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Ram Kumar Singh and ors. Vs. Shaikh Ali Husain - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1Ind.Cas.884
AppellantRam Kumar Singh and ors.
RespondentShaikh Ali Husain
Excerpt:
respondent joint text - feasors, liability of--suit for damages against--payment by one of his share of damages pending suit--exoneration of the rest. - - in that case it was held that a suit against the other tort-feasor could not be sustained for the same cause of action, notwithstanding the fact 'that the judgment already recovered remained unsatisfied. it was held that the acceptance of satisfaction by the plaintiff from the master was a good defence to an action against the servant. 'he had accepted compensation for the whole trespass and in discharge of all parties'.we think under the circumstances that the learned judge of this court was perfectly right in dismissing the appeal to him and we accordingly dismiss this appeal with costs......the conclusion at which he arrived. the fact that one of several tortfeasors in the progress of a suit admits his liability as well as that of the other defendants and agrees to pay a sum of money in satisfaction of his liability does not exonerate the other defendants, who may be found responsible for the acts complained of, from liability. in the case of brinsmead v. harrison [1872] l.r. vii c.p. 547, one of the tort-feasors was sued for damages for trover of a piano and damages were recovered as against him. in that case it was held that a suit against the other tort-feasor could not be sustained for the same cause of action, notwithstanding the fact 'that the judgment already recovered remained unsatisfied. that is a very different case from the case before us. in the case before us.....
Judgment:

1. The circumstances under which tin's appeal has arisen are as follows. The plaintiff Sheikh Ali Husain was mercilessly beaten by some persons including some of the defendants in this suit. 13 persons were prosecuted for this assault, with the result that 8 were convicted. After the conviction of these parties the plaintiff instituted the suit out of which this appeal has arisen for damages for the injuries sustained by him at the hands of his assailants. He claimed a sum of Rs. 325. Amongst the defendants were the 8 persons who were convicted of the assault. During the progress of the case one of the defendants admitted that the assault had been committed and represented that he was willing to pay a sum of Rs. 25 as his share of the damages claimed by the plaintiff. As the sum of Rs. 325 only was claimed in the suit, it will be seen that Rs. 25 represented the proportionate share of the damages, which the defendant in question would be in fairness bound to pay. The plaintiff was willing to accept this amount and so certified to the Court. The Court of first instance decreed the plaintiff's claim as against 8 of the defendants and in its decree exempted the party who had paid or secured the payment of the Rs. 25 and also the other defendants from the operation of the decree. On appeal this decree was upheld with this modification that the damages were reduced to a sum of Rs. 150. A second appeal was preferred to this High Court, mainly on the ground that inasmuch as the plaintiff had accepted from one of the defendants a sum of Rs. 25 in satisfaction of his liability the plaintiff's claim against the other defendants could not be sustained. Reliance was placed upon the leading case of Brinsmead v. Harrison [1872] L.R.VII C.P. 547 in support of this contention. The learned Judge did not accede to the argument advanced by the appellant before him and dismissed the appeal. Hence this appeal under the Letters Patent.

2. We think that the learned Judge of this Court was right in the conclusion at which he arrived. The fact that one of several tortfeasors in the progress of a suit admits his liability as well as that of the other defendants and agrees to pay a sum of money in satisfaction of his liability does not exonerate the other defendants, who may be found responsible for the acts complained of, from liability. In the case of Brinsmead v. Harrison [1872] L.R. VII C.P. 547, one of the tort-feasors was sued for damages for trover of a piano and damages were recovered as against him. In that case it was held that a suit against the other tort-feasor could not be sustained for the same cause of action, notwithstanding the fact 'that the judgment already recovered remained unsatisfied. That is a very different case from the case before us. In the case before us all the tort-feasors were sued in one and the same suit and judgment was not recovered only against the party who had admitted his liability in the progress of the suit and had agreed to pay a sum of money in satisfaction of his liability. Another case which was relied upon by the learned Vakil for the appellants is the case of Thurman v. Wild [1840] 11 A. & E. 453. This case does not appear to us to assist the appellants. In it an action was brought for damages for a trespass committed by the defendant as servant and by command of his master. It was held that the acceptance of satisfaction by the plaintiff from the master was a good defence to an action against the servant. The ground upon which this decision was arrived at is to be found in the judgment of Lord Denman at page 461 of the report The passage runs as follows: 'He (i.e., the plaintiff) has chosen to accept from one of the trespassers a compensation for the whole trespass, and in discharge of all parties, and whether this was rendered with or without the consent of some of them he is equally barred as against all.' The ground, therefore, of this decision was that the plaintiff had accepted complete redress from one of two joint tort-feasors, and having done so he could not sustain a suit against the others, as Lord Denman says: 'He had accepted compensation for the whole trespass and in discharge of all parties'. We think under the circumstances that the learned Judge of this Court was perfectly right in dismissing the appeal to him and we accordingly dismiss this appeal with costs.


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