1. This petition raises the question whether the Courts at Delhi have jurisdiction to deal, with this case.
2. The plaintiffs who are carrying on business in Delhi appointed the defendants who are carrying on business in Madras as their commission agents for the purchase of cloth remitting a sum of Rs. 10,000/- on 1-9-1947 and paying another sum of Rs. 2,000/- against a railway receipt on 1-10-1947.
The defendants supplied goods to the value of Rs. 10,000/- odd and the plaintiffs have accordingly brought a suit for the recovery of Rs. 1,716/ 8/-. The defendants promptly objected to the juris-diction of the Courts at Delhi to deal with this case but this objection was overruled by the Additional District Judge and they have accordingly come to this Court in revision.
3. It is contended on behalf of the defendants that as the relationship between the parties to this litigation was that of principal and agent, the present suit must be instituted at the place where the commission agent carries on his business -- 'Bhamboo Mal v. Ram Narain', AIR 1928 Lah 297 (A).
The provisions in regard to the place of trial are embodied in Section 20, Civil P. C. which declares that every suit shall be instituted either in a Court within the local limits of whose Jurisdiction the defendant voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, or in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
The expression 'cause of action' means every fact which, if traversed, it would be necessary for the plaintiff to prove in order to support his right to the Judgment of the Court. There can be little doubt that a part of the cause of action in the present case arose at Delhi. The defendants despatched the goods from Madras to Delhi and obtained a railway receipt in favour of themselves. They sent this receipt to the United Commercial Bank at Delhi with the direction that the receipt should be endorsed to the plaintiffs only after the latter had paid the price of the goods.
The bank was to carry out the orders of the defendants and was not to endorse the receipt to the plaintiffs until and unless the price of the goods was paid, it was an agent of the defendants and could in no sense be regarded as an agent of the plaintiffs. By despatching the goods to Delhi and by directing the bank to deliver the-railway receipt only against payment, the defendants evinced their intention of -delivering the goods to the plaintiffs at Delhi and receiving payment from them at Delhi.
If an agent of the defendants actually delivered the goods to the plaintiffs at Delhi and if he received payment for those goods at Delhi, it is obvious that a part of the cause of action arose at Delhi and that the Courts in Delhi have Jurisdiction to decide the case. In -- 'Venkatacha-lam Pillai v. Rajaballi M. Sajun', AIR 1935 Mad 663 (PB) (B), payment for goods purchased by the plaintiff was to be made at Tuticorin by bills drawn against and presented to the plaintiff at Tuticorin.
A Full Bench of the Madras High Court held that the Courts at Tuticorin had jurisdiction to entertain the suit, While delivering the judgment of the Court Beasely, C. J., observed as follows:
'xxx upon an examination of the documents another thing is perfectly clear and that is that whatever the relationship between the parties may in fact be payment for the goods purchased by the plaintiff or on his behalf was to be made at Tuticorin. If that is so, part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the Tuticorin District Munsif's Court.
Here the goods were to be paid for by 'hun-dis' and against bills of lading in favour of the defendant at Tuticorin by honouring the bills at the branch of the Imperial Bank of India at Tuticorin. Therefore the plaintiff could not get possession of the goods without paying for them at Tuticorin.'
4. For these reasons, I would uphold the order of the learned Additional District Judge and dismiss the petition filed by the defendants. There will be no order as to costs.
5. The parties have been directed to appear before the trial Court on 8-12-1954.