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Report No. 56

4. Requirement of notice mandatory, under the Railways Act.-

After the amendment of 1961, the section has been renumbered as section 78B, and certain textual modifications also made. But the broad requirement of "notice" (claim) within six months, remains unaffected. This provision is similar to section 80, Code of Civil Procedure, in so far as it requires prior notice of suit. It also lays down a period of limitation.

The present section on the subject-section 78B, Railways Act-is as follows:-

"78B. A person shall not be entitled to a refund of an overcharge in respect of animals or goods carried by railway or to compensation for the loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of animals or goods delivered to be so carried, unless his claim to the refund or compensation has been preferred in writing by him or on his behalf-

(a) to the railway administration to which the animals or goods were delivered to be carried by railway, or

(b) to the railway administration on whose railway the destination station lies, or the loss, destruction, damage or deterioration occurred, within six months from the date of the delivery of the animals or goods for carriage by railway:

Provided that any information demanded or inquiry made in writing from, or any complaint made in writing to, any of the railway administrations mentioned above by or on behalf of the person within the said period of six months regarding the non-delivery or delay in delivery of the animals or goods with particulars sufficient to identify the consignment of such animals or goods shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a claim to the refund or compensation."

5. It is well established that requirements of this section are mandatory1, and failure to comply with its provisions will result in the dismissal of the suit in limine. However, a combined notice given under section 77 (before the amendment of 1961) of the Railways Act and section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure is valid.2

1. Union of India v. Haji Jiwakhan, AIR 1962 MP 374.

2. (a) Union of India v. Meghraj Khubchaud, 4962 MPLJ (cited in the yearly Digest); (b) Madho Prasad v. Union of India, AIR 1961 All 433.

Statutory Provision as to Notice of Suit other than Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code Back

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