Rajagopala Ayyangar, J.
1. This is an appeal against the Judgment of Balakrishna Aiyar J. in s. A. No. 57 of 1947 filed by reason of the leave granted by the learned Judge under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent.
2. The appellants in this Letters Patent appeal were the defendants in the suit O. S. No. 497 of 1944 on the file of the District Munsif's Court of Tinnevelly filed by the respondents for the recovery Of the value of articles supplied to the defendants between 27-10-1941 and 19-1-1842. The plaintiffs were the partners of a firm which was carrying on business in Burma under the trade name of 'V. O. A. Alliar and Sons' which was registered under the law for the registration of partnerships in force in Burma. It was with this firm that the defendants-appellants had dealings as a result of which a sum of Rs. 1657-9-0 became due to the plaintiff-firm. When Burma was overrun by the Japanese both the partners of the firm 'V. O. A. Alliar and Sons' as well as defendants-appellants came over to their native places in Madras State. On 26-10-1944 a suit was instituted for the recovery of this sum by the respondents in the name of 'V. O. A. Alliar and Sons' through ode of the partners 'V. O. A. Mohamed.'
When notice was served upon the defendants they objected to the maintainability of this suit because under - the terms of Order 30, B. 1, Civil P. C., it is only the firm carrying on business in India that could take advantage of the provisions of this order. As the plaintiffs were admittedly carrying on business only in Burma the defendants objected that the suit as framed did not lie. In view of this objection an application I. A. No. 1037 of 1945 was filed on 5-9-1945 to amend the plaint by the substitution of the names of the three partners of the firm 'V.O.A. Alliar and Sons' in the place and instead of the name of the firm. This application was allowed by the learned District Munsif and the plaint. was amended as prayed for in December 1945.
Out of the defences raised to the suit the only one that remains is that of limitation. .The point raised was that the plaintiff in the suit as ori-ginally instituted was a non-existing person or entity, that the plaint became effective only when three partners were brought on record as plaintiffs in December 1945 and that by this date the claim was barred by limitation. It will be seen that this raises for consideration the question as to whether Section 22, Limitation Act applied so as to render the impleading of the three partners a substitution or addition of a new plaintiff within the meaning of that section. The learned District Munsif held that there was no addition or substitution of a new plaintiff but there was merely a correction of a misdescrip-tion and on this ground held the suit to be in time; and a decree was passed in favour of the plaintiffs.
3. The defendants took the matter on appeal to the District Court of Tinnevelly in A. S. No. 101 of 1946 and the learned District Judge differing from the trial Court held th'at the suit was out of time. The plaintiffs filed a second appeal to this Court in S. A. No. 57 of 1947 which came on for hearing before Balakrishna Aiyar J. and the learned Judge reversed the decision of the learned District Judge by holding the suit was in time and granted a decree to the plaintiffs. In view however of the conflict in the authorities which was noticed in his judgment, the learned Judge granted leave to appeal from his judgment in pursuance of which this Letters Patent appeal is filed.
4. Having considered the numerous authori-ties that there are on the point we are clearly og the opinion, that the learned Judge is right in his view that Section 22, Limitation Act is not attracted to the present case. We are fortified in this conclusion by reference to certain English decisions to which we shall be adverting in our discussion of the matter.'
5. The sole question for consideration in this case is whether by reason of the amendment above referred to a new party is brought on record. If it is, Section 22, Limitation Act is attracted and the plaint must be treated as having 'been instituted on the date when by reason of the amendment he was made a party. If on the other hand the proper view to take of the amendment is that the party who was subsequently impleaded was even at the inception intended to be the plaintiff but that by reason either of misnomer or misdescription he was imperfectly indicated the correction of this mistake would not introduce a party but would . merely describe properly that individual who always intended to assert his rights in the suit
6. The earliest case on the point to which it is necessary to refer is a decision of the Bombay High Court reported in -- 'Kasturchand v. Sagarmal', 17 413 (A). This case was decided in 1892 before Order 30 had been introduced in the Civil P. C., at a time wnen any suit by a partnership had to be property brought only in the names of the partners of the firm. It arose out of a suit to recover a debt due to the firm of Kondammal Sagarmal and the plaintiff was originally described as 'the firm of Kondammal Sagarmal by its manager Sagarmal'. The firm of Kondammal Sagarmal was composed of Sagar-mal Shrlram and one Malamchand. The deten- . dants, objected to the frame of the action on the ground that Malamchand had not been indicated in the plaint as a plaintiff. The Subordinate Judge upholding the objections of the defendants dismissed the suit without going into the merits of the case on the ground that all the plaintiffs were not properly described in the plaint.
