Oriental Gas Company Act

An Act to confer certain powers on the Oriental Gas Company, Limited.


Whereas a� Joint Stock� Company has been lately formed� for the� purpose of� introducing Gas-works� into India,� which Company� having� been� completely� registered� in� England� under� the� Act� of� Parliament of� the eighth� year of� the reign� of Her present Majesty,� Cap. 110,� has since been registered in England under "The Joint Stock� Companies' Act, 1856", with limited liability, and has duly obtained a� certificate of� Incorporation under� the� name� of� the� Oriental� Gas� Company, Limited;� and whereas� the said Company has erected Gas-works� on land� granted for that purpose by Government in the vicinity of the� Town of� Calcutta, and� is engaged in the preparation of apparatus and� materials for� the manufacture and supply of Gas for lighting the said� Town; and whereas it is expedient that powers and facilities should be� given� to� the� said� Company� to� enable� them� to� carry� out� their� undertaking of� lighting with� Gas the� said Town� of Calcutta,� which� powers and� facilities may� hereafter be extended to the operations of� the said Company in other towns and places; It is enacted as follows:-

1. Power to break up streets, etc., under superintendence, and to open drains

1. Power to� break up� streets, etc.,� under superintendence, and to open drains.

In� the Town� of Calcutta� and its� environs, and in any� other town� or place to which the provisions of this Act may hereafter� be extended,� by a law to be passed for that purpose, the Oriental Gas� Company,� Limited,�� under� such� superintendence� as� is� hereinafter� specified, may� open and break up the soil and pavement of the several� streets and� bridges, and may open and break up any sewers, drains, or� tunnels within� or under� such streets� and bridges,� and lay down and� place within the same limits pipes, conduits, service-pipes, and other� works, and� from time� to time� repair, alter, or remove the same, and� also make� any sewers� that may� be necessary� for� carrying� off� the� washings and� waste liquids� which may arise in the making of the Gas;� and, for� the purposes� aforesaid, may� remove and� use all� earth and� materials in� and under such streets and bridges; and they may in such� streets erect� any pillars,� lamps, and� other works, and do all other� acts which the said Company shall from time to time deem necessary for� supplying Gas� to the inhabitants of the said Town of Calcutta and its� environs, or� other town or place as aforesaid, doing as little damage� as may� be in� the execution� of the powers hereby granted, and making� compensation for any damage which may be done in the execution of such� powers.

Provided always,� that nothing herein shall authorize or empower the said Company to lay down or� place any� pipe or� other works into, through, or against any building, or� in any� land not� dedicated to� public use,� without the consent of� the owners� and occupiers� thereof; except� that the �said Company may� at any� time enter� upon and lay or place any new pipe in� the place� of an� existing pipe, in any land wherein any pipe has been already lawfully laid down or placed in pursuance of this Act, and may� repair or alter any pipe so laid down.

3. Notice to be served on persons having control

3. Notice� to be� served on� persons having control, etc., before� breaking up� streets� or� opening� drains.-

Before the� said Company� proceed to� open or� break up� and street,� bridge, sewer,� drain, or� tunnel, they shall give to the Municipal Commissioners for the Town of Calcutta, or� other persons under whose control or management the same may be,� or to� their Clerk,� Surveyor, or� other officer,� notice� in writing of their intention to open or break up the same, not less than� three clear� days before� beginning such� work;� except� in� cases� of� emergency arising from defects in any of the pipes or other works, and then so� soon as� is possible� after the beginning of the work, or the necessity for the same shall have arisen.

