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The State of Rajasthan Vs. Soni Electric Works - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil;Limitation
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil First Appeal No. 177 of 1972
Judge
Reported in1974WLN(UC)14
AppellantThe State of Rajasthan
RespondentSoni Electric Works
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred and Ors. v. The State of Rajasthan
Excerpt:
limitation act, 1963 - article 18--acknowledgement extends time and suit is within limitation.;it is certainly an acknowledgement within the meaning of article 18 of the limitation act, 1963 and it was made before the expiration of the prescribed period of limitation. it acknowledges the liability in respect of the plaintiff's right to claim the amount from the defendant. the .acknowledgment extends the time and the suit is within time from,the date of the acknowledgement as it was filed within three years from the acknowledgement dated 1-1-66 (ex. 9).;(b) practice - power to acknowledge liability not challenged in written statement--too late to challenge it in high court.;the executive engineer, pwd was the person who executed the agreement on behalf of the governor. again it was he who..........not able to lay his hands on any term of the agreement by which the contractor undertook to pay sales-tax on the material received by him from the government. there is also no material on the record to show as to how much sales-tax was payable and was paid by the government on the goods supplied to the plaintiff.5. the third point also is of no substance. at no time the contractor was apprised of the defects found in the work done by him. the learned deputy government advocate was not able to place any letter or document on behalf of the defendant by which the defects were pointed out to the contractor. if no defects were pointed out to the contractor, no liability on the ground of their non-removal arises.6. the result is that the appeal fails and it is hereby dismissed with costs.
Judgment:

S.N. Modi, J.

1. This is an appeal by the defendant-State of Rajastha'n against the judgment and decree of the Additional District Judge No. 2, Jodhpur, dated 24.3.72 in a suit for the price of the work done by the plaintiff.

2. Messrs. Soni Electric works is a concern whose sole-proprietorlis Amritlal. The Public Works Department, Govt. of Rajasthan invited tenders for electrification of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary Building. The tender submitted by Messrs. Soni Electric Works for Rs. 11490/- was accepted by the State of Rajasthan on 23-3-64. The contractor was to the paid this amount on the completion of the work. The contractor was however asked to do some extra work which was also completed on 7-4-65. During the progress of the work, the contractor was supplied material worth Rs. 7500/-. When the contractor was not paid for the work done by him, he after notice Under Section 80 C.P.C. filed a suit out of which this appeal has arisen, on 26-8-68, for the recovery of the following amounts:

1. For the electrification of the R.A.C. Building Rs. 11490/-

2. For extra work Rs. 10668 50

3. Security Deposit Rs. 300/-

________________

Total...Rs. 22458 50

________________

Out of this amount, the plaintiff ded ictsd the amount of material, namely, Rs. 7590/- and Rs. 892/- which were paid by chequeand prayed that a decree for Rs. 14066 50 be passed in his favour. Various, pleas were ralsed in defence. The learned Additional District Judge on consideration of the evidence led by the parties decreed the suit for Rs. 13949 50P. It is against this judgment and decree that the defendant-State of Rajasthan has preferred this appeal.

3. Mr. M.D.Purohit, the learned Deputy Government Advocate has confined arguments to the following three points:

1. That the suit was barred by time;

2. That the contractor was bound to pay sales-tax on the material received by him and

3. That the defects in the work were not removed by the con-tractor.

On the first point, the learned Deputy Government Advocate Has urged that the suit is governed by Article 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963. This Article corresponds to Article 56 of the old Limitation Act of 1908 Article 18 runs as follows:

_____________________________________________________________________________'Description of suit Period of limitation Time from whichperiod begins to run_____________________________________________________________________________For the price of the work 3 years When the work isdone by the plaintiff for done'the defendant at his request where no time has has been fixed for payment_____________________________________________________________________________

It has been laid down by a Division Bench of this Court in Bh&wanisharker; and Ors. v. The State of Rajasthan 1970 WLN 143 that in such cases. Article 56 of the old Limitation Act of 1908, is applicable and the time begins to run from the date when the work is completed. There is thus no doubt that the suit is barred by time because the work was admittedly completed on 7-4-65 and the suit was filed on 26-8-68. The learned counsel for the respondent, however, relies upon an acknowledgement made on behalf of the State Vide its letter dated 1 1 66 (Ex.9). This letter is signed by the Executive Engineer City Division, P.W.D , B&R;, Jodhpur and is addressed to the Director, Removal of Public Grievances Department, Jaipur and a copy of this letter has been forwarded to the plaintiff Messrs Soni Electric Works, Jodhpur. In this letter, the Executive Engineer clearly acknowledged that the final bill of Messrs. Soni Electric Works has been passed and a cheque for the same is being issued. It is certainly an acknowledgement within the meaning of Article 18 of the Limitation Act,1983 and it was made before the expiration of the prescribed period of limitation. It acknowledges the liability in respect of the plaintiff's right to claim the amount from the defendant. The acknowledgement extends the time and the suit is within time from the date of the acknowledgement as it was filed within three years from the acknowledgement dated 1-1-66 (Ex 9). It may be mentioned here that the point of limitation was not raised in the written statement or at the time of the arguments before the lower court. The plaintiff in para no. 8 referred to certain letters including the letter dated 1-1-66, referred to above, but in the written statement nothing was said in respect of these letters nor it was stated that the suit was barred by time. The Executive Engineer, P.W.D. was the person who executed the agreement on behalf of the Governor. Again, it was be who acknowledged the liability by letter Ex 9. It is now too late to say that he was not authorised to make the acknowledgement specially when his authority was not challenged in the written statement. Had this point been raised in the written statement, the plaintiff would have proved that the Executive Engineer was the authorised person on be half, of the Government to acknowledge the liability.

4. On the second point, the learned Deputy Government Advocate was not able to lay his hands on any term of the agreement by which the contractor undertook to pay sales-tax on the material received by him from the Government. There is also no material on the record to show as to how much sales-tax was payable and was paid by the Government on the goods supplied to the plaintiff.

5. The third point also is of no substance. At no time the contractor was apprised of the defects found in the work done by him. The learned Deputy Government Advocate was not able to place any letter or document on behalf of the defendant by which the defects were pointed out to the contractor. If no defects were pointed out to the contractor, no liability on the ground of their non-removal arises.

6. The result is that the appeal fails and it is hereby dismissed with costs.


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