On appeal the District Judge reversed the decree and ordered a remand being of the opinion that if Sagarmal was not entitled to sue for the firm, Malamchand should, be added as a party and the suit proceeded with. There was an appeal to the High Court from this Order of remand which was dismissed. Subsequently Malamchand was added as a co-plaintiff and the suit proceeded on the merits, the defendants raising the contehtion that the suit was time barred on the date of the addition. The suit was decreed, the objection of the defendants based on Section 22, Limitation Act being overruled. Candy J. dismissed the second appeal stating that 'the present was a case of misdescription not of nonjoinder'.
This 'decision was followed in this Court by Seshagiri Aiyar J. in. a case reported in - 'Mar-ayya Chetti v. Sami Chetti', AIR 1916 Mad 649 (B), decided in 1915. There was a. sum of money due upon dealings to the plaintiff-firm and the suit was filed by one ot the partners, prefixing the initials of the firm to his own name. The defendant contested the suit upon the ground that the suit was bad for non-joinder of the other partners. The District Munsif dismissed the suit holding that if the other partners were added as they ought to be the suit would become barred under Section 22, Limitation Act. Against this dismissal the plaintiff preferred a revision petition under Section25, Small Cause Courts Act. The revision petition was allowed, the learned Judge stating
'I must regard the suit as one brought on behalf Of the firm by one of its members as its agent. In this view, I cannot agree with the District Munsif in the conclusion that if other, partners are added as co-plaintiffs the suit will be barred by limitation.'
Reference was then made to 17 Bom 413 (A), which was followed. A similar decision was rendered by Page J. in a case reported in - 'Seo-doyal Khemka' v. Joharmull Manmull : AIR1924Cal74 . Dealing with the objection as raised In the present case the learned Judge said at pp. 77, 78:
'The firm is an entity; it is merely a collective name for the individuals who are members of the partnership. It is neither a legal entitynor is it a person..... A firm name, in truth, is merely a description of the individualswho compose the firm. It is that, and it is nothing more.'
Based on this' reasoning the learned Judge heldthat, if an amendment were effected by whichthe names of the individual partners were setout in a plaint replacing the firm name no newparty would be added but it would be an amend-ment merely for the. purpose of more clearlydescribing the parties who are already before theCourt. The matter came Up again in Bombayand was the subject of a decision reported in- 'Ramprasad v. Shrinivas', : AIR1925Bom521 (D). A suit was instituted by the plaintiff againstthe defendants described as 'Shivlal Ramprasad .a firm doing business as merchants at Ahmeda-bad.' After the institution of the suit it wasdiscovered that Shivlal Ramprasad was not apartnership but was merely a name in which aHindu joint family was doing business and towhich obviously the provisions of p. 30, CivilP. C. would not apply. An application was thenmade for amending the description of the deien-dants by substituting the names ot the membersof the family for the original description of'Shivlai Ramprasad'. The defendants then raised an objection based on Section 22, Limitation Act.Macleod C. J. and Coyajee J. affirmed the decision of the learned trial Judge who. held thatthe amendment corrected the misdescription andthere was no addition of a new party.
