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[Landmark Judgement] Union of India V. Gopal Dass Ramesh Chand (1976)

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Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: February 10, 2024 at 12:40 IST

Court: High Court of Delhi

Citation: Union of India V. Gopal Dass Ramesh Chand (1976)

Honourable High Court of Delhi has held that Section 114(g) of the Evidence Act, 1872 allows the Hon’ble Court to reach to a negative presumption based on the absence of material evidence by the party claiming the relief. It is held that failure to disclose the material evidence by the party which it claims to be in its possession or control, then Hon’ble Court is at liberty to presume in negative about the conduct.

10. In Union of India v. The Delhi Cloth & General Mills Co. Ltd., AIR 1964 Punjab 147 (5), it was held that any goods carried at owner’s risk, the responsibility of the Railway is that of a bailee. The facts as to how the damage or loss had occurred to the goods were within the special knowledge of the Railway Administration, under the provisions of section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act, the Railway Administration was supposed to adduce evidence to show how the goods were dealt with in the course of the transit and that they had taken as much care as a man of ordinary prudence would do regarding his own goods and if the Railway Administration failed to produce such evidence, an adverse presumption would be drawn against it under section 114(g) of the Evidence Act and in a case where the plaintiff called upon the Railway Administration to adduce certain evidence, which was in their exclusive possession, and they failed to do so, the presumption under section 114(g) of the Act would be still stronger.

In Surat Cotton Spinning & Weaving Mills v. Secretary of State, AIR 1937 PC 152 (6), it was held that the failure of the Railway Company produce evidence of guard for disclosure how the consignment was dealt with would entitle the court to draw a presumption under section 114(g) of the Evidence Act that the evidence if produced would have been unfavourable to the Railway and that in consequence, misconduct by complicity in the theft of some servants of the company might fairly be inferred. Under the circumstances, I hold that the court below was justified in returning a finding that the petitioner had been negligent and so was liable for the loss caused to the goods.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra