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Muller Maclean and Co. Vs. Kaderbhoy Mulla Esmailji - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectBanking
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberO.C.J. Appeal No. 30 of 1922
Judge
Reported inAIR1923Bom241; (1923)25BOMLR177
AppellantMuller Maclean and Co.
RespondentKaderbhoy Mulla Esmailji
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....dishonoured by acceptor-suit against the acceptor-exchange to be calculated at the rate on the due data of payment.;a foreign draft contained an express condition to the effect-'draft to be paid at current rate for bank demand draft at date of payment. 'the bill was dishonoured by the acceptor. in a suit against the acceptor, the plaintiffs contended that those words meant that the rate of exchange should be calculated when the bill was actually paid. the court of first instance held that the rate of exchange should be calculated at the rate at the due date of payment). on appeal by the plaintiffs:-;confirming the decree of the lower court, that the date of payment could only mean the day on which the acceptor agreed to pay and not some other day at which he might choose to tender the..........defences with which we are not concerned in this appeal. the only question in appeal is at what rate of exchange should the amount due to the plaintiffs by the defendants on their acceptances be calculated. according to the terms of the bills they were to be paid at the current rate for bank demand drafts at date of payment. it was contended by the plaintiffs that these words meant that the rate of exchange should be calculated when the bill was actually paid. it was contended by the defendants that the rate of exchange should be calculated at the due date. the learned judge was of opinion that the defendants' contention was right and from that decision the plaintiffs have appealed.3. it seems to me that the question can be answered by considering what was the plain meaning of the.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The plaintiffs brought this suit against the defendants as acceptors of two Bills of Exchange drawn by the plaintiffs in New York upon the defendants and payable thirty days after sight. One of the Bills of Exchange was for 1568. 51 dollars, dated July 2, 1920, and was accepted by the defendants on August 4, 1920. The other was for 261-19-3, dated September 8, 1920, and was accepted by the defendants on October 12, 1920.

2. The defendants raised various defences with which we are not concerned in this appeal. The only question in appeal is at what rate of exchange should the amount due to the plaintiffs by the defendants on their acceptances be calculated. According to the terms of the bills they were to be paid at the current rate for Bank Demand Drafts at date of payment. It was contended by the plaintiffs that these words meant that the rate of exchange should be calculated when the bill was actually paid. It was contended by the defendants that the rate of exchange should be calculated at the due date. The learned Judge was of opinion that the defendants' contention was right and from that decision the plaintiffs have appealed.

3. It seems to me that the question can be answered by considering what was the plain meaning of the contract entered into by the defendants when they accepted these bills. They agreed to pay the amount appearing on the face of the bills thirty days after sight. These amounts were stated in the one in dollars and in the other in sterling, and it was agreed that defendants should not pay these amounts in foreign currency, or by foreign bills, but that they should pay to the plaintiffs such an amount in rupees as would enable the plaintiffs to buy foreign bills themselves, for the respective amounts. Then as it was stated in the Bills that they must be paid at the current rate for Bank Demand Drafts at date of payment, that date could only mean the day on which the acceptors agreed to pay and not some other date, at which, if the contract had been broken, the defendants might either choose to tender the money, or might be forced to pay by an order of the Court. It was argued that the same result would follow if nothing had been stated in the Bills with regard to the current rate for Bank Demand Drafts and therefore these words on the defendants' contention would be mere surplusage, so that some other meaning should be attached to them in order to avoid that result. It appears to me clear that these words have been inserted as a matter of common form in these bills so as to make it certain how the amount in Rupees was to be calculated at the due date. There is no necessity to speculate what would have happened if the words had not been there, or how the acceptors would have met their obligations at the due dates, Nor is it necessary to consider the cases which were cited in the Court below, as counsel for the appellants did not rely on any authorities before us. It seems to me that the question can be decided on the terms of the contract, and on the terms of the contract, I think, the decision of the learned Judge is right. The appeal is dismissed with costs.

Crump, J.

4. I agree.


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