7. The authorities upto this stage are all inOne way so far as this topic is concerned. But adeparture was made in a decision rendered byBlackwell J. in - 'Vyankatesh Oil Mill Co. v. Velmahomed', : AIR1928Bom191 (E). The original plaintiffs were described as the VyankateshOil Mill Co. They were carrying on business atSangali outside British India and the suit was ondealings had by this firm with the defendants.The defendants raised an objection to the frameof the action since on the terms of Order 30, Rule 1,Civil P. C. it was only the firm carrying on business in British India that was entitled to availitself of the provisions enacted by this order. The.plaintiffs thereupon applied for leave to amendthe plaint by substituting the names of the individual partners for that of the plaint firm underO l, Rule 10, Civil P. C. and in the amendmentpetition a prayer was added that the amendmentshould be treated as following upon :a mlsdescrip-tion of the plaintiff and not a substitution ofthe: plaintiffs.
The learned Judge ruled that the amendment.asked for could not be treated as an amendment.following upon a mere misdescription and mustbe treated as an application for the substitutionas plaintiffs of the individual persons who composed an entity which the law did not recognise. Apparently there was no question of the suit being barred by limitation on the date of theamendment and the learned Judge allowed it oncertain terms as to costs to which it is unnecessary to refer. The decision in 17 Bora 413 (A)was distinguished by the learned Judge as a case,which was-decided previous to the enactment ofO. 30, Civil P. C.
The decion in : AIR1924Cal74 wa not referred to and that in : AIR1925Bom527 (D) was distinguished as a case relating to a joint family and also on the ground that it Had relied upon the decision in 17 Bom 413 (A), which was inapplicable after the amendment of the Civil P, C. With great respect to the learned Judge we are unable to perceive how far the present enactment of Order 30, Rule 1 makes any difference for the decision. The provision is an enabling one. If a firm satisfies its conditions it is entitled to utilise this machinery. The fact however that Order 30, Rule 1 is inapplicable to a 'particular case does not by itself render the designation of Individual partners .an addition of new parties merely because Order 30 is inappli-cable to a suit by these individuals.
In our opinion the correct position in. law is that which is to be found in the observations of Page J. in the decision reported in : AIR1924Cal74 , which we have already extracted. Wo are unable to agree with Blackwell J. in his view that a foreign firm not being a legal entity which could as such file a suit under the Civil P. C., by itself determines the question whether the im-pleading of the members of that firm is the addition of a new party. The view of Blackwell J. appears to have been concurred in by two decisions reported in - 'Neogi Ghose and Co. v. Nehall Singh.', : AIR1931Cal770 and - L. N. Chettiar Firm v. M. P. Rule M. Firm AIR 1935 Rang 240 (G), but we are unable to agree with the soundness of the reasoning in these decisions either of which do not furnish any further reasons in support of the view of Black-well J.
8. On the other hand, there is a decision of the Bombay High Court reported in - 'Amulak-chand v, Babulal', : AIR1933Bom304 (H), Where Beaumont C. J. and Rangnekar J. in effect dissented from the decision of Blackwell J. in - : AIR1928Bom191 (E). The learned Chief Justice followed the decision in - 17 Bom 413 (A)', Dealing with the view of Blackwell J. that the introduction of Order 30 into the Civil P. C. of 1908 rendered 17 Bom 413 (A) inapplicable to cases arising thereafter the learned Chief Justice said (at p. 305):
'But I do not see how Order 30 can affect the question of fact whether a suit brought in the name oE a firm in a case not within Order 30 is in. fact a case of misdescription of existing persons or 'a case of a suit brought by a nonexistent entity. That question, as I say, is one of fact, and in the present case it is proved on the evidence that the firm in .whose name the suit was originally brought does not describe certain existing persons.'
We regard this as the correct view to take of the provision in Order 1, R, 10 read with Order 30, Civil P. C. There are a few later decisions but it is unnecessary to refer to them as We are in entire agreement with the view of Beaumont C. J. We share with Beaumont C. J. his difficulty in understanding what connection the terms of Order 30, Civil P. O. have on the question as to whether the description of the plaintiff originally is or is not a misnomer which is wholly a question of fact.
