1. This is a Letters Patent appeal from a judgment of Sundaram Chetty, J., in Second Appeal. The suit was one against the Secretary of State for India in Council as defendant 1 and some other defendants in possession of the suit lands in order to establish the plaintiff's right to resume, the suit inams and for a declaration that defendant 1 had no right to enfranchise these inams and also for the recovery of possession of the lands ejecting the defendants therefrom. There were two plaintiffs. Plaintiff 1 had sold the suit village to plaintiff 2 and under the contract of sale plaintiff 2 had been put in possession of the village also.
2. The Courts below rejected the plaint under Order 7, Rule 11, Civil P.C., on the ground that notice under Section 80, Civil P.C., was not given by plaintiff 2 to defendant 1 in the manner required by that section. The notice in question which is Ex. 1 and which is dated 22nd July 1921 is a notice sent by plaintiff 1 only to the Government in compliance with the provisions of Section 80, Civil P.C. The question before us is and before all the lower Courts was whether the suit which is brought by two plaintiffs is maintainable when the notice required by Section 80, Civil P.C., was given by plaintiff 1 only, in other words, whether such a notice can be deemed to be a sufficient compliance with the requisites of Section 80, Civil P.C. Section 80, Civil P.C., reads as follows:
No suit shall be instituted against the Secretary of State for India in Council, or against a Public Officer in respect of any act purporting to be done by such Public Officer in his official capacity, until the expiration of two months next after notice in writing has been in the case of the Secretary of State in Council, delivered to, or left at the office of, a Secretary to the Local Government or the Collector of the District, and, in the case of a Public Officer delivered to him or left at his office, stating the cause of action, the name, description, and place of residence of the plaintiff and relief which he claims; and the plaint shall contain a statement that such notice has been so delivered or left.
3. Until the decision in Bagachand Dagadusa v. Secy. of State (1927) PC 176, there was a difference of opinion between the Indian High Courts upon the question whether it is necessary that a strict construction of Section 80, Civil P.C., should be given to it. Sundaram Chotty, J., is of the view that that decision clearly lays down that that section must be strictly complied with and admits of no liberal meaning being given to it. At p. 147 it is observed by their Lordships of the Privy Council:, 'The Act, albeit a Procedure Code, must be read in accordance with the natural meaning of its words. Section 80 is express, explicit and mandatory, and it admits of no implications or exceptions.'
Later on it is stated:
To argue, as the appellants did, that the plaintiffs had a right urgently calling for a remedy, while Section 80 is mere procedure, is fallacious, for Section 80 imposes a statutory and unqualified obligation upon the Court.
4. It is quite true that in that case their Lordships were not considering the same state of facts as we have here. What they had to consider there was whether the suit which was before them was one which could be said to be a suit within the meaning of Section 80, Civil P.C. I am of the opinion that the observations to which reference had already been made are applicable to everything and every condition contained in that section and that the section means that, where there are more plaintiffs than one claiming relief, these plaintiffs are required to give the notice provided for in that section. I agree with the view taken by Sundaram Chetty, J., that there has not been in this case a strict compliance with the mandatory provisions of Section 80, Civil P.C., the suit having been filed by two plaintiffs and only one of them having given the statutory notice. That, in my view, disposes of the first argument placed before us.
5. The second contention put before us is that, although with regard to plaintiff 2 there has been a non-compliance by him with Section 80, Civil P.C, in that he has not snven the statutory notice, never the less plaintiff 1 who has complied with the requisites of Section 80 can proceed with the suit. Sundaram Chetty, J., held that Section 80 not having been complied with plaintiff l's relief could not be severed from that of plaintiff 2; in other words, the whole suit was bad and that the plaint must be rejected. He relied upon Raghubans Puri v. Jyotis Swarupa (1907) 29 All 325, and upon Order 7, Rule 11(d), Civil P.C., which says that:
the plaint shall be rejected in the following! cases (d) where the suit appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law.
6. That provision rejects the whole plaint and not any particular part of the plaint. I agree with the view taken by Sundaram Chetty, J., upon this part of the case also. It follows that this Letters Patent Appeal must be dismissed with costs of respondent 1 only. Letters Patent Appeals Nos. 46 and 47 of 1931 are also dismissed with costs of respondent 1.
7. I agree.