CHAPTER XI

BOOKING OF CERTAIN VALUABLE ARTICLES AS MENTIONED IN PART I

OF SCHEDULE II OF THE RAILWAYS (EXTENT OF MONETARY LIABILITY

AND PRESCRIPTION OF PERCENTAGE CHARGE) RULES 1990.


1101. Responsibility of Railway as carrier of such articles:—These are the articles of special value. They have been mentioned in Part I of Schedule II of the Railways (Extent of Monetary Liability and Prescription of Percentage Charge) Rules 1990 in exercise of powers under section 103(3) of the Railways Act These articles are as follows:—

(i) Gold

(ii) Silver

(iii) Pearls

(iv) Jewellery

(v) Precious stones

(vi) Currency notes and coins other than Government treasure

(vii) Government stamps and stamped paper other than Postal Stationery and Stamps.

The value of such articles/per package must be declared on the Forwarding Note. The booking of such articles will not be done unless value is declared and percentage charge is paid on the excess value. The amount of claim for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery shall not exceed the value so declared. The rate of percentage charge will be 13 paise per hundred rupees or part there of per 160 Kms or part thereof. The minimum percentage charge will be rupees two and the maximum percentage charge will be 1% of the excess value.

Under Section 103(2) of the Railways Act, the liability of Railway as carrier for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration and non-delivery, shall not exceed the value so declared. The provisions of Section 103 of the Railways Act, in this reference are as follows:—

(1) Extent of monetary liability in respect of any consignment.

Section 103 (1) Where any consignment is entrusted to a railway administration for carriage by railway and the value of such consignment had not been declared as required under sub-section (2) by the consignor the amount of liability of the railway administration for the loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of the consignment shall in no case exceed such amount calculated with reference to the weight of the consignment as may be prescribed, and where such consignment consists of an animal, the liability shall not exceed such amount as may be prescribed.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where the consignor declares the value of any consignment at the time of its entrustment to a railway administration for carriage by railway, and pays such percentage charge as may be prescribed on so much of the value of such consignment as is in excess of the liability of the railway administration as calculated or specified, as the case may be, under sub-section (1), the liability of the railway administration for the loss, destruction, damage, deteriorations or non-delivery of such consignment shall not exceed the value so declared.

(3) The Central Government from time to time. by notification, direct that such goods as may be specified in the notification shall not be accepted for carriage by railway unless the value of such goods is declared and percentage charge is paid as required under sub-section (2).

The Railways (Extent of Monetary Liability and Prescription of Percentage Charge) Rules 1990, are as follows:—

(1) Where a railway administration is responsible for loss, damage, destruction, deterioration or non-delivery of any consignment the amount of liability of such railway administration in respect of such loss, damage, destruction, .deterioration or non-delivery shall not, unless the consignor has declared its value and paid percentage charge on excess value of such consignment, exceed.—

(i) in she case of any consignment consisting of animals, the amount specified in Schedule I, or

(ii) in the case of any consignment consisting of baggage, an amount calculated at rupees one hundred per kilogram; or 

(iii) in the case of any consignment other than those referred to in clause (i) and (ii) above, an amount calculated at rupees fifty per kilogram.

(2) Where a railway administration is responsible for loss, damage, destruction or non-delivery of any consignment and the consignor has at the time of entrustment for carriage declared the value of such consignment and paid percentage charge on excess value at the rate specified in Part I or Part II as the case may be of Schedule II, the amount of liability of a railway administration for loss, damage, destruction, deterioration or non-delivery of such consignment shall not exceed the value so declared.

Explanation 1.

Where in respect of carriage of any consignment, the freight is chargeable on any basis other than its actual weight, the amount of liability of a railway administration shall be determined with reference to the actual weight of such consignment.

Explanation 2.

Where the loss, damage, destruction, deterioratin or non-delivery in only with respect to part of a consignment, the weight to be taken into consideration for determining the amount of liability of a railway administration is the weight of the goods lost, damaged, destroyed, deteriorated or non-delivered unless such loss, damage, destruction, deterioration or non-delivery affects the value of the entire consignment.

(3) Certain goods not to be accepted for carriage unless percentage charge is paid.

