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Muthuchellappa Chettiar Vs. R.M.P.L. Palaniappa Chettiar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil;Commercial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 685 of 1951
Judge
Reported inAIR1955Mad526; (1955)1MLJ28
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 20; Transfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 130
AppellantMuthuchellappa Chettiar
RespondentR.M.P.L. Palaniappa Chettiar and anr.
Advocates:T.R. Srinivasan and ;N. Ramaswami Iyer, Advs.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredRead v. Brown
Excerpt:
.....second defendant. a suit filed by the plaintiff, as receiver, for recovery of the amount due under the said hand letter, in the sub-court, pudukkottai, was resisted on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to try the suit, as the hand letter was executed and the defendants resided outside the jurisdiction of the sub-court, pudukkottai.; held, the court had no jurisdiction to try the suit. the appointment of a receiver in respect of a debt would not amount to an assignment of a receiver in respect of a debt would not amount to an assignment in his favour of the debt itself and would not confer jurisdiction on the sub-court, pudukkottai, to try the suit. the order of appointment would only empower him to realise the amount and to await the further directions of the court..........of promissory note or hundi which was executed at one place and assigned in another place, the place of assignment is also clothed with jurisdiction to entertain the suit were cited. on the basis of the principle of those cases it is urged that by reason of the order of appointment of the receiver having been passed at pudukottai, the receiver has got right to recover the debt and the debt being deemed to have been assigned to him. the observations of lord esher, m. r. in the oft-quoted case in -- 'read v. brown', (1889) 22 q. b. d. 128 (a), are relied on. our attention is drawn to the meaning of the words "the cause of action" as has been understood in the said case, as every fact which is necessary for the plaintiff to prove in order to obtain a decree.cause of action has nowhere.....
Judgment:
1. I am in complete agreement with my learned brother that it is not possible to give the plaintiff any relief in this court without deviating from the ordinary law as regards jurisdiction in such matters. It would be dangerous to lay down any principle that a receiver by virtue of his appointment in a court to collect debts or even a particular debt becomes clothed with jurisdiction to file within the jurisdiction of such court suits for the recovery of debts which ordinarily must be filed in courts outside the jurisdiction of the court which appointed him. We have taken into consideration the fact that the respondents have not continued their challenge regarding jurisdiction in this Court but it is not possible to give the plaintiff relief on this ground. What I am quite unable to follow is why the plaintiff did not immediately comply with the direction of the learned Subordinate Judge and file the present plaint in the Sub Court, Devakottai.

The result of his electing to file his appeal has been that he has not been able to get any relief for nearly five years a delay for which he is primarily responsible.

Krishnaswami Nayudu, J.

2. This appeal is against an order of the Subordinate Judge, Pudukottai, holding that the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit instituted by the appellant.

3. O. S. No. 112 of 1949 was instituted for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 29516-10-8 under a hand letter executed by the first defendant to the second defendant on 16th October 1941 for a sum of Rs. 22,000. The second defendant is a brother of the plaintiff-appellant and on a promissory note executed by the second defendant in favour of the plaintiff for Rs. 15,000, a suit was instituted by the plaintiff in the same Court -- O. S. No. 731 of 1941, and along with the suit the plaintiff applied for an attachment before judgment and injunction in respect of the debt due by the first defendant to the second defendant under the hand letter dated 16-10-1941, Ex. A. 8. An order for attachment before judgment and an interim injunction were made. Subsequently the plaintiff obtained a decree in O. S. No. 731 of 1941 and in execution had the same debt attached. The second defendant produced the hand letter Ex. A. 8 at the Sub Court, Pudukottai. On 2-5-1943 in E. A. No. 819 of 1943 in the said suit, O. S. No. 731 of 1941 the plaintiff was appointed receiver to collect the debt due under Ex. A. 8. It is in his capacity as receiver appointed under the orders of the Subordinate Judge Pudukottai, in E. A.No. 819 of 1943 that the plaintiff instituted the present suit, O. S. No. 112 of 1949. The third defendant also impleadcd as the plaintiff alleged that there was a further assignment to the third defendant. The third defendant remained ex parte.

