Lindsay and Daniels, JJ.
1. After hearing the learned Counsel in this case we are of opinion that this appeal should be allowed and that the order of the first court should be restored.
2. The suit was brought by the plaintiffs respondents to recover a certain sum of money alleged to be due in respect of a contract which was entered into on the 12th of September, 1918, for the delivery by the 18th, of November of that year of a bale of dhotis at a certain rate.
3. The date fixed for payment was the 27th of November, 1918.
4. It is not denied that the goods were delivered to the defendant on the date in question and it is also not denied that the price was not paid on the date fixed for payment.
5. It appears, however, that after this latter date, inasmuch as there had been much speculation in this class of goods, a committee of the cloth merchants of Jhansi assembled and brought out a plan by which claims for breach of contract of delivery of those goods or for failure to pay the price due in respect of those goods were to be settled.
6. The decision of this committee was that the dealings should be settled and the goods paid for on the basis of a price of Rs. 5-12-0 per pair of dhotis plus half the difference between the price so fixed and the contract price.
7. Both the courts below have found that the parties to this case submitted to what we may call the award of this committee and agreed that the claim which the plaintiffs had against the defendant should be settled on this basis.
8. The present suit, however has been brought by the plaintiffs on the basis of the old contract, and the question arose as to whether the plaintiffs were entitled to resort to the old contract and to claim damages accordingly. The court of first instance held against the plaintiffs and found that they could only recover on the basis of the scheme which was laid down by the cloth merchnnts' committee. It was found that if this scheme were enforced, the defendant was liable to pay to the plaintiffs a thousand rupees. In appeal the learned District Judge has reversed the decision of the first court. He has taken a view of the case which is based upon a decision of the Calcutta High Court Manohur Royal v. Thakur Das Naskar (1888) I.L.R. 15 Calc. 319. The result of this is that he found that although the parties had agreed to be bound by the decision of the committe, nevertheless as the defendant had failed to satisfy the plaintiffs' claim in accordance with the committee's decision, the plaintiffs were entitled to revert to the old contract and to claim damages on a larger scale.
9. We may mention that the decision on which the learned Judge relies has been dissented from in the case of N.M. Firm v. Theperumal Chetty (1921) I.L.R. 45 Mad. 180.
10. For ourselves, we do not think that in the circumstances of this case the plaintiff's were entitled to revert to the original contract. They agreed to accept settlement of their claim for damages on the basis of the scheme which was laid down by the cloth merchants' committee, and we think they ought to be bound thereby. In this view, therefore, the court below was in error in increasing the sum Which had been awarded to the plaintiffs by the judgment of the first court. We, therefore, allow this appeal, set aside the decree of the court below and restore the decree of the court of first instance. The appellant is entitled to his costs in the court below and in this Court.
11. As regards the cross-objections, they have no force and are dismissed with costs.