(Prayer: Second Appeal is filed under Section 100 of Civil Procedure Code, against the Judgment and decree dated 21.10.2008 made in A.S.No.98 of 2006 on the file of II Additional Sub Court, Cuddalore, confirming the Judgment and Decree dated 06.09.2005 in O.S.No.508 of 2004 on the file of the Additional District Munsif Court, Cuddalore.)
1. Challenge in this second appeal is made by the plaintiff against the Judgment and Decree dated 21.10.2008 in A.S.No.98 of 2006 on the file of the second Additional Sub-Court, Cuddalore confirming the Judgement and Decree dated 06.09.2005 in O.S.No.508 of 2004 on the file of the Additional District Munsif Court, Cuddalore.
2. Suit for recovery of money.
3. The averments in brief of the plaint are as follows:
The plaintiff owns agricultural land and raises groundnut crops in the land. The defendant is having a Mill by name 'Manonmani Vidhai Manila Udayappu Mill' and the plaintiff has been supplying groundnuts to the defendant for the last five or six years. For such supplies, the defendant used to pay the price and on 11.07.2003 the plaintiff supplied groundnuts to the defendant worth Rs.50,700/- and the defendant took delivery of the stock, but, did not pay cash for the same and instead, he passed a receipt writing down the calculation in his own hand and signed it and thus, the receipt evidences the transaction and the amount due to the plaintiff and in spite of several demands, the defendant did not make payment and also even though the plaintiff had lodged a complaint against the defendant with the Police, the defendant having not evinced interest to make the payment, the suit has been laid.
4. The avernments in the written statement are briefly stated as follows:
The suit is not maintainable. The claim of the plaintiff that the defendant took delivery of groundnuts from the plaintiff on 11.07.2003 worth Rs.50,700/- and issued the receipt in question are false. The plaintiff preferred a false police complaint against the defendant. The defendant used to issue bills for the purchase of groundnuts and the document filed by the plaintiff is not a receipt at all and it is only an estimate showing the value of the groundnuts. The plaintiff approached the defendant and claimed to know the value of the groundnuts, which he proposed to sell the defendant and the plaintiff has not sold the groundnuts to the defendant. The defendant is not liable to pay any amount to the plaintiff and hence, the suit is liable to be dismissed.
5. In support of the plaintiff's case, Exs.A1 and X1 have been marked and the plaintiff has been examined as P.W.1. On the side of the defendant, Exs.B1 to 6 were marked and the defendant has been examined as D.W.1.
6. On a consideration of the oral and documentary evidence adduced by the respective parties, the trial Court was pleased to dismiss the suit, as against which, the First Appeal preferred by the plaintiff also came to be dismissed. Hence, the second appeal has been filed by the plaintiff.
7. For the sake of convenience, the parties are referred to as per their ranking in the trial Court.
8. The suit has been laid by the plaintiff for the recovery of money based upon the alleged receipt said to have been executed by the defendant, in connection with the supply of groundnuts made by the plaintiff to the defendant. The defence taken by the defendant is that the plaintiff has not supplied any groundnuts to the defendant on 11.07.2003 and that, the defendant did not issue any receipt for the same as alleged by the plaintiff. According to the defendant, the plaintiff approached him and wanted to know the value of the groundnuts, which he proposed to sell to the defendant and that, the defendant has given to the plaintiff only an estimate of the same and the document, in question, is not a receipt and therefore, based upon the receipt in question, no liability could be fastened on the defendant and therefore, the suit is liable to be dismissed.
9. The plaintiff bases his claim upon Ex.A1, the alleged receipt. According to the defendant, Ex.A1 is not a receipt issued by him for the supply of groundnuts made by the plaintiff. On the other hand, it is the specific case of the defendant, that Ex.A1 is only an estimate of the value of the groundnuts, which the plaintiff proposed to sell to the defendant and therefore, no liability could be fastened on the defendant based on Ex.A1.
10. It is not disputed that Ex.A1 contains the signature of the defendant. However, as rightly argued by the defendant counsel, a perusal of Ex.A1 furnished in the typed set of papers would go to show that it cannot beby any stretch of imagination termed as a receipt for the alleged supply of groundnuts by the plaintiff to the defendant. It is not even mentioned in Ex.A1 that the plaintiff offered to sell groundnuts to the defendant for a specified price and the defendant had agreed to the offer and to pay the price. Therefore, on the face of it, it can be seen that Ex.A1 cannot be termed as a receipt. On the other hand, from Exs.B1 to 5 marked on the side of the defendant, it can be seen that the defendant is in the habit of issuing pucca receipt in connection with the purchase of groundnuts by him from various vendors and therefore, on comparison, it can be seen that Ex.A1 cannot be termed as a receipt. That the defendant used to issue receipts viz., Ex.B1 to B5 have not been seriously disputed by the plaintiff.
