Krishnaswami Nayudu, J.
1. The common questions that arise for consideration in these matters relate to the executability of a decree obtained in a representative suit instituted under Order 1, Rule 8, C. P. C. against persons, who are not 'co nomine' parties to the decree and whether a representative action can lie in respect of a claim for damages.
2. The appellants In L, P. A. No. 69 of 1960 as representatives of the ryots of Kothapatti village instituted O. S. No. 681 of 1925 on the file of the District Munsifs Court, Periyakulam, against the defendants as representatives of the ryots of Kadirnarasingapuram hamlet of Kothapati. The suit was dismissed. In appeal, A. S. No. 82 of 1927, the Subordinate Judge granted a decree on 19-8-1929, declaring that the Kothapatti ryots are entitled to irrigate their lands through a particular sluice for two days and issuing a permanent injunction restraining the Kadrnara singapuram ryots from closing the sluice during the said two days and from otherwise preventing the Kothapatti ryots taking water to their lands from the said sluice. The appellants as plaintiffs in the said suit filed an execution petition No. 236 of 1948 praying for impleading respondents 4 to 13 as defendants and asking for an order of attachment of their properties and for commit ting them for contempt to civil jail or disobedience of order of injunction. Respondents 4 to 13 contended that the decree could not be executed against them as they were not parties to the suit. The trial court accepting their, contention rejected the execution petition.
In appeal the learned Subordinate Judge held that the decree was executable and in second appeal Panchapagesa Sastri J. reversed the decision of the appellate court upholding the contention of the respondents 4 to 13 that the decree was not executable against them. The learned Judge however granted leave to appeal.
3. In C. R. P. No. 417 of 1948 the petitioners who are the plaintiffs in O. S. No. 81 of 1935 on the file of the District Munsifs Court, Vridhadhalam, obtained a decree on 4-8-1936 in a representative capacity on behalf of the villagers of Theevalur against the adi-Drayidas of Theeyallur cheri and had their rights to fishery and grass produce in the village tank declared and obtained also an order of injunction restraining the adidravidas of Theevalur cheri from interfering with the right of the plaintiffs to fishery and long grass produce in the suit tank. On the ground of alleged violation of the terms of the decree they filed M. P. No. 178 of 1946 under Order 39, Rule 2 against the respondents for punishing them by committing them to Jail for disobedience of the order of permanent injunction. Here again, the respondents contended that as they were not parties to the suit in which the decree was obtained they were not liable to be proceeded against for any disobedience of the decree which contention was accepted by the lower appellate court.
4. The point for determination is as to whether the decree for Injunction could be enforced against the respondents who are not 'co nomine' parties to the suit or to the decree. Order 1, Rule. 8, C.P.C. lays down the conditions necessary for bringing a representative suit on behalf of or against persons having a common Interest. To render a decree in a representative suit to have binding force on the class of persons who are sought to be bound by it, the procedure laid down in Order 1, Rule 8 has to be strictly followed. A decree obtained in a suit instituted in accordance with the provisions of Order 1, Rule 8 will 'be binding as 'res judicata', on all the members that belong to the class who are sought to be represented. That a decree obtained in such a suit will be binding on the entire class of persons is evident from Explanation VI to Section 11, C. P. C. Explanation VI is as follows:
'Where persons litigate 'bona fide' in respect of a public right or of a private right claimed in common for themselves and others all persons interested in such right shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to claim under the persons so litigating.'
The decision in a representative suit on any issue will if the question is raised in any subsequent proceedings be binding not only on the parties but also on all the persons interested in such right and who were constructively represented in the previous litigation. Such a result would depend not only on the requirements of Section 11, C. P. C. being satisfied, but it must be shown that the persons who represented the others conducted the litigation 'bona fide'.