(4) The following examples will clearly illustrate the application of the above rules:—

Example 1

A consignor books a consignment consisting of 20 kgs of electrical goods without declaring the value of the consignment and without payment of percentage charge. In case the consignment is lost. Railways will verify the value of the actual loss and pay the same subject to the maximum of Rs. 1,000 (at the rate of Rupees fifty per kg). In case the value of the loss is Rs. 800, the Railways will pay Rs. 800 only. If the loss is Rs. 500, the Railways shall pay Rs. 1,000 and not more.

Example 2

In the above example if the consignor has, at the time of booking declared the value, say, as Rs. 10,000, and paid percentage charge on excess value which is Rs. 9,000 (Rs. 10,000—Rs. 1000), at the rate of 25 paise per 160 kms. or part these of, per 100 rupees or part these of, subject to a maximum of 1 percent of excess value (Rs. 9,000). In such a case, the Railway administration shall verify the value of the actual loss and pay the same subject to the maximum of Rs. 10,000. In case the value of the actual loss is less than Rs. 10,000, say, Rs. 6,000, the Railway will be liable to pay only Rs. 6,000 and not Rs. 10,000. If the actual loss is Rs. 15,000, the Railway will pay Rs. 10,000 only.

Example 3

A consignor books his personal effects as luggage weigTimg,20 kgs without declaring its value and without paying percentage charge. In case the consignment is lost, the Railway will verify the loss, and pay the same subject to a maximum of Rs. 2,000 (at the rate of Rs. 100 per kg).

Example 4

A consignor books a package of electrical goods weighing 100 kgs. When the package reaches the destination, it is found that it has been pilfered with shortage of 25 kgs. " The value of the goods lost is Rs. 500. In such case, the amount payable shall not exceed Rs. 1,250 (25 kgs X Rs. 50), if the value has not been declared and the percentage charge has not been paid by consignor.

Note 1.— It is assumed in the above examples that the liability of railway administration as carrier has first been determined for the loss etc. under the substantive provisions of Chapter X of the Railways, Act 1989. In case the railway administration is not liable, the question of payment of claims does not arise.

Note 2:— A higher limit of Rs. 100 per kg, is applicable to baggage only and not to merchandise booked as luggage. In other words, it applies to bonafide booked luggage of a passenger.

(5) No railway administration shall accept for carriage, the goods specified in Part I of Schedule II unless the consignment declares the value of such goods and pays the percentage charge applicable to such goods as indicated in column 2 of Schedule II.

Schedule I

Description of animals

Extent of responsibility of railway administration (Perhead) (Rs.)

Elephants..................................................................

6,000

Horses........................................................................

3,000

Mules, horsed cattle or Camels......................………

800

Dogs, donkeys, goats, pigs, sheep or other animals not mentioned above, or birds.…………………….

 

120

SCHEDULE II

Description of Goods

Rate of Percentage Charges

 

Part I

 

1. Gold

13 paise per 100 rupees or part thereof on excess value per 160 Kilometres or part thereof subject to a maximum of 1% of excess value.

2. Silver

3. Pearls

4. Precious stones

5. Jewellery

6. Currency notes and coins other than Government Treasure

7. Government stamps & Stamped Paper other than Postal Stationery and Stamps

 

Part II

 

Goods other than those specification in Part I

25 paise per 100 rupees or part thereof on excess value per 160 Kilometres or part thereof subject to a maximum of 1% of excess value

The rules, rates and conditions for their carriage appear in the I.R.C.A. Coaching and Goods Tariffs.

1102. Declaration of value and contents, etc., in the forwarding note.—

(a) When a package is described as containing any of such articles the consignor must, in addition to recording other details, state in writing in the forwarding note, the aggregate value and contents of each package.

(b) When articles, on which percentage charge on value has been paid are lost, destroyed, damaged or deteriorated, or non-delivered the compensation payable shall not exceed the value declared and the burden of proving the value so declared to be the true value shall lie on the person claiming the compensation.

(c) A legible notice should be displayed in a conspicuous place at all parcel offices and at goods sheds for the information of consignors that when such articles are offered for booking by rail, value of goods must be declared on the forwarding note and the sender must pay the percentage charge on excess value over and above the freight charges at railway risk rate.

