1. The plaintiffs, carrying on business in Bombay, had dealings with the defendant, who is said to carry on business at Bassum in Akola under the style of Chatandas-Shankardas. The plaintiffs say that the account was settled in 1912 between the parties. The defendant, after paying a certain amount in cash, passed two hundis for Rs. 900 and Rs. 1,000_, respectively, drawn on his own firm by the defendant payable in Bombay 181 and 361 days after sight, respectively. As those hundis were not met when they fell due, the plaintiffs brought this suit for the recovery of the amount.
2. Paragraph 5 of the plaint states that the defendant resides at Bassum; that the hundis were passed at Bassum but the consideration of the hundis was the balance of the account due by the defendant to the plaintiffs in respect of transactions effected in Bombay and the moneys were payable to the plaintiffs in Bombay and a material part of the cause of action arose in Bombay.
3. Leave was obtained under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent to file the suit in Bombay.
4. The question has now arisen whether any part of the cause of action has arisen within the local limits. It must be admitted, on an inspection of the hundis, that the statement in the plaint that the hundis were payable in Bombay is incorrect. But it is contended that the consideration for the hundis was the balance of account due by the defendant to the plaintiffs in respect of transactions effected in Bombay. The question is whether that was a part of the cause of action. The point apparently does not seem to have arisen before; but if the whole cause of action consists of those facts which it is necessary for the plaintiffs to prove in order to succeed in getting a decree, then it was not necessary to prove the transactions out of which the present claim arose, as the claim on those transactions was satisfied by the passing of the hundis and under the Negotiable Instruments Act the consideration for the hundis must be presumed, so the plaintiffs are entitled to a decree merely on production of the hundis unless the defendant can show that there was no consideration. In giving leave under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent in suits on promissory notes, or hundis, I have always given leave when the money was payable in Bombay, and refused leave when the money was payable out of Bombay; and, in my opinion, if there are transactions in Bombay, which result in a credit in favour of the Bombay merchant against an upcountry merchant, and if the Bombay merchant goes to settle his account up country and accepts a promissory note or hundi in satisfaction of his account, then if he wants to sue on that note in Bombay he must take the precaution to see that the note is made payable in Bombay.
5. Unfortunately, the plaintiffs, when they applied for leave, made a misstatement in the plaint upon which I relied in granting the leave. If I had been aware that the facts stated in the plaint were incorrect, I should have refused the leave.
6. Therefore, I must hold now that the Court has no jurisdiction. The plaint should be returned to the plaintiffs for presentation in the proper Court.
7. The plaintiffs to pay the defendant's costs.