5. It is urged that the suit in the present case must be deemed to be against the entire residents of the Kadinarasingapuram village, though only some of their representatives were made parties to the suit and that the suit as well as thedecree passed therein must be deemed to have been passed not only against the persons who areon record out against the larger body of personswhom the parties on record represented by virtueof the order obtained under Order 1, Rule 8 C. P. C.There can be no doubt that the defendants whowere Impleaded in the suits, represented a largerbody of persons on whose behalf they were sued,in which case the decree will be binding on theentire body of villagers by operation of the principle of 'res judicata' as enacted in Section 11, Explanation VI. The mere fact that such a decreewould be binding as 'res judicata' on others whowere sought to be represented cannot make sucha decree enforceable as and by way of executionor otherwise.
6. It is further urged that since the non-compliance with the decree is a matter which arises out of the decree it is a matter for determination only by the executing court and not by a separate suit by reason of Section 47, C. P. C. Section 47 provides :
'All questions arising between the parties to thesuit In which the decree was passed, or theirrepresentatives, and relating to the execution,discharge or satisfaction of the decree shall bedetermined by the Court executing the decreeand not by a separate suit.'
But the question is whether the respondents couldbe said to be parties to the suit. However muchthe defendants in the action represented the respondents, the parties to the suit could only bethe defendants who were impleaded and not othersas the respondents' names did not appear asparties. Order 1, Rule 8 Sub-rule (3) provides that'any person on whose behalf or for whose benefita suit is instituted or defended, under Sub-rule (1)may apply to the court to be made a party tosuch suit'. Notwithstanding the representativecharacter of the defendants already on record, itwould be open to anyone belonging to that classof persons to apply to be made a party to thesuit. A 'party' to such a suit is therefore onewho is impleaded as a party or one who on anapplication under Order 1, Rule (8) Sub-rule (2), C. P. C.is brought on record, that is, one who is 'co nomine'made a party. The others who are not broughton record can be only deemed to be parties andwill not be parties as such. Section 47, C. P, C.cannot therefore be a bar to a fresh suit againstthe present respondents since the question fordetermination is not one that arises as betweenthe parties to the suit. Since the respondentscould not be held to be parties, there can be nodoubt that any question arising between a partyto the suit and persons who are not parties isnot a matter which can be determined only toexecution and could therefore be decided by aseparate suit. On a consideration therefore ofthe relevant provisions of the Code, it appears tobe clear that there can be no execution of adecree against persons who are not impleaded asdefendants even though they were sought to berepresented by the defendants on record by reasonof the procedure in Order 1 Rule 8 having been followed.
7. In Sadagopachari v. Krishnamachari, 12 Mad 358 (A), a similar question arose. There ina suit of 1840, the plaintiffs who were membersof the Vadagalal sect obtained against the defendants who were members of the Tengalai sect, a decree declaring that the defendants were notentitled to install an image of their saint ManavalaMahamuni in a certain temple of the village anddirecting that the same be removed if it was soinstalled. Several years later, in 1338, the members of Vadagalai sect, asserting that the members of the Tengalai sect had acted In contravention of the decree filed an execution petition praying that the various members of the Tengalai sectbe arrested for disobedience of the order of injunction. It was held that the decree could not beexecuted, Muttuswami Aiyar and Parker JJ. observed at p. 365 as follows :
'The contention that a few may represent manyin a suit when the matter litigated is of commoninterest might support a fresh suit institutedto bring those not named in a writ of injunction within its scope, but cannot in our Judgment be extended to commitment for contemptconsequent on the breach of the injunction inthe case of those who are not named hi thewrit and who are not then in existence unlessand until the injunction is revived against them.Nor are we prepared to adopt the suggestion ofthe appellants' pleader as to the constructiveextension of parties to a decree for purposes ofexecution so as to bring under its operationevery member of a sect, not only as the sectexisted when the decree was made, but also asit might exist at any time thereafter and forall time to come inclusive of persons since bornand since settled in the village.'
8. The principle of this decision was adopted in two later Bench decisions, viz., in -- 'Srinivasa Aiyangar v. Arayar Srlnivasa Aiyangar', 33 Mad 483 (B) and -- 'Sahib Thambi v. Hamid', 36 Mad 414 (C). In the former case, where again the dispute was between the two sects of Vadagalai and Tengalai relating to the Adhyapakam office in the temple, it was held that where a party to a suit is allowed to represent others under Section 30, C. P. C., the decree will be binding on those whom he is allowed to represent, but an injunction being personal in its nature where such a party disobeys an injunction and Is proceeded against in execution for such disobedience an order in such proceedings will not be binding on those whom he was allowed, to represent in the suit. It was observed that part of the decree relating to injunction being personal would only bind the parties and their privies and the right declared In such a suit will however be binding on those persons whom the defendants sought to represent in the absence of the adjudication itself being impeached on the ground of fraud.
