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Stipulations under the Law Relating To Carriage of Goods by Land, Sea & Air

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Stipulations under the Law Relating To Carriage of Goods by Land, Sea & Air

Both The Railways Act of 1890 and the Carriers Act of 1865 relate to the transportation of goods by land. The Carriers Act of course deals only with ordinary carriers, and not private carriers.

Common Carrier Defined

Under the law, the term common carrier may refer to an individual, a company or even a firm which carries goods as a part of its business over inland waterways and land. This is different from a private carrier who may carry goods for himself or for a selected few people. He is ordinarily covered under the Contract Act.

Rights and Responsibilities of a Common Carrier

Under the Law Relating to Carriage of Goods by Land, Sea & Air, the following are the responsibilities of the carrier:

  • The carrier must carry goods from every corner without any discrimination
  • The carrier must carry these goods safely
  • No irrelevant alternate routing of the goods from the accepted route of transportation will be accepted.
  • The carrier must adhere to the directions set down by the consignor
  • The carrier must deliver the said goods within the time agreed upon and at a place previously decided.

The Law Relating to Carriage of Goods by Land, Sea & Air sets down the following rights of the carrier to deny carriage. The following circumstances are accepted as grounds for a refusal:

  • The carrier has no space for the goods in question
  • He is not authorised to carry goods of that specific nature
  • He would have to take an alternate route to deliver the consignment- and it is different from the route he normally takes
  • The carriage of the goods would put him or others at risk
  • The time offered for the delivery or pickup is not reasonable
  • An unreasonable amount is quoted as price for the transportation

Liabilities Borne By the Carrier under the Law

Normally, the common carrier insures the goods. However, this provision is not enforceable under the following conditions:

  • The loss is suffered as a result of a natural calamity or an act of god- for instance loss suffered if the vehicle is hit by lightening.
  • If the loss is suffered because of an act of an enemy of state.
  • If the loss is a result of natural loss of quality suffered by the goods
  • If the loss suffered is because of an act of the consignor- for instance insufficient package of the goods to be delivered.

Scheduled and Non Scheduled Categories

Under the Law Relating to Carriage of Goods by Land, Sea & Air, all goods are categorised under scheduled and no scheduled categories. High value goods are grouped as scheduled goods, for instance- gold, precious stones etc. The value of such goods will need to be over Rs 100. Also, the consignor will be eligible to receive damages only if he has declared the price of the goods beforehand. He will also have to prove that the damage to the said goods has been a result of a criminal act of the carrier or his employee. All other goods are categorised as unscheduled.


The Transporting Of Dangerous Goods

The consignor must alert the carrier when he is transporting dangerous objects like explosives etc. If it isnít provided, the consignor will be held responsible for all damages that originate from transportation of these goods.


The Railways

The rights and responsibilities of the railways as a mode of transportation are laid down under the Railways Act of 1890. The rights and responsibilities are as described above.


Railway Liabilities

The railways do not have any liability case of loss, delay or damage under the following circumstances:

  • War, an act of god or natural calamity
  • An unexpected risk like a legal seizure of the goods etc
  • Limitations set down by an act of the central or state governments
  • An inherent deterioration or defects in the goods
  • Damage caused by an act of the consignor

Limits to Liability

It ends upon successful delivery of the goods at the stipulated place. It also includes the end of free days allowed for unloading of the goods. The liability ends with the arrival at the destination, and upon expiry of 7 days after the arrival except if the goods are under a stipulated owner risk.

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