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Sreepathi Hosiery Mills (P) Ltd., Calcutta and anr. Vs. Chitra Knitting Co., Tiruppur - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.R.P. No. 1628 of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1977Mad258
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 19 and 20
AppellantSreepathi Hosiery Mills (P) Ltd., Calcutta and anr.
RespondentChitra Knitting Co., Tiruppur
Excerpt:
- .....the quantum of damages so as to bring it within the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court of the district munsif of tiruppur. the defendants inter alia contended that the district munsif court, tiruppur, had no jurisdiction to entertain the action. they raised other defences also with which we are not now concerned. the court was asked to take up the issue regarding jurisdiction as a preliminary issue and the learned district munsif held that he had jurisdiction to try the suit.2. the learned district munsif noted both ss. 19 and 20, c.p.c. section 20, though it appears to be omnibus in nature, is subject to the limitations mentioned in the chapter. one such limitation is contained in s. 19. section 19 reads as follows-'where a suit is for compensation for wrong done to the person or.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. In spite of S. 19, C.P.C., the Court below was wrong in having entertained the action on the foot that it had jurisdiction to do so. The short facts leading to the present action are as follows. The defendants who were admittedly resident of Calcutta gave a complaint against the goods manufactured by the plaintiff and sent to Bombay for sale and consumption. It is not in dispute that consequent upon such a complaint preferred by the out-of-the State residents the Bombay police took action and seized the plaintiff's goods. The case of the plaintiff was that the defendants misled the police to believe that the consignment of banians and hosieries sent by him from Tiruppur to Bombay bore false name or false mark. He therefore came forward with a suit for damages for loss of reputation and business and filed the action limiting the quantum of damages so as to bring it within the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court of the District Munsif of Tiruppur. The defendants inter alia contended that the District Munsif Court, Tiruppur, had no jurisdiction to entertain the action. They raised other defences also with which we are not now concerned. The Court was asked to take up the issue regarding jurisdiction as a preliminary issue and the learned District Munsif held that he had jurisdiction to try the suit.

2. The learned District Munsif noted both Ss. 19 and 20, C.P.C. Section 20, though it appears to be omnibus in nature, is subject to the limitations mentioned in the chapter. One such limitation is contained in S. 19. Section 19 reads as follows-

'Where a suit is for compensation for wrong done to the person or to moveable property, if the wrong was done within the local limits of the jurisdiction of one court and the defendant resides or carries on business or personally works for gain within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another court, the suit may be instituted at the option of the plaintiff in either of the said court.'

Whenever a suit for compensation for wrong done to person or to moveable property is filed, the option is with the plaintiff to either institute the case based on such case of action at the place where the defendant resides or works for gain or at the place where the wrong was committed. There is no way out of this limitation as to jurisdiction envisaged in Section 19, C.P.C. The argument is that the plaintiff has examined a witness who has sworn to the fact that he heard about the alleged damage done to the plaintiff. If this were to be the basis on which jurisdiction can be created or vested in Civil Court, then S. 19 would be otiose. When the Code, which more or less lays down the substantive law, though procedural in aspect, regarding such matters of jurisdiction, creates certain peripheries and limitations, particularly in the matter of the laying of suits in the forum of specified courts, then no option is left to the litigant except to strictly adhere to such prescriptions in the section of the Code. Section 19 is a specific section. It says that, where a suit for compensation for wrong done to person is laid, it should be filed at the place where the wrong is done or at the place where the author of the wrong resides or works for gain. There being no other choice available to the litigant who wishes to seek such compensation, he cannot whittle down the express prescription in S. 19 of the C.P.C., and lay emphasis on the oral evidence casually let in by him so as to create or vest jurisdiction in the court, which has none. The order of the Court below is therefore erroneous and suffers from an error of jurisdiction. The order is set aside and the lower Court is directed to return the plaint to the plaintiff of being presented to the proper and appropriate court. The civil revision petition is allowed. There will be no order as to costs.

3. Revision allowed.


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