9. A contrary view Is found taken in a judgment of a single Judge of the Lahore High Court in -- Waryam Singha v. Sher Sing', AIR 1942 Lah 136 (D), where a decree for injunction obtained in a representative suit was held executable against defendants, who are represented by the other persons selected to represent them under Order 1, Rule 8. The decision in 12 Mad 356 (A), was referred to, but the learned Judge contented himself by explaining that the decree in the Madras case was of the year 1840, when there was no statutory provision, corresponding to Order 1, Rule 8, in force, andthat the observations of the learned Judges in the Madras case were 'obiter dicta'. It was furtherobserved that the whole object of a representative suit of this kind would be defeated if it were heldthat a decree obtained in such a suit could not be executed against any person except the chosenrepresentatives. But the serious consequences ofa personal decree held to be executable againstpersons who are not parties have also to be envisaged.
It may be that the decree might have been obtained at a time when the persons against whom it is sought to be executed were never in existence and it may be that in some cases the existence of such a decree may not be within the knowledge of these persons and questions as to whether the parties litigated 'bona fide' and as to whether the decree was not tainted by fraud or collusion are all matters for which opportunity must be given, to persons, who had no part directly in the litigation, to raise any defences open to them. The circumstances that Order 1, Rule 8, C. P. C. was not in force in the case in 12 Mad 356 (A) is not of any consequence, as the suit itself was instituted in a representative capacity against the other sect, who were also sued similarly in a representative capacity.
10. The observations of Chagla J. in -- 'Harischandra Khandarao v. A. S. Craig', AIR 1942 Bom 136 (E), are relied upon to show that such a decree is executable. The question arose in an application for leave to sue in a representative capacity under Order 1, Rule 8. The suit was by a person who claimed to be a legal adviser to the defendant society and was for the recovery of damages for wrongful termination of his services. The trustees of the society were sought to be sued in a representative capacity and leave was granted. The defendants applied to have the leave set aside. The plaintiff asked for a personal decree against the defendants as representing the society there being nothing in the prayer that the decree which the plaintiff might obtain would be restricted to the funds of the society in the hands of the defendants, the objection to the grant of the leave being based on the ground that if a decree was passed against the defendants on the plaint as it stood, it would be open to the plaintiff to execute it against persons other than those who were on the record of the suit, some of them being in no way privy to the contract between the society and the plaintiff. This contention found acceptance with the learned Judge and on that ground the leave granted was vacated.
The view taken by the Madras High Court in 36 Mad 414 (C)', where it was held that in suits where one person is allowed to represent others as defendant in a representative capacity, any decree passed binds those others only with respect to the property of those others which he can in law represent, and although the party on record 'eo nomine' may be made personally liable, no personal decree can be passed against the others, was considered by the learned Judge to be contrary to the whole stream of authorities in England. The English decisions referred to are -- 'Walker v. Sur', 1914 2 KB 930 (F); and --'Hardle and Lane Ltd. v. Chiltern', 1928 1 KB 663 (G). The point as to whether a decree passedagainst the defendant in a representative capacity could be executed against others not on record did not directly arise for consideration in those decisions. But both the cases arose out of applications for leave to sue the defendants as representatives of an association under Order 16 Rule 9 of the Supreme Court Rules corresponding to Order 1, Rule (8), C. P. C., and in 1914 2 KB 930 (F)', Buckley L. J. while refusing the leave observed that if leave was to be granted and decree was to be passed in the suit execution could be maintained against all the persons represented and that such a consequence could be avoided only by refusing leave.
