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Santhanarama Mudaliar Vs. Sami Karuppundar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1921Mad455; 61Ind.Cas.537
AppellantSanthanarama Mudaliar
RespondentSami Karuppundar
Cases ReferredAntipathy Brahma v. Kurella Ramiah
Excerpt:
contract act (ix of 1872), section 23 - madras abkari act (i of 1886)--lease to unlicensed person for toddy tapping, whether legal--contract objection to, legality of--evidence, necessary--jurisdiction, objection an to, when to be taken. - .....toddy, hence the third point, that the object of the contract being illegal, i.e., tapping by an unlicensed person, no money can be recovered on it. it is clear from the authorities that offences against the abkari act are more than mere infringements of the revenue laws, that they are enacted in the interests of public policy, so that a contract directly involving any of the mischiefs contemplated by section 12 of the abkari act would be tainted with illegality under section 23 of the contrast act. the question is, is the present such a contrast it is said in an ancient case the objection that a contract is illegal or immoral as between a plaintiff and defendant sounds at all times very ill in the mouth of the defendant, and the cases seem to establish that, before the objection can.....
Judgment:

Odgers, J.

1. This is a small cause suit in which defendant has been decreed to pay the balance of a sum due on a contract with the plaintiff for the lease of certain trees for toddy-tapping. Various defenses are raised and the questions involved were argued before me at length.

2. For the defendant it was urged, (1) that the District Munsif's Court of Mannargudi had no jurisdiction to try this case agreement according to plaintiffs evidence) took place at Kilasayam in the jurisdiction of the Tiruvaloor Court, though in the plaint the contract in question is said to have arisen within the jurisdiction of the Mannargudi Court. It is not clear that any issue was raised as to this or that it was urged upon the Court below in argument. The judgment does not refer to it. It caught, of course, to have been raised at the earliest opportunity, I do not think it can be relied on in revision before me.

3. Secondly, it WAS argued that the defendant was not a surety, as found in the alternative by the District Munsif. I find no evidence whatever of the defendant ever having assumed the position of a surety for the license holder (defendant's witness No. 2). The defendant undoubtedly undertook to pay the debt himself (Exhibit A), and there is no mention there of his being anything but a principal debtor though in his evidence be says he only talked for Malasutti, who is, as a matter of fast, the license holder, the defendant having none. The District Munsif says that plaintiff swears he leased the trees to the defendant direst for the purpose of drawing toddy, Hence the third point, that the object of the contract being illegal, i.e., tapping by an unlicensed person, no money can be recovered on it. It is clear from the authorities that offences against the Abkari Act are more than mere infringements of the Revenue Laws, that they are enacted in the interests of public policy, so that a contract directly involving any of the mischiefs contemplated by Section 12 of the Abkari Act would be tainted with illegality under Section 23 of the Contrast Act. The question is, is the present Such a contrast It is said in an ancient case the objection that a contract is illegal or immoral as between a plaintiff and defendant sounds at all times very ill in the mouth of the defendant, and the cases seem to establish that, before the objection can prevail, it must be shown that defendant was practically a party to the of the Statute, which the contrast is said to contravene. Is this the case here. The plaintiff says that the defendant and Mylanta jointly owned a shop and are interested in the Utahan, He says: He lad cent there staying paddy and money. The deferndant ears be talked for Malamute the latter reysdcfercfart is not his partner. The license is purchased, and plaintiff it to be in the name of Malamute. The case Antipathy Brahma v. Kurella Ramiah 54 Ind. Cas. 45 : 38 has been quoted as showing the illegality of this proceeding. There was a loan to a partnership in the Arrack business. The licensee had taken a partner without permission and the plaintiff was held to have had notice of this illegality. The plaintiff there admitted he knew that first defendant alone had the license (as here) and also that the second defendant was taken as a partner and that the partners carried on the business. This seems to me to distinguish the cafe from the present. Here the plaintiff looked upon the defendant as the agent of the licensee. The fast that the trees when and if tapped might be so tapped by an unlicensed person, such as the defendant, does not seem to me to be material. The Abkari Act does not make a lease for tapping to an unlicensed person illegal and I am unable to see how this case falls within the mischief of Section 23 of the Indian Contrast Act. On this point the judgment of the District Munsif is right and this civil revision petition must be dismissed with costs.


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