P.R. Gokulakrishnan, J.
1. This civil revision petition arise out of the order passed by the Subordinate Judge of Nagapattinam on 3rd May, 1975 in O.S. No. 83 of 1974 on his file, regarding the admissibility of a document dated 1st November, 1973 brought into existence by the plaintiffs and the defendants in the suit.
2. The plaintiffs have come forward with the suit for declaration that the partnership business conducted by the plaintiffs and the defendants under the name and style of Visalakshi Transports has been dissolved and for directing the accounts of the partnership to be taken in terms of the dissolution agreement. The first plaintiff has been examined as P.W. 1 and through him, the plaintiffs seek to exhibit a deed of dissolution of the partnership brought into existence by the plaintiffs and the defendants on 1st November, 1973. The defendants object to the marking of the said document as an exhibit on the ground that as the document now relied on by the plaintiffs is not the original deed of dissolution of the partnership and has not been duly stamped, a copy of the same cannot be marked at all. The plaintiffs' argue that 'where a document is executed in counter-parts, each counter-pa it being executed by one or some of the parties only, each counterpart is primary evidence as against the parties executing it. From this, the learned Counsel submitted that the document can be admitted in evidence and since the necessary stamp duty and penalty have been collected, there is no difficulty for the Court to place reliance on this document.
3. Mr. R. Krishnamurthi, learned Counsel appearing for the respondents, submitted that the original is with the plaintiffs, that they have not produced the same, that the document sought to be produced now is only a copy and cannot be a counter-part as envisaged in Section 62 of the Evidence Act and that the same cannot be exhibited. He also referred to the meaning given in Venkatarama Aiyah's Law Lexicon for the term 'Counter-part' and also to Article 25 of the First Schedule to the Indian Stamp Act. As far as Article 25 of the First Schedule to the Indian Stamp Act is concerned, it simply states the stamp duty payable on a counter-part or a duplicate. Hence, an unstamped counter-part can be validated by payment of proper stamp duty and penalty therefor. In this case/the petitioners have paid both the stamp duty and the penalty as per the direction given by the trial Court on its administrative side.
4. As regards the meaning of 'counterpart', Venkatarama Aiyah's Law Lexicon gives it as, 'duplicate; when a deed is prepared in two or more identical forms, the part signed by the grantor is the original, the other parts are counterparts'. As far as the present case is concerned, all the five documents are signed by all the parties concerned, and the only difference is that except one document which has been written on stamp papers of the value of Rs. 2-50P. the other documents have been written on plain white paper. Venkatarama Aiyah's Law Lexicon defines a 'copy' as follows: 'When a document is an accurate and full reproduction of the original it would be a copy'. A counter part will satisfy all the requirements of a copy. But, at the same time, it can be a counter-part instead of those mentioned in Section 62 of the Evidence Act are satisfied. Mr. Krishnamurthi brought to my notice Section 63 of the Evidence Act, wherein, secondary evidence is stated to include copies referred to therein. Definitely, the present document will not come under any one of the categories mentioned in Section 63 of the Evidence Act inasmuch this document, though a copy of the original, has been signed by every one of the partners and has been handed over to each one of the partners to be kept as a document evidencing the agreement for dissolution. Thus, it is clear from the facts of the present case that the document now sought to be produced can be easily stated to be a counter-part coming under Section 62 of the Evidence Act and as such, the same can be admitted in evidence. The petitioners have also paid the necessary stamp duty and penalty therefore and as such, the document can be straightway taken in as admissible in evidence. With these findings, the civil revision petition is allowed. There will be no order as to costs.