Republic of India and Others v India Steamship Co Ltd; The Indian Endurance and The Indian Grace: CA 1992

Munitions were consigned to Cochin on board the defendants’ vessel. A fire occurred, and part was jettisoned, the remainder being damaged. The cargo owners first claimed damages in India for short delivery under the bills of lading for the jettisoned cargo. The Indian judge held that the defendants were liable for the value of the undelivered cargo, about pounds 6,000. The plaintiffs then sued in rem in London for pounds 2.6 million for the total loss of the cargo. The Indian claim pleaded short delivery of the cargo delivered at Cochin, viz. 51 shells (and a small item described as ‘charge green bag’). The claim was advanced under one of the two bills of lading under which the consignment was shipped. In the plaint, it was alleged that the ship-owners had been guilty of negligence while the cargo was in transit in the vessel, which was taken to refer to a breach of their duty as bailees (carriers for reward). It was either common ground (or found by the Indian judge) that the contract incorporated the Hague Rules. The claim in the English action was in the ordinary form for a damage to cargo claim, alleging against the ship-owners (1) breach of contract and/or duty as carrier by sea for reward to deliver the goods in like good order and condition as when shipped; (2) negligence, in breach of duty as carriers and/or as bailees for reward; and (3) breach of their obligations under article III(1) and (2) of the Hague-Visby Rules, which apply to the contracts contained in or evidenced by the two bills of lading under which the goods were shipped. One issue in the Court of Appeal was the relevance of Indian law to the question of cause of action estoppel. Leggatt LJ: ‘For my part, I see nothing in the suggestion that evidence of Indian law is required in order to establish that the cause of action sued on in India was the same as that relied on here. I accept Mr. Gruder’s submission that it is a matter for English law to determine whether the causes of action were the same; there is no evidence or argument that they were not and, until the contrary is proved, Indian law must be presumed to be the same as English law. With the effect of the Indian judgment in India we are not concerned.’
Leggatt LJ
[1992] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 124
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromRepublic of India and Others v India Steamship Co Ltd (‘The Indian Endurance and The Indian Grace’) (No 1) HL 29-Mar-1993
Munitions were being carried to Cochin on board the defendants’ vessel. Some was jettisoned in a fire and the remainder was damaged. The cargo owners sought damages in India for short delivery under the bills of lading, as to the jettisoned cargo . .
CitedBarrett v Universal-Island Records Ltd and others ChD 15-May-2006
The claimant was entitled to share in the copyright royalties of Bob Marley and the Wailers, and claimed payment from the defendants. The defendants said that the matters had already been settled and that the claim was an abuse of process, and also . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 September 2021; Ref: scu.251635