4. Streets or drains not to be broken up except

4.� Streets�� or� drains�� not� to� be� broken� up� except� under superintendence of� persons having� control of� the same.�

If� persons having the� control, etc.,� fail to� superintend, company� may proceed with the� works.--No such� street, bridge,� sewer,� drain,� or� tunnel shall, except in the cases of emergency aforesaid, be opened or broken up, except under the superintendence of the persons having the control or management thereof, or of their officer, and according to such plan as shall� be approved� of by such persons or their officer, or in case of any� difference respecting such plan, then according to such plan as shall be� determined by� a Magistrate; and such Magistrate may, on the application of� the persons� having the� control or� management of any such sewer� or drain,� or their� officer, require� the said Company to make such� temporary or� other works� as they� may think necessary for guarding against any interruption of the drainage during the execution of any works which interfere with any such sewer or drain;

Provided always� that, if� the persons� having� such� control� or management as aforesaid, and their officer, fail to attend at the time fixed for� the opening� of any� such street,� bridge, sewer, drain, or tunnel, after� having had� such notice of the said Company's intention as aforesaid, or shall not propose any plan for breaking up or opening the same, or shall refuse or neglect to superintend the operation, the said Company may perform the work specified in such notice without the superintendence of such persons or their officer.

5. Streets broken up to be reinstated with out delay

5. Streets� broken up� to be reinstated with out delay.-

When the said Company� open or� break up� the road or pavement of any street or bridge,� or� any� sewer,� drain,� or� tunnel,� they� shall,� with� all� convenient speed, complete the work for which the same shall be broken up, and� fill in� the ground,� and reinstate and make good the road or pavement, or� the sewer,� drain, or tunnel so opened or broken up, and carry away� the rubbish� occasioned thereby;� and shall� at all times, whilst any� such road� or pavement� shall be� so opened� or broken up, cause the� same to� be fenced� and guarded,� and shall� cause a light, sufficient for the warning of passengers, to be set up an 1 maintained against or� near such road or pavement where the same shall be open or broken up,� every night� during which the same shall be continued open or broken� up; and� shall keep� the road or pavement which has been so broken up� in good� repair for three months after replacing and making good the� same, and for such further time, if any, not being more than twelve months� in the whole, s the soil so broken up shall continue to subside.

6. Penalty for delay in reinstating streets

If the said Company open or break up any street or bridge, or any sewer, drain, or tunnel, without giving such notice as aforesaid, or in a manner different from that which� shall have been approved of or determined as aforesaid, or without making� such temporary� or other� works as� aforesaid, when so required, except� in the� cases in� which the� said Company are hereby authorized to� perform� such� works� without� any� superintendence� or� notice; or� if the� said Company make any delay in completing any such� work, or� in filling� in the ground or reinstating and making good the road or� pavement, or� the sewer, drain, or tunnel so opened or broken up, or� in carrying� away the� rubbish occasioned� thereby; or if they neglect to cause the place where such road or pavement has been broken up to� be fenced, guarded, and lighted, or neglect to keep the road or pavement in� repair for� the space of three months next after the same shall have� been made� good, or� such further� time as aforesaid, they shall forfeit� to the� persons having the control or management of the street, bridge,� sewer, drain,� or tunnel,� in respect� of which� such default is� made, a� sum not� exceeding fifty� rupees for� every� such offence, and� they shall forfeit an additional sum not exceeding fifty rupees for� each day� during which� any such� delay as aforesaid shall continue after they shall have received notice thereof.

7. In case of delay, other parties may reinstate

7. In case of delay, other parties may reinstate, and recover the expenses. Expense� how to� be ascertained� and recovered.-

If any such delay or� omission as� aforesaid take� place, the� persons having� the control or� management of the street, bridge, sewer, drain, or tunnel, in respect of which such delay or omission shall take place, may cause the work so delayed� or omitted to be executed; and the expense of executing the same shall be repaid� to such persons by the said Company; and the amount of such expense shall,� in case� of any dispute about the same, be ascertained and recovered� in Calcutta� and in� any other town or place subject to the jurisdiction� of any of Her Majesty's Courts of Judicature, in the manner in� which expenses� are ascertained and recovered under Act XIV of 1856 1, and� in� any� town or place not within the jurisdiction of any of� Her Majesty's� Courts, in� the� same� manner� as� damages� are recoverable under this Act.

