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Ujjal Talukdar Vs. Netai Chand Koley - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Case No. 1295 of 1968
Reported inAIR1969Cal224,74CWN404
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 9 and 20
AppellantUjjal Talukdar
RespondentNetai Chand Koley
Appellant AdvocateB.K. Ghose, ;Biswajit Ghose, ;Benoy Bhushan Dutta, ;Tapendra Narayan Roy Chowdhury and ;Samir Kumar Mookerjee, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateP.N. Mitra and ;Mukul Gopal Mukherjee, Advs.
Cases ReferredLee v. Showmen
- orderbijayesh mukherji, j.1. this rule under section 115 of the procedure code (5 of 1908), issued by chatterjee, j., on april 29, 1968, has, as its genesis, a one-day cricket match played on january 14, 1968, on george telegraph sports ground in the calcutta maidan, between belgachia united club and george telegraph sports club, both the clubs belonging to group 'e' of the second division league. 'belgachia' --that is how i shorten the full name of the club -- lost the toss and was asked to bat first, which it did, to collect 155 runs for the loss of five wickets, by 12.05 hours, when due to rains, the game 'had to be stopped by the umpire,' who, however, held no discussion with the captains of the two competing teams: vide paragraph 9 of the plaint presented by 'belgachia's' honorary.....

Bijayesh Mukherji, J.

1. This rule under Section 115 of the Procedure Code (5 of 1908), issued by Chatterjee, J., on April 29, 1968, has, as its genesis, a one-day cricket match played on January 14, 1968, on George Telegraph Sports ground in the Calcutta Maidan, between Belgachia United Club and George Telegraph Sports Club, both the clubs belonging to Group 'E' of the Second Division League. 'Belgachia' --that is how I shorten the full name of the club -- lost the toss and was asked to bat first, which it did, to collect 155 runs for the loss of five wickets, by 12.05 hours, when due to rains, the game 'had to be stopped by the Umpire,' who, however, held no discussion with the Captains of the two competing teams: vide paragraph 9 of the plaint presented by 'Belgachia's' Honorary Secretary. Ujjal Talukdar, qua plaintiff, in the Court of a Munsiff at Sealdah, being suit No. 97 of 1968. 'Belgachia' requested the sole defendant in that suit, Netai Chand Koley, Honorary Secretary, Cricket Association of Bengal (for short, CAB hereafter), to arrange for a replay of the match, upon the result of which depended not only the Group Championship of Group 'E' of the Second Division League, but also the Championship of the Second Division League itself, leading ultimately to the promotion to the First Division League. On February 9, 1968, 'Belgachia' was verbally informed of the decision of the Tournament Committee that the match of January 14, 1968, would be reckoned as a drawn game, with the points equally divided between the two teams. On February 10, 1968, 'Belgachia' appealed to CAB's Working Committee. On February 15, 1968, the Working Committee affirmed the descision of the Tournament Committee, rejected 'Belgachia's' appeal, and decided to go ahead with the Second Division Championship matches amongst the different Group Champions. On February 19, 1968, 'Belgachia' received, at 25 Indra Biswas Road, a letter dated February 17, 1968, from the CAB's Honorary Secretary, Koley, communicating the decision of the Working Committee: vide paragraph 23 of the plaint ibid.

2. This led 'Belgachia' to file the suit it did, through its Honorary Secretary Ujjal Talukdar, in the court of a munsiff at Sealdah, on February 23, 1968, for, amongst others, a declaration that the decision dated February 15, 1968, of the CAB Working Committee, confirming the decision of the Tournament Committee that the match between 'Belgachia' and George Telegraph Sports Club, on January 14 previous, was to be regarded as a drawn game, is bad at law and inoperative, and also for a permanent injunction restraining the CAB from holding the Second Division Cricket League Championship by keeping out 'Belgachia'.

3. On the very day the suit was filed, a temporary injunction was prayed for too. The learned Munsiff, after having wavered between one view and another on the twin question of territorial jurisdiction and the suit being a suit of civil nature, as his orders in the order-sheets reveal, granted, in the end, the temporary injunction, on March 11, 1968, holding, among other things:

1. 'Belgachia' has a fair prima fade case in support of the right claimed.

