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Kallu Mal Dhakkan Lal Vs. Bhawani Das Rekhab Das - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1925All742
AppellantKallu Mal Dhakkan Lal
RespondentBhawani Das Rekhab Das
Excerpt:
- - the lower appellate court arrived at a different determination holding that sauda bahi to be reliable. accepting, therefore, the findings of the learned judge as good in law, we dismiss this appeal under order 41, rule 11, civil procedure code......four further account books were filed the last of which to be filed is what is known as a 'sauda bahi' or a 'transaction account books.' it is in regard to the acceptance of this sauda bahi in evidence that a second appeal has been filed in this court. the munsif arrived at a determination of the amount due holding the sauda bahi to be of no value. the lower appellate court arrived at a different determination holding that sauda bahi to be reliable. it had seldom been our fortune to read a more painstaking and capable judgment than that of the lower appellate court. the learned district judge has gone into every single point with the most commendable thoroughness. it is objected before us that the sauda bahi was not admissible in evidence because it was not supported by any other.....
Judgment:

Stuart, J.

1. This is a case in which the plaintiff obtained a preliminary decree for rendition of accounts from the defendants who were commission agents. The Munsif referred the question of the accounts to a Commissioner. His order referring the case was not exactly in terms of Order 20, Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure, but we may take it for the present purposes that it was an order intended to be under that rule. In view of our opinion on other points, we do not decide this and it is not necessary for us to do so. He ordered that account books should be filed in Court and gave the Commissioner authority to consider those accounts books. Twelve account books were filed and subsequently during the proceedings before the Commissioner four further account books were filed the last of which to be filed is what is known as a 'Sauda Bahi' or a 'transaction account books.' It is in regard to the acceptance of this Sauda Bahi in evidence that a second appeal has been filed in this Court. The Munsif arrived at a determination of the amount due holding the Sauda Bahi to be of no value. The lower Appellate Court arrived at a different determination holding that Sauda Bahi to be reliable. It had seldom been our fortune to read a more painstaking and capable judgment than that of the lower Appellate Court. The learned District Judge has gone into every single point with the most commendable thoroughness. It is objected before us that the Sauda Bahi was not admissible in evidence because it was not supported by any other evidence and, therefore, could not in view of the provisions of Section 34 of the Evidence Act, be relied upon as the sole evidence of the transactions to which it purported to testify. The first question which arose on this point was - was there in fact nothing before the Commissioner and the Munsif to support the Sauda Bahi so as to render it inadmissible in view of the terms of Section 34? A second question which might arise is - do the terms of Order 20, Rule 17, override the provisions of Section 34? The learned Judge stated this latter question at page 12 of his original judgment but he did not decide it nor do we find it necessary to do so for we find that there has, in fact, been no breach of the provisions of Section 34 of the Evidence Act. The learned District Judge has dealt with this matter at page 13 of his judgment. The nature of the material required to support a Bahi is not set forth in Section 34 of the Evidence Act; that only states that the statements in a book of account 'shall not be alone sufficient evidence to charge any person with liability.' It does not limit in any way at all the nature of the material upon which the Court may rely to support the statements in the books of account. Such material may take the shape of contemporary vouchers, receipts or other documentary evidence. It might take the shape of sworn oral testimony. It is not suggested in this case that there was any documentary evidence beyond the other books of account. We have not thought it necessary to consider how far those other books of accounts might or might not in themselves, though subsequent in date, support the Sauda Bahi. The point is at least arguable. We are left in doubt as to whether there was or was not any oral evidence in support of the Sauda Bahi. It is alleged on behalf of the appellant, the respondent has not represented here that there was no such oral evidence. All that we have been able to find is the document in the form of -an application filing the Sauda Bahi, apparently at the instance of the Commissioner because we find a hint of its existence in the last words of the deposition of the Munib. The learned District Judge has referred to the possibility of corroboration by oral evidence but has. not referred to any specific oral evidence given in this case; but he has referred in detail to many of the circumstances surrounding the transactions between the plaintiff and the defendants and the circumstances surrounding the existence of this Sauda Bahi and from all the circumstances it is clear that he accepted the genuineness of the Sauda Bahi. There is nothing in Section 34 to limit or define the memorial which the Court may rely upon as corroborating the account books. We think, therefore, that the learned Judge was justified in law in relying upon these account books and we may add that ha was fully justified in fact. Under these circumstances there is no need to consider the second question that might have arisen as to whether Order 20, Rule 17, Civil Procedure Code, supersedes the terms of Section 34 of the Evidence Act. Accepting, therefore, the findings of the learned Judge as good in law, we dismiss this appeal under Order 41, Rule 11, Civil Procedure Code.


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