11. As rightly found by the trial Court, the alleged transaction projected by the plaintiff would not satisfy the contract of sale contemplated under Section 5 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930. As found earlier, a perusal of Ex.A1 does not show that any offer has been made by the plaintiff to sell the groundnuts to the defendant for a price and that, the defendant has agreed the offer made by the plaintiff. In such circumstances, merely because Ex.A1 contains the signature of the defendant, it cannot lead to the premise that there is concluded contract between the plaintiff and defendant as projected by the plaintiff. As rightly argued by the defendant counsel, no liability whatsoever could be fixed on the defendant for the amount mentioned in Ex.A1.
12. Now, according to the defendant, Ex.A1 is only an estimate. If as argued by the plaintiff, it evidences the contract of sale between the parties, the defendant would have specifically agreed for the price proposed by the plaintiff in Ex.A1. However, as adverted to earlier, Ex.A1 does not reveal such transaction between the parties.
13. The main argument put forth by the plaintiff's counsel is that the plaintiff had lodged the police complaint against the defendant wherein, the defendant had agreed that he had received groundnuts from the plaintiff and also, paid the amount to the plaintiff, which could be evidenced from Ex.X1 and on the other hand, in the written statement, the defendant has not specifically averred that he has paid the amount to the plaintiff for the supply of groundnuts, hence, the defendant should be mulcted with the liability with reference to the above transaction. The plaintiff's counsel mainly placed reliance upon the alleged statement said to have been made by the defendant to the police authorites. However, according to the defendant, in his evidence, on account of the force and coercion exerted by the police, he was compelled to give such a statement to the police and therefore, it is the specific case of the defendant in his evidence that the alleged statement said to have been found in Ex.X1 is not made by him voluntarily and out of his will and consent.
14. In such a view of the matter, as rightly argued by the learned counsel for the defendant no evidentiary value could be attached to the alleged statement said to have been made by the defendant before the police as found in Ex.X1. As rightly argued, the same would be hit under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act and therefore, no credence could be attached to Ex. X1 to fix any liability upon the defendant to pay the suit claim.
15. Barring Ex.X1, there is no other material on the side of the plaintiff to hold that there is a concluded contract of sale between the plaintiff and the defendant as contemplated in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 with reference to the groundnuts.
16. In this connection, the defendant counsel placed reliance upon the decision reported in 2002 -1- L.W 293 ( Mettur Beardsell Limited, a Public Limited Company by its Secretary, 17, Greams Road, Chennai 6. Vs. 1. M/s. Salem Textiles Limited, a Public Limited Company, by its Registered office at Fairlands, Salem 16 by its Managing Director Mr.R.Prabhakaran and two others) to hold that based upon a letter between the parties with reference to supply of yarn, the High Court was pleased to hold that it is not a contract to sell and buy goods and therefore, on the line of such authority, this Court should also hold that Ex.A1 cannot be termed as a receipt for fastening liability on the defendant. As rightly argued, the above authority could also be made applicable to the present case and accordingly, it can be seen that Ex.A1 could not be termed as evidencing any contract of sale between the plaintiff and the defendants with reference to groundnuts as projected by the plaintiff. Therefore, based on Ex.A1, the plaintiff cannot be granted any relief.
17. The decision relied upon by the counsel for the plaintiff reported in 48 LW 220 (Perumal Chettiar Vs. Kamakshi Ammal) as rightly argued by the counsel for the defendant would not be applicable to the facts and circumstances of the present case. The plaintiff having laid the suit based on Ex.A1 cannot be allowed to argue that he should be granted decree based on the statement alleged to have given by the defendant to the police. As adverted to earlier, inasmuch as the defendant has repudiated the said statement and also the fact that the said statement would not have any evidentiary value and Ex.A1 having been found to be not a receipt, it can be seen that the plaintiff would not be entitled to claim the suit amount from the defendant based upon Ex.A1.
18. Looking at from any angle, it can be seen that the plaintiff had no case to sustain. Accordingly, I hold that there is no substantial question of law involved in the second appeal and consequently, the second appeal is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition if any is closed.