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Madras High Court
The Collector Of Godavari vs Isuf Kasim Nana on 8 August, 1883
Equivalent citations: (1883) ILR 7 Mad 42
Author: K A Hutchins
Bench: Kindersley, Hutchins


JUDGMENT

Kindersley and Hutchins, JJ.

1. This was a suit against the Collector of the Godavari District and others for damages caused to the plaintiff’s goods by reason of the negligence of the defendants in keeping those goods in a leaky godown. As against the second defendant the suit was withdrawn, and the third defendant has not appealed against the decree passed against him. The Collector alone has appealed to this Court.

2. Under Section 197 of the Sea Customs Act, VIII of 1878, such a suit as this cannot be maintained against any Officer of Customs, unless it be proved that the loss or damage was occasioned by the neglect or wilful act of such officer.

3. No special negligence has been proved against the Collector in this case. It has not even been shown that the state of the roof of the godown was brought to his notice, and as the roof had been repaired a year before, he had no reason to suppose that it was out of repair.

4. The Collector of a district has not time to examine the roof of a Customs-godown from time to time to satisfy himself as to its condition. On the whole we do not find that the damage caused to the plaintiff’s goods was occasioned by any neglect or wilful act on the part of the Collector, nor can he be held responsible for the negligence of the third defendant. Therefore, the suit as against the Collector must fail. Reversing the decrees of the Lower Courts in this respect, the suit as against the Collector is dismissed with costs. In other respects, the decree of the District Munsif will stand.


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