1103. Duration of liability.—In view of the fact that these articles are valueable goods and their loss, destruction, damage or deterioration or non-delivery is liable to involve the railway administration into payment of heavy claims, every endeavour must be made by the staff at all levels to bestow special care in their acceptance, booking, marking, loading, unloading and transshipment right from the sending station to destination. On arrival at destination, such goods should be kept under effective watch till the termination of transit. The condition of packages which remain undelivered, should be checked daily till the transit terminates and the results recorded in the register of undelivered goods kept for the purpose. After the termination of transit, such goods will remain at the station at the risk and responsibility of the owner who must be served with a notice under sections 83 and 84 of the Railways Act, to take delivery of his goods immediately, failing which it will be disposed of as provided for under the aforesaid sections.

1104. Powers to accept percentage charge on value.—Station Masters, Parcel Clerks In charge. in the case of specially authorized branch-booking offices and out-agents, arc authorized to accept the percentage charge on excess value of valuable articles when the value of the whole consignment is not more than Rs. 10.000. No other person is authorized to accept the percentage charge on value.

When the total value of a consignment to be insured exceeds Rs. 10,000 the Station Master on receipt of application from the consignor, will obtain the necessary permission from the Divisional Commercial Superintendent for accepting the percentage charge. Such consignments will be brought to the station for booking only after the necessary permission is received. The reference to the letter of authority from the Divisional Office must be quoted on the way-bill/luggage ticket/invoice.

1105. Maximum weights and dimensions for packages.—When packages containing goods on which the sender engages to pay the percentage charge on value are tendered for despatch by goods train, the Station Master or the Chief Goods Clerk should personally see that their weights and dimensions are within the maximum limits laid down in the I.R.C.A. Goods Tariff. Packages exceeding the maximum weights and dimensions shall not be insured unless specially authorized by a competent authority. In respect of parcels, instructions as for parcels in general, vide Rule 609 of I. R. C. A. Coaching Tariff No. 24, Part I, Vol. I will apply.

1106. Packing of such valuable articles on which percentage charge has been paid. —Packages containing such articles, must be packed in accordance with the prescribed packing conditions laid down in the I. R. C. A. Coaching and Goods Tariffs, and such packing conditions must be treated as COMPULSORY. If the packing of any package does not conform to the packing conditions laid down, or is not superior thereto, it must not be accepted.

The. staff must ensure that where an internal packing conditions has also been shown in the tariff against a commodity included in the list of Part I of schedule II of the Railways (Extent of Monetary Liability and Prescription of Percentage Charge) Rules. 1990, articles, the fact, whether the internal packing condition prescribed has been complied with or not, should invariably be recorded on the forwarding note.

1107. Packing of jewellery and other valuables.—It should be seen that packages containing jewellery and other valuables are packed and sealed in such a manner that any tampering with them can be easily detected. The station seal should be used in addition to that of the owner.

1108. Examination of packages containing such valuable articles on which percentage charge has been paid.—(a) All packages containing such articles, should be examined personally by the Station Master, or in the case of a specially authorized branch booking office or out-agency, by the Parcel Clerk In charge. He must see that the declaration agrees with the contents of the packages, and that the packages arc so packed and secured as to allow of their being handled without any risk of breakage or pilferage as laid down in Para 1106. A copy of the inventory of contents of packages should be signed by the sender and filed with the forwarding note.

(b) If the consignor or his agent on being called upon to open his packages for examination declines to do so, the percentage charge on value should be accepted on the distinct understanding that the railway administration will be responsible only for the safe delivery of the packages in good outward condition at destination and not for the contents and their condition at the time of delivery. A remark to this effect should be recorded on the railway receipt issued, and the consignor's signature to a similar remark should be taken on the forwarding note. All appliances for opening and repacking must be provided by the sender or consignee who will be responsible to see that the cases are properly opened and repacked.

1109. Booking of such valuable articles on which percentage charge has been paid.—Packages containing such articles should be booked separately and not on the same parcel way-bill/luggage ticket/invoice on which other packages have been booked. The declared value of the consignment should invariably be shown on the parcel way-bill/luggage ticket/invoice, and the percentage charge should be prepaid and shown separately on them. The number of private and railway seals on the packages must also be indicated on the relevant parcel way-bill/luggage ticket/ invoice.

