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A. Narayana Nair Vs. the Secretary, Triplicane Urban Co-operative Society, Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Socierties;Civil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1948Mad272; (1948)1MLJ331a
AppellantA. Narayana Nair
RespondentThe Secretary, Triplicane Urban Co-operative Society, Ltd.
Excerpt:
- - the defendant in the pleas filed on his behalf maintained that the dismissal of the plaintiff was for good and sufficient cause as he was constantly absenting himself from work without leave and was shirking work and that the jurisdiction of the civil court was barred under section 51 of the madras co-operative societies act......was instituted for recovery of rs. 97-1-0 from the defendant, the secretary, triplicane urban co-operative society ltd., as damages for wrongful dismissal. the plaintiff was employed by the defendant society as driver of motor car on a monthly salary of rs. 28-0-0 plus allowances but was dismissed on the 6th april, 1945, according to the plaintiff, wrongfully and without any just cause. the defendant in the pleas filed on his behalf maintained that the dismissal of the plaintiff was for good and sufficient cause as he was constantly absenting himself from work without leave and was shirking work and that the jurisdiction of the civil court was barred under section 51 of the madras co-operative societies act. the question of jurisdiction was disposed of as a preliminary point by the.....
Judgment:

Satyanarayana Rao, J.

1. This is a revision petition by the plaintiff against the judgment of the Full Bench of the Small Causes Court, Madras, in N.T.A. No 203 of 1945, dismissing an application for new trial.

2. The suit was instituted for recovery of Rs. 97-1-0 from the defendant, the Secretary, Triplicane Urban Co-operative Society Ltd., as damages for wrongful dismissal. The plaintiff was employed by the defendant society as driver of motor car on a monthly salary of Rs. 28-0-0 plus allowances but was dismissed on the 6th April, 1945, according to the plaintiff, wrongfully and without any just cause. The defendant in the pleas filed on his behalf maintained that the dismissal of the plaintiff was for good and sufficient cause as he was constantly absenting himself from work without leave and was shirking work and that the jurisdiction of the Civil Court was barred under Section 51 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act. The question of jurisdiction was disposed of as a preliminary point by the Judge of. the Small Causes Court who upheld the objection of the defendant and directed the return of the plaint for presentation to proper Court. The plaintiff then filed an application for new trial, application No. 203 of 1945, which was disposed of by a Full Bench of the Small Causes Court. The Full Bench agreed with the contention of the learned trial Judge and confirmed his order. The plaintiff com-plains against this order.

3. The only question that arises for consideration is whether the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred by reason of Section 51 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act. According to that section,

If any dispute touching the business of a registered society arises... (c) between the society or its committee or any past committee, any officer, agent or servant or any past officer, past agent or past servant... of the society... such dispute shall be referred to the Registrar for decision.

4. An exception however is recognised in this section in respect of disputes regarding ' disciplinary action taken by the society or its committee against a paid servant of the society,' The dismissal of the plaintiff is the result of the disciplinary action taken by the defendants as the plaintiff was frequently absenting himself without leave and therefore the defendants claim that their action is justified. The dispute, therefore, now between the plaintiff and the defendant is whether the action taken by the society by way of punishing the plaintiff by dismissing him from service is proper or not and this dispute is within the exception. The reliefs claimed in the plaint also are based on the allegation that the dismissal of the plaintiff from service was wrongful. My attention has been drawn to a judgment of Kuppuswami Aiyar, J., where the learned Judge held that a claim by a dismissed servant of a Co-operative Society for recovery of provident fund, travelling allowances and the value of some stationery and postage and a small fraction of salary raised a dispute touching the ' business ' of a registered society and therefore the jurisdiction of the Civil Court was barred. It was not a case in which the dispute raised can be said to be a dispute regarding disciplinary action. Further in that case no reference was made to the exception already noticed perhaps rightly, and therefore that decision cannot be treated as authority on the construction of the exception contained in Section 51 (vide the judgment in C.R.P. No 1134 of 1940).

5. I think therefore that on a plain reading of the section the dispute in this case is a dispute which is outside the purview of Section 51 and therefore the bar imposed upon the jurisdiction of the Civil Court by that section does not arise. The result is the orders of the Courts below directing the return of the plaint for presentation to-proper Court are set aside and the suit is remanded to the trial Court for disposal on the merits and the plainttiff is entitled to costs throughout. The costs in the trial Court are fixed at Rs. 10.


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