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Babasaheb Rahimsaheb Vs. Rajaram Raghunath Alpe - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Application No. 225 of 1929
Judge
Reported in(1931)33BOMLR260
AppellantBabasaheb Rahimsaheb
RespondentRajaram Raghunath Alpe
Excerpt:
.....iii of 1865---agreement to wrestle--condition that the party failing to appear should pay a sum of money is not a wagering contract--condition that the winner should get gate-money valid.; it is permissible to two wrestlers to stipulate that any one of them failing to appear on the day fixed for the wrestling match should pay to the other certain money, or that the winner should receive the whole of the gate-money collected at the match to the exclusion of the other. - - 1. this application raises an interesting point under bombay act iii of 1865. 2. the parties are wrestlers and entered into an agreement as follows: the defendant failed to appear in the ring and the plaintiff sued for rs, 500. the plea of wagering raised by the defendant in the trial court failed and he applies in..........by sir dinshah mulla in his notes on section 30 of the indian contract act is 'a promise to give money or money's worth upon determination or ascertainment of an uncertain event.' another definition is to be found in bassoon v. tohersey ilr (1903) 28 bom. 616 : 5 bom. l. r. 503. 'it is of the essence of a wager that each side should stand to win or lose according to the result of an uncertain event.' in this case, however, there was no such agreement since neither side stood to lose according to the result of the wrestling match. the agreement was that the winner was to take the whole of the proceeds of the gate and though the loser was to get nothing ho was not to pay anything and was not to be out of pocket in any way. in the case quoted by the learned advocate this distinction is.....
Judgment:

Madgavkar, J.

1. This application raises an interesting point under Bombay Act III of 1865.

2. The parties are wrestlers and entered into an agreement as follows:

firstly, they were to wrestle in Poona on a certain day;

secondly, the party failing to appear on that day was to forfeit Rs. 500 to the opposite party; thirdly, the winner was to receive Es. 1,125 of the gate-money. The defendant failed to appear in the ring and the plaintiff sued for Rs, 500. The plea of wagering raised by the defendant in the trial Court failed and he applies in revision.

3. It is argued for the petitioner that by reason of the agreement for payment to the winner, who was uncertain, the entire agreement fell under Section 1 of the Bombay Act III of 1865 and was by way of gaming or wagering, and the fact that wrestling is a test of skill and strength is immaterial, and that the same result follows under Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act.

4. The statutes 8 & 9 Vic. Clause 18, Sections 9 and 10 are similar and have been so construed by the Courts in England in Diggle v. Higgs (1877) 2 Ex. D. 422 and Trimble v. Hill (1879) 5 App. Cas. 342.

5. On behalf of the opponent reliance is placed on the reasoning of the trial Court and on the case of Ramchandra v. Gangabison : (1910)12BOMLR590 . The terms 'gaming' and 'wagering' are nowhere defined. The happening of an uncertain event may be one of the tests (see Sassoon v. Tokersey ILR (1903) 28 Bom. 616 : 6 Bom. L. R. 503.

6. In an agreement if different clauses are separable, the fact that one clause, is void does not necessarily cause the other clauses to fail. In the present case we are not satisfied that the second clause which is now in question cannot be separated from the last clause, and even on the view put forward by the petitioner the claim based on the second clause would appear to be legal. But, even the last point raised by the petitioner is not in our opinion proved. The words in the English statute are somewhat different. It is to be noted that in the present case the stakes did not come out of the pockets of the parties but had to be paid from the gate-money provided by the public, and, as pointed out in Shoolbred v. Roberts [1899] 2 Q. B. 560 by Phillimore J. (as he then was) (page 564), 'when there was a perfectly lawful contest in a game of skill between two persons, the prize for success in that contest should be recoverable if it was subscribed for by outside persons, but not recoverable if it was subscribed for by the competitors themselves.' Thus, in the present case, such a clause would not necessarily be void under the English statutes or under the Bombay Act.

7. For these reasons, the view of the trial Court is, in our opinion, correct, the application is dismissed and the rule discharged with costs.

Barlee, J.

8. I agree. The plaintiff and the defendant made an agreement to wrestle and the winner was to be rewarded by receiving the whole of the proceeds of the sale of tickets. It has been argued that this agreement was an agreement by way of wagering. The term 'wagering' is not defined in the Indian Contract Act; but the definition given by Sir William Anson, as quoted by Sir Dinshah Mulla in his notes on Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act is 'A promise to give money or money's worth upon determination or ascertainment of an uncertain event.' Another definition is to be found in Bassoon v. Tohersey ILR (1903) 28 Bom. 616 : 5 Bom. L. R. 503. 'It is of the essence of a wager that each side should stand to win or lose according to the result of an uncertain event.' In this case, however, there was no such agreement since neither side stood to lose according to the result of the wrestling match. The agreement was that the winner was to take the whole of the proceeds of the gate and though the loser was to get nothing ho was not to pay anything and was not to be out of pocket in any way. In the case quoted by the learned advocate this distinction is clear. In Diggle v. Higgs (1877) 2 Ex, D. 422 each of the party deposited . 200 to a stake holder to abide the issue of a walking match and the loser was to forfeit his . 200. In Shoolbred v. Roberts [1899] 2 Q. B. 569 each party deposited . 100 to abide the result of a billiard match. In each of the two cases the loser was actually to be out of pocket. Here, on the other hand, the loser merely failed to win the prize but forfeited nothing of his own.

9. Under these circumstances, I agree that the agreement cannot in any way be looked upon as one of wagering in law. Obviously, it was not a wagering agreement within the ordinary meaning of the word ' wagering', since the prize for the winner was not subscribed by the parties to the contest, but was to be subscribed by the general public who were expected to buy tickets.

10. I agree, therefore, that the application must be dismissed with costs.


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