Jhinkoo v Birjah

JurisdictionTrinidad & Tobago
JudgeGerard Des Iles, J.
Judgment Date05 July 1974
Neutral CitationTT 1974 HC 10
Docket NumberNo. 311 of 1968
CourtHigh Court (Trinidad and Tobago)
Date05 July 1974

High Court

Gerard des Iles

No. 311 of 1968


Mr. F.T. William Smith for the plaintiff.

Mr. Basdeo Panday for the defendant.

Damages - Deprivation of use of land — Duty to mitigate loss — Whether this includes obligation to expend money in order to mitigate loss.

Gerard Des Iles, J.

The judgment on liability in this matter was delivered in favour of the plaintiff on 29th March, 1974 and the date for assessment of damages was therein fixed as 9th May, 1974. On that date, this Court, proceeded to receive evidence in relation to the assessment and the plaintiff's evidence amounted to the fact that whilst he had reaped his canes from the 5 acres of land rented to him by the defendant in 1963 and 1964, in 1965 he was unable to reap his canes from that parcel of land because his access across the land formerly owned by the defendant's sister, Susannah Gunness, had been blocked by the new owners, who happened to be his sister Rajwantia and her husband Nagassar. He claims to have lost on an average 30 tons per acre in 1965 (150 tons) 35 tons per acre in 1966 (175 tons) 30 tons per acre in 1967 (150 tons) 25 tons per acre in 1968 (125 tons) and 20.tons per acre in 1969 (100 tons) making a total of 700 tons. He led evidence to the effect that by Government Notice No. 48 of 1966 the price of sugar per ton in 1964 was $12.92 and proceeded to estimate his expenses which had to be deducted from the gross price obtained.


For cutting and carting his cane the cost would be $5.00 per ton making a total of $3,500.00; for cutlassing at $3.50 per task to include the 2nd cutting described by the plaintiff as “bramming” amounted to $787.50 and to supply 50 bags of sulphates at $10.00 per bag would require $500.00 with $2.00 per bag for applying it to the plants totalling $100.00 with $20.00 for transport. This made a grand total of $4,907.50 which when deducted from $9,044.00 being the yield from 700 tons at $12.92 per ton leaves $4,136.50. The defendant denied that the plaintiff had cultivated the entire 5 acre parcel in cane and stated that 1 acre was lagoon land in which rice was to be planted and 2 acres were bush lands so that all that was available for canes were 2 acres. In the defendant's usual pattern in this case she again attempted to mislead the court in my view, by denying amongst other things that she had told the Agricultural Small Holdings Tribunal for South Trinidad (the proceedings of...

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