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Report No. 56

Appendix

History of Section 77, Railways Act, 1890

Section 77 of the Railways Act corresponded to an executive order1, which provided for notification of claims to refund of overcharges and compensation for loses etc,2 in respect of goods carried by railways. At the time when the Indian Railways Bill was under consideration, it was observed3 with reference to Clause 77-

"This validates the Bill of a rule at present of a very doubtful legality. One would date the six months period from the date on which the overcharge was intimated, or the loss, destruction or deterioration became known to him. Might the rule not be made subject to 'reasonable and sufficient cause' for delay?".

It may also be noted that when the Bill, was under consideration, certain authorities suggested4 (in the correspondence on the Bill) that the period of six months was too long, and that 2 months was sufficient to claim the refund of overcharges or compensation in respect of animals and goods.5

There was a comment from a Lieutenant Governor6 to the effect that the Railway Administration should be similarly debarred from recovering undercharges from the public unless the claim is made within 6 months. There was also a comment by the Manager of a Railway, that just as, by section 77, the public are debarred from obtaining a refund of an overcharge, unless the claim is preferred within 6 months from the date of delivery, the Railway Administration should also be debarred from recovering overcharges from public unless the claim is made within 6 months.7

These comments do not, however, seem to have carried much weight, and the clause was passed without substantial change on the points raised. We should, before we part with this Report, place on record our warm appreciation of the assistance we have received from Shri Bakshi, Member-Secretary of the Commission, in dealing with the problem covered by the Report. As usual, Shri Bakshi first prepared a draft which was treated as a Working Paper. The draft was considered by the Commission point by point, and, in the light of the decisions taken tentatively by the Commission, Shri Bakshi prepared a final draft for consideration which was after elaborate discussion approved by the Commission. Throughout the study of this problem, Shri Bakshi took an active part in our deliberations, and has rendered very valuable assistance to the Commission.

1. U.O. Reg. No. 3874 of 1882.

2. Information taken from the file relating to the Indian Railways Bill, Legislative papers relating to Act 9 of 1890, marginal note against clause 77 of the Bill (National Archives).

3. Government Advocate, Punjab, vide Government of India, Legislative Department Office Memorandum No. 387, dated 13-2-1880 (Cl. No. 1712 R.T.), referred to in the papers in the file relating to the Indian Railways Bill; Legislative Papers relating to Act 9 of 1890 (National Archives).

4. (a) Board of Directors, Bengal and North-Western Railway, Col. No. 687, dated 21-2-1889 (General No. 3701 R.T.); and

(b) Agent and Chief Engineer Rehilkhand and Human Railway, Col. No. 274, dated 27-10-1888 (Cl. No. 4359 R.T.), and

(c) Agent, D.N.R., vide Consulting Engineer, Lucknow No. 2270, dated 9-12-1888 (Cl. No. 14720 R.T.).

5. Information taken from the file relating to the Indian Railway Bill; Legislative Papers relating to Act 9 of 1890 (National Archives)

6. Lieutenant Governor, Government of Bengal No. 26442, dated 27-11-1889 (Cl. No. 11846 R.T.). Information taken from file relating to the Indian Railways Bill, Legislative Papers relating to Act 9 of 1990 (National Archives).

7. Information taken from the file, relating to the Indian Railways Bill, Legislative papers relating to Act 9 of 1890 (National Archives).

P.B. Gajendragadkar, Chairman.

V.R. Krishna Iyer, Member.

P.K. Tripathi, Member.

S.S. Dhavan, Member.

S.P. Sen-Varma, Member.

P.M. Bakshi, Chairman. Member-Secretary.

New Delhi,

Dated: 7th May, 1973.



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