1. The short question in this petition for revision is which Court has jurisdiction? According to the Plaintiff, the Amritsar Court had jurisdiction. The defendants' case is the Delhi court has jurisdiction. The trial Court has jurisdiction. The trial Court has held that the Delhi Court has jurisdiction. On appeal, this finding has been endorsed by the appellate Court and that is why this petition for revision
2. The admitted facts as found by the lower appellate Court are stated in its own words as follows:
'The admitted facts of the case are that the cheque Exhibit P.1 dated 1-4-1965 for Rs. 3657/- was drawn by the Plaintiff on Chartered Bank of India, Amritsar. It was in favour of Messrs. Earl Chawla and co. (P) Ltd. defendant-respondent. It was in payee's account. The parties are agreed that the cheque was delivered to the defendant-respondent at Delhi. As such the payment of this cheque shall be taken to have been received by the defendant at Delhi. Reference in this connection may be made to the observation in AIR 1957 Madhya Bharat 90 fully discussed in the order of the trial Court. If the payment was made at Delhi, the Civil Court at Delhi had jurisdiction to try this suit'.
3. On these facts, the question of jurisdiction has to be settled. Admittedly, as found by the lower appellate Court, the cheque was on an Amritsar Bank. The defendant handed over the cheque to his bankers to collect the same and the bankers did collect the same. In one sense, for instance, in a lay-man's way of thinking, the money was actually paid to the defendant at Delhi but that is not the true legal position. I put it to Mr. Chawla that if a cheque is sent to him from Amritsar to Delhi drawn on a Amritsar Bank, is there anything to prevent him or his client to proceed to Amritsar to get the payment, and if he does so where is the payment made? Mr. Chawla was constrained to admit that in this case the payment would he at Amritsar. But he maintains that if instead of his proceeding to Amritsar to collect the amount of the cheque, he hands over the cheque to his bankers at Delhi and the bankers collect the amount from Amritsar, the payment should be deemed to have been made at Delhi. I am unable to agree with this contention for the simple reason that the collecting Bank merely acted as an agent of the defendant. M.L. Tannan of Banking Law and Practice in India, 13th Edition at page 248 states:--
'A banker, while collecting a cheque for a customer, cannot assert any right of a holder for value, as he is acting only as an agent. He has not better title than that of his customer; so, if his customer has no title the collecting banker can have no better title than that of his customer'.
4. In this situation, it is immaterial whether the cheque is collected by the defendant himself at Amritsar or through an agent at Amritsar. The mere transmission of the money by the agent from Amritsar to Delhi would not in any manner alter the position. This matter is not res integra. In Borkar Engineering and Foundry Works v. State of Bihar, AIR 1960 Cal 513, A. N. Ray, J. While dealing with a similar matter observed as follows:--
'But it cannot be gainsaid that as far as the cause of action is concerned, the payment by cheque constitutes a part of the plaintiff 's cause of action'.
In this case, the sales-tax had to be paid at Dhanbad in the State of Bihar. The payment of this tax was made by a cheque drawn on a bank at Calcutta. The actual payment was received at Calcutta and the refund of that amount was later on claimed by the assessee. The question arose, which court had jurisdiction and it was held that the Calcutta Court had jurisdiction because a part of cause of action arose at Calcutta. The reason for holding that a part of cause of action arose at Calcutta was that the payment of the cheque was made at Calcutta. No authority taking the contrary view has been brought to my notice. It is well settled under Section 20 of the code of Civil Procedure that a suit can be instituted within the local limits of the jurisdiction of a Court where the cause of action wholly or in part arises subject of course to the provisions of Sections 15 to 19 of the code of Civil Procedure. This case does not fall in any one of those provisions and must necessarily be governed by Section 20 sub-clause (c).
5. For the reasons recorded above, I allow this petition, quash the order of the lower appellate court and that of the trial Court and remit the case to the trial Court for decision on merits. The parties are directed to appear in the trial Court on 18th December, 1972.
6. Petition allowed.