2. There is greater convenience in granting than in refusing the injunction.

3. Part of the cause of action for the suit arose within his jurisdiction, in that 'Belgachia' had received the letter dated February 17, 1968, from CAB Secretary Koley on February 19, 1968, at Indra Biswas Road, a place within the territorial limits of his jurisdiction.

4. The defendant, CAB Secretary Koley, appealed. On April 24, 1968, the learned Appellate Judge reversed the Munsiff and rejected the prayer for a temporary injunction, holding, inter alia,

1. The suit is not a suit of civil nature within the meaning of Section 9 of the Procedure Code.

2. Even if it is, the Civil Court has no jurisdiction to sit in appeal over the decision of a domestic body like the CAB and to substitute its view for the view taken by such a body: a matter within its exclusive jurisdiction,

3. The Munsiff has no territorial jurisdiction to try the suit.

4. All this apart, no title to injunction has been made out.

5. This is why 'Belgachia's' Secretary Ujjal Talukdar came to this Court in revision and obtained on April 29, 1968, from Chatterjee, J., the rule, as also a stay, concerning the appellate order of reversal, refusing the injunction he had prayed the Court for.

6. Before I come to the merits of the rule, a little more has to be noticed yet, if only to complete the narration of facts. On May 3, 1968, Chatterjee, J., heard the rule in part. His Lordship was of opinion that the suit 'which relates to the Cricket League should be decided as early as possible.' With that end in view, and, in particular, because of the matter having been 'urged in three courts,' no less because of the defendant seeking 'to raise certain preliminary points' capable of being 'decided on questions of law alone independent of any evidence', -- points which 'should be decided at an early date', -- his Lordship formulated them:

1. whether the suit is maintainable In view of the fact that it relates to nothing of a civil nature';

2. 'whether the suit is maintainable la view of the Rules of the Cricket Association of Bengal League', and

3. 'whether the Court has territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit.'

Having formulated the points so, Ms Lordship directed the Munsiff to 'decide those issues' within three weeks, adjourned the hearing of the rule accordingly, and relaxed the interim stay granted on April 29, 1968, by allowing the CAB to 'fix the rest of the games as under the Rules in the meantime', and at the same time restraining the CAB from determining the championship, as also promotion to the First Division League.

7. On May 18, 1968, the Munsiff framed the following three issues, 'as desired by the High Court':

1. Is the suit a suit of civil nature?

2. Is the suit maintainable in view of the rules of the CAB?

3. Has this Court territorial jurisdiction to try the suit?

(See Order No. 20 dated May 18, 1968, In the order-sheets.)

8. The Munsiff, it seems, misread the direction of Chatterjee, J. The first issue or point formulated by him reads:

'whether the suit is maintainable in view of the fact that it relates to nothing of a civil nature.'

It was not, therefore, open to the Munsiff to strike the first issue he did, keeping at large the question of the suit being a suit of civil nature -- a question which Chatterjee, J., had closed, by recording that 'it relates to nothing of a civil nature:'

9. Be that as it may, on May 21, 1968, the Munsiff entered into evidence -- oral and documentary. The defendant called witnesses. The plaintiff did not Usual hearing and arguments over, the Munsiff recorded an order on May 27, 1968, answering the first issue -- whether or no the suit is of a civil nature -- in favour of the plaintiff, and the remaining two --(i) maintainability in the face of the CAB rules and (ii) territorial jurisdiction --In favour of the defendant. Still he did not, as indeed he could not, record a final decision dismissing the suit, because this rule did pend then.

10. Meanwhile Chatterjee, J., was assigned to a different Bench. He, had, therefore, the case put up before him in Chambers, on June 13, 1968, and ordered:

'There is no order stating that the matter be treated as heard in part by me. The matter will not be so treated.

Let the matter be placed before the appropriate Bench for hearing.'

This is how the matter comes up before me.

