1. This appeal is directed against the final decree of the trial Court passed in the suit for rendition of accounts whereby a decree for Rs. 27,650.48 has been passed in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant-appellant.
2. The suit was filed by Puran chand against Raj Kumar for the dissolution of the partnership and rendition of accounts of the firm known as M./s. Thaper Label industries, Ludhiana, which was carrying on the business of manufacturing woven labels under the name and style of M/s. Thaper Label Industries, Ludhiana. The partnership deed dated November 1, 1965 was duly executed between the parties. The whole capital required for the partnership was invested by the plaintiff free of interest whereas the defendant was not required to invest any capital. It may be stated that the defendant is the real nephew of the plaintiff. The profits of business were to be divided in the ratio of 65 of 35 between the plaintiff and the defendant, respectively. The defendant was to manage the whole factory work whereas the plaintiff was to look after the sales. The defendant was not responsible for the losses. The partnership was at will. The partnership was carried amicably up to March 31, 1968, when differences arose between the parties. It was mutually decided to dissolve the firm and the balance-sheet for the year ending March 31, 1968, was prepared accordingly. The account books of the firm were maintained by the defendant who took upon himself the responsibility for preparing the balance-sheet and the profit and loss account and to render the accounts to the plaintiff. According to the plaintiff, the firm was not dissolved; hence the suit both for dissolution of firm and for the rendition of accounts. During the pendency of the suit, both the parties agreed for the passing of the preliminary decree as it was admitted that the firm stood dissolved with effect from March. 31, 1968. Consequently. The preliminary decree for rendition of accounts was passed. A local commissioner was appointed for the purposes of the passing of the final decree who submitted a detailed report after seeking the help of a chartered Accountant as the accounts were quite lengthy and intricate. The local commissioner filed his report, Exhibit P.W., 16/A, dated January 16, 1971. Vide said report, the defendant was liable to pay Rs. 30.550.48 to the plaintiff. However, objections to the said report were filed on behalf of both the parties. According to the defendant, the report of the local commissioner was one sided. based on conjectures and ran counter to the situations and was, thus, liable to be set aside. After allowing the parties to lead evidence to the objections filed, the learned subordinate Judge came to the conclusion that the report of the local commissioner was correct in all respects except to the extent of Rs. 2, 900/-. Consequently, the defendant was held liable to pay Rs. 27.650.48 to the plaintiff. Dissatisfied with the same, the defendant has come up in appeal to this court.
3. The learned counsel for the appellant vehemently contended that no proper opportunity was afforded by the local commissioner to lead evidence and, therefore, his report Exhibit P.W. 16/A. was liable to be set aside. As regards the finding of the trial Court, it was contended that the documentary evidence as well as the oral evidence led by him was not considered and, therefore, the findings arrived at are vitiated. According to the learned counsel it was for the court to go into the oral evidence and to give its own findings after appreciating the entire evidence. The learned counsel particularly referred to five items which according to him have no been taken into consideration either by the trial court or by the local commissioner.
4. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have also gone through the relevant evidence on the record.
5. In such matter where the local commissioner is appointed to go into the accounts and to submit the report, the interference by this Court, particularly in appeal, is very limited. It was observed in chandan Mull v. Chman Lal. AIR 1940 P.C. 3, that the interference with the result of a long and careful local investigation except upon clearly defined and sufficient grounds is to be deprecated. It is not safe for a Court to act as an expert an to overrule the elaborate report of a commissioner whose integrity and carefulness are unquestioned, whose careful and laborious execution of his task was proved by his report, and who had not blindly adopted the assertions of either party. In the present case, the report submitted by the local commissioner is very detailed and exhaustive. Ample opportunity was allowed to the defendant to lead his evidence. In spite of that, he could not produce his evidence. Though he had given a list of 50 witnesses yet he examined only one witness before the local commissioner. Since the account were quite intricate and related to a period of three years, he had to take the assistance of a chartered Accountant, Ramesh D. Agarwal, of Ramesh D. Agarwal & Court., Chartered Accountant. The said chartered Accountant also submitted his report; Exhibit DW 5/2, which is also quite detailed and exhaustive. On the basis of the said report and the evidence led before him, the commissioner found that the account books which were maintained by the defendant were not correct. The accounts submitted by him were not believed. After dealing with the matter item wise. it was ultimately found by him that the defendant was liable to pay a sum, of Rs. 30,550.48 to the plaintiff. However, the matter did not end with the report of the local commissioner. Objections to the said report were filed on behalf of both the parties and the trial court allowed them to lead their evidence. Against, the trial Court discussed the whole report and the evidence led by the parties and came to the conclusion that the defendant was liable to pay Rs. 27,650.48 to the plaintiff. while discussing the evidence, it has been observed by the trial court that there was no ground to set aside The local commissioner's report because the defendant was not able to prove that the disputed entries made by him in the books were correct. On the other hand, it is proved that the disputed entries made by the defendant in the account books are wrong and have no basis. the report of the local commissioner was correct except that he had not given correct finding regarding the entries relating to Rs. 2, 900/- in regard to rent. The rest of the report of the local commissioner is correct. Thus, the accounts maintained by the defendant and the entries made therein have not been accepted either by the local commissioner or by the trial Court. If once it is so found, then it could not be successfully argued on behalf of the defendant that his evidence has not been properly appreciated or considered. As observed earlier the scope of interference in such matters is quite limited. This court is not supposed to go into the details of the accounts. That was the function of an expert for which the local commissioner was appointed who allowed the parties to lead evidence before making the report.
6. Thus, taking into account all the facts and circumstances of the case and the fact that the defendant was to maintain the account of the firm. I do not find any merit in this appeal.
7. Consequently, this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
8. Appeal dismissed.