11. In 'Nandaramdas Atmaram y. Zulika Bibi AIR 1943 Mad 531 (H), the scope of Order 1 Rule 8, came to be considered and the view taken was that Order 1 Rule 8 should not be construed to mean that the entire body of persons interested in the litigation are should be deemed to be actually parties to it and that such a construction is to some extent negatived by Sub-rule (2) which suggests that any person is not a party until the court allows the application and makes him a party.
12. Whatever may be the view in England as regards the executability of such decrees solely founded on the observations of Buckley L. J. in '1914-2 KB 930 (F)', where, however, the question did not directly arise, but come to be incidentally, considered in judging the consequences of giving leave in a money suit against defendants in a representative capacity & the difficulties that would arise if the execution of such decrees against persons other than whom they sought to represent were to be ordered, the principle laid down in 12 Mad 365 (A)', has been consistently followed by our High Court in the later decisions. This principles that a decree for injunction cannot be extended so as to render, those who are not eo nomine' defendants liable for disobedience of the decree is based on sound and equitable grounds. Before any person could be proceeded against personally for disobedience of a decree of court, it must be shown that he was bound personally by the decree and obliged to obey such a decree. To entitle the decree-holder therefore to proceed against such persons who are not parties on record the injunction must be revived against them, which must be by a separate suit and in such a suit an opportunity will be afforded to them to raise appropriate defences. Without a revival therefore of the decree for injunction against these other persons, no proceedings in pursuance of the decree could be started against them.
If no execution of such a decree could be maintained against those persons who are not impleaded as defendants on the ground that they are not bound to obey the decree personally it is obvious that they cannot be held liable for any willful disobedience of such a decree. The result is that not only could there be no execution but there could be no application under Order 39, Rule 2, or under any other provision of law, for proceeding against those persons for such disobedience. We are of opinion that the decrees for injunction in these cases are neither executable nor enforceable against the contesting respondents.
13. S. A, No. 1838 of 1950 arises out of the dismissal of O. S. No. 424 of 1947 on the file of theDistrict Munsif's Court, Vridhachalam. That was instituted by the plaintiffs as the representatives Of the nanja ayacutdars of Deevalur village againstthe defendants who are Adi Dravldas residing inthe said village. Basing their claim on the exclusive right to the fish and the long grassproduce in the suit lake declared in anearlier suit O. S. No. 81 of 1935 filed by theplaintiffs as representatives of the nanja ayacutdars of Deevalur for declaration of their right and for an injunction, the plaintiffs sought torecover a sum of Rs. 750 as the value of the fishand long grass produce removed by the defendantsfrom the Deevalur lake contrary to the terms ofthe decree in O. S. No. 81 of 1935. The suit wasin effect for loss caused to the plaintiffs by thedefendants interfering with the right declared tothe plaintiffs in the earlier suit. One of thedefences raised was that the suit was not maintainable. The trial court overruled the objectionand granted a decree for Rs. 525 as damages. Inappeal, the learned Subordinate Judge upheld theobjection and held relying on -- Katha Pillai v.Kanakasundaram Pillai, AIR 1919 Mad 1143 (I);and-- 'Narayana Mudali v. Peria Kalathi AIR1939 Mad 783 (J), that the plaintiffs cannot suefor damages in a representative capacity.
14. The point for determination in this appeal is whether a representative suit under Order 1, Rule 8 could be instituted for recovery of loss and damages which the plaintiffs have sustained by reason of the interference with the rights of the nanja ayacutdars of Deevalur village by the defendants. Order 1 rule 8 provides that,
'Where there are numerous persons having thesame interest in one suit, one or more of suchpersons, may with the permission of the court,sue or be sued, or may defend, in such suit, onbehalf of or for the benefit of all persons sointerested. But the court shall in each casegive, at the plaintiff's expense, notice of theinstitution of the suit to all such persons eitherby personal service; or where from the number ofpersons or any other cause such service is notreasonably practicable, by public advertisement,as the court in each case may direct.'
The condition necessary for the maintainability of a representative suit is that the persons on whose behalf the suit is instituted must have the same interest. The interest must be common to them all or they must have a common grievance, which they seek to get redressed. Community of interest is therefore essential and it is a condition precedent for bringing a representative suit. The right of the claim which they seek to establish in the suit must be one which is common to them all and each individual among the body of persons must be interested in the litigation.
