Indian Airlines Corporation vs Madhuri Chowdhary Case Summary (1973)

indian airlines corporation vs madhuri chaudhary Case Summary

Indian Airlines Corporation vs Madhuri Chowdhary Case deals with the interpretation of the exemption clause when the parties entered into a contract. Section 73 of the Indian Contract Act 1872 says that if all the terms of the contract are clear, then there is no need to pay compensation. The exemption clause in a contract that exempts one’s liability must be unambiguous then need not pay compensation for the damages caused which is mentioned in this clause and has reasonable notice.

FACTS

  • A deadly and tragic air crash took place on 12th December 1953, around 3:25 am when a Dakota airplane VT-CHF crashed when it was flying to Madras.
  • The route of the plane was from Nagpur to Madras. All the crew members and passengers died in the air crash except for the pilot, Desmond Arthur James Carter.
  • A deceased husband’s wife sued Air India Corporation that they have to pay compensation for the death of her husband stating that Air India corporation was not safely conveying the passenger to their destination and there was a breach of contract by the defendant.

ISSUE

Whether there was a breach of contract by Airlines or not?

CONTENTIONS

Plaintiff’s contention

  • The plaintiff contended the incident happened when they said the plane attempted to land about two miles from the end of the Nagpur Airport, but couldn’t do so because of an engine failure. 
  • Because of this, there is a breach of contract as there is negligence on defendant’s part.
  • The compensation has to be paid for the damage caused that is death of her husband.

Defendant’s contention

  • The defendant contended that there is no breach as there is an exemption clause in the air ticket.
  • The clause mentioned in the backside exempted the corporation from the liability arising from the death or injury of the passenger whether caused by default of the carrier or the pilot or by any of the crew members on that plane.

RATIO DECIDENDI

The Honorable Judges present to hear this case were Justice P Mukharji and Justice S Masud. The judges were of the opinion that-

  1. The exemption clause mentioned in the ticket of the deceased and came to a conclusion that the contract did not offend against the provisions of the Contract Act and that it gave complete immunity to the defendant from loss or damage entrusted to its care for carriage.
  2. If the deceased entered into this contract during his lifetime excluded himself from the right of claiming damage, then his beneficiaries under the Act could not claim it.
  3. The exemption clause mentioned in the ticket was of the deceased and came to a conclusion that the contract did not offend against the provisions of the Contract Act and that it gave complete immunity to the defendant from loss or damage committed to its care for carriage.

DECISION

The court held that the exemption clause was good, valid, and legal. The court also held that there was no negligence of the defendant corporation or the pilot. Therefore, the appeal was allowed.

CONCLUSION

Through this judgment, the concept of an exemption clause gained a new perspective and got even more clarification. It makes sure justice is served rightly based on facts and not on people’s emotions and their losses.

BEST BOOK FOR CONTRACT LAW: Contract Law by RK Bangia (Latest Edition)

INDIAN CONTRACT ACT, 1872 (Bare Act) (Latest Edition)

Share on print
Print PDF
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Bhoomika CB

Bhoomika CB

See Legal News, Judgements, Jobs Monthwise

Recent Posts

About Us

Law Planet is specially created for law enthusiasts. We provide courses for various law exams. We also write about law to increase legal awareness amongst common citizens.

LAW Notes (Free)

  1. Administrative Law
  2. Advocates Act
  3. Arbitration, Conciliation & Alternative Dispute
  4. Banking Law
  5. Business Law
  6. Civil Procedure Code
  7. Competition Law
  8. Company Law
  9. Constitution
  10. Consumer Protection Act
  11. Contract Law
  12. Copyright Law
  13. Criminal Procedure Code
  14. Cyber Law
  15. Drafting, Pleading & Conveyance
  16. Equity & Trusts
  17. Environmental Law
  18. Evidence Law
  19. Family Law
  20. Financial Markets
  21. Hindu Law
  22. Human Rights
  23. Interpretation of Statutes
  24. International Law
  25. Intellectual Property Law
  26. Indian Penal Code
  27. Insurance Law
  28. Jurisprudence
  29. Juvenile Law
  30. Law in Changing Society: Contemporary Issues
  31. Labor Law
  32. Law of Taxation
  33. Law of Tort
  34. Limitation Act
  35. Law on Education
  36. Land Laws
  37. Legal Aid
  38. Legal Writing
  39. Mergers and Acquisitions
  40. Media Law
  41. Muslim Law
  42. Motor Vehicles Act & Traffic Rules
  43. Property Law
  44. Penology and Victimology
  45. Patent Law
  46. Real Estate Law
  47. Specific Relief Act
  48. Sales of Goods Act

LAW VIDEOS (Free)

  1. Administrative Law
  2. Advocates Act
  3. Arbitration, Conciliation & Alternative Dispute
  4. Banking Law
  5. Business Law
  6. Civil Procedure Code
  7. Competition Law
  8. Company Law
  9. Constitution
  10. Consumer Protection Act
  11. Contract Law
  12. Copyright Law
  13. Criminal Procedure Code
  14. Cyber Law
  15. Drafting, Pleading & Conveyance
  16. Equity & Trusts
  17. Environmental Law
  18. Evidence Law
  19. Family Law
  20. Financial Market Regulation
  21. Hindu Law
  22. Human Rights
  23. Interpretation of Statutes
  24. International Law
  25. Intellectual Property Law
  26. Indian Penal Code
  27. Insurance Law
  28. Jurisprudence
  29. Juvenile Law
  30. Law in Changing Society: Contemporary Issues
  31. Labour Law
  32. Law of Taxation
  33. Law of Tort
  34. Limitation Act
  35. Law on Education
  36. Land Laws
  37. Legal Aid
  38. Legal Writing
  39. Merger and Acquisitions
  40. Media Law
  41. Muslim Law
  42. Motor Vehicle Act & Traffic Rules
  43. Property Law
  44. Penology and Victimology
  45. Patent Law
  46. Real Estate Law
  47. Specific Relief Act
  48. Sales of Goods Act
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG!