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Shyam Sundar Chakravarty Vs. Titaghar Paper Mills Co. Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Cal123
AppellantShyam Sundar Chakravarty
RespondentTitaghar Paper Mills Co. Ltd.
Cases ReferredElliott v. Bax
Excerpt:
- .....terms of the promissory-notes, it could not be contended that the appellant had not undertaken any personal liability in respect of the sums mentioned in the said promissory-notes.4. on appeal it is argued on behalf of the appellant by mr. s.c. roy, firstly, that there was a triable issue raised by the appellant and that no summary judgment should have been passed; and, in the second place, that on the construction of the promissory notes themselves there was no personal liability undertaken by the appellant and that, therefore, no decree should have been made against him.5. as regards the first point : it is sufficient to observe that, on the materials before us, it is clear that there was no triable issue dependent on facts which were to be investigated, but there was a question of law.....
Judgment:

C.C. Ghose, J.

1. This is in an appeal from an order made by my learned brother-Mr. Justice Pearson on 6th December 1926 on an application made by the plaintiff Company under Ch. 13A of the Rules of this Court for summary judgment.

2. The facts, shortly stated, are as follows : The defendant Shyam Sundar Chakravarty, who is the appellant before us, was on all material dates the Editor of the 'Servant' newspaper and Managing. Director of the defendant Company namely, the Servant Publishing Company Limited. It appears that the plaintiff Company supplied paper from time to time for the use of the defendant Company and as and when the goods were delivered, the appellant Shyam Sundar Chakravarty executed certain promissory notes for the value thereof. The promissory notes were eight in number. The plaintiff Company made attempts to realize the moneys due but did not succeed. There was on the date of the application a sum of Rs. 8,910-2-6 due to the plaintiff Company for principal and a sum of Rs. 463-4-4 on account of interest. The promissory-notes wore all alike and one of them, which is printed at p. 1 of the paper-book, may be quoted herein as a sample:

On demand I, Sham Sundar Chakravarty Esq., Editor and Managing Director, 'The Servant,' promise to pay the Titaghar Paper Mills Co. Ltd., or order the sum of rupees nine hundred and twenty-two and annas four only together with interest thereon at the rate of twelve per cent per annum from the tenth February 1925, being the value of one hundred and thirty-six reams of paper sold and delivered to me from, their go own as per their delivery order No. L-788.

3. The appellant filed an affidavit in answer to the application of the plaintiff Company in which he contended that he did not sign the said promissory-notes in his personal capacity in consideration of the paper being supplied to the defendant. Company and that, under the circumstances, the Servant Publishing Company Ltd. were alone liable for the price of the paper supplied and that there was no personal 1 ability undertaken by the appellant. The matter came on before my learned brother, Mr. Justice Pearson, on 6th December 1926, when he made an order in terms of the plaintiff Company's summons for summary judgment. He held that, having regard to the terms of the promissory-notes, it could not be contended that the appellant had not undertaken any personal liability in respect of the sums mentioned in the said promissory-notes.

4. On appeal it is argued on behalf of the appellant by Mr. S.C. Roy, firstly, that there was a triable issue raised by the appellant and that no summary judgment should have been passed; and, in the second place, that on the construction of the promissory notes themselves there was no personal liability undertaken by the appellant and that, therefore, no decree should have been made against him.

5. As regards the first point : it is sufficient to observe that, on the materials before us, it is clear that there was no triable issue dependent on facts which were to be investigated, but there was a question of law raised by the appellant, namely, whether, having regard to the terms of the promissory notes any personal liability had been undertaken by the appellant. That question did not in my opinion involve the taking of evidence. It was a pure question of law and hid to be decided with reference to the terms of the promissory-notes. On the decision of that question depended as to whether there should be a summary judgment in favour of the plaintiff Company or whether leave to defend the suit should be given to the appellant. Mr. Justice Pearson held on the construction of the promissory-notes that the appellant had undertaken a personal liability and passed summary judgment in favour of the plaintiff Company. That amounted to saving tint, in the circumstances disclosed no leave should be given to the defendant to put in a defence in the ordinary way That disposes of the first point raised by Mr. Roy.

6. As regards the second point : it is sufficient to observe that, having regard to the cases, some of which are referred to in my judgment In the matter of Jagordia Cotton Mills Ltd. A.I.R. 1927 Cal. 612, it cannot be contended on the documents in this case that the appellant had not under taken and did not undertake any personal liability. The appellant's description as Managing Director in the body of the promissory-notes had not the effect of excluding his personal liability. It is noteworthy that the appellant, when he put his signature on the promissory-notes, signed his name without any qualification whatsoever and did not take any steps whatsoever to indicate that he was signing the document not in his personal capacity, but for and on behalf of the Servant Publishing Company Ltd., and as their Managing Director. Under these circumstances, there could only have been one answer to the question raised by the appellant, and in my opinion Mr. Justice Pearson rightly negatived the contention raised by the appellant.

7. Mr. Roy has drawn our attention to the case of Elliott v. Bax-Ironside (1925) 2 K.B. 301. That case, as I read it, is entirely against Mr. Roy's contention. What happened in that case is this : The action was against two defendants as indorsers of a bill of exchange. Those defendants were the Directors of a Company called, the Fashions Pair Exhibitions Ltd, and one of the defendants was a person named Mason who was the Managing Director. The Company accepted two bills of exchange for 1000 each, but inasmuch as the capital of the Company was not more than 400 it was suggested that the two bills of exchange should be indorsed by the two Directors, namely Sir Henry Bax-Ironside and Mr. R.A. Mason. They accordingly indorsed the two bills of exchange and the contention that was sought to be canvassed on their behalf before the Judge in the Court of first instance and in the Court of appeal was that they had not accepted any personal liability. It was held that having regard to the facts that, although they had described themselves as Directors, they were really guaranteeing a debt due by the Fashions Fair Exhibitions Ltd., and that they accordingly could not avoid liability as guarantors. Bot on law and on facts, this case, as I read it, is against the contention put forward before us by Mr. Roy.

8. On all these grounds I am of opinion that this appeal should stand dismissed with costs.

Buckland, J.

9. I agree.


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