1. The defendant, a pleader, was retained by Plaintiffs Nos. 1 to 7 who describe themselves 'as ryots of Ventur Agraharam' to appear for them in certain suits which they expected would be brought against them by the agraharamdars and not to accept vakaiat from the latter. He received Rs. 500 from them and was entitled to get Rs. 2,000 under the agreement. The agreement between the parties, which was in writing, also provided that the same fee was to be paid to him in other suits which maybe brought by the agraharamdar against other ryots ' in a batch along or simultaneously' with suits against themselves. It was clearly intended that he was to appear for all the ryots against the landlords in all the suits in which the questions for decision are admitted to be the same. It was urged for the pleader that the agreement provides that he should appear only in these suits against other ryots which may be brought along with the suits against the seven plaintiffs. This may strictly be so, and it maybe that, if. suits were brought against the others before or after the suits against these plaintiffs, the agreement does not bind him to appear for them. But there can be no doubt looking to the terms of the document, that the parties intended that the defendant should undertake to do all he can for the ryots in the Court of First instance and the appellate courts and was not to appear for the agraharamdar against any of the ryots. The Defendant afterwards filed suits on behalf of the agraharamdar against Plaintiffs Nos. 8 and 9, other ryots of the village ; the question in issue between them being the same as between the plaintiffs and the agraharamdar. We are clearly of opinion that the defendant has thereby disabled himself from performing his part of the contract and he has broken it. He was not in a position to do all in his power for the plaintiffs as he had promised to do. The Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to set aside the contract and claim damages.
2. As to the amount of damages, the plaintiffs are entitled to recover all that they have paid under the contract. The Rs. 500 paid to the defendant has been decreed to them by the Lower Courts. They claim here in addition Rs. 260. This amount was paid by the plaintiffs to the Defendant to get lawyer's opinion from Madras. It is true he got that opinion. But he kept it himself and without giving it to the plaintiffs he accepted a Vakalat from the Agraharamdar. This is inexcusable. The plaintiffs have not only derived no benefit from their payment, but it may be that their opponent profited by it. Under these circumstances, we do not see why they should not recover this amount also. It was urged upon us that the plaintiffs Nos. 8 and 9 have no cause of action. The question whether the agreement was entered into on behalf of all the villagers has not been decided by the Lower Appellate Court, but, as the Defendant is not prejudiced, we see no reason to call for a finding on that question.
3. We dismiss the memorandum of objections with costs. We allow the appeal to the extent of Rs. 260. The plaintiffs will receive proportionate costs throughout.