8. Power to enter buildings for ascertaining quantity of gas consumed

8. Power� to enter� buildings for� ascertaining quantity� of� gas consumed.-

The Clerk,� Engineer, or� other officer� duly appointed for the purpose� by the� said Company, may, at all reasonable times, enter any buildings� or place lighted with Gas supplied by the said Company, in order to inspect the meters, fittings, and works for regulating the supply of Gas, and for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of Gas consumed or� supplied; and� if� any� person� hinder� such� officer� as aforesaid from entering and making such inspection as aforesaid at any reasonable time, he shall, for every such offence, forfeit to the said Company a sum not exceeding fifty rupees.

9. Recovery of rent due for gas

9. Recovery� of rent� due for� gas.-

If any� person supplied with Gas, or� any person� to whom� any meter or fitting shall have been let for hire by the said Company, neglect to pay the rent due for the same to the� said Company,� the said Company may stop the Gas from entering the premises� of such� person, by cutting off the service-pipes, or by such means� as the� said Company shall think fit, and recover the rent due from� such person,� together with� the expenses of cutting off the Gas, by action in any Court of competent jurisdiction.

10. Power to take away pipes when supply of gas discontinued

In all cases in which the said Company are authorized to cut off and take� away the� supply of� Gas from� any house or building or premises under the provisions of this Act, the said Company, their agents or workmen, after giving twenty-four hours' previsions notice to the occupier, may enter into any such house, building, or premises, between the hours of nine in� the forenoon and four in the after noon, and remove and carry away any� pipe, meter,� fittings, or� other works, the property of the said Company.

11. Meters not liable to distress for rent

11. Meters� not liable� to distress� for rent, etc.-

Any meter or fitting let� for hire� by the� said Company� shall not� be subject� to distress for� rent or� revenue or any rate due upon the premises where the same may be used, nor be taken in execution under any process of a� Court of� law or� equity, or� any proceeding in insolvency against the� person in whose possession the same may be.

12. Penalty for fraudulently using gas

12. Penalty� for fraudulently� using gas.-

Every person who shall lay, or� cause to� be laid,� any pipe� to communicate� with� any� pipe belonging to� the� said� Company,� without� their� consent,� or� shall fraudulently injure� any such� meter as aforesaid, or who, in case the Gas supplied by the Company is not ascertained by meter, shall use any burner other than such as has been provided or approved of by the said Company, or of larger dimensions than he has contracted to pay for, or shall keep the lights burning for a longer time than he has contracted to pay� for, or� shall otherwise� improperly use� or burn� the Gas, or shall supply any other person with any part of the Gas supplied to him by the� said Company,� shall forfeit� to the� said Company� the sum of fifty rupees for

  1. Rep. by Act 16 of 1874 every such  offence, and  also the  sum of twenty rupees for every day such pipe  shall so  remain, or such works or burner shall be so used, or such excess be so committed or continued, or such supply furnished; and the  said Company may take off the Gas from the house and premises of the  person so  offending, notwithstanding  any contract  which may have been previously entered into.

13. Penalty for wilfully damaging pipes

13. Penalty� for wilfully damaging pipes.-

Every person who shall willfully remove,� destroy, or� damage any� pipe, pillar,� post,� plug, lamp, or� other work� of the� said Company� for supplying� Gas, or who shall willfully� extinguish any of the public lamps or lights, or waste or improperly� use any of the Gas supplied by the said Company, shall, for each� such offence,� forfeit to� the� said� Company� any� sum� not exceeding fifty rupees, in addition to the amount of the damage done.

14. Satisfaction for accidentally damaging pipes

14. Satisfaction� for accidentally� damaging pipes.-

Every person who shall� carelessly or accidentally break, throw down, or damage any pipe, or pillar, or lamp belonging to the said Company, or under their control, shall� pay such� sum of� money by� way of satisfaction to the� said Company� for the� damage done, not exceeding fifty rupees, as any Magistrate shall think reasonable.