15. In AIR 1919 Mad 1143 (I) the suit was tuted by a leading mirasdar as trustee in management of certain forest land on behalf of 200 other mirasdars against the defendants, a few other Mirasdars who were alleged to have trespassed into the land and removed forest produce. The reliefs claimed were declaration, injunction and damages being the value of the produce removed The main contention was that a representative suit could not be brought for damages and for thisposition reliance was placed on - Markt. & CoLtd. v. Knight Steamship Co. Ltd., 1910 2 KB 1021 (K), but following the decision in -- 'Duke of Bedford v. Ellis', 1901 AC 1 (L), that such a relief for damages may be combined with other reliefs, leave to sue under Order 1, Rule 8 was considered to be properly granted.
16. In the other case, AIR 1939 Mad 783 (J)', the Suit was instituted by a section of the Sengundar community against the minority of the same community for damages for malicious prosecution where the two plaintiffs claimed to represent the 17 persons who were impleaded as respondents in the criminal proceedings; but no application under Order 1 Rule 8, C. P. C., appears to have been filed and the case proceeded as if the plaintiffs on record could bring an action for the damages collectively suffered by the party to which they belonged. Objection was raised as to the frame of the suit and such a suit for damages in tort was held to be hot maintainable, though it was observed that a representative suit for damages could be combined with other reliefs.
17. In 'Ratnaswami Nadar v. Prince of Arcot'sEndowments AIR 1938 Mad 755 (M), certaindefendants were sued under Order 1 Rule 8, as representing a large number of villagers holding a tenurecalled Karaiyedu on the ground that they hadtaken unlawful possession of the land and a decreefor possession and mesne profits for a consolidatedsum was passed by the trial Court. In appealthe decree was confirmed except in so far as itpertained to the recovery of mesne profits. Whileobserving that there was sufficient community ofinterest as between the defendants to render Order 1,Rule 8 applicable, the learned Judges were of theopinion that the lower court was wrong in passinga decree for mesne profits. They further observed at pp. 755-756:
'Though the point is not covered by Indian authority, the law seems quite clear under the corresponding English rule, that the procedure pertaining to representative suits is inapplicable to actions of debt, to money claims or to liabilities in contract or in tort.' The observations in the English decisions in 1928 1 KB 663 (G)', and 1914 2 KB 930 (F)', were relied upon to support their conclusion,
18. In 'Arumugha Naicker v. KuppuswamiPillai', : AIR1952Mad115 (N), Chandra Reddi J.sitting singly after a review of the English andIndian decisions bearing on the subject, held thata representative action under Order 1 Rule 8, C. P. C.,can be brought for rendition of accounts by certainmembers of an unregistered society on their ownbehalf and on behalf of the other members ofthe society.
19. The present is a case where the question is as to whether a 'representative suit on behalf of large body of persons like the nanja ayacutdars of Deevalur village, who claimed to have suffered damages by reason of the interference by fee defendants with their exclusive rights to the fish and grass produce, could be brought under the provisions of Order 1 Rule 8, C. P. C. In the two English decisions, 1914 2 KB 930 (F)', and 1928 1 KB 663 (G)', the defendants were sought to' be used as representing a large body of persons.' Those caseswere not by the plaintiffs in a representative capacity, but against defendants who were sought to be sued in representative capacity, and because of the difficulties that would arise in execution of such a decree it was held that leave should not be granted. In 1928 1 KB 663 (G)', the plaintiffs who were members of an association of motor dealers and manufacturers being an unregistered association brought an action against three of the members of the association, who were named twice over and were sued on their own behalf and on behalf of all other members of the association for damages. . It was held, that the plaintiffs were not entitled under Order 16, Rule 9 C. P. C. of the Supreme Court Rules corresponding to Order 1, Rule 8 C. P. C. or otherwise to maintain the action against the defendants as representatives of the association, there being no ground for saying that the members of the association had the same interest in the action or the defence to it. Sargent L. J. In holding that leave to sue the defendants on behalf of the other members of the association was rightly refused observed at p. 699 as follows : 'The action here is not to enforce a right against a fund in which all the members of the Motor Trade Association have A common interest or to declare the interpretation of regulations binding them in common, a class of cases to which Order 16, Rule 9, is at any rate primarily applicable. It is to enforce a strictly personal liability against the named defendants and the whole pf the members of the association. Whether the liability so sought to be imposed is in contract, as in 1914 2 K.B. 930 (F), or in not as to-- Mercantile Marine Service Association v. Toms', 1916 2 K. B. 243 (O), and the present case, the Judgment of this court in both these reported cases show decisively how Impossible ft Is that the named defendants can adequately represent for the purposes of defence, the different individual members of the association since these individuals may obviously have defences separate and distinct from those of the named defendants and of each other'.
