rate of Rs.25.50 per kg. [2250 Kg. X Rs.25.50 = Rs.57,375/-] and the Tribunal order was passed on the basis of such agreement, the Bench stated that such agreement tantamount to consent decree, hence, appeal was not maintainable as the amount of compensation was already decided on being agreed.

As per Section 23(2) of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, no appeal will lie against consent decree, hence the appeal was held to be not maintainable. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed. [Union of India v. M/S Ramesh And Co,  2021 SCC OnLine Gau 1839, decided on 27-09-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

Advocate for the appellant: Mr. G. Goswami, Standing Counsel, Railway.

Advocate for the respondent: Ms. M. Sharma.

One comment

  • I am Advocate Manisha Sharma, who was appeared in the case of Union of India vs. M/s Ramesh and Co. as you may see the my name as Ms. M. Sharma, which was decided by the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court on 27.09.2021 by the Hon’ble Justice Mrs. Rumi Kumari Phukan. I am very great full to know that the aforesaid judgement was reported as 2021 SCC online GAU 1839 and it is my duty to inform you that your SCC Blog where you wrote at the bottom “Appearance by “… Advocate for Respondent Mr. K.P. Maheswari…”, is factually not correct as per the High Court order. Though the name of the Counsel Mr. K.P. Maheswari is mentioned in the vaklatnama but the fact is the counsel who has appeared in the aforesaid case is Ms. M Sharma. Therefore if it is mentioned in the blog as well as reported in the SCC online as Mr. K.P. Maheswari, then it is to be corrected with the correct name of the Counsel who have actually appeared in the matter on behalf of the Respondent.

    Thus I will be obliged if you consider the above issue and ratify it with the correct name.

    Manisha Sharma
    Advocate, Gauhati High Court

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