1. This is a plaintiff's revision petition against the order dated August 10, 1977, by the Additional District Judge No. 2, Hanumangarh, whereby the learned Judge held that he had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit against the defendants No. 1, M/s, Hawrah Insurance Company Ltd., and No. 3, M/s. Liberty Insurance Company Ltd., and the suit could proceed in his court only against defendant No. 2, M/s. General Insurance Society Ltd,
2. The plaintiff filed a suit for recovery of Rs. 28,000, against the three insurance companies, namely, defendant No. 1, Hawrah Insurance Company Ltd., defendant No. 2, General Insurance Company, and defendant No. 3, Liberty Insurance Company Ltd., on the ground that all the three insurance companies had insured cotton seeds lying in the premises of the plaintiff at Sangariya, against fire etc., and the plaintiff had regularly deposited the premiums. However, unfortunately, on October 5, 1971, the cotton seeds caught fire and were damaged, on account of which the plaintiff assessed the damage at Rs. 28,000, and prayed that a decree for the said amount may be passed against the three insurance companies. There is no dispute that the Sangariya court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit aganist defendant No. 2, General Insurance Society Ltd. Defendants Nos. 1 and 3, however, raised an objection that according to condition No, 11 contained in the terms and conditions of the policies pertaining to Cotton Ginning and Pressing Factories and Cotton General Tariff Warrantees, the suit was triable by a competent court in the City of Delhi only. A similar condition was pleaded by the Hawrah Insurance Company Ltd. also. On the basis of the aforesaid conditions in the two policies, the lower court came to the conclusion that against defendants Nos. 1 and 3, the suit was not triable in Sangariya court,
3. It may be mentioned here that during the pendency of this revision petition, an application was submitted by the petitioner that all the defendant Insurance Companies have been nationalised and the businesses of the non-petitioners Nos, 1 to 3 have devolved upon the New India Assurance Company Ltd, and the National Insurance Company Ltd. It was, therefore, prayed that the New India Assurance Company and the National Insurance Company Ltd. may be substituted in place of the original defendant-non-petitioners. Accordingly, this Court by its order dated July 19, 1978, directed that the New India Assurance Company Ltd. and the National Insurance Company Ltd. may be substituted as non-petitioners,
4. Learned counsel for the plaintiff-petitioner has raised a two-fold contention before me. He has submitted that having come to the conclusion that the court had jurisdiction to try the suit against defendant No. 2, leave should have been granted against defendants Nos. 1 and 3 also under Section 20(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure. He has frankly conceded that though no such prayer was made before the trial court, the requisite leave can be granted by this Court also. Alternatively, he has argued that admittedly, the whole of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the Sangariya Court, as the goods caught fire at Sangariya and the policy was also taken out at Sangariya. It is thus submitted that the suit could be instituted in the Sangariya court, as the whole of the cause of action arose there. The contention of the learned counsel, however, is that the condition contained in the policies issued by defendants Nos. 1 and 3 that the claim could be instituted in a competent court in the City of Delhi only, has no legal efficacy inasmuch as Delhi court had no jurisdiction at all in the case. The head office of the Liberty Insurance Company is situated at Bombay and the head office of the Hawrah Insurance Company is situated at Calcutta and, therefore, these two Insurance Companies will be deemed to carry on business at Bombay and Hawrah respectively, but not in Delhi. It is settled law that where two or more courts have got concurrent jurisdiction, then the parties may agree that any claim arising between them shall be instituted in one of the courts which has got concurrent jurisdiction, but it is not open to the parties to confer jurisdiction on a court which has got none in law.
5. In my opinion, the contentions raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner are not without force. The cause of action wholly or in part did not arise in Delhi and since the principal offices of defendants Nos. 1 and 3 are situated at Calcutta and Bombay respectively, Delhi court had no jurisdiction and, therefore, agreement between the parties that the competent court at Delhi alone would have jurisdiction to entertain the suit, is not binding upon them in law. As already stated above, there is no denying the fact that since the cause of action arose in Sangariya, the Sangariya court had jurisdiction. I may also mention that since according to the learned lower court itself, it had jurisdiction to try the suit against defendant No, 2, leave could have been granted against the other defendants under Section 20(b) C.P.C. However, since I have come to the conclusion that Sangariya court had jurisdiction against all the defendants on account of the accrual of the cause of action within its jurisdiction, there is no need to invoke the provisions of Section 20(b), C.P.C.
6. Accordingly, I allow this revision petition, set aside the impugned order by the learned Additional District Judge No. 2, Hanumangarh, and hold that the court beiow had jurisdiction to try the suit against all the defendants. There will be no order as to costs.