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Radhakrishnamurthy Vs. Chandrasekhara Rao - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rev. Petn. No. 1457 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1966AP334
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 20 - Order 7, Rule 1
AppellantRadhakrishnamurthy
RespondentChandrasekhara Rao
Advocates:J. Sithamahalakshmi, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- - since the debtor as well as the original payee belong to guntur district and the suit promissory note was also executed at guntur, it is the guntur court which has the jurisdiction and not the court at vijayawada. thus there is a strong current of authority in india for accepting the definition of cause of action in (1888-22 q......purposes and executed a promissory note on 19-12-1959 at guntur. the said payee transferred the suit promissory note to one chittarvu venkata sharma for collection on 29-12-1959, as the said transferee could not succeed in collecting the debt, he re-transferred the promissory note in favour of the original payee: on 17-1-1961.3. the original payee again transferred the suit promissory note for collection in favour of one ramaraju seetharamaiah, who in turn transferred the same in favour of the plaintiff at vijayawada on 29-10-1961.4. the plaintiff on the foot of this transfer instituted the present suit against the defendant in the subordinate judge's court at vijayawada on the small cause side for the recovery of the sum due on the promissory note.5. the defendant remained ex parte......
Judgment:
ORDER

Gopal Rao Ekbote, J.

1. This is a revision petition directed against the judgment and decree of the subordinate Judge, Vijayawada, given on 13-2-1963. The material facts in order to appreciate the contention raised before me may briefly be stated

2. The defendant borrowed a sum of Rs. 500 from one Pelluri Veera Raghavayya for agricultural purposes and executed a promissory note on 19-12-1959 at Guntur. The said payee transferred the suit promissory note to one Chittarvu Venkata Sharma for collection on 29-12-1959, As the said transferee could not succeed in collecting the debt, he re-transferred the promissory note in favour of the original payee: on 17-1-1961.

3. The original payee again transferred the suit promissory note for collection in favour of one Ramaraju Seetharamaiah, who in turn transferred the same in favour of the plaintiff at Vijayawada on 29-10-1961.

4. The plaintiff on the foot of this transfer instituted the present suit against the defendant in the subordinate Judge's Court at Vijayawada on the Small Cause side for the recovery of the sum due on the promissory note.

5. The defendant remained ex parte. The plaintiff produced some evidence. The learned subordinate Judge without considering the merits of the case dismissed the suit on the ground that the sub-court at Vijayawada has no Jurisdiction to entertain the suit. It held that the common law rule that the debtor must seek the creditor goes not apply to a case of negotiable document. Consequently the plaintiff cannot institute the suit at a place where neither the defendant resides nor carries on his business, merely on the ground that the plaintiff resides at the place where the suit was instituted. It further held that Section-20 CPC has no application since it cannot be presumed that any part of the cause of action has arisen within the territorial jurisdiction of the Vijayawada Court merely because the suit promissory note was finally transferred in favour of the plaintiff and that the transfer took place at Vijayawada. Since the debtor as well as the original payee belong to Guntur district and the suit promissory note was also executed at Guntur, it is the Guntur Court which has the jurisdiction and not the court at Vijayawada. It is this view which is now challenged in this revision petition.

6. The contention of Srimati j. Sitamahalakshmi, the learned counsel for the petitioner, is that the endorsement of a negotiable instrument or the assignment of a promissory note gives rise to a cause of action at the place of endorsement or assignment and as the assignment took place at Vijayawada, the sub-court at Vijayawada has the necessary jurisdiction to My this case.