4. The debt under Ex. A. 8 was payable only on 16-10-1944 while the interest was to be paid as and when it accrued. It is stated that the second defendant appeared in Court in I. A. No. 608 of 1941 when he produced the letter Ex. A. 8. The first defendant also appeared and undertook to pay the debt as and when it became due and also agreed to pay the interest accruing due from time to time and that in fact some payments towards interests were made towards it.

5. The objection to jurisdiction is based on the ground that the first defendant resides according to the learned Judge, in Malacca, but according to the learned counsel for the appellant at Pallathur, in any event, outside the jurisdiction of the Subordinate Judge of Pudukottai, and that the third defendant also is a resident of Pallathur. It is common ground that Ex. A. 8 was executed at Pallathur, here again out side the jurisdiction of the Court.

6. The contention raised before us was that by the appointment of a receiver to collect the debt, there must be deemed to have been an assignment of the debt in his favour which assignment having taken place by virtue of the appointment having been made at Pudukottai, the Pudukottai Court is clothed with jurisdiction to entertain the suit. In support of this contention the line of cases where it has been consistently held that in the case of promissory note or hundi which was executed at one place and assigned in another place, the place of assignment is also clothed with jurisdiction to entertain the suit were cited. On the basis of the principle of those cases it is urged that by reason of the order of appointment of the receiver having been passed at Pudukottai, the receiver has got right to recover the debt and the debt being deemed to have been assigned to him. The observations of Lord Esher, M. R. in the oft-quoted case in -- 'Read v. Brown', (1889) 22 Q. B. D. 128 (A), are relied on. Our attention is drawn to the meaning of the words "the cause of action" as has been understood in the said case, as every fact which is necessary for the plaintiff to prove in order to obtain a decree.

Cause of action has nowhere been defined in the Civil Procedure Code and the meaning given by Lord Esher, M. R. in that judgment has been invariably adopted by Courts in India and in considering whether a particular cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of a Court it is generally accepted that if any fact which requires to be proved and which entitled the plaintiff to a decree, that fact or event, if it had taken place at a certain place, that place could be said to be one where part of the cause of action could be held to have arisen.. In (1889) 22 Q. B. D. 128 (A)', the assignment was the cause of action and Lord Esher M. R. observed that the plaintiff will be bound to prove the assignment to him of the debt and that the assignment under Section 25, Sub-section (8) of the Judicature Act, 1873, gave to the assignee of a debt more than the mere right to sue for it; it gave him the debt and the legal right to the debt and it followed from that that he would have a legal right to sue for and recover it.

In that case and in the line of cases following (1889) 22 QBD 128 (A)' the plaintiff by reason of his becoming the assignee of the debt, and the assignment having been made by a party to the document and the plaintiff having thereby acquired a right to the debt, the assignment was properly considered to be a vital factor in the establishment of the right to recover the debt.

The order of appointment of receiver is only to empower him to realise the amount and to await the further directions of the court as regards its disposal if such directions had not been given at the time of the appointment of receiver. The appointment of a receiver in respect of a debt would not be tantamount to an assignment in his favour of the debt itself and the present case does not warrant the application of the principles of the cases cited. To hold otherwise would in our view lead to very disastrous consequences since a receiver appointed by a Court to collect certain outstandings arising out of a business or out of a contract due by persons residing in places outside the jurisdiction, off the Court would claim the right to recover the amount at the place where he was appointed receiver, apart from the various other complications arising from such a conclusion. We arc unable, therefore, to accept the contention of the learned counsel and we are in agreement with the learned Subordinate Judge that the Pudukottai court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

7. The appeal is dismissed. The respondents are not represented and there will be no order as to costs. The plaintiff is given two weeks' time for presenting the plaint to the proper court.


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