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Kn. Pr. Periakaruppan Chettiar Vs. R.M.S.R.M. Ramaswami Chettiar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Mad491
AppellantKn. Pr. Periakaruppan Chettiar
RespondentR.M.S.R.M. Ramaswami Chettiar and anr.
Cases ReferredCarron Iron Co. v. Maclaren
Excerpt:
- .....him is heavier.3. in the present case, of the two respondents respondent 2 was not a party to the ipoh suit. respondent 1 was impleaded as defendant 1, but did not file a written statement, defendant 2 and 4 only filing a written statement alleging that the agency and partnership of the plaintiff terminated in october 1923. the suit in the devakottah court is filed on 25th november 1926. but these facts are not enough to satisfy the tests laid down in cohen v. rottifield [1919] i k.b. 410, by scrutton, l. j., where he says:unless the appellant satisfies the court that no advantage can be gained by the defendant by proceeding with the action in which he is plaintiff in another part of the king's dominions the court should not stop him from proceeding with the only proceedings which he as.....
Judgment:

1. The first question in this appeal is whether a subordinate Court in British India has power to restrain by injunction a party from prosecuting a suit in a foreign Court (though within the British Empire). The Chartered High Courts have such power, not by reason of Order 39, Rules 1 and 2, Civil P.C., but by reason of the equity jurisdiction they inherited from the old Supreme Courts: Rash Behary Dey v. Bhawani Charu Bose [1907] 34 Cal. 97 and Munglechand v. Gopalram [1907] 34 Cal. 101. Those decisions were followed in Uderan Kesaji v. Hyderally [1909] 33 Bom. 469, though the remarks of Woodroffe, J., in Hukumchand Boid v. [1909] 33 Bom. 469; Kamalanand Singh [1906] 33 Cal. 927 about the inherent powers of a Court now governed by Section 151, Civil P.C., were also relied on. But it is noteworthy that Woodroffe, J., himself in Rash Bihari Dey v. Bhawani Chan Bose [1907] 34 Cal. 97 does not rely on the inherent powers of a Court but only on the equity jurisdiction inherited from the Supreme Courts. The decision in Tikanchand Santokchand v. Santokchand Singh [1920] 24 C.W.N. 735 and Mulchand Baichand v. Gill and Coy [1920] 44 Bom. 283 do not carry the matter further. Mr. Patanjali Sastri, the learned vakil for the respondent, admits that he has not got a case in which it has been held that a Subordinate Court can exercise such a power.

2. But, assuming that the Subordinate Judge has such a power, the question arises whether this is a fit case for the exercise of jurisdiction. In this case the appellants' suit in the Supreme Court of Ipoh was the first suit, and though this fact is not conclusive in favour of his bona fides, certainly the burden on the respondents of showing that the prosecution of the suit at Ipoh is vexatious and acts oppressively towards him is heavier.

3. In the present case, of the two respondents respondent 2 was not a party to the Ipoh suit. Respondent 1 was impleaded as defendant 1, but did not file a written statement, defendant 2 and 4 only filing a written statement alleging that the agency and partnership of the plaintiff terminated in October 1923. The suit in the Devakottah Court is filed on 25th November 1926. But these facts are not enough to satisfy the tests laid down in Cohen v. Rottifield [1919] I K.B. 410, by Scrutton, L. J., where he says:

Unless the appellant satisfies the Court that no advantage can be gained by the defendant by proceeding with the action in which he is plaintiff in another part of the King's dominions the Court should not stop him from proceeding with the only proceedings which he as plaintiff can control. The principle has been repeatedly acted upon.

4. The same principle was enunciated by Lord St. Leonards in Carron Iron Co. v. Maclaren [1858] 5 H.L.C. 416. In the face of this statement of the law, it is futile to argue that Nattukotai Chetties, whose home is Southern India, have no business to file a suit in the Court of the Federated Malay States. The grounds given by the Subordinate Judge do not satisfy the tests laid down by Scrutton, L. J., in Cohen v. Rottifield [1919] I K.B. 410 and by Lord St. Leonards in Carron Iron Co. v. Maclaren [1858] 5 H.L.C. 416. We allow the appeal and dismiss the petition of the respondents with costs throughout (costs including typing of papers.)


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