1110. Details of bookings of Government treasure.—In parcel and luggage returns, where these are prepared in accordance with orders in force, and in parcel way-bills, luggage tickets and invoices, the bookings of Government treasure should be detailed under distinct sub-heads, as under—

(i) Gold coin and bullion: 

(ii) Silver coin (Government rupees); 

(iii) Silver bullion, namely, bars, ingots and coin, other than current coin of the Government of India; 

(iv) Copper coin; 

(v) Nickel coin.

If this information is not available from the consignors, the fact should be noted on way-bills/luggage tickets/invoices.

1111. Labelling of insured packages.—The Insured' labels in Form Com./L-6 should invariably be used for parcels, luggage and goods on which percentage charge on value has been paid. Stations dealing with such traffic must keep these labels in stock according to their requirement.

1112. Safe custody of valuable articles at stations.—All consignments containing gold, silver, bank notes, precious stones, etc. are awaiting despatch or delivery should be entered in the station diary. The packages must be kept locked in the station cash safe wherever possible. When this cannot be done, Station Masters are personally responsible for ensuring that these are placed in secure rooms, boxes or cupboards. The keys of locks should be kept in the personal custody of the Station Master on duty. At the close of each term of duty, the parcels must be made over by the relieved person to his reliever, who will sign and endorse in the station diary necessary remarks regarding the number, condition, etc. of these packages.

1113. Despatch of valuable articles by 'through trains'.—To avoid unnecessary transhipment en route, consignments of valuable articles should be despatched by 'through trains'. Such valuable articles must not be despatched in open collecting road vans by road van trains. If a loaded wagon/vehicle cannot be made up for destination, the packages must be forwarded in the locked brake or luggage van of a passenger train.

1114. Carriage of Gold, Silver, Jewellery, Precious stones, by Rail.—

(a) These articles would be accepted for carriage only when percentage charge on excess value is paid. In other words payment of percentage charge on excess value (Insurance charge) would be compulsory in all cases.

(b) Such articles would be accepted for carriage only at stations where iron safes inside the strong room exist and RPF staff are posted. These stations maybe notified by the General Managers for the information of the public. If there is sufficient demand at other stations, arrangements for providing these facilities should be made at such stations.

(c) The consignor must give an advance notice of at least 10 days to the Station Master of the booking station indicating all particulars including weight and value of the articles, name of the destination station and proposed date of booking etc.

(d) On receipt of such notice, the Station Master would coordinate with the concerned departments/Agencies for arranging special guard, armed RPF escorts, reservation of compartment in a train by which such goods are to be carried, relief to be provided to the special guard and RPF escorts en route etc. The Station Master would advise the consignor the date on which such consignment, would be accepted. The consignment would be despatched within 24 hours of its acceptance.

(e) The parcels of such articles would be carried only in the reserved compartment of passenger/mail or express trains and not by the parcel trains. As far as possible, these articles would be cleared by through trains without involving any transshipment or repacking en route.

(f) The consignment would be locked in a mobile iron safe, keys of which would remain with the escort guard. The safe would be carried in a reserved compartment preferably a 1st class coupe and where it is not available, in the front brake van. Advance arrangements would be made for getting such compartments reserved for the purpose. The freight to be paid by the consignor will be equivalent to the amount of four 1st Class adult fares for the distance the consignment is to be carried. In case, more than one consignment is loaded and despatched in the same compartment, the charge will be proportionately divided between different consignments on the basis of the value of each consignment

(g) The Railway would send a train guard (to be called special guard) and if one is not available en route, an Assistant Guard to travel along with the safe in the reserved compartment. In addition, armed RPF escorts would be provided to travel in the same compartment throughout the run. The number of armed RPF escorts required may be decided by the Security Department as per accepted yard sticks for carriage of such valuables. Proper advance arrangements would be made for relieving special guards as well as armed RPF escorts at predetermined stations en route. However, if the relief, for some unavoidable reasons does not turn up, the guard or the escorts would continue to travel till such time they are relieved for which the Railway should make prompt arrangement on phone. All the charges should be prepaid.

