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In Re: P.R. Krishnaswami - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCompany
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1948Mad162; (1947)2MLJ180
AppellantIn Re: P.R. Krishnaswami
Cases ReferredSorabji Jamsetji v. Ishwardas Jagjiwandas I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - i am unable to accept this contention either generally or in a case like the present concerning the liability of a contributory. a member of the company is clearly a contributory and by reason of section. by virtue of the same provision his legal representatives and heirs will themselves become contributories on his deathly in view of these provisions i am satisfied that on the death of sri p......he died early in 1940 and admittedly his father p. ramanujachari was his sole heir and legal representative. the latter died in december, 1940 and admittedly his heirs and legal representatives were the present applicant, and his brothers, parthasarathy and seshadri. the official liquidator had notified the applicant that his name has been placed on the list of contributories in respect of these shares standing on the register of the company in the name of the late p. rajagopalachari. the present application is for the removal of his name from the list.2. mr. gopalratnam who appears for the applicant submits that his client's name cannot properly be included in the list as he is not an heir or legal representative of mr. rajagopalachari. he relies on, section 160 of the companies.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Clark, J.

1. The late Sri P. Rajagopalachari held ten shares in this Company in respect of which there was Rs. 300 due as uncalled capital. He died early in 1940 and admittedly his father P. Ramanujachari was his sole heir and legal representative. The latter died in December, 1940 and admittedly his heirs and legal representatives were the present applicant, and his brothers, Parthasarathy and Seshadri. The Official Liquidator had notified the applicant that his name has been placed on the list of contributories in respect of these shares standing on the register of the company in the name of the late P. Rajagopalachari. The present application is for the removal of his name from the list.

2. Mr. Gopalratnam who appears for the applicant submits that his client's name cannot properly be included in the list as he is not an heir or legal representative of Mr. Rajagopalachari. He relies on, Section 160 of the Companies Act and also on Section 50 and Section 2(11) of the Code of Civil Procedure. His argument, as I understand it, is that the expression ' heir and. legal representative ' must Necessarily be confined to an heir or legal representative of the person primarily interested. I am unable to accept this contention either generally or in a case like the present concerning the liability of a contributory. The Official Liquidator who appears in person urges that no such limited meaning can properly be given to either of these expressions. With regard to the meaning to be given to the word ' heir ', he refers to the following definition in Wharton's Law Lexicon, page 407:

A person who succeeds by descent to an estate of inheritance, it is nomen collectivum and extends to all heirs ; and under heirs the heirs of heirs are comprehended in infinitum.

He urges also that there is nothing in the definition of 'legal representative' in the Civil Procedure Code which would give that expression a more limited meaning. A person may be said to represent the estate of a deceased person whether he is that person's legal representative or the' legal representative of his legal representative. He refers also to Jafri Begam v. Saira Bibi I.L.R.(1900) All. 367 where it was held in an execution case that the decree-holder was entitled to execute his decree against the legal representative of the legal representative to the extent of any assets of the original judgment-debtor which might have come into his possession. No doubt in that case Banerji, J., expressly reserved the question as to whether this rule would be of general application ; but the decision nonetheless shows that the wide interpretation of the term ' legal representative ' has been recognised in at least one case. I have no doubt that the expression 'heirs and legal representatives ' must in the present case be given the wider meaning and I am fortified in that view by the consideration of the provisions of the Companies Act. Section 158 of the Act defines ' contributory ' as meaning ' every person liable to contribute to the assets of a company....' and Section 160(1) provides that the legal representatives and heirs of a deceased contributory are themselves contributories. A member of the company is clearly a contributory and by reason of section. 160(1), on his death, his legal heirs and representatives would become themselves contributories. By virtue of the same provision his legal representatives and heirs will themselves become contributories on his deathly In view of these provisions I am satisfied that on the death of Sri P. Rajagopalachari his father became a contributory of the company, and on the death of the latter, the applicant and his brothers became contributories.

3. One other point was referred to in the course of the argument. Mr. Gopalratnam points out that Section 160 makes the heirs of legal representatives contributories, not any one of them. That being so, he urges that his client, who is admittedly only one of a number of legal representatives and heirs, cannot properly be placed on the list of contributories. It seems to me that this is a point which may more properly arise when proceedings are taken to enforce the liability. At present all I am concerned with is whether or not the applicant is a person whose name is properly brought on the list of contributories. I think that he is and I cannot regard that view as open to variation by the possibility that others may be equally liable along with him. The Official Liquidator has referred me to the decision in Sorabji Jamsetji v. Ishwardas Jagjiwandas I.L.R. (1895) 20 Bom. 654 as authority for the proposition that he is not required to include all the heirs and legal representatives in the list. With great respect I am inclined to agree with that decision ; but, as already observed, I do not think that the point arises at the present stage and it may be that it will never arise in view of the small amount of this liability and the admitted fact that the family concerned are comfortably circumstanced.

4. The application is accordingly dismissed.


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