11. The first question to which I address myself is whether the Court of the Munsiff at Sealdah has territorial jurisdiction or not to try the suit. The impugned match was played on George Telegraph Sports ground in the Calcutta Maidan. Due to rains, the game 'had to be stopped by the umpire', as the plaint, by paragraph 9, avers. Right or wrong, a decision as this was given right there at the Calcutta Maidan, a place beyond the territorial limits of the Sealdah Court's jurisdiction. The request by 'Belgachia' for a replay of the abandoned game of January 14, 1968, was made to Secretary Koley of CAB in Calcutta too. The Tournament Committee decided, at Calcutta again, that the aforesaid match would be taken as a drawn game. Its decision was verbally communicated to 'Belgachia' on February 9, 1968, and at Calcutta too. On the day following (February 10) 'Belgachia' appealed to the CAB, 'Eden Gardens, Calcutta' through its Honorary Secretary. The Working Committee of the CAB, in, a meeting held on February 15, 1968, at the NCC Pavilion, Eden Gardens, Calcutta, at 6 p.m. deliberated upon such appeal, called upon Belgachia's representative. Dr. Manab Munshi, present in the meeting, to say what he had to, in support of the appeal, unanimously upheld the Tournament Committee, and necessarily rejected Belgachia's appeal. A decision as this was communicated right there to the said Dr. Munshi, as is the evidence of Ashok Kumar Chatterjee, a member of the CAB Working Committee, present in that meeting.

12. What goes in the preceding paragraph is a complete catalogue of all the facts which are material to be proved to entitle 'Belgachia', the plaintiff, to succeed -- facts each of which CAB, the defendant, would have a right to traverse: just the definition of 'cause of action' (with a little adaptation) by Bret, J., in Cooke v. Gill, (1873) 8 CP 107. Or take the definition by Fry, L.J., in Bead v, Brown, (1888) 22 QB 128:

'Everything which, if not proved, gives the defendant an immediate right to judgment must be part of the cause of action.'-

a definition which, as Gajendragadkar, J., then presiding over a division of the Bombay High Court in Baroda Oil Cake Traders v. Parshottam Narayandas : AIR1954Bom491 , puts it, has become a classic on the subject. 'Belgachia' fails to prove any one of the facts catalogued in the preceding paragraph at its peril. Peril -- because such failure gives CAB, the defendant, an immediate right to judgment. This being the cause of action for the suit in hand, it becomes plain that the appropriate Calcutta Court has, -- and the Sealdah Court has not, -- the territorial jurisdiction to try it, unless there be anything to the contrary.

13. It is said, on behalf of 'Belgachia', the petitioner before me, that there is something to the contrary. To one more definition of 'cause of action': it is a bundle of essential facts necessary to be proved by the plaintiff in order to succeed hi his suit: Gajendragadkar, J., in the Baroda Oil Cake Traders case. : AIR1954Bom491 (supra). The facts set out in paragraph 11 ante do make this bundle. But, 'Belgachia' says, another fact enters this bundle: that on February 19, 1968, it received CAB's letter dated February 17, previous, at 25 Indra Biswas Road, within the territorial limits of the Sealdah Court's jurisdiction, as averred in paragraph 23 of the plaint. It is that letter by which CAB Secretary Koley communicated to 'Belgachia' the Working Committee's decision dated February 15, 1968, upholding the Tournament Committee and rejecting 'Belgachia's' appeal. The original letter is exhibit 2. It is to the address of

'The Hony, General Secretary, Belgachia United Club, Club Pavilion. Tala Park, Calcutta-37.'

No Indra Biswas Road is here. But that does not matter. Because Tala Park too appears to be within the Sealdah Court's jurisdiction. What matters is that such cummunication forms no part of the cause of action which was complete by the unanimous resolution of the Working Committee in its meeting at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, on February 15, 1968 --a resolution 'Belgachia's' representative present in the meeting, namely, Dr, Munshi, was posted with almost then and there, as sworn to by CAB member Ashok Chatterjee, to deny which Munshi does not pledge his oath. Indeed, 'Belgachia' calls no witness at the hearing of the issues directed by Chatterjee, J.

14. True it is that Ashok Chatterjee says on cross-examination: CAB does intimate officially and in writing the result of the appeal to the club concerned. So what? Does it thereby become part of the cause of action, the last essential fact in the bundle of facts, that make cause of action, being the rejection of 'Belgachia's' appeal and communication of such rejection to its representative Munshi? Test it in the light of universally accepted definitions that go before. Say, at the trial 'Belgachia' proves all the essential facts set out in paragraph 11, but does not prove this letter. Will its suit fail? Will it give CAB an immediate right to judgment? Certainly not. Or, is it a material fact to be proved to entitle 'Belgachia' to succeed? The same answer: No. The material facts are those paragraph 11 lists. To prove those facts is to prove the suit, as laid, unless there be any infirmity which goes to its root. (More of which hereafter in paragraph 19 et seq. infra.) A letter as this is, at best, the written evidence of the last essential fact of the bundle of facts which make cause of action. As Lord Esher, M.R., puts it in (1888) 22 QB 128 (supra). Cause of action does not comprise every piece of evidence which is necessary to prove each fact, but every fact which is necessary to be proved. That then is the test. The last fact to be proved is the rejection of 'Belgachia's' appeal. The evidence to prove it is the oral testimony of Munshi present in the meeting of the Working Committee on February 15, 1968, and the written document in the shape of the letter dated February 17, 1960, received by 'Belgachia' at the Club Pavilion, Talla Park: Exhibit 2. Let not evidence of a fact be confused with the fact itself.

15. CAB's letter of February 17, 1968, is evidence of a fact in the bundle of facts which make the cause of action: it is not a fact in that bundle. The reason why it is pleaded as part of the cause of action may well be the analogy furnished by that class of case on contracts by correspondence, where the mere posting of the offer or the receipt of the acceptance by post is held to be part of the cause of action. Engineering Supplies, Ltd. v. Dhandhania and Co. : AIR1931Cal659 , is one such case, followed by others. Apart from the fact that, in the Engineering Supplies, Ltd., case : AIR1931Cal659 , there was a CIF contract under which the goods had to be delivered at Calcutta, where, therefore, part of cause of action did arise, the view that the posting of the offer or the receipt of the acceptance is part of the cause of action, can no longer be regarded as good law. The law now is: an offer is made, not where it is sent from, but where it is received. The law now is: the acceptance is complete, not where or when it is received, but so soon as the letter of acceptance is put into the post-box or the telegram is handed in for despatch: Bhagwandas Go-verdhandas Kedia v. Girdharlal Parshot-tamdas & Co. 0065/1965 : [1966]1SCR656 , approving the Baroda Oil Cake Traders case : AIR1954Bom491 (supra), where the Engineering Supplies, Ltd., case, ILR 58 Cal 539=AIR 1931 Cal 659 (supra), is dissented from, and where a matter as this: the posting of the offer or the receipt of the acceptance: is relegated to the realm of res gestae as distinguished from cause of action.

16. So, such analogy, if at the back of the pleading which makes receipt of CAB's letter on February 19, 1968, part of the cause of action cannot help matters forward for 'Belgachia'. Nor can Debabrata Basu v. Institute of Chartered Accountants : AIR1952Cal189 . There the plaintiff, a Chartered Accountant, charged his articled clerk a premium of Rs. 2,000/- -- a sum which he would not refund, in spite of a regulation prescribing just that: refund within a period stipulated. The Articles of apprenticeship, executed in Calcutta, were despatched from Calcutta to Delhi for registration. They were despatched so, to the Secretary of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. The Institute refused to register the Articles which, it was maintained, offended against the regulation concerned. That led to the suit for, amongst others, a declaration that the impugned regulation had come on the edge of Section 30 of the Chartered Accountants Act 1949. The objection as to jurisdiction of the Calcutta Court was negatived on three considerations: (i) execution of the Articles of apprenticeship in Calcutta, (ii) despatch thereof from Calcutta to Delhi accompanied by a request for registration, and (iii) communication by the Institute to the plaintiff in Calcutta of the refusal to register. Each of the first two facts does form part of the cause of action. So does the last fact which the plaintiff did not know right at Delhi, by having been present at the deliberations of the Council, but came to know only on receipt of such communication: just the opposite of what is seen here. 'Belgachia' knew of its appeal having come to little, right at, the Eden Gardens, Calcutta, on February 15, 1968. As the learned Appellate judge correctly points out, in Debabrata's case, AIR 1952 Cal 187, 'the last communication was an integral part of the whole chain of facts constituting the cause of action'. Not so, however, in the case in hand. 'Belgachia', in a meeting of its executive committee on February 17, 1968, -- two days ahead of the receipt of the letter now made a point of so much, -- passed a resolution -- resolution No. 11 -- authorizing Secretary Ujjal Talukdar 'to take all necessary measures, including measures under legal procedure of Indian Judiciary, in connection with the abandoned game in CAB 2nd Division League, between George Telegraph and ours, against the decision of CAB Working Committee'. See Annexure 'B' to Secretary Ujjal Talukdar's affidavit dated April 20, 1968, in the Court of appeal below. It is, therefore, proved to demonstration that 'Belgachia' knew of CAB Working Committee's decision not on February 19, 1968, when that letter was received, but earlier, even on February 17, 1968, on its own showing. And on its adversary's showing, 'Belgachia' was told of the Working Committee's decision the very day it was made, that is, on February 15, 1968, when its cause of action was complete.

