Carriage of Property
Requisitions for written accounts of description of goods
58. (1) The owner or person having charge of any goods which are brought upon the railway for the purpose of being carried thereon, and the consignee of any goods which have been carried on the railway, shall, on the request of any railway servant appointed in this behalf by the railway administration, deliver to such servant an account in writing signed by such owner or person, or by such consignee, as the case may be, and containing such a description of the goods as may be sufficient to determine the rate which the railway administration is entitled to charge in respect thereof.
(2) If such owner, person or consignee refuses or neglects to give such an account, and refuses to open the parcel or package containing the goods in order that their description may be ascertained, the railway administration may, (a) in respect of goods which have been brought for the purpose of being carried on the railway, refuse to carry the goods unless in respect thereof a rate is paid not exceeding the highest rate which may be in force at the time on the railway for any class of goods or, (b) in respect of goods which have been carried on the railway, charge a rate not exceeding such highest rate.
(3) If an account delivered under sub-section (1) is materially false with respect to the description of any goods to which it purports to relate, and which have been carried on the railway, the railway administration may charge in respect or the carriage of the goods a rate not exceeding double the highest rate which may be in force at the time on the railway for any class of goods.
(4) If any difference arises between the railway servant and the owner or person having charge, or the consignee, of any goods which have been brought to be carried or have been carried on the railway, respecting the description of goods of which an account has been delivered under this section, the railway servant may detain and examine the goods.
(5) If it appears from the examination that the description of the goods is different from that stated in an account delivered under sub-section (1), the person who delivered the account, or, if that person is not the owner of the goods, then that person and the owner jointly and severally, shall be liable to pay to the railway administration the cost of the detention and examination of the goods, and the railway administration shall be exonerated from all responsibility for any loss which may have been caused by the detention or examination thereof.
(6) If it appears that the description of the goods is not different from that stated in an account delivered under sub-section (1), the railway administration shall pay the cost of the detention and examination, and be responsible to the owner of the goods for any such loss as aforesaid.