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Kathu Jairam Gujar Vs. Vishvanath Ganesh Javadekar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 336 of 1923
Judge
Reported inAIR1925Bom470; (1925)27BOMLR682
AppellantKathu Jairam Gujar
RespondentVishvanath Ganesh Javadekar
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....'a full success' could be..........for the services of the pleaders in the case was rs. 500, and the gift of part of the property in suit. an agreement taken by a pleader that he shall be given part of the property in dispute in the suit in which he is engaged must necessarily be contrary to public policy, and therefore, unlawful under section 23 of the indian contract act. ' it is professional misconduct for an advocate to stipulate for or agree with his client to accept as his fee or professional remuneration a share of the property, fund, or other matter in litigation for his services as advocate in such litigation upon the successful issue thereof.' (see in the matter of an advocate (1900) 4 c.l.j. 259 . in laxmanlal v. mulshankar : (1908)10bomlr553 a pleader stood bail for his client pending a criminal charge.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The plaintiff stated in his plaint that he and one Shankar Shrikrishna Deo were engaged as pleaders by defendant No. 1 in Suit No. 273 of 1917 filed against him in the Court of the First Class Subordinate Judge of Dhulia by one Bhagwan Devidas; that on September 23, 1917, when the vakilpatra was given to them, defendant No. 1 made a special contract in the following terms :-

I have this day given you a vakilpivtra in the above suit and agree to give you both Rs. 500 as Inam or reward in case you obtain ' full success ' for me in this or in the High Court, and would further give over to you possession of survey No. 58 of Shahada, comprising 3 acres and 36 gunthas and assessed at Rs. 30, for religious or charitable purposes.

2. It is admitted that Survey No. 58 was part of the property in dispute in the suit. The suit was dismissed in the first Court on March 22, 1919, but in the first appeal the High Court granted relief to the plaintiff with regard to a portion of his claim.

3. The trial Judge held that the agreement to give Rs. 500 as Inam or reward in wise the pleaders obtained 'a full success' could be enforced. But with regard to the obligation on the first defendant to giveaway to the pleaders the lands for charity he thought the claim was not sustainable.

4. The question then arose whether under Section 24 of the Indian Contract Act the agreement was void because one of several considerations for a single object was unlawful. The Judge said :-

As it was not a reward given to them for their professional services, the clause of the Inam Chitti relating to it becomes a distinct agreement by itself, and is to that extent void for want of consideration. In facts, it operates as an agreement to make a gift of the land rather than an agreement to make a transfer of it for value Further as the religions and charitable purposes have not been defined, the beneficiaries who are to take under it cannot be ascertained, and the agreement being thus too vague and uncertain cannot be specifically enforced, under Section 21 of the Specific Relief Act.

5. It is difficult to 836 how it can be said that the agreement to give land to the pleaders for religious or charitable purposes can be separated from the agreement to give them Rs. 500 for their services in the case as pleaders. It has been suggested that because the property was to be given over to religious or charitable purposes, it could not be considered as consideration given to the pleaders for their services in the suit. I do not think the Court need be misled by such an argument. It was intended to be a gift of the property to the pleaders, leaving it open to them to deal with it as they thought fit. The words ' for religious and charitable purposes ' were evidently added in the hope that the real object of the agreement might be concealed. But we. think it clear that the consideration for the services of the pleaders in the case was Rs. 500, and the gift of part of the property in suit. An agreement taken by a pleader that he shall be given part of the property in dispute in the suit in which he is engaged must necessarily be contrary to public policy, and therefore, unlawful under Section 23 of the Indian Contract Act. ' It is professional misconduct for an advocate to stipulate for or agree with his client to accept as his fee or professional remuneration a share of the property, fund, or other matter in litigation for his services as advocate in such litigation upon the successful issue thereof.' (See In the matter of an Advocate (1900) 4 C.L.J. 259 . In Laxmanlal v. Mulshankar : (1908)10BOMLR553 a pleader stood bail for his client pending a criminal charge against him, and as an indemnity for the bail took from him a Sale-deed and a rent-note regarding his house, in the name of the plaintiff. The consideration for the sale-deed was a sum of KB. 8,000, of which Rs. 5,000 were the indemnity for the bail-bond, and the remaining Rs. 3,000 represented the advances to be made thereafter by the plaintiff. The plaintiff sued on the rent-note to recover the sum of Rs. 2,000 as rent; and it was held (1) that the contract for indemnifying the pleader for his bail-bond was illegal; and this illegality rendered the sale-deed void in law; (2) that the rent note was tainted with the same illegality which affected the sale-deed and could not stand on any separate footing; and (3) that the agreement was an indivisible agreement. A part of a single consideration for one object was unlawful, and, therefore, the whole agreement was void under Section 24 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

6. In the same way in this case the agreement to pay Rs. 5CO cannot be separated from the agreement to give survey No. 58, part of the property in suit. We think, therefore, that the whole agreement was void. We allow the appeal and dismiss the plaintiff's suit with costs throughout.

Coyajee, J.

7. I am entirely of the same opinion,


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