1115. Handing over of insured packages to Guards.—The Station Master on duty or the Senior Parcel Clerk at the sending station should, in the presence of Government Railway Police Official (wherever available) or a member of the Railway Protection Force, personally hand over packages containing valuable articles to the Guard of the train, and pass a remark in the summary of luggage, parcels, etc. to that effect, indicating the condition of packages and seals. The dated signature of the Guard/Brakesman should invariably be taken in the summary which should be countersigned by the Police or the Railway Protection Force Official.

1116. Special guidance for insured packages.—To ensure safe carriage of insured packages, a separate guidance marked 'Insured' must be prepared which should be handed over with the packages to the Guard/Brakesman personally by the Station Master or Chief/Head Parcels Clerk. Full signature and not initial should be given on these guidances.

1117. Special Guards.—(a) When insured consignments containing bank notes, gold and silver, coined or uncoined, manufactured or un-manufactured, precious stones, jewellery, plated articles, etc., are booked as parcels and their value is Rs. 20,000 or more, arrangements must be made for an Escort Guard to be sent in charge of such consignments, with instructions to carefully examine and record the condition of the seals or other fastening on the packages, or on the van or vans in which such packages are carried.

(b) In the case of gold and silver, coined or uncoined, manufactured or un-manufactured, bank notes, pearls, precious stones and jewellery, valued at Rs 20,000 or over booked by passenger train, an Escort Guard must be sent in charge of such consignmens irrespective of the fact whether they are insured or not.

The Station Master at the forwarding station should ensure compliance of these instructions.

1118. Telegraphic advice of despatch particulars.—Station Masters sending insured parcels or goods booked from their stations must intimate the particulars of despatch by wire to the Station Master, the Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force official at all Guard-changing and other railway junctions en route and to the receiving stations. These telegrams should also include the representative of the Railway Protection Force of the stations where checking is done. The names of stations at which such checking should be done will be notified by each individual railway administration. Station Masters receiving such telegrams should immediately arrange their delivery to the officials concerned so that necessary checking of consignments may be done without fail.

1119. Particulars to be included in telegram.—Telegrams of advice should contain the following particulars :—

(i) number and date of parcel way-bill, luggage ticket or invoice, and station from and to ;

(ii) number of vehicle (if the package is not directly in the Guard/ Brakesman's charge) ;

(iii) train by which despatched ; and 

(iv) number of packages.

1120. Relieved Guard to enter packages in his rough journal.—Every relieved Guard should make a special entry in his rough journal quoting the booking particulars, condition of packages and seals, and obtain the signature of the relieving Guard. The signature should be countersigned by the Station Master or Chief/ Head Parcel Clerk, Government Railway Police or Railway Protection Force official as witness to the transfer and signature. The relieving Guard will be held personally responsible for carefully checking and examining each parcel containing valuable articles.

1121. Transshipment of packages containing valuable articles on which percentage charge on value has been paid.—At junctions where such consignment are to be transshipped from one train to another or from one brake van to another, the Station Master, or in the case of large stations, the Chief/Head Parcel Clerk on duty should take over the packages from the incoming Guard in the presence of the Government Railway Police Official, or a member of the Railway Protection Force and sign the Guard's summary and journal in token of having correctly received the consignments. The packages will similarly be handed over to the Guard of the train for onward despatch in the presence of the Government Railway Police or Railway Protection Force Official and a note to this effect will be recorded in the Guard's summary and journal. During the interval between the arrival of the incoming and the departure of the outgoing train, the packages will remain in the charge of the Railway Protection Force, if there is no safe or strong room available for their storage. Taking over and making over of such packages between the staff and the Railway Protection Force, should be done in writing in a special register where the parties must affix their dated signatures showing the number and condition of packages and seals, and the time at which taking over and making over is done.

If two consignments which are booked for different directions are to be transhipped at the same time, the Station Master on duty must personally attend to one himself and depute an Assistant Station Master or other responsible official to attend to the other.

1122. Examination of packages containing valuable articles on which percentage charge on value has been paid at interchange junctions.—At interchange junction stations, the outward condition of "through" packages handled should be carefully examined by the Station Master on duty and a record of such examination should be entered in the parcel way-bill, luggage ticket or invoice and also in the station diary. If there is any doubt with regard to the condition of any packages which show signs of having been pilfered or tampered with, or the seals of the through wagon containing the consignments appear to have been interfered with, the Station Master should examine the consignment in the presence of a representative of the Government Railway Police or Railway Protection Force, take an inventory of the contents and forward the consignment carefully repacked, fastened and sealed. Any deficiency deducted at the time of check should at once be reported by a telegram to the Station Master, Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force of the forwarding and destination stations as well as the station which last sealed the wagon. The Divisional Commercial Superintendent concerned should also be included in the telegram.

