Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. The question involved in this petition is whether the District Munsif of Calicut exercising small cause jurisdiction was right in entertaining the suit filed by the respondent against the petitioner. The respondent was the agent of a stanam and it was his duty as such to collect the rents due to the stanam and to meet all proper expenses in connection with the estate. He was appointed as the agent on the 17th September, 1931. For reasons which have not been disclosed, and in any event would not be material, he was suspended from his duties on the 21st August, 1932. His suspension was followed by his dismissal on the 17th December, 1932. The respondent filed the suit out of which this petition arises to recover from the petitioner a sum of Rs. 189-9-9. His case was that after taking into account what he had collected by way of rent and what he had expended, and the salary due to him during his period of suspension together with the peon's salary which he had himself met, the petitioner was liable in the sum mentioned. The petitioner objected to the jurisdiction of the Court on the ground that this was a suit for an account within the meaning of Article 31 of the second schedule to the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887. Article 31 excludes from small cause jurisdiction a suit for an account. The District Munsif held that this was not a suit for an account within the meaning of Article 31 and passed a decree for Rs. 106-5-0 with interest and costs.
2. It is manifest that the District Munsif was right in holding that he had jurisdiction to try the suit. As was pointed out by a Bench of this Court in Konduru Rung a Reddi v. Subbiah Setty and Kumbahala Subbamma I.L.R.(1904) 28 Mad. 394, a suit for an account is a special form of suit. It does not embrace every case in which accounts have to be looked into to ascertain the amount due to the plaintiff. A special process is required to take an account and Small Cause Courts have no means of dealing with such an action. I may add that suit for an account implies that the plaintiff is entitled under the substantive law to demand an account from the defendant. If he establishes the right the defendant is called upon to submit an account and if he fails to comply he does so at his own risk. If the account is submitted the plaintiff may file objections. When the preliminaries are completed the account is taken by the Court, usually through an officer appointed for the purpose.
3. A similar decision to that in Konduru Runga Reddi v. Subbiah Setty and Kumbahala Subbamma I.L.R.(1904) 28 Mad. 394 was given by another Bench of this Court in Varadarajulu Chettiar v. Pattra Narayanaswami Chetti : (1913)24MLJ693 . Konduru Runga Reddi v. Subbiah Setti and Kumbahala Subbamma I.L.R. (1904) 28 Mad. 394, was followed by Abdur Rahman, J., in Ramachandra Madhavadoss Co. v. Moidunkutti Birankutti & Bros : AIR1938Mad707 . A dissentient note was, however, sounded by Venkatasubba Rao, J., in Abdul Rahiman Rowther v. Jamalluddin Sahib & Co. : AIR1938Mad799 . The learned Judge considered that the substance of the suit had to be looked into and if it involved the taking of an account it was a suit for an account wi-thin the meaning of Article 31. The learned Judge referred to the decision in Konduru Runga Reddi v. Subbiah Setty and Kumbahala Subbamma I.L.R. (1904) 28 Mad. 394, by which he was bound but he did not follow it. The opinion which Venkatasubba Rro, J., expressed is not only contrary to the authorities which were binding on him, but is clearly one which cannot be supported.
4. In the present case the respondent was in effect suing for an indemnity against his principal. Section 222 of the Indian Contract Act says that the employer of an agent is bound to indemnify him against the consequences of all lawful acts done by such agent in exercise of the authority conferred upon him. An employer can call upon his agent for an account, but an agent cannot call upon his employer for an account.
5. The decision of the District Munsif that he had jurisdiction to entertain the suit was right. The petition therefore fails and must be dismissed with costs.