15. Penalty for causing water to be corrupted

15. Penalty� for causing� water to� be corrupted.�

Daily  penalty during the  continuance of  the offence.--If the said Company shall at any time  cause or  suffer to  be brought, or to flow into any stream, reservoir, aqueduct,  pond, or  place for  water, or  into  any  drain communicating therewith,  any washing  or other  substance produced in  making or  supplying Gas,  or shall willfully do any act connected with the making  or supplying of Gas, whereby the water in any such stream, reservoir, aqueduct,  pond, on  place for  water, shall be fouled, the said Company  shall forfeit for every such offence a sum not exceeding one thousand  rupees; and  they shall  forfeit an  additional sum  not exceeding five  hundred rupees  for each day during which such washing or other substance shall be brought or shall flow, or the act by which such water  shall be  found shall  continue, after  the expiration  of twenty-four hours  from the time when notice of the offence shall have been served  on the  said Company, by the person into whose water such washing or  other substance  shall be  brought or shall flow, or whose water shall  be fouled  thereby; and  such penalties  shall be paid to such last-mentioned person

16. Daily penalty during escape of Gas after notice

16. Daily� penalty during� escape of� Gas after notice.-

Whenever any Gas� shall escape� from any� pipe, laid� down� or� set� up� by� or belonging to the said Company, they shall, immediately after receiving notice thereof in writing, prevent such Gas from escaping; and in case the said� Company shall� not,� within� twenty-four� hours� next� after service of such notice, effectually prevent the Gas from escaping, and wholly remove� the cause� of complaint,� they� shall� for� every� such offence forfeit� the sum of fifty rupees for each day during which the Gas shall� be suffered� to escape, after the expiration of twenty four hours from the service of such notice.

17. Penalty if water be fouled by Gas

17. Penalty� if water be fouled by Gas.-

Whenever any water shall be fouled� by the� Gas of� the said Company, they shall forfeit to the person whose water shall be so fouled for every such offence a sum not exceeding two� hundred rupees,� and a� further sum,� not exceeding one hundred rupees,� for each day during which the offence shall continue, after the� expiration of� twenty-four hours from the service of notice of such offence.

18. Power to examine Gas-pipes to ascertain cause of water being fouled

18. Power� to examine gas-pipes to ascertain cause of water being fouled.-

For the� purpose of ascertaining whether such water be fouled by the� Gas of the said Company, the person to whom the water supposed to be� fouled shall� belong, may� dig up� the ground,� and examine the conduits, and� works of� the said� Company; provided that such person, before proceeding so to dig and examine, shall give twenty-four hours' notice in writing to the said Company of the time at which� such digging� and examination is intended to take place, and shall give� the like� notice to� the persons� having� the� control� or management of� the road,� pavement, or� place where such digging is to take place,� and they� shall be� subject to� the� like� obligation� of reinstating the� said road� and pavement,� and the� same penalties for delay, or� any nonfeasance or misfeasance therein, as are hereinbefore provided with� respect to� roads and� pavements broken� up by the said Company, for the purpose of laying their pipes.

19. Expenses to abide result of examination

19. Expenses� to abide� result of� examination.-

If upon any such examination it� appears that� such water� has been� fouled by� any Gas belonging� to�� the� said�� Company,� the� expenses� of� the� digging, examination, and� repair of� the street or place disturbed in any such examination shall� be paid� by the� said Company;� but� if� upon� such examination, it� appear that� the water has not been fouled by the Gas of the� said Company,� the person causing such examination to be made, shall pay� all such� expenses, and� shall also� make good� to the said Company any� injury which� may be� occasioned to� their works� by such examination.

20. How expenses to be ascertained

20. How� expenses to� be ascertained.-

The amount of the expenses of every� such examination� and repair,� and of any injury done to the said Company,� shall, in� case of any dispute about the same, together with the costs of ascertaining and recovering the same, be ascertained and recovered� in the� manner prescribed� for� the� ascertainment� and recovery of expenses in section of this Act.

21. Liability to indictments for nuisance

21. Liability� to indictments� for nuisance.-

Nothing in this Act contained shall� prevent the� said Company� from being� liable� to� an indictment for� nuisance, or� to any� other legal proceedings to which they may be liable in consequence of making or supplying Gas.

