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Verco Private Ltd. and ors. Vs. Newandram Naraindas and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1973)2MLJ92
AppellantVerco Private Ltd. and ors.
RespondentNewandram Naraindas and anr.
Cases ReferredSeth Tulsidoss Lalchand v. G. Rajagopal and Ors.
Excerpt:
.....provisions of the securitisation act and the rules made thereunder. use of the word if does not connote a condition precedent. it is a recognised rule of interpretation of statutes that expressions used therein should ordinarily be understood in a sense in which they harmonized with the object of the statute and which effectuate the object of the legislature. the provisions of section 17 must, therefore, receive such construction at the hands of the court as would advance the object and at any event not thwart it. in other words, the principle of purposive interpretation should be applied while construing the said provisions. the securitisation act is enacted to provide a speedy and summary remedy for recovery of thousands of crores which were due to the banks and financial institutions. .....that the plaintiff, the first respondent herein, advanced a sum of rs. 10,000 under the promissory note exhibit a-2, with interest thereon at 1.80 per cent. per mensem and that in respect of the said promissory note, the first defendant has paid to the plaintiff only rs. 6,000 and failed to pay the balance. in paragraph 6 of the plaint it is stated that the defendants are liable to pay the balance of rs. 4,000 and a sum of rs. 216 by way of interest from 9th september, 1966 till the date of suit. hence the suit was instituted for the recovery of a sum of rs. 4, 216. the defendants put forward various defences. one such defence which was put forward with reference to exhibit a-2 promissory note was that it had been materially altered by the plaintiff and consequently it was inoperative.....
Judgment:

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. Defendants 1 and 3 to 5 in O.S. No. 106 of 1967, on the file of the VIII Assistant Judge, City Civil Court, Madras, who succeeded before the trial Judge, but lost before the Appellate Judge are the appellants herein. The suit was instituted by the first respondent herein for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 4,216, on the basis of Exhibit A-2, the promissory note, said to have been executed by the second defendant on behalf of the first defendant as its Managing Director. The suit has been filed under Order 37, Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The plaint avers that the plaintiff, the first respondent herein, advanced a sum of Rs. 10,000 under the promissory note Exhibit A-2, with interest thereon at 1.80 per cent. per mensem and that in respect of the said promissory note, the first defendant has paid to the plaintiff only Rs. 6,000 and failed to pay the balance. In paragraph 6 of the plaint it is stated that the defendants are liable to pay the balance of Rs. 4,000 and a sum of Rs. 216 by way of interest from 9th September, 1966 till the date of suit. Hence the suit was instituted for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 4, 216. The defendants put forward various defences. One such defence which was put forward with reference to Exhibit A-2 promissory note was that it had been materially altered by the plaintiff and consequently it was inoperative and no suit could be instituted thereon. The material alteration 'is said to be the insertion of the rate of interest in the document. The first respondent gave evidence as P.W. 1 and he admitted that after the promissory note was executed, he inserted the rate of interest at Rs. 1.80 per cent. per month, that the figure 1.80 and the word ' month' occurring in Exhibit A-2 were written by him while the other portions of the document were written by the second defendant and that this writing by P.W. 1 was subsequent to the execution of the document. It was on this basis, it was contended on behalf of the defendants that the promissory note was materially altered and so it could not be sued upon. Relying upon the decision of this Court in Seth Tulsidoss Lalchand v. G. Rajagopal and Ors. : (1967)2MLJ66 , the learned trial Judge dismissed the suit. As against the dismissal, the first respondent herein preferred an appeal and the learned First Additional Judge, City Civil Court, Madras on 29th July, 1969, allowed the appeal and decreed the suit as prayed for. Hence the present second appeal by defendants 1 and 3 to 6.

2. On the admitted facts that the first respondent Inserted the rate of interest and the word month, after the document was executed 'by the second defendant, is clear that the promissory note has been materially altered. Similar were the facts before Alagiriswami, J., in the case referred to above and the learned Judge following an earlier Judgment of Srinivasan, J., in C.R.P. No. 1544 of 1957, held that the promissory note so altered was inoperative and therefore could not be sued upon. Consequently, in my opinion, the judgment of Alagiriswami, J., referred to above directly applies to the facts of this case and therefore the suit initiated by the respondent herein was liable to be dismissed, as was done rightly by the learned trial Judge.