9. We shall refer to the decisions of the Courtsin England where a similar result has beenreached. The corresponding provisions in therules of the Supreme Court are identical withthose in India and in fact white Order 1, Rule 10, CivilP. C. is a reproduction of Order 16, Rule 2 of the:Rules of the Supreme Court, Order 30-, Civil P. O. is.practically a reproduction of Order 48-A of the Rulesof the Supreme Court. Only one further facthas to be mentioned that is, though 8. 22, IndianLimitation Act does not exist in England in theform of a statutory provision the principle of that provision has been applied by the decisions in:allowing applications for amendments. For thispurpose it is sufficient to refer to the decisionof the Court of Appeal reported in - 'Mabro v.Eagle Star and British Dominions Insurance Co. Ltd.', 1932 1 KB 485 (I), where the substitution of a plaintiff was refused on the ground that such an addition would adversely affect the defen- dant by preventing him from raising a questionof limitation.
10. The provisions in England being in 'parl materia' with those in the Civil P. C. we will now proceed to consider the relevant decisions. The first case to which it is necessary to refer is one of Farwell J. reported in - 'Noble Lown-des and Partners (a firm) v. Hadflelds Ltd.', 1939 1 Ch 669 (J), in which the facts were pecu-liar and serve to show that there could be no legal basis for the reasoning of Blackweli J. in : AIR1928Bom191 (E), to which we have already. referred. In the plaint as originally filed the plaintiff was described as 'Noble Lowndes and Partner's (a firm)' and prayed for reliefs against the defendants by way of damages. for depriving the plaintiffs of their commissions. The defendants denied the contract. Before the trial of the-action the defendants discovered that there was no such firm as 'Noble Lowndes and Partners (a firm)' to institute the suit.
It appeared that there were some arrange-ments between Mr. Lowndes and certain others -but the result of the arrangements did not createa partnership. The defendants immediately tookout an application to have the statement of claimstruck out, the ground being that the plaintiffwas a non-existent person. Lowndes thereupon applied by summons to be substituted as thesole plaintiff. The question which the Court hadto consider was whether the amendment could bepermitted under the rules it being conceded thatthere was no partnership as such that filed thesuit, and Order 48-A corresponding to Order 30, CivilP. C. being obviously inapplicable. This dependedupon whether the terms of Order 16, Rule 2 of theRules of the Supreme 'Court corresponding to'O. 1, Rule 10, Civil P. C. were satisfied or not. This provision is in these terms;
'Where a suit has been instituted in the nameof the wrong person as plaintiff or where it isdoubtful whether it has been instituted in the:name of the right plaintiff, the Court mayat any stage of the suit, if satisfied that thesuit has been Instituted through a bond fide mistake and that it is necessary for the determination of the real matter in dispute so to do, order any other person to be substituted or added as plaintiff upon such terms as the Court thinks fit.'
Two questions therefore arose for consideration. The first was whether the mistake of the plaintiff was bona fide and secondly whether really the plaint had 'been instituted in the name of a wrong person. Farweli J. held that he was satis-fied that the mistake on the part of the plaintiff Lowndes was a bona fide. The next question was whether the original plaintiff was really nonexistent and consequently whether the principle that a living person could not be substituted for a non-existent entity could be invoked to deny to the plaintiff the relief by way of amendment. Dealing with this objection Farwell J. said:
'Order 48-A enables persons carrying on business in partnership to sue or be sued in the firm name, but that is a rule made for convenience, and an action toy or against a firm notwithstanding the rule remains an action by or against' the individual members of the firm ........Such an action remains therefore an
action by or against individuals, and consequently I am not being asked to substitute a living person for a non-existent entity but I am being asked to strike out the names of all the plaintiffs except one and leave that one as the sole plaintiff.'