22. Copies of the original Deed of Association and of all rules

22. Copies� of the original Deed of Association and of all rules, etc., to� be kept� for inspection� at the� office of� the� Company� in Calcutta and� in the office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, or the� Keeper of the Records of the Supreme Court at Fort William.-

A copy of� the original� Deed of Association of the said Company, and of� every� other�� instrument� registered� under� the� said� "Joint� Stock Companies' Act,� 1856", as� constituting the� Regulations of� the said Company, and� a copy� of every special resolution of a General Meeting whereby any� change shall� have been,� or at any time shall be made in the Regulations� of the� said Company,� shall be kept at the office of the said� Company� in� Calcutta,� and� shall� there� be� open� to� the inspection of� all persons� during the� usual hours of business of the said office;� and a� copy of such original Deed of Association, and of every other� such instrument,� and� of� every� special� resolution� as aforesaid, shall� also be� deposited by the said Company as soon as it can be� done after the passing of this Act, or after the making of any such special� resolution hereafter� to be� made, in� the office of the Registrar of� Joint Stock� Companies, or, if there be no such officer, in the� office of� the Keeper� of the� Records of the Supreme Court of Judicature at� Fort William� 1*,� and�� shall� there� be filed; and an examined copy� of any� such filed� copy as aforesaid, certified by and under the� hand of� the Registrar� of Joint Stock Companies, or of the Keeper of� the Records� of the� said Supreme� Court, shall be good and sufficient evidence of each such original Deed, instrument, or special resolution, in all actions, suits, and proceedings whatsoever, whether civil or� criminal, to� be had� in any� Court of Justice or before any Magistrate, or Revenue or other officer, and whether acting judicially or in� any proceedings� preliminary to� a judicial inquiry, throughout the territories of the East India Company.

23. Service of process

23. Service� of process.-

All services of manse or other process, and all� notices whatsoever� which, by� law or� by the practice of any Court wherein� the said� Company shall sue or be sued, are required to be made, served, and given, in addition to all ways and means by which the same may otherwise be legally made, and given, by leaving the same addressed to� the Managing� Agent of the said Company at the office in Calcutta of the said company.

  1. Now High Court at Calcutta

24. Recovery of penalties

24. Recovery� of penalties,� etc.-

All penalties� and forfeitures imposed by� this Act,� and all� damages and� expenses the� recovery of which is� not specially� provided for,� may be� recovered� by� summary proceeding before a Magistrate.

25. Levy by distress

25. Levy� by distress.-

All� penalties, forfeitures, damages, and expenses adjudged� due under� this Act, if the amount be not otherwise paid, may� be levied by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the party� liable to� pay the same, and the over plus arising from such goods and �chattels, after� satisfying such amount and the expenses of the distress� and sale, shall be returned on demand to the party whose goods shall have been distained; or instead of proceeding by distress and sale,� or in� case of� failure to realise by distress the whole or any part� of any� penalties, forfeitures, damages, or expenses imposed or incurred under the provisions of this Act, the person claiming such penalty, forfeiture, damage, or expenses, may sue the person liable to pay the same in any Court of competent jurisdiction.

26. No distress unlawful for want of form

26. No� distress unlawful� for want� of form,� etc.-

No� distress levied by� virtue of� this Act shall be deemed unlawful, nor shall any party making the same be deemed a trespasser, on account of any defect or want� of form� in the� summons, conviction, warrant of distress, or other proceeding� relating thereto, nor shall any such party be deemed a trespasser� abs initial� on account� of� any� irregularity� afterwards committed by� him; but� all persons� aggrieved by any irregularity may recover full� satisfaction for� the special� damage in� any� Court� of competent jurisdiction.

27. Interpretation

The� following words and expressions used in this Act shall have the meanings hereby assigned to them, unless there be something� in the subject or context repugnant to such construction (that is to say):-

Words importing the singular number only shall include the plural number; and� words importing the plural number only shall include also the singular number. Words importing the masculine gender shall include females. The word� "person" shall include a corporation, whether aggregate or sole. The word� "street" shall� include any� square, court,� or� alley, highway, lane, road, thoroughfare, or public passage or place. The word "Magistrate" shall include any Magistrate of Police, and any joint Magistrate or other person lawfully exercising the powers of Magistrate, acting� at or� for the� place or district where the matter requiring the cognizance of any such Magistrate arises.