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Master Dharam Datt Dhawan Vs. Ram Lal Suri by Ramesh Suri and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 102-D of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1961P& H567
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 20
AppellantMaster Dharam Datt Dhawan
RespondentRam Lal Suri by Ramesh Suri and ors.
Appellant Advocate R.S. Narula, Adv.
Respondent Advocate D.N. Bhasin, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases Referred(vide Ram Das Uttam Chand v. Dhanpat Diwan Chand
Excerpt:
..... - the plaintiff alleged that the defendant-firm had failed to render any accounts in respect of the period commencing from 1-1-1947 till the period the defendant-firm carried on its business in lahore......has not been brought against its partners in their personal capacity.8. the cause of action in a suit for accounts against an agent arises at the place where the contract of agency was made or where it was to be performed and where the refusal to account took place (vide ram das uttam chand v. dhanpat diwan chand, air 1925 lah 387). in the present case, the contract was entered into at lahore and the same had to be performed also at that very place. therefore, no part of cause of action for this suit arose at delhi.learned counsel for the petitioner, however, contended that part of cause of action in suit for accounts can also arise at the place where the demand for accounts and the refusal thereof took place. no authority in support of this submission was, however, cited by the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.C. Pandit, J.

1. This is a revision petition against the order of the learned Senior Subordinate Judge, confirming that of the trial Court holding that the Delhi Courts had no jurisdiction to try the present suit and returning the plaint for presentation to a Court of competent jurisdiction.

2. The plaintiff and one Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had compiled a book entitled 'A New Method Matriculation Geometry' and on 21-12-1937 the plaintiff and his co-author entered into a publishing agreement with the defendant-firm (Messrs. Ram Lal Suri and Sons) at Lahore in respect of the said book. According to this agreement, the copyright in the book remained with the authors and the defendant-firm had to publish the same by paying a royalty of 21 per cent on the first edition and 25 per cent on the subsequent editions every year, calculated on the gross sale proceeds of the book sold by the end of each calendar year.

The defendant-firm agreed to pay the royalty amount separately to each author, the accounts whereof were to be rendered by the end of December every year and the payment of royalty amount was to be made in the month of January every year. The parties were residing at Lahore, where accounts up to 31-12-1946 had been, rendered by the defendant-firm. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant-firm had failed to render any accounts in respect of the period commencing from 1-1-1947 till the period the defendant-firm carried on its business in Lahore. Consequently, a suit for rendition of accounts was brought in Delhi, because according to the plaintiff, the cause of action arose to the plaintiff at Delhi in January 1949, where accounts were demanded by him and where the defendant-firm now resided and carried on its business.

3. The defendant-firm resisted the suit and raised a preliminary objection that it being a displaced person, residing and carrying on Business at Ambala, and the cause of action, if any, having arisen in Lahore, the Delhi Courts had no Jurisdiction to by the suit.

4. A preliminary issue, namely, 'Has this Court jurisdiction to try the suit'? was, consequently, framed.

5. Both the Courts below have held that the defendant-firm was not carrying on business at Delhi and consequently the Delhi Courts had no jurisdiction to try the suit. It is against this decision that the present revision petition has been filed.

6. Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which deals with this matter, is as follows-

'Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction-

(a) the defendant, or each of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or

(b) any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or

(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.

EXPLANATION I. Where a person has a permanent dwelling at one place and also a temporary residence at another place, he shall be deemed to reside at both places in respect of any cause of action arising at the place where he has such temporary residence.

EXPLANATION II. A corporation shall be deemed to carry on business at its sole or principal office in India, or in respect of any cause of action arising at any place where it has also a subordinate office, at such place.'

7. It is common ground that the publishing agreement between the parties took place at Lahore and the same had to be performed at that! very place, where both the parties were residing and the defendant-firm was carrying on its business. The accounts claimed in the present suit relate to the period commencing from 1-1-1947 to 15-8-1947, that is, before the partition of the country. The suit has been brought against the firm alone and not through its partners. Besides, it has not been brought against its partners in their personal capacity.

8. The cause of action In a suit for accounts against an agent arises at the place where the contract of agency was made Or where it was to be performed and where the refusal to account took place (vide Ram Das Uttam Chand v. Dhanpat Diwan Chand, AIR 1925 Lah 387). In the present case, the contract was entered into at Lahore and the same had to be performed also at that very place. Therefore, no part of cause of action for this suit arose at Delhi.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, contended that part of cause of action in suit for accounts can also arise at the place where the demand for accounts and the refusal thereof took place. No authority in support of this submission was, however, cited by the learned counsel. Moreover, in my opinion, the place where the demand for accounts and refusal thereof took place cannot per se give the plaintiff a cause of action to bring the suit there. Such a suit can either be brought at the place where the contract was entered into or where it was to be performed.

The refusal to give the accounts merely affords a reason to the plaintiff to bring a suit because, otherwise, there is no occasion for him to bring the suit. But it cannot be said that the cause of action would arise at the place where such a refusal is made. Therefore, the case is not covered by Sub-section (c) of Section 20, Civil Procedure Code, and I hold that the cause of action, wholly or in part, did not arise within the local limits of the Delhi Courts.

9. The next question for decision is whether the defendant-firm carried on business at Delhi. It may be mentioned that the question of the residence of the defendant-firm was not argued before me because, as I have already mentioned above, the suit was brought against the firm alone and not against its partners, some of whom were living in Delhi. Both the Courts below, after considering the entire evidence, have come to the conclusion that the defendant-firm was not carrying on any business at Delhi at the time of the institution of the suit. This is a finding of fact and no convincing reason has been shown as to howl this finding of fact is vitiated, and, consequently, the same is binding in this revision petition.

10. In view of what I have said above, I find no force in this petition, which is hereby dismissed. In the circumstances of this case, however I would leave the parties to bear their own costs throughout.


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