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Ford and Macdonald, Ltd. Vs. A.D. Meyer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1917All122; 40Ind.Cas.447
AppellantFord and Macdonald, Ltd.
RespondentA.D. Meyer
Excerpt:
limitation act (ix of 1908), section 14 - suit filed in wrong court--good faith--limitation saving of. - - it seems to me, therefore clear that the plaintiffs acted throughout in good faith and, therefore, they are entitled to the benefit of section 14 of the indian limitation act.ryves, j.1. the suit out of which this application arises was filed in the court of the munsif of agra on the 20th june 1914. the suit is one for the recovery of rs. 350 odd from the defendant, price of bricks supplied the munsarim of the court certified that the plaint was one within the jurisdiction of the court of the munsif of agra. a few days later the munsif of agra transferred the case to the court of the munsif of fatehabad. that court proceeded to try the case and gave the plaintiffs an ex parte decree on the 12th august 1914. on the i7th of september 1916, the plaintiffs took oat execution, whereupon the defendant applied to have an ex parte decree set aside and to have the suit re-heard. this application was granted on the 20th of september 1915 and the suit was re-tried. on.....
Judgment:

Ryves, J.

1. The suit out of which this application arises was filed in the Court of the Munsif of Agra on the 20th June 1914. The suit is one for the recovery of Rs. 350 odd from the defendant, price of bricks supplied The munsarim of the Court certified that the plaint was one within the jurisdiction of the Court of the Munsif of Agra. A few days later the Munsif of Agra transferred the case to the Court of the Munsif of Fatehabad. That Court proceeded to try the case and gave the plaintiffs an ex parte decree on the 12th August 1914. On the I7th of September 1916, the plaintiffs took oat execution, whereupon the defendant applied to have an ex parte decree set aside and to have the suit re-heard. This application was granted on the 20th of September 1915 and the Suit was re-tried. On the 23rd February 1916, the Munsif of Fatehabad came to the conclusion that the plaint had been filed in the wrong Court and directed the plaint to be returned to the plaintiffs for presentation to the proper Court. The next day the plaint was filed in the Court of Small Causes at Agra. The defence to the suit in that Court was one of limitation, and it is quite clear that the suit is barred by limitation unless the plaintiffs can call in aid the provisions of Section 14 of the Indian Limitation Act, excluding the time the suit was pending in the Courts of the Munsifs of Agra and Fatehabad. The learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes holds that Section 14 cannot apply to this case because, as he says, 'nothing was done with due care and attention.' He says that the Small Cause Court existed in Agra for a long time, and no one specially Pleaders and clerks are ignorant of this. The mistake was not accidental but Was due to inattention and gross negligence.' It seems to me there is nothing whatever oh which to found this finding. I have not the slightest doubt that the plaintiffs thought honestly that the suit was properly filed in the Court of the Munsif of Agra. That Court itself noted on this supposition, and so did the Court of the Munsif of Fatehabad. Apparently when the defend-ant applied to have the suit restored on the 17th of September 1914 he took no such plea that the suit had been tiled in a wrong Court, because if he had, the Court would have had no jurisdiction to go on with it. It seems to me, therefore clear that the plaintiffs acted throughout in good faith and, therefore, they are entitled to the benefit of Section 14 of the Indian Limitation Act. The plaint is so worded that it might lead to an honestly mistaken view of Jaw that the suit was one for an account. I, therefore, allow this application, set aside the decree of the Court of Small Causes at Agra and remand the suit to that Court with directions to re-admit it on to its file of pending cases and proceed to dispose of it on the merits. Under the circumstances, however, I think the plaintiffs ought to pay the costs of the defendant throughout.


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