17. Even an infinitesimal fraction of a cause of action will be part of the cause of action and confer jurisdiction on the Court within the territorial limits of which that little occurs: Munirangappa v. Venkatappa, AIR 1965 Mys 316. This salutary and obvious interpretation of Section 20, Clause (c), of the Procedure Code is not denied. What is denied, in the facts of the case, is that any part of the cause of action arose within the territorial limits of the Sealdah Court.

18. I, therefore, find no error, far less any jurisdictional error, on the part of the learned Appellate Judge in having come to the conclusion that the learned Munsiff lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit. Necessarily, I have no jurisdiction, under Section 115 of the Procedure Code, to interfere with the finding so come to. So, a temporary injunction by a Court in a suit, which it has not even the jurisdiction to entertain, appears to be out of the question. On this consideration alone, the rule is bound to fail.

19. There is another consideration yet leading to the same conclusion. Let it be assumed that 'Belgachia's' suit is a suit of civil nature. But that will not convert a Court into a Court of appeal, seized of a full-fledged appeal as it were, from the decision of a domestic tribunal as the CAB or its Working Committee is. Not that a tribunal as this can do anything it likes, throwing everything to the winds. But the jurisdiction of the Court is of a very limited character. Generally speaking, the Court can set aside the decision of a domestic tribunal on one of the three basic considerations set out below:

A. when the tribunal oversteps the limits of its jurisdiction:

B. when it violates the principles of natural justice:

C. when it acts dishonestly, actuated by bias, bad faith and the like.

20. This is the law laid down by a long line of cases, such as, to cite but a few, Lennox Arthur Patrick O'Rcilly v. Cyril Cuthbert Gitters, 54 Cal WN 124= AIR 1949 PC 313, State Medical Faculty of West Bengal v. Kshiti Bhusan Dutt, 64 Cal WN 842=(AIR 1963 Cal 31), T. P. Daver v. Lodge Victoria : [1964]1SCR2 , and Sri Gopal Jalan & Co. v. Singhania Brothers : AIR1965Cal531 . Translate such law to the facts that emerge in the case in hand. That the CAB acted within its jurisdiction does not appear to be arguable even. Rule 20, captioned 'Protest and Appeal', of the CAB League and Knock-out Rules, at pages 10 and 11, admits of a dichotomy. By Clause (a) thereof is provided the lodging of a protest and the manner of lodging it to the 'Tournament Sub-Committee'. By Clause (b) thereof is provided inter alia the lodging of an appeal, and the manner of lodging it too, from the decision of the 'Tournament Sub-Committee', to the CAB Working Committee. Rule 21 of the Memorandum of Rules of the CAB provides for as much too:

'No appeals shall lie against any Sub-Committees except the Tournament Committee relating to their decisions on protests.' : page 24.

Again, one of the functions of the Tournament Committee is 'to hear and dispose of complaints and protests in connection with matches': vide Rule 21 (v) (d) at page 27 ibid. And then comes Rule 39 (pp. 41 & 42 ibid.) specifically providing for an appeal to the Working Committee from. the decision of the Tournament Committee and laying down that the appellate decision of such a body 'shall be final and binding to (on ?) the parties concerned.' The conclusion must, therfore, be that the CAB and its committees acted within their jurisdiction.

21. Now comes the second consideration rested on violation of, or adherence to, the principles of natural justice. One has only to read the proceedings, as minuted, of the meeting of the Working Committee of the CAB on February 15, 1968, in order to be convinced what pains the members took, individually and collectively, to thrash out all the divers considerations touching 'Belgachia's' appeal. A domestic tribunal, not bound by, the rules of evidence, and, indeed, ignorant of such rules, is never to be equated with a Court of law, wedded to just that: the law of evidence. Yet the minuted proceedings reveal a high standard, so much so, that the impression left on an unbiased mind, after a perusal thereof, is the impression of the Chairman acting admirably as a judge would, and the members participating in the deliberations, no less admirably, as counsel, well-posted with their briefs, would. Here is a resume of such proceedings, under suitable headings, with such comments, as commend themselves to me:

I. Appeal barred in limine?

On the foot of Rule 21 of the CAB Memorandum and Rules and Rule 20 of the CAB League and Knock-out rules a preliminary point was raised about the admissibility of 'Belgachia's' appeal. The Chairman heard the members, who had spoken on the point, and ruled that the appeal was admissible and should be considered by the Working Committee.

II. Further and better information.

CAB Secretary told the members, on a point of information, that the Tournament Committee had unanimously decided to consider all the matches of January 14, 1968, as drawn, finished as they could not be, after start, due to rains. So, the disputed match only, between 'Belgachia' and George Telegraphs, was not reckoned as drawn. All the matches played that day were. It is a point to be remembered.

III. Replay of the disputed match, abandoned on January 14, 1968.

The burden of the appeal is replay only: not anything else, such as violation of this rule or that, now sought to be made a capital of. See the original undated letter of appeal where the date of the match is wrongly put as December 14, 1967. Naturally, a point arose in the course of discussions in the meeting of the Working Committee: why not a replay, if both 'Belgachia' and George Telegraphs were willing to have the match played again? But that was not the only match played on that day. So, no discrimination could perhaps be made, and was made. In favour of these two teams, to the exclusion of others. About George Telegraphs having expressed willingness to play over again, nothing is on record over the signature of George Telegraph's office-bearer. 'Belgachia's' written appeal attributes such willingness to them. And the particular member of the Working Committee, presumably taking his cue from that, raised the point: 'why not a replay, if both were willing to go in for it?' The accent is on 'if'. That apart, taking the worst view of the matter against CAB, 'Belgachia' and George Telegraphs were only thinking about themselves; but CAB's committees were thinking, as indeed they had to, about all.

IV. Replay and Rules.

A replay was recommended by some and opposed by others, each quoting rules on the stand taken. Four views were put forward--

First: Rule 2 of the Match Regulations (page 12), by Clause (a), Sub-clause (ii), provides for a 3-hour play by each team a one-day match, Clause (b), Sub-clause (i), providing for alteration of the time-limit of 3 hours, when one of the two competing sides turns up late. 'Belgachia' having been deprived of this minimal of 3 hours, 'equity and fairness of sport' did call for a replay of the abandoned match.

Second: a call as this in the name of equity and fair play was resisted on the ground that Rule 2, Clause (a), Sub-clause (ii), bears:

'Each side should ordinarily bat for three hours .....', and emphasis was laid on the word 'ordinarily'. Third: the Tournament Committee had no right to divide the points to the two clubs for such unfinished matches, the CAB League and Knock-out rules being silent about such a contingency. In support of the stance taken. Law 22 of MCC Laws of Cricket was referred to.

Fourth: Came the reply that Law 22 would indicate just the opposite. Reliance was placed on Rule 1: Laws of the Game, of the Match Regulations at page 12 of the booklet The CAB League & Knock-out Rules--

'1. Except as provided in these rules, the official Laws of Cricket by MCC shall govern the competition.' The whole of Law 22 of the MCC Laws of Cricket was quoted:

'The Result

22. -- A match is won by the side which shall have scored a total of runs in excess of the scored by the opposing side In its two completed innings; one-day matches, unless thus played out, shall be decided by the first innings. A match may also be determined by being given up as lost by one of the sides or in the case governed by Law 17. A match, not determined in any of these ways, shall count as a Draw.' Law 17, in so far as it is material here, bears

'At the start of each innings and of each day's play and at the end of any interval the Umpire at the Bowler's end shall call 'Play', when the side refusing to play shall lose the match.'

It was, therefore, contended that the impugned, abandoned match should count as 'drawn', the CAB League and Knockout Rules providing for no such contingency, and, what is more, prescribing, by Rule 1 (quoted above), that MCC Laws (Law 22 here) would govern the matter.

Indeed Law 22 fits the facts here so nicely. It was a one-day match. It could not be played out It could not be decided either, by the first innings. Indeed, the 'Game had to be stopped by the Umpire', due to rains, as the plaint, by paragraph 9, avers. It was not determined by having been given up as lost by one of the sides. It was not a case of any one of the two sides refusing to play after the call 'Play' by the Umpire. Ergo, it was not 8 match not determined in any of these ways. The Ineluctable conclusion could therefore only be that the impugned, abandoned match would count as a 'Draw'.

V. 'Belgachia's' representative heard. What is minuted records:

'The representative of the Belgachia United Club was then called at the meeting and was asked to give his viewpoints in support of his appeal' Who that representative is evidence discloses: Dr. Manab Munshi (paragraphs 11 and 13 ante.).

22. After these illuminating minutes, with no rebutting oral testimony on oath, in spite of the excellent opportunity for that given by Chatterjee, J., it is very bold to contend that there has been infraction of the principles of natural justice. A fairer consideration of the pros and cons of the point at issue could not have been there. No wonder, the Working Committee resolved unanimously:

That the decision taken by the Tournament Committee be unheld.' 'Belgachia's' appeal thus stood rejected.

23. It is, however, said: 'But the Tournament Committee gave us no hearing and came thereby on the edge of the principles of natural justice.' 'Belgachia's' undated letter of appeal, Exhibit C, however, makes no point of it. So, this procedural right, if that appears to have been waived, as indeed it can be. In : [1964]1SCR2 (supra), a notice short of 14 days, as prescribed by the rules, was not complained of and regarded as waived. That apart, hearing or no hearing. Law 22 of the MCC, which rules the matter, is the answer and clinches the point. A replay there could not be,

24. Now. the third consideration, referred to in paragraph 29 ante, remains Did the CAB act honestly? The proceedings of the Working Committee's meeting on February 15, 1968, proclaim honesty. Dishonesty, which is but a synonym of mala fide, is sought to be spelt out in another way. CAB President Amarendra Nath Ghose Is the president of Satya Sandhi Club, also in Group 'E' of the Second Division League. A replay would have given 'Belgachia' a chance of becoming the Group champion of Group E 'in preference to the said Satya Sandhi Club' and the Second Division Champion too with 'the honour of being promoted to the First Division'. The insinuation, therefore, is that the hidden hand of Amarendra Nath Ghose is there in the rejection of 'Belgachia's' appeal for a replay. This is, of course, denied in the affidavit in opposition as 'absolutely misconceived, mala fide, and malicious'. To say the least, there must be first-rate evidence to enable the court to arrive at so serious a finding. But there is not a soupcon of evidence even, 'Belgachia'. be it said at the risk of repetition, having called no witnesses in the trial Court. It becomes, therefore, impossible for a court to find dishonesty, on the materials it has had put before it.

25. There is another way of looking at the problem: does the decision come to by the CAB Working Committee ride rough-shod over the very Rules creating the CAB and its Working Committee both If it does, it is for the court to intervene and set aside such illegality. An approach as this rests on Lee v. Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, (1952) 1 All ER 1175. where a committee, the domestic tribunal there, misconstrued Rule 15 (c) in finding that the plaintiff had been guilty of 'unfair competition' within the meaning of that rule. That being so, it was held, the committee had acted ultra vires and its decision to expel the plaintiff was void, This, then, is one class of case where the decisions of the domestic tribunals, based on a misconstruction at law, are upset by the Courts, the other class being what has come to be known as club cases, where the opinion of a domestic tribunal on a matter which is primarily one of opinion, the Courts do not interfere with.