The decision proceeded therefore mainly on the basis that there was nothing in common as between the defendants which would entitle some of the defendants competent to represent the other as members of the association and the real ground for holding that a representative action against the defendants as representatives of the other members of the association was not maintainable was the absence of any community of interest.
20. In the view we are taking that decrees obtained in a representative suit against the defendants in a representative capacity cannot be executed personally against persons who are not 'eo nomine' parties, the apprehension of any difficulty in the matter of enforcement of the decree would not arise. On the plain language of Order 1, Rule 8, the principal requirement to bring a suit within that rule is the sameness of Interest of the numerous persons on whose behalf or for whose benefit the suit is instituted, and if that requirement is satisfied, and provided the other condition as to notice is also satisfied, there is no reason why such a representative suit should not be allowed. In deciding therefore whether leave hasto be granted or in considering whether a suit already instituted under Order 1, Rule 8 is maintainablethe principal consideration that should weigh witha court is whether it is satisfied that there issufficient community of Interest as between theplaintiff or the defendants as the case may beto Justify the adoption of the procedure providedunder Order 1, Rule 8. The object for which this provision is enacted is really to facilitate the decisionof questions in which a large body ot persons areInterested without recourse to the ordinary procedure.
In cases where the common right or interest of a community or members of an Association or large sections is involved there will be insuperable practical difficulty in the institution of suits under the ordinary procedure, where each individual has to maintain as action by a separate suit. To avoid numerous suits being filed for decision of a common question, Order 1, Rule 8 has come to be enacted. The nature of the claim whether it is a suit- for a declaration of a right, or an injunction or an action for money on contract or on tortis not very material in considering whether a suit could be filed under the simplified procedure of Order 1, Rule 8. But as already observed, it is the existence of a sufficient community of interest among the persons on whose behalf or against whom the suit is instituted that should be the governing factor in deciding as to whether the procedure provided under Order 1, Rule 8 could properly be adapted or not. Whatever be the law in England, and the interpretation placed on the terms of Order 16, Rule 9 of the Supreme Court rules by the judges there we consider that in India where rights of communities to Own property is recognised, it is necessary that Order 1, Rule 8, C. P. Code, should receive an interpretation to subserve the practical needs of the situation.
In cases of appropriation of or injury to communal property unless a right of suit under Order l, Rule 8, C. P. Code were held applicable to suits on behalf of such bodies for damages occasioned by misappropriation of or injury to communal property the injury could not be redressed at all. There is nothing to the language of Order 1, Rule 8 to exclude such suits from its scope and to permit such actions would lead to no inconvenience or Injustice. On the other hand to deny such a method of proceeding would practically be tantamount to denying all relief to such injury, since a suit by the individual composing the community would be met by the objection that the plaintiff could not predicate his individual or personal rights to any defined or aliquot part the sum due to the community. In our view, the present suit being a claim for recovery of a sum of money alleged to be the loss caused to the entire body of nanja ayacutdars whom the plaintiff represented, there is undoubtedly sufficient community of interest to bring the suit under Order 1, Rule 8, C. P. C., and the fact that the suit is one for damages does not take it away from the scope of the provision.
21. The result is that L. P. A. No. 69 of 1950and C. R. P. No. 417 of 1948 are dismissed withcosts in L. P. A. No; 69 of 1950 only and S. A.No. 1838 of 1950 is allowed with costs throughout,