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Sattaya Padayachi and ors. Vs. Soundrathatchi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1924Mad448; 79Ind.Cas.1017
AppellantSattaya Padayachi and ors.
RespondentSoundrathatchi
Cases ReferredDin Ram v. Hari Das
Excerpt:
civil procedure code (act v of 1908) order iv, rule 1 - presentation of plaint--presentation to judge outside office hours and away from court--validity of. - - it is a matter which is not without authority, for precisely the same circumstances arose in din ram v. i should like it to be understood that, so far as i am personally concerned, any such application would be received by me with disfavour......limitation act runs thus: 'subject to the provisions contained in sections to 25 inclusive every suit instituted, appeal preferred and applications made after the period of limitation prescribed therefore, by the first schedule shall be dismissed.' it is argued that the suit was not instituted on that day. now turning to the civil procedure code, order iv, rule 1, provides that 'every suit shall be instituted by presenting a plaint to the court or such officer as it appoints in this behalf.' the judge of the court could appoint himself or anyone else as the officer to whom a particular plaint was to be presented. there is nothing in the rule to show that the presentation must be within office hours, or must be to the officer appointed at the court or at any particular place and i see.....
Judgment:

Walter Salis Schwabe, C.J.

1. This is an appeal under the Letters Patent, Oldfield and Venkatasubba Rao, JJ. having differed in A.A.O. No. 226 of 1922.

The point is a very short one. The Judge of a Court in the Moffusil having risen for the day went to his club. At his club he was approached by a Vakil who asked him to receive a plaint, it being the last day for the expiration of the period of limitation. The learned Judge accepted the plaint and cancelled the stamp on it by writing upon it the words 'presented to me by' giving the name of the Vakil 'at 7-30 p. m.' and sighed and dated it. It is argued that nevertheless that suit is barred, because it has not been instituted within the period of limitation. Section 3 of the Limitation Act runs thus: 'Subject to the provisions contained in sections to 25 inclusive every suit instituted, appeal preferred and applications made after the period of limitation prescribed therefore, by the first schedule shall be dismissed.' It is argued that the suit was not instituted on that day. Now turning to the Civil Procedure Code, Order IV, Rule 1, provides that 'every suit shall be instituted by presenting a plaint to the Court or such officer as it appoints in this behalf.' The Judge of the Court could appoint himself or anyone else as the Officer to whom a particular plaint was to be presented. There is nothing in the Rule to show that the presentation must be within office hours, or must be to the Officer appointed at the Court or at any particular place and I see no reason at all why if a Judge so chooses, he should not constitute himself the Officer to receive the particular plaint at any place that he chooses. It is a matter which is not without authority, for precisely the same circumstances arose in Din Ram v. Hari Das 14 Ind. Cas. 744 : 34 A. 482 : 9 A.L.J. 743. In that case the memorandum of appeal was presented to the District Judge at his private residence after office hours and he accepted it taking the precaution to state that it would be admitted subject to his having got the power to do so. The Full Bench of Allahabad held that he had the power. The Division Bench here differs, Oldfield, J. stating that the ruling in Din Ram v. Hari Das 14 Ind. Cas. 744 : 34 A. 482 : 9 A.L.J. 743. had no application to Madras, because although in Allahabad it might be the custom for a Judge to be approached outside Courts, in his experience it has not been so in Madras. Venkatasubba Rao, J. on the other hand, gave instances of numerous kinds of applications to his knowledge that had been made to Judges in Madras when away from the Court and outside or during office hours.

2. I agree with the Full Bench decision in 34 All. 482 and I see no reason at all to say that the same principle should not be applied in Madras. The appeal will be dismissed with costs.

Coutts Trotter, J.

3. I am of the same opinion. I think that what pressed Oldfield, J, was the idea that, if you state that a Judge may receive plaints in this way out of office hours, you are committed to the further proposition that he must. With great respect to the learned Judge, I think that that is a fallacy. I think, that it is in the discretion of the Judge to act as he did on this case or refuse to do so and, if the thing became a nuisance, I have no doubt that Judges would refuse to oblige litigants by taking documents in this way. I should like it to be understood that, so far as I am personally concerned, any such application would be received by me with disfavour.

Ramesam, J.

4. I agree with the judgments just delivered.


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