S. Ramachandra Iyer, C. J.
1. This is an appeal from an order returning the plaint for presentation to the proper court. The appellant is the plaintiff in the suit which was filed in forma pauperis for recovery of a sum of Rs. 19,000, claimed by way of damages and for prospective loss of commission etc., and for accounts. According to the appellant, he was appointed by the respondents as Factory Representative, in the first instance over the southern part of India for the purpose of appointing dealers for the sale of I. R. P. Radios, manufactured by the respondents. The area of the agency was extended by another agraement between the patties. According to the plaint his duties as representative were to be done at Madras and that on 20th July 1955 the respondents terminated the employment on certain improper grounds which entitled the appellant to claim damages and accounts.
2. The respondents are carrying on business at Calcutta. The letter terminating the appointment of the appellant was posted at Calcutta and was received by the appellant at Madras. There can be no doubt that the termination of the agency was effected at Madras. The appellant stated in paragraph 19 of his plaint that the cause of action for the suit arose partly at Madras, where the contract of employment was to be performed in part and. where it was actually begun and where the defendants unlawfully terminated the same. There was no denial of these averments in the written statement which took objection to the jurisdiction of the lower court to entertain the suit. Paragraph 13 of the written statement only stated that as the suit as framed was one for accounts, it could be instituted only at the place where the account books were kept, that is, Calcutta. This, however, is not an accurate appreciation of the claim in the suit; the claim is based mainly on the illegal termination of the services, of the appellant. If it is conceded that the termination of the appellant's services took effect at Madras, it would follow that a part of the cause of action at least arose within the jurisdiction of the court at Madras. In that event, the lower court will have jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
3. But the learned Principal City Civil Judge has directed the return of the plaint for certain reasons, some of which we cannot understand. He appears to have accepted the plea taken on behalf of the defendant that as the suit was one for accounts, it should be laid at the place where the account books are kept. We cannot see how the place where the account books are kept can at all be the deciding factor in the matter of jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit. The learned Judge has failed to appreciate the real claim in the plaint and failed even to consider whether part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of this court. In the view we have now taken, namely, that part of the cause of action arose at Madras, the order returning the plaint cannot obviously be sustained. But we must refer to one other matter as well.
4. The learned Judge has adopted a somewhat novel procedure while disposing of the suit. After holding that the plaint was not within his cognizance and returning the same for presentation to the proper court, he proceeded to give findings on other issues in the case. The findings on the other issues amount to a rejection of the appellant's claim altogether. The appellant could not have appealed against those findings, as there was ho decree against him on the basis of those findings. The only decretal order passed in the case is the order returning the plaint for presentation to the proper court. Our jurisdiction to maintain the judgment of the lower court or to set it aside will, therefore, be confined to the order returning the plaint alone. The result is that the merits of the case have got to be tried afresh. The order returning the plaint is therefore set aside and the lower court is directed to take the suit on file and dispose of the other issues therein. This appeal is allowed; but there will be no order as to costs.