1.This is a revision by defendant aggrieved by order dated 15-1-1974, passed by Civil Judge Class I, Guna in Civil Suit No. 3/B of 1973, hdlding that Civil Court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
2. Essential facts for purposes of this revision are as under:--
(i) That the plaintiff Firm Umrao Singh Ramlal Sogani of Ashdknagar (non-applicant No. 1 in this revision) has instituted a suit for recovery of the amount of Rs. 7,358.02 P. on the following allegations:--
(a) that acting under the Madhya Pradesh Wheat Procurement (Levy Order), the State Government Bhopal issued directions to the plaintiff firm to sell wheat to defendant No. 1 (applicant herein).
(b) in accordance with the aforesaid directions the plaintiff-firm supplied wheat on various dates in varying quantities to the defendant applicant. The defendant applicant is society duly registered under the M. P. Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).
(c) dispute about quality of the wheat supplied cropped up between the plaintiff and the defendant-applicant and consequently money to the tune of Rs. 7,358.02 P. was withheld by the defendant-applicant which led to filing of the suit after notice.
(ii) The defendant-applicant denied the claim of the plaintiff and inter alia raised the objection that the civil court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit in view of the provisions of Section 64 (1) read with Section 82 (1) (c) of the Act.
(iii) This gave rise to Issue No. 9 viz., whether the civil court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
(iv) The learned judge of the trial court has held that the civil court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
3. Aggrieved by this order, the present revision has been filed by the defendant-applicant.
4. The learned counsel for the applicant Shri R. D. Jain, contended that the civil court had no jurisdiction because the suit relates to dispute touching the business of the applicant-society. Therefore, the jurisdiction of civil court is excluded expressly by provisions of Section 82 (1) (c) read with Section 64 (1) of the Act. The learned counsel for the State of Madhya Pradesh (non-applicant No. 2) Shri Manik Chand Jain, panel lawyer, adopted the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the applicant whereas the learned counsel for the plaintiff-non-applicant supported the impugned order.
5. After having heard the learned counsel of the parties, I am of the opinion that the revision deserves to be disallowed.
6. In order to appreciate the respective contentions of the learned counsel of the parties, it is necessary to analyse the relevant provision of the order as well as the Act. Clause 3 of the Order which deals with levy of wheat runs as under :--
'3. Levy of Wheat -- (1) Every licenced dealer shall sell to the Director of Food and Civil Supplies Madhya Pradesh or the Collector or to such persons as may be authorised by them in this behalf, at the price specified in Schedule II:--
(a) at the commencement of this order 50 per cent of the quantity of wheat held in stock by him at such commencement, and
(b) beginning with such commencement until such time as the State Government otherwise directs 50 per cent of the total quantity of wheat purchased by him.
(2) The wheat required to be sold shall be delivered to the Director of Food and Civil Supplies, Madhya Pradesh, the Collector or to such person as may be authorised by them at such place or places specified in schedules III and IV as may be indicated by them at the time of sale.
(3) The State Government may by order notified in the official Gazatte, vary the percentage of wheat required to be sold under this order.
(4) No licensed dealer shall sell wheat from the stock of wheat held by him unless he has obtained a certificate from the Director of Food and Civil Supplies Madhya Pradesh or the Collector or any other person authorised by them under Sub-clause (1) to the effect that he has paid the levy required under the said sub-clause in respect of the said stock.'
7. The Madhya Pradesh Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (Act No. 17 of 1961); in Section 64 (1) provides that:--
'64. Disputes -- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force any dispute touching the constitution, management of business of a society Or the liquidation of a society shall be referred to the Registrar by any of the parties to the dispute if the parties thereto are among the following:--
(a) and (b) * * *
(c) a person other than a member of the society who has been granted a loan by the society or with whom the society has or had business transactions and any person claiming through such a person.
(d) to (f) * * * * *
8. Section 82 (1) (c) of the Act runs as under:--
'82 (1) -- Save as provided in this Act no civil or revenue court shall have any jurisdiction in respect of-
(a) and (b) * * *
(c) Any dispute required to be referred to the Registrar or his nominee or Board of nominees,
(underlining is by me)
9. In order to attract the provisions of Section 82 (1) (c), it is necessary to show that the suit involves any dispute required to be referred under the Act to the Registrar or to his nominee. Such a dispute must have the following twd characteristics:--
(a) that the dispute touches the business of the defendant society, and
(b) that the person with whom there is a dispute by the society has or had business transactions with the society.
10. Legal connotations of the words 'business and business transactions' have been stated by Hon'ble A. P. Sen, J. (as he was then) in 1972 MPLJ 71 in the following words:--
'The legal connotation of the words 'trade' and 'business' is now well settled. 'Trade' means 'Exchanges Of goods for goods or goods for money orany business carried on with a view to profit, whether manual or mercantile, as distinguished from the liberal arts or learned professions and from Agriculture, while 'business' means enterprise which is an occupation as distinguished from pleasure. AIR 1968 SC 554, Rel. on.'
Further his Lordship has explained the legal connotation of the expression 'has or had business transactions' in the following words:--
'The expression 'has or had business transactions' denotes continued course of dealing i.e. a trading or commercial activity between a society and a non-member giving rise to a dispute which still remains outstanding.'
11. 'A transaction in the ordinary sense of the word' said Garth C. J. in Guddulal v, Fatelal ((1881) ILR 6 Cal 171)' is some business or dealing which is carried or transacted between two or more persons'. To the same effect was the definition given by Jakson, J. in the said decision : 'a transaction as the derivation denotes is something which has been concluded between by cross reciprocal action as it were.'
12. The word 'business' and the words 'business transactions' as used in Section 64 (1) of the Act postulate respectively an act and series of acts which is/are bilateral or multi-lateral in character and is/are voluntary in origin. If there is merely an unilateral action which results into compulsory sales as in case of sales by virtue of the order, such a sale cannot fall within the ambit of the phrase 'business of the society' Or the 'business transactions' as envisaged by Section 64 (1) of the Act. As provided in Clause 3 of the Order, the sale of wheat by the licenced dealer is not an outcome of any voluntary transaction bilateral or multilateral in character, but it is of unilateral character only. It is the vigor of the order which results into sale. Shortly the order provides for compulsory sale by licenced dealer or in other words for compulsory procurement of the wheat. In cases of such sales, there is absence of the following three elements which are essential traits of voluntary sales classifiable as 'business' or 'business transactions' for purposes of the Act.
(a) Volition to sell
(b) rights to fix price, and
(c) right to decide how and when to effect delivery of the goods.
The dispute in the instant case pertains to supply of wheat in accordance with Clause 3 of the Order. Therefore, it cannot be regarded as a dispute which is required to be referred to the Registrar or his nominee under the Act. In this view of the matter, the trial Court has rightly held that civil court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
13. Accordingly the revision is dismissed and the order passed by the trial Court is confirmed. In view of the peculiar nature of the case, I direct, the parties to bear their own costs of this revision.