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Subramanya Chettyar Vs. Arunachellam Chettyar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in16Ind.Cas.692
AppellantSubramanya Chettyar
RespondentArunachellam Chettyar and ors.
Cases ReferredRaja Krishna Das v. The Municipal Board of Benares
Excerpt:
contract act (ix of 1872,), section 70 - claim for compensation--benefit to defendant--further acts to he done by defendant to reap benefits of plaintiff's act--applicability of section. - .....case is that he repair a certain channel. he holds a village called pambur irrigated by a branch channel leading from koothankal which itself takes its rise from the vaigai river. he alleges that lower down, certain channels used to take off irrigating a village belonging to the sndants, that plaintiff expended money in repairing the koothankal from a point, a deal above the place where his branch channel takes off from the koothankal and up to his own village, that the defendants have been benefited by the repairs made by him, that he made the repairs on behalf of himself and the owners of other villages, including the defendants, that he did not intend to do so gratuitously and that, therefore, he is entitled to recover contribution from the defendants on account of the.....
Judgment:

1. The basis of the plaintiff's claim before the Subordinate Judge was undoubtedly Section 70 of the Contract Act. The plaintiffs case is that he repair a certain channel. He holds a village called Pambur irrigated by a branch channel leading from Koothankal which itself takes its rise from the Vaigai river. He alleges that lower down, certain channels used to take off irrigating a village belonging to the Sndants, that plaintiff expended money in repairing the Koothankal from a point, a deal above the place where his branch channel takes off from the Koothankal and up to his own village, that the defendants have been benefited by the repairs made by him, that he made the repairs on behalf of himself and the owners of other villages, including the defendants, that he did not intend to do so gratuitously and that, therefore, he is entitled to recover contribution from the defendants on account of the expenditure incurred by him.

2. It is admitted that there is now no branch channel which irrigates the defendant's village taking off from the Koothankal. Assuming that a branch channel existed at one time, the defendant would derive no benefit from the repairs -unless he re-excavates a branch channel. At present, no benefit has been actually derived by the defendant from repairs made by plaintiff. It is quite clear that the plaintiff has, therefore, no present cause of action for contribution. It was clearly laid down in Damodara Mudaliar v. The Secretary of State for India 18 M.K 88 : 4 M.L.J. 205, that one of the essential requisites, which a plaintiff claiming compensation under Section 70 must prove, is that the defendant actually has received benefit. See also Raja Krishna Das v. The Municipal Board of Benares 27 A.K 592 : (1905) A.W.N. 111 : 2 A.L.J. 321. It is argued that the plaintiff would be entitled, under Section 70 to compensation in all cases where the act done by the plaintiff would) be beneficial if the defendant could derive advantage from the act by any further acts to be done by him. This is a proposition for which there is absolutely no warrant. The defendant is not bound to do anything for his own benefit and plaintiff has no right to compel him indirectly to do so by claiming compensation in the case of this sort. The second appeal is dismissed with costs.


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