This decision was approved and followed by the Court of Appeal in -- 'W. Hill and Son v. Tan-nerhill,' 1344 1 KB 472 (K). Walter Hill was carrying on business solely without any partners Under the trade name of 'W. Hill and Son' :and lie filed ''an action in his trade name. Under Order 48-A, Rule l (corresponding to Order 30, Rule 10 and just like it) though an individual trader carrying on business in a name other than his own might be sued in his trade name he cannot file any suit in such name. A plaint was filed by W. Hill .and Son on 21-4-1943 in respect of damages for negligence arising out of an accident on 24-4-1942. Section 21, Limitation Act of 1959 provided a period of one year for suits in respect of such -causes of action with the result that by 24-4-1943 the period of limitation prescribed- by the statute elapsed. On 29-11-1943 the plaintiff .Hill being advised about the description in the pleading being defective took out a summons in which he prayed for an order for the substitution as plaintiff in the action 'Walter HIll trading as 'W. Hill and Son'.
The defendants opposed the application on the ground that by that date the claim was barred by limitation. But an order was made in favour of the plaintiff by the Master, which was affirmed by Stable 4. on appeal. The defendants thereupon filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal. The argument before that Court was that the plaint as originally instituted should be treated as a nullity and as hot disclosing any cause of action because the real plaintiff was not described and based on this reasoning he relied upon the decision in 1932 1 KB 485 (I), for the position that as the amendment would deprive the defendant of the valuable plea of limitation it ought not to be allowed. The appeal was dismissed on the ground that the order to amend; did not any new party but was merely a case of a correction of a misdescription which did not involve:any real substitution. Scott L. J. stated;
'When the writ was issued in the name of 'W,Hill and Son' there was an individual personin fact interested hi the claim. His descriptionas 'W. Hill and Son' was a mistake by a clerk.The question is whether that mistake is morethan a mistake in form... In my opinion it isnot.'
The learned Judges both Scott L. J. as well as Du Pareq L. J. make it clear that they are not departing from the rule laid down by Scrutton L. J. in 1932 1 KB 485 (I), which was relied on by the defendants' counsel.
11. The next case where the matter was considered is a decision of the Court of Appeal in - 'Belgian Economic Mission v. A. P. and E, Singer Ltd'. 1950 WN 418 (L). An action was commenced by the plaintiffs described as 'Belgian Economic Mission'. This Mission it was proved in evidence were merely the agents through which the Belglam State were making the contract with the defendants. A defence was raised that the 'Economic Commission' was not a corporation and did not exist as a firm and consequently the plaintiffs were not entitled to institute the action. The plaintiffs thereupon took out a summons for the amendment of the writ by substituting as plaintiffs 'Paul Van Zeeland in his capacity as Minister for Foreign affairs' and suing on behalf of the Kingdom of Belgium. Devlin J. allowed the application for amendment.
The defendants flied an appeal to the Court of Appeal which confirmed the judgment' of fee learned Judge on the ground that the description of the plaintiffs as 'Belgian Economic Commission' was merely a misnomer intended to describe the principal under the contract and that the plaintiffs had a right to have the correct description of the party in accordance with the decisions of the Court. The last case to be noticed is a decision of Sellers J. and is found reported in -- 'Establissment Baudelot v. R. S. Graham and Co. Ltd.', 1952 2 TLR 736 (M). The plaintiffs in the .action were originally described as 'Establissment Baudelot' who were carrying on business in Prance. The action was for .the price of goods sold and delivered.
The evidence in the case- disclosed that though in the plaint, 'Establissment Baudelot' was des- cribed as a company incorporated according to the law of Prance, it was not in fact a corporate body but was merely a name under which three individuals carried on business in Prance and under which they contracted. Defendants applied for the name of the plaintiffs being struck out on the ground that they were a noh-existing person. The plaintiffs thereupon took out a summons under Order 16, Rule 2, Rules of Supreme Court corresponding to O- 1; Rule 10, Civil P. C. asking that the names of the individuals carrying on the business be added to the name of the plaintiffs on the writ. Sellers J. allowed the application of the plaintiffs for amendment. Dealing with argument that the 'Establissment Baudelot', was a non-existent person or entity and the name was analogous to that of a dead person, the learned Judge said:
'In these circumstances it seems a little odd to compare it to a dead man and say that it has no existence at all. If it trades in the name Establishment Baudelot and contracts and is taxed in that name, it seems to me a considerable departure from a man who is dead.'
