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Baldeo Prasad Vs. Mt. Ram Kali - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 595 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1962All123
ActsNegotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Sections 64 and 76
AppellantBaldeo Prasad
RespondentMt. Ram Kali
Appellant AdvocateRam Krishna Shukla, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateV.K.S. Chaudhary, Adv.
Excerpt:
commercial - promissory note - section 64 and section 76 of negotiable instruments act, 1881 - payment to be made at the place of debtor - presentation of promissory note or bill of exchange is necessary. - .....intentionally prevents presentment of the instrument, or, if the instrument being payable at his place of business, he closes such place on a business day during the usual business hours, or, if the instrument being payable at some other specified place, neither he nor any person authorised to pay it attends at such place during the usual business hours, . or, if the instrument not being payable at any specified place, he cannot after due search be found; (b) as against any party sought to be charged therewith if he is engaged to pay notwithstanding non-presentment; (c) as against any party if, after maturity, with knowledge that the instrument has not been presented--he makes a part payment on account of the amount due on the instrument, or promises to pay the amount due thereon in.....
Judgment:

V.D. Bhargava, J.

1. This is an application in revision under Section 25 of the Small Cause Court's Act.

2. Mr. Tara Nath Chatterji appears to have taken a very peculiar view in this case. There are other cases which have come to my knowledge in which even written statement had not been filed, yet the learned Judge dismissed the suit on the ground of non-presentation o a promissory note.

3. The plaintiff brought a suit for recovery of Rs. 430/- on the basis of a promissory note executed by defendant on 12-11-1951 for a sum of Rs. 250/-.

4. The defendant by means of an application took the plea that the plaintiff had not disclosed the cause of action and that would entail dismissal of the suit. The point taken was a preliminary point and the issue framed by the Small Cause Court Judge was :

'1. Does the plaint disclose a cause of action?'

5. The plaintiff resides in Mauza Shuklapur, while the defendant resides in Mauza Mahewa Khurd. They are different places. The promissory note was payable at Shuklapur, the place of residence of the creditor. Relying on Section 64 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the Small Cause Court Judge came to the conclusion that as there had not been presentation of this promissory note at Shuklapur to the defendants, the defendants were not bound to pay and it entailed dismissal of the suit and on that preliminary ground the suit was dismissed. Aggrieved by that decision the plaintiff has come to this Court in the present application under Section 25 of the Small Cause Courts Act, Section 64 of the Negotiable Instruments Act reads as follows :

''64. Promissory notes, bills of exchange, and cheques must be presented for payment to the maker, acceptor or drawee thereof respectively by or on behalf of the holder as hereinafter provided. In default of such presentation, the other parties thereto are not liable thereon to such holder.

Where authorised by agreement or usage, a presentment through the post office by means of a registered letter is sufficient.

Explanation:-- Where a promissory note is payable on demand and is not payable at a specified place, no presentment is necessary in order to charge the maker thereof.'

It will he convenient to cite Section 76 also at this place, It reads as follows:

'76. No presentment for payment is necessary, and the instrument is dishonoured at the due date for presentment, in any of the following cases :

(a) if the maker, drawee Or acceptor intentionally prevents presentment of the instrument, or,

if the instrument being payable at his place of business, he closes such place on a business day during the usual business hours, or,

if the instrument being payable at some other specified place, neither he nor any person authorised to pay it attends at such place during the usual business hours, . or,

if the instrument not being payable at any specified place, he cannot after due search be found;

(b) as against any party sought to be charged therewith if he is engaged to pay notwithstanding non-presentment;

(c) as against any party if, after maturity, with knowledge that the instrument has not been presented--he makes a part payment on account of the amount due on the instrument,

or promises to pay the amount due thereon in whole or in part,

or otherwise waives his right to the advantage of any default or presentment for payment;

(d) as against the drawer, if the drawer, could not suffer damage from the want of such presentment

A rending of the two sections makes it clear as to when presentation is necessary. Presentation of a promissory note or a bill of exchange is necessary only if the payment is to be made at theplace of the debtor. But if the payment is to be made at the place of the creditor then there could never be physical possibility of any presentation. It is for that reason that in Section 76(a) it has been made clear that in case the debtor closes his business or is not found at the usual business hours at his place of business or neither he nor any person authorised by him to pay attends at any such place of business, then presentation is not necessary. Ordinarily a debtor is always to seek the creditor and, therefore, it is his duly to make payment. At the same time if in the promissory note or bill of exchange; instead of the place of business of the creditor, the place of the debtor or some of his branches is mentioned then in that event only presentation would be necessary.

6. Learned counsel for the opposite party has relied on a decision reported in Firm Mahomed Ismail Maula Bakhsh v. Abdul Majid Khan, AIR 1937 Lah 259, for the proposition that Section 76(d) would not apply in this case. But actually I am supported by the above Division Bench of the Lahore High Court in the view that presentation of a promissory note would be only necessary or only reasonably possible, if the maker has his residence or place of business there. In the absence of such place of business the mere possession of the promissory note by the promissee in the city, town or village mentioned would be sufficient. In that case the defendant was not a resident of Lyallpur where the promissory note was payable. Therefore it was held that presentation was not necessary.

7. Apart from this fact, Section 64 makes 'other parties thereto not liable thereon to such holder'.

But the drawer or the maker does not cease to be liable if presentation is not made. In the opening sentence of Section 64 the words used are 'the maker, acceptor or drawee'. But besides these three, there may be other persons under Section 64 of the Negotiable Instruments Act who may be appointed by the holder they may not be liable. For this proposition I may refer to a Bench decision of this Court in Benares Bank Ltd. v. Hormusji Pestonji : AIR1930All648 . aS the matter has been discussed at great length in that case I need not repeat the arguments mentioned therein, Therefore the order passed by the lower court appears to be wholly incorrect.

8. Learned counsel for the opposite party raised an objection that the promissory note was executed on 12-11-1951 and the suit was filed on 12-11-1954. That was within limitation but it was only with a court-fee of Re. 1/-. Later on time was given to deposit court-fee till 12th December, 1954. But the court-fee having not been deposited, the plaint was rejected on the ground of insufficient. court-fee. Thereafter an application was made for restoration on payment of court-fee. The Court without any notice to the opposite party restored the suit. Thereafter an application, was moved on 9-12-1955 on behalf of the defendant that that order was without notice and there was no jurisdiction in the Court below to grant it. The learned Judge on 31-1-1956 dismissed this objection relying on two decisions of this Court reported in Anant Prasad Singh v. Chunnu Tewari : AIR1939All452 and Jagannath Prasad v. Mt. Ram Dularey : AIR1956All63 . The former is a single Judge decision in which it has been held that the Court has jurisdiction to restore the suit where the plaint had been rejected on account of want of court-fee. The latter is a Bench decision which also supports the view taken by the learned single Judge. In that case also time had been granted under Section 149, C. P. C. without any notice to the respondent. However, in any event, I do not wish to go into that matter at any great length, because that matter had not been brought to this Court in revision against that order and at this stage the defendant does not seem to have been aggrieved by that order.

9. Accordingly, I set aside the order of the learned, Judge, Small Cause Court and direct remand of the case as it has not been, tried on merits but has been disposed of on a wholly unsustainable ground. The Small Cause Court Judge shall restore the suit to its original number and decide the case in accordance with law. The applicant is entitled to his costs of this revision.


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