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P.R.S. Pillai Vs. Manuel Sathyanesan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.S. No. 842 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1965Ker155
ActsNegotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Sections 28; Contract Act, 1872 - Sections 2
AppellantP.R.S. Pillai
RespondentManuel Sathyanesan
Appellant Advocate C.K. Sivasankara,; Panicker and; P.G. Parameswara Panick
Respondent Advocate K. Sukumaran, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredFirm Sadasuk Janki Das v. Sir
Excerpt:
- - it is of the utmost importance that the name of a person or firm to be charged upon a negotiable document should be clearly stated on the face or on the back of the document, so that the responsibility is made plain and can be instantly recognised as the document passes from hand to hand......their lordships explained the policy of the law thus:'it is of the utmost importance that the name of a person or firm to be charged upon a negotiable document should be clearly stated on the face or on the back of the document, so that the responsibility is made plain and can be instantly recognised as the document passes from hand to hand.'and it was ruled, that 'it is not sufficient that the principal's name should be 'in some way' disclosed, it must be disclosed in such a way that on any fair interpretation of the instrument his name is the real name of the person liable upon the bills.' referring to sections 26, 27 and 28 of the negotiable instruments act the privy council, observed, that in these sections there was 'nothing to support the contention, which is contrary to all.....
Judgment:

S. Velu Pillai, J.

1. The respondent sued the appellant on a promissory note for Rs. 2643-12-0 dated the 22nd September, 1953. The appellant repudiated personal liability on the ground that the amount of the promissory note represented the balance of remuneration due to the respondent from the Kalasagar Films Ltd., a company of which the appellant was the manager, for having acted in a film 'Thiramala' produced by the company. The appellant's plea was repelled and the suit was decreed. The promissory note which is Ext. P 1 contained an unconditional undertaking by the appellant to pay the respondent, the sum of Rs. 2646-12-0 on demand; but no Indication whatever that he signed Ex. P 1 as manager of the company or that he did not intend thereby to Incur personal responsibility. This one feature is sufficient to put the appellant out of Court, on the strength of Section 28 of the Indian Negotiable Instruments Act. A plea of this kind came before the Privy Council and was repelled in Firm Sadasuk Janki Das v. Sir, Kishen Pershad, AIR 1918 P. C. 146, in which their Lordships explained the policy of the law thus:

'It is of the utmost importance that the name of a person or firm to be charged upon a negotiable document should be clearly stated on the face or on the back of the document, so that the responsibility is made plain and can be instantly recognised as the document passes from hand to hand.'

and it was ruled, that 'it is not sufficient that the principal's name should be 'in some way' disclosed, it must be disclosed in such a way that on any fair interpretation of the Instrument his name is the real name of the person liable upon the bills.' Referring to Sections 26, 27 and 28 of the Negotiable instruments Act the Privy Council, observed, that in these Sections there was 'nothing to support the contention, which is contrary to all established rules, that in an action on a bill of exchange or proimissory note against a person whose name properly appears as party to the instrument, it is open either by way of claim or defence to show that the signatory was in reality acting for an undisclosed principal.' These observations are sufficient to answer the appellant's contention in the present case. In the Madras High court in Sivagurunatha Pillai, v. PadmavathI Animal, AIR 1941 Mad 417 the question was whether apart from the instrument the Court could look into the surrounding circumstances when deciding whether the maker of a promissory note has executed it as the agent or representative, and the Full Bench which was composed of five Judges held that the court could not.

2. In the present case, the appellant contended that the contract of employment of the respondent was with the company, and was entered into for the benefit of the latter and not for his own benefit and that therefore the promissory note was unsupported by consideration. The Judge has found believing the respondent that the contract was entered into by him at the instance of the appellant and at his request. There is no reason to think otherwise; if so, there was sufficient consideration for the appellant to execute Ext. P 1. For these reasons, the appeal falls and is dismissed with costs.


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