7. According to Section 20(c) CPC, cannot be in doubt that a suit can be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the cause of action has arisen either wholly or in part. It is no doubt true that the promissory note was executed at Guntur and that the original parties to the promissory note were also the residents of Guntur. It cannot however he forgotten that the transfer of the suit promissory note has taken place at Vijayawada. Not only the endorsement was made at Vijayawada but the assignment also took place there. The question therefore which arises is whether such A transfer provides a cause of action in part at Vijayawada. I have no doubt that the endorsement of the suit promissory note and the assignment of it does give rise to a part of the cause of action at Vijayawada where admittedly the endorsement and the assignment have taken place. The endorsement and the assignment would therefore provide in part a cause of action. The expression 'cause of action' has been compendiously defined to mean every tact which it would be necessary for the plaintiff to prove if traversed in order to support his right to the judgment of the court. It may not comprise every piece of evidence which may be necessary to prove the facts involved in a case, but every fact which is necessary to be proved in order to give relief to the plaintiff would undoubtedly provide a cause of action on that basis: (See Read v. Brown (1888) 22 Q. B. D. 128). In this case in order to succeed in the suit apart from the execution and consideration of the promissory note the plaintiff would be required to prove that the promissory note has been bona fide transferred in his favour. The fact of transfer being an essential part of the case would certainly be a part of the cause of action. The plaintiff will not be entitled to a decree unless he proves that the assignment has taken place in his favour. The place where such assignment takes place therefore assumes importance. That being the part of the cause of action the plaintiff can institute the suit at a place where an endorsement and an assignment has taken place. Thus a bona fide voluntary assignment of a negotiable document affords a valid cause of action to the assignee to sue not only his assignor but also the original debtor in the Court within whose jurisdiction the assignment takes place. I do not think there can be any doubt that the assignment is a part of the cause of action in such cases. I am fortified in my conclusion by the following decisions. In Alliance Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Union of India, : AIR1959Cal563 P.B. Mukharji, J., held:

'In a suit against the Union of India for short delivery by the assignee of the right, title and interest of the consignor in the goods despatched by railway where, by the assignment, the railway receipt or the claims thereunder are transferred to the assignee, the assignment is a part of the cause of action and the Court, within whose jurisdiction the assignment took place, is competent to entertain and try the suit.' It is pertinent to note that his Lordship decided that the railway receipts are documents of title and can be negotiated and transferred. In that view of the matter the doctrine of negotiability can be invoked to grant jurisdiction to the court and refuse to limit the application of this doctrine only to cases under the Law Merchant or to cases of assignment of negotiable instruments.

8. In Magamma v. Suthiraju, AIR 1917, Mad 221 krishnan, J. held:

'Thus there is a strong current of authority in India for accepting the definition of cause of action in (1888-22 Q.B.P. 128) and I have no doubt we must follow it. If the words 'cause of action' mean the cause of action set out by the plaintiff in his plaint as held by the Privy Council in Chand Koer v. Partab Singh (1888) 15 Ind App 156 (P.C.) above cited we must necessarily hold that the assignment in plaintiff's favour is essential part of his cause of action, for without it he could not have sued on the note as he has done. There is nothing in the language of Section 20, Civil P. C., itself to show Unit a restricted meaning should be placed upon the expression 'cause of action'

It will thus be clear that where the right of the plaintiff depends upon the assignment of a promissory note in his favour the assignment would constitute part of the cause of action and the Court within whose jurisdiction the assignment look place would have jurisdiction to entertain the suit on the promissory note. The lower Court therefore was obviously wrong in slating that Section 20 C.P.C. has no application to the facts of this case. Section 20(c), as stated above, applies In the view which I have taken it is not necessary to consider in this case whether the common law principle that the debtor must seek the creditor applies to a negotiable document or not. Consequently the case cited in the judgment of the court below, Eshwarayya v. Devi Singh AIR 1953 Hyd. 289 (FB) need not be considered. That case decides that the principle that the debtor must seek the creditor does not apply to a negotiable document. Since I have held that a part of the cause of action be cause of transfer arose at Vijayawada, it is unnecessary to consider that principle in this case. In any case the lower Court was wrong in dismissing the suit Even assuming that the court at Vijayawada had no jurisdiction, the court ought to have returned the plaint for its presentation to the proper Court. The suit could not be dismissed on that ground.

9. For the reasons stated above I would allow this revision petition and remit the case to the Subordinate Judge's Court at Vijayawada for the disposal of the suit on merits. The costs of this revision will depend upon the result of the suit.


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