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Pethu Reddiar Vs. Chidambara Reddiar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1931Mad533
AppellantPethu Reddiar
RespondentChidambara Reddiar
Cases ReferredDoraiswami Pillai v. Chinnia Goundan
Excerpt:
- .....[1918] 43 i.c. 560. sir john wallis has observed:to say that a plaintiff must be driven to a fresh suit appears to me to impose an undue hardship on litigants in india having regard to the state of the law as to court-fees and cost of litigation.5. with the greatest respect i do not think it incumbent upon the judge to relieve against what he privately may consider to be too onerous provisions in the court-fees act; and it must be remembered that some one has to pay for the upkeep of the judiciary. if the litigant is relieved, the burden is merely shifted to the general tax-paper. if it is the law that for different causes of action different suits must be brought, that law must be upheld. so, in this case, if the counter-petitioner wants the privilege of a fresh cause of action,.....
Judgment:

Jackson, J.

1. Petitioner seeks to revise the order of the District Munsif of Turaiyir allowing plaintiff to amend the plaint in O.S. 627 of 1929.

2. Plaintiff sued as endorsee of a promissory note the note was alleged by defendant to be void as infringing the Paper Currency Act. Plaintiff then obtained an assignment of the original obligation, and applied to add that cause of action to his plaint. This was allowed, and hence the petition.

3. It is conceded by petitioner that if plaintiff were payee there would be no objection to his suing on the original obligation : of. Mian Baksh v. Bodhiya : AIR1928All371 . But it is contended that the endorsee has not the same privilege. On the other hand it is maintained that the endorsee is an assignee of the actionable claim, who can sue on the debt evidenced by the note. There is no absolutely direct authority; but in the light of Muhammad Khumarali v. Ranga Rao [1901] 24 Mad. 654 and Nataraja Naicken v. Ayyasami Pillai [1917] 38 I.C. 339 this plea is at least arguable; and if it is arguable there is no reason for this Court in revision excluding it from the plaint.

4. Therefore if the plaintiff were only seeking to amplify his original cause of action, no exception could be taken to the lower Court's order. The difficulty has arisen because he wishes to add a fresh cause of action which will only be useful to him, if it is found to be extraneous to the original cause of action. That is to say, if the original cause of action is found to include the right to sue on the debt itself, as though the endorsee ranks as payee, then the fresh cause of action is otiose and useless. If on the other hand, the original cause of action is found to be strictly confined to the note, and not in the case of an endorsee capable of extension so as to include the debt then the fresh cause of action is something entirely new. The question will then arise. can a plaintiff tack on to a suit, a cause of action which is foreign to the cause of action on which that suit is brought. I think it must be held that he cannot. If the new cause of action is barred by limitation, to escape that bar by tacking is to offend a principle which the Courts have invariably maintained. If the new cause of action is not time barred, such tacking is a fraud on the revenue, since the only apparent reason for not bringing a second suit is to save the court-fee. The present case is of the latter kind unaffected by limitation. In a similar case Doraiswami Pillai v. Chinnia Goundan [1918] 43 I.C. 560. Sir John Wallis has observed:

To say that a plaintiff must be driven to a fresh suit appears to me to impose an undue hardship on litigants in India having regard to the state of the law as to court-fees and cost of litigation.

5. With the greatest respect I do not think it incumbent upon the Judge to relieve against what he privately may consider to be too onerous provisions in the Court-fees Act; and it must be remembered that some one has to pay for the upkeep of the judiciary. If the litigant is relieved, the burden is merely shifted to the general tax-paper. If it is the law that for different causes of action different suits must be brought, that law must be upheld. So, in this case, if the counter-petitioner wants the privilege of a fresh cause of action, he must pay a fresh court-fee. If on the other hand he had preferred to rely upon his original cause of action, he could have saved the expense. This is now admitted on behalf of the counter-petitioner and he is prepared to pay the additional court-fee as though he had brought a suit upon the assigned debt. I order accordingly.

6. I do not see, then that the petitioner has any further grievance. If the Munsif had refused amendment, it would only have resulted in petitioner having a second suit to defend, and the course adopted by plaintiff has probably saved him expense, and would certainly have saved him time, but for the present proceedings.

7. This petition will stand dismissed upon plaintiff paying into the lower Court the requisite court-fee within one month from this date.


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