3. Mr. Vasudevan, the learned Counsel I for the first respondent, contends before me that there is a distinguishing feature which was not present in the case before Alagiriswami, J. This distinguishing feature is that P. W. I had stated in his evidence that the parties had previously agreed to pay interest at the rate mentioned above and since the same was not carried out by the second defendant, he (the plaintiff) filled up the rate of interest in the document Exhibit A-2 and therefore under Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the promissory note could not be said to have become inoperative so as to prevent the first respondent from suing thereon. Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, so far as is relevant, is as follows:

Any material alteration of a negotiable instrument renders the same void as against anyone, who is a party thereto at the time of making such alteration and does not consent thereto, unless it was made in order to carry out the common intention of the original parties.

It is the last portion of this section which is relied on by the learned Counsel and on which the learned First Additional Judge, City Civil Court, Madras, has decided in favour of the first respondent. I am unable to hold that this provision is attracted to the facts of this case. P. W. I has not stated in his evidence that there was a common intention of the parties at the time when the promissory note was executed to pay interest at the rate mentioned above and that only for the purpose of giving effect to the common intention he inserted that rate. P.W. 1 has not mentioned any such thing in his evidence. Mr. Vasudevan relied on the fact that a sum of Rs. 900 has been paid towards interest by the defendants and stated that this shows that there was an agreement between the parties to pay interest at the rate inserted in the promissory note. No doubt, this contention was put forward before the trial Judge, but the defendants disputed that they had paid any such sum of Rs. 900 towards interest. However, before the learned First Additional Judge an application was filed by the first respondent herein to receive two documents as additional evidence, one being a counterfoil of a chalan for having paid into the Canara Bank Ltd., Rs. 900 to the credit of the first respondent, and the other being a copy of the account of the first respondent with the Canara Bank Ltd. The former was marked by the First Additional Judge as Exhibit A-9 dated 9th April, 1966 and the latter was marked as Exhibit A-10 dated 24th August, 1968. I am clearly of the opinion that neither of these documents establishes the fact that the defendants have paid a sum of Rs. 900 towards interest. My reasons for this conclusion are these : (1) the first respondent-plaintiff in his plaint did not refer to the fact that a sum of Rs. 900 was received towards interest in advance and that was the reason why he was claiming interest on the balance due only from 9th September, 1966. (2) Even P.W. 1 had not stated in his evidence that a sum of Rs. 900 was received towards interest covering a period of five months from the date of Exhibit A-2, till 8th September, 1966. (3) The plaintiff had not produced his account book into the Court to show that he had credited a sum of Rs. 900 in the accounts of the defendants towards interest. (4) Exhibit A-9 does not show that the cheque issued by the defendants was deposited into the Bank on 9th April, 1966. (5) Even Exhibit A-10 does not show that it was the cheque for Rs. 900 drawn by the defendants which was credited to the account of the plaintiff. Therefore it is clear that there is absolutely no evidence to show that the defendants have paid Rs. 900 towards interest for a period of five months, namely, from 9th April, 1966 to 8th September, 1966. This is independent of my conclusion that P. W. 1 had not stated in his evidence that there had been a common intention between the parties to pay interest at the rate mentioned in Exhibit A-2 and in order to give effect to that intention he inserted the figure regarding thereto and the word ' month' in Exhibit A-2. Therefore I am clearly of the opinion that the last portion of Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act extracted above and relied upon by the learned Counsel for the first respondent has no application to the circumstances of this case. The conclusion of the learned First Additional Judge is therefore erroneous.

4. The second appeal is therefore allowed, the judgment and decree of the learned First Additional Judge dated 29th July, 1969 in A.S. No. 248 of 1968 are set aside and those of the learned VIII Assistant Judge (Trial Judge) dated 9th March, 1968 in O.S. No. 106 of 1967 are restored. The appellants will be entitled to their costs from the fist respondent throughout

5. No leave.


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