1123. Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force officials maybe allowed to examine valuable and insured parcels during the time trains halt at stations.

1124. Action to be taken when valuable articles are found tampered with.—When, during transit, it is found that any package has been pilfered or tampered with, or the seals of the wagon containing such consignments appear to have been interfered with, the Station Master should take action as laid down in Para 1121.

1125. Handing over of insured packages at destination.—At destination, the Guard should hand over the insured packages to the Station Master or the Chief/ Head Parcel Clerk and obtain his acknowledgement in the summary of luggage, parcels, etc., as well as in his rough journal, in the manner stated in Para 1115, in the presence of Government Railway Police or Railway Protection Force official who must sign in the summary in token of having witnessed the transfer.

1126. Opening by consignee of insured packages at receiving station.—At the destination station, if the consignee wishes to open for examination a package containing valuable articles or he refuses to give a clear receipt for it, the package should be opened in the presence of the Station Master (or other authorized official of the Traffic Department), Government Railway Police and a member of the Railway Protection Force, who will personally inspect the contents, noting also the outward condition of the package and seals before opening it. In the case of out-agencies, where neither a member of the Railway Protection Force nor Government Railway Police is available, the package will be opened in the presence of two disinterested witnesses, preferably responsible Government servants or well known persons whose opinion with regard to the extent of damage, deterioration, etc. should be recorded and their dated signatures obtained in token of correctness of facts.

1127. Advance intimation for booking Government treasure.—The Treasury Officer, desiring to despatch treasure by rail will give 10 days' advance intimation to the Station Master of the booking station indicating the particulars of consignments, the names of destination stations, approximate weight, number of police escorts who will accompany the treasure, the extent of reserved accommodation required, and the dates and trains by which the treasure and escorts would travel. In case 10 days notice is not given to the Station Master, he will make such arrangements as he can under the shorter notice and ask the Treasury Officer to confirm if the arrangements made would be acceptable to him and the police authorities. Action for the carriage of treasure shall be finalized on receipt of reply from the Treasury Officer.

It will be the personal responsibility of the Station Master to ensure prompt and complete action on the communication received from the Treasury Officer.

1128. Reserved accommodation for Government treasure and escort.—

(a) The consignment of Government treasure, which do. not warrant the allotment of a full wagon or parcel van, should be cleared in the second, luggage and brake van or the luggage van of the train concerned. In such cases, the accommodation for the escort party accompanying the treasure should be provided, as far as possible, in the second class compartment of the second, luggage and brake van or in a passenger bogie adjacent to the luggage van.

(b) Where the consignment offered is heavy and cannot be moved in the second, luggage and brake van or the luggage van or the train service, the treasure should be loaded in a parcel van or in a wagon made fit to run on a passenger/ parcel train and hauled by such a train. Accommodation for the escort party in such cases, as far as possible, should be provided in a second class compartment adjacent to the wagon or parcel van containing the Government treasure.

(c) Where accommodation for the escort party cannot be provided in the compartment adjacent to the stock carrying the treasure, due to any reason, intimation should be given to the requisitioning authority so that, if necessary, the programme could be altered to a train where accommodation can be provided adjacent to the second, luggage and brake van or vehicle/wagon containing the treasure.

1129. Loading, unloading and transshipment of Government treasure.—It must be clearly understood that the responsibility for the loading, unloading and transshipment of Government treasure booked in charge of escort is that of the railway and Station Masters must make arrangements for adequate labour for handling such consignments under the supervision of escort in charge of the treasure. If necessary, prior sanction of the Divisional Railway Manager should be obtained for engaging additional labour for the handling of treasure consignments at the booking, transshipment or destination station.

1130. Station Masters to extend full co-operation to escorting party.—The Station Master will be personally responsible to ensure that all reasonable cooperation is extended by him and his staff to the escorting party accompanying the treasure with a view lo making the most satisfactory and secure arrangements for the movement of Government treasure by rail.