26. It is therefore urged on behalf of 'Belgachia' that certain rules of the CAB League and Knock-out Rules have been broken: such as Rule 11 about the confidential report on Umpiring by the captain of each team. Rule 12 providing for appointment of Umpires, the emphasis being on the plural number. Rule 13 on the fitness of the pitch, ground and light, to be decided by the umpires (plural number again): giving thereby ample jurisdiction to the Court to undo what has been done by the CAB Working Committee. But what was the appeal by 'Belgachia' about? Replay, replay and replay: not violation of this rule or that So. here again, on the authority of the Supreme Court decision in T.P. Daver's case : [1964]1SCR2 (supra), the procedural rights flowing from these rules appear to have been waived, nothing to say of the fact that such deviation, if that, from the rules, and misconstruction thereof, are not one and the same thing.

27. On merits, the letter dated January 15, 1968, Exhibit A, (not dated January 18, 1968, as mistyped in Annexure A to Secretary Koley's affidavit of March 25, 1968. in the Court of appeal below), of Umpire Arun Sarkar tells. At 11-10 a.m. or thereabouts on January 14, 1968, when the impugned match was on, the play had to be suspended for 20 minutes, on an appeal from the batting side ('Belgachia') 'against weather and light.' Play resumed, 'it started raining heavily' at or about 12.00 p.m. Both sides appealed. And the match had to be suspended again at 12.05 p.m. By then the ground had become 'absolutely unfit and dangerous from the players' point of view.' Even the captains agreed to abandon the match for the day. The Umpire concludes: 'The condition of the ground went beyond recovery; further resumption was not possible.'

28. Captain Pradip Kumar Bose of 'Belgachia' and Leg-Umpire Mukul Banerjee of the impugned match answer Umpire Arun Sarkar by an affidavit each, sworn to on April 20, 1968. Based on the same pattern, all they say in answer is: 'Umpire Arun Sarkar stopped the match at 12.05 hours without consulting them, the captain of George Telegraph Sports Club, and the two batsmen at the crease, and left the ground never to come back'. This is but a poor answer, not denying even the sorry state, to which the ground was reduced, so clearly and categorically stated by Umpire Arun Sarkar, and not traversing too his statement that both sides had appealed, and that the captains of the two teams had agreed to abandon the match for the day. If they had agreed so, as looks patent enough, -- for all the matches of that day were abandoned -- why should they be consulted over again And lack of consultation is the only point which Captain Pradip Bose and Leg-umpire Mukul Banerjee make in their affidavits. Such affidavits secure marks for dexterity, but not for straightforwardness. On fop of that, the averment in the plaint is there, to say it again: 'The said Game had to be stopped by the umpire, due to rains.' So, on merits too, 'Belgachia' appears to have nothing like a case to go to trial.

29. There is another consideration yet. Rule 5 of the Memorandum and Rules of CAB provides inter alia:

'(a) The Association shall consist of cricket-playing clubs, associations or organizations as may be affiliated thereto.'

'Belgachia' is one such club. What is Rule 39 like has been noticed: paragraph 20. The appellate decision of the CAB Working Committee shall be final and binding on the parties concerned. Now, turn to Rule 40 which bears: 'Interpretation of Rules

40. The Committee shall be the sole authority for interpretation of these rules and of the bye-laws and regulations made thereunder and its decision taken under the rules or upon any question or interpretation or upon any matters affecting the Association and not provided for in these rules or bye-laws or regulations made thereunder, shall be final and binding on the members.'

30. Thus, it is plain to be seen that the source of CAB's powers is the contract on the foot of which 'Belgachia' has become one of its members. And by such contract 'Belgachia' is bound. Not that either Rule 39 or Rule 40 completely ousts the jurisdiction of the Courts, as rightly contended on behalf of the petitioner. It does not. The Court's jurisdiction is always there, but subject to limitations recorded in the foregoing lines. In facts and at law, 'Belgachia' has failed to bring Itself within any one of those limitations. First and last, the object of so many rules, only some of which I have been referred to and gone by, is to play cricket. To make a bee-line for the nearest Court, on grounds this litigation reveals, is not playing cricket. All the facts and circumstances weaved together compel me to hold that 'Belgachia', the petitioner in this rule, has no prima facie case in support of the right claimed, and cannot, therefore, have the discretionary relief of a temporary injunction, wrongly granted by the Judge in the Court of first instance, and rightly refused by the Judge in the Court of Appeal below.

31. In the result, the rule fails and do stand discharged with costs. Hearing fee -- 30 gold mohurs.

The records be sent down with theutmost expedition.

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