Then dealing with what the name indicated the learned Judge stated:
'What, then, is this name? That it is not the name of a corporate body in Prance does not make it in any sense that of a non-existent party, but it seems to me only to emphasise what it is. It is the way in which these three people describe themselves for the purpose of the trade........ In those circumstances, the action has always been one brought by and on behalf of the three people who are so con-cerned.'
The learned Judge concluded his judgment in these terms:
'......... .....I think that this application on behalf of the defendants to strike out the proceedings as being in the name of a non-existent plaintiff is misconceived; the only error that exists is one of misnomer. The partnership of these three individuals is not in a position to sue under the name Establissment Baudelot, .but must sue in the name of the individual partners. I therefore dismiss the summops of the defendants.'
The learned Judge granted the application ofthe plaintiffs for substituting the names of thethree individuals for the entity designated as'Establissment Baudelot'.
12. In our opinion the quotations set out correctly express the law in India also. If however imperfectly' and incorrectly a party is designated in' a plaint the correction of the error is not the addition or substitution of a party but merely clarifies and makes apparent what was previously shrouded in obscurity by reason of the error or mistake. The question in such a case is one of intention of the party and if the Court is able to discover the person or persons intended to sue or to be sued a mere-misdescription of such a party can always be corrected provided the mistake was bona fide vide Order 1 B. 10, Order P. C. Such an amendment does not involve the addition of a party so as to attract Section 22(1), limitation Act. Suits by or on behalf of dead persons stand in, a different category. The prin-ciple that a misdescription could be corrected by amendment could not obviously be 'applied to such a case but this is far from saying that merely because the law does not recognise the firm as being a legal entity, the firm name could not indicate or designate the Individuals composing the firm.
13. To sum up, the situation is analogous to a case where an individual who has an alias or an abbreviated name by which he is sometimes called initially describes himself in that name but subsequently applies' to have it rectified so as to describe in the manner in which he is most usually known. There cannot be any doubt that by the correction in the name, a new plaintiff is not added so as to attract Section 22(1), Limitation Act. A trade name either of a person or a group of individuals carrying on business in partner-ship is in true an alias for the person or the . group.
In cases where the law permits the person or persons to sue or be sued in such trade name, the proceedings could rightfully be conducted with such designation; but the fact that the . provisions of the procedural law do not enable a party to sue or be sued in such a name has no relevance to the question as to the persons designated by such description. Under the terms of Order 7 Rule 1, the name and description of each party has to be set out in the plaint and as abbreviations are not permissible in the absence of special statutory provisions like Order 30 C. P. O. the full names and addresses of the parties designated by such description have to be set out, . When by an amendment the correction is effected it is clear that there is no addition of a party but merely a clarification of the individuals already on record but described in a manner not permitted by the law.
14. Learned counsel for the appellant suggested that a suit by a foreign firm in its trade name was analogous to suits on behalf of dead persons which have been held to be nullities on the ground that the name of the foreign firm designates a non-existent legal entity. We are however unable to accept the argument. When a suit is filed purporting to be oh behalf of a person who is dead on the date of the institution, there is no question of misdescription at all. The name does signify and identify a person, only he does not exist on the date of the suit. Such a name cannot be treated as a misdescription of the legal representative. On the other hand in the case of the firm even though not carrying on business in India the trade name does signify and designate the individuals constituting the firm as much as in the case of firms carrying on business in India. The fact that by the terms of Order 30, Rule l C. P. C. the former category of firms are not enabled to avail themselves of the provisions of this order, makes no difference as to the trade name designating the individual partners. We are unable to agree with the reasoning of Blackwell J. in : AIR1928Bom191 (E), and hold that the correct view is as stated earlier.
15. The judgment appealed from is in our opinion clearly correct and the Letters Patent appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.