1. This is an appeal by the defendants from the judgment of my learned brother Mr. Justice Rankin.
2. The suit was brought to recover damages in respect of the alleged non-delivery of certain goods, bales of grey shirtings, which, it was alleged, had been sold by the defendants to the plaintiffs by a contract, dated the 23rd of November, 1916, or thereabouts. The shipments by the contract were specified as January to June : but it was stated by the learned Advocate-General in opening the appeal that the period provided for shipments had been altered from January to June to April to June.
3. The learned Judge delivered two judgments : In the first, he dealt with the question of liability; and, in the second one he dealt with the measures of damages : And, having regard to the course which was taken by the learned Advocate-General appearing on behalf of the appellants, the appeal has been confined to two points. The first related to the damages which were awarded in respect of 25 bales representing the May shipment, and the second Related to the order of the learned Judge by which he allowed what was called 'interim interest' which, I understand, means interest on the amount adjudged in respect of damages from the date of the suit to the date of the decree. Interest at the rate of 6 per cent, on the amount of the decree and running from the date of the decree was allowed, and no complaint was made by the appellants with regard to that matter, and it was with respect to the learned Judge's order by which he allowed interest at 6 per cent, on the amount of damages from the date of the suit to the date of the decree that the appeal was argued.
4. With regard to the first point, namely, damages awarded in respect of the May shipment, the learned Judge in his judgment said, 'in the present case the correspondence in October satisfies me that it would be wrong to give damages as regards any of May shipments on any higher rate, than the October rate' : and, the learned Judge further said, 'I see no reason to give a higher rate of damages with regard to 25 bales than the October rate. That rate I fix at Rs. 12-12.' The point which the learned Advocate-General urged in respect of this matter was that there was no evidence which entitled the learned Judge to come to the conclusion that the October rate, that is, the October market rate was Rs. 12-12 : and, he, therefore asked for a remand in order that the matter be further enquired into, and, if necessary evidence given with regard to the October rate. In my judgment, this, application should not be acceded to.
5. As I read the learned Judge's judgment, he came to the conclusion that the period during which the defendants might have delivered the May shipment extended tot 31st of October : and, when one looks at the correspondence of this period, it is not difficult to see how it was that the learned Judge arrived at that conclusion. The material date, viz., that on which the defendants finally decided that they would, not deliver the May shipments, being the 31st of October it was not unreasonable in my judgment, for the learned Judge to take the market rate of the 1st November. The evidence was that on that date the market rate was Rs. 12-12. Consequently, in my judgment, there is no reason for remanding this matter for further enquiry nor is there any reason for interfering with the learned Judge's decision on this point.
6. With regard to the second point, namely, the order of the learned Judge as regards interest from the date of the suit to the date of the decree, it is not disputed that the learned Judge had jurisdiction to make the order, having regard to the provisions of Section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The matter, therefore, was one for the discretion of the learned Judge. Having regard to the judgment of the learned Judge, when he was dealing with the question of the liability of the defendants, I find no difficulty in concluding what must have been in the learned Judge's mind when ho came to the decision that it would be right to allow the plaintiff's interest from the date of the suit to the date of the decree : and, having regard, therefore, to that judgment, I am not prepared to interfere with the discretion of the learned Judge in this respect. I desire merely to add that when an order, such as this, for the payment of interest on the sum awarded as damages from the date of the suit to the date of the decree is made, in my judgment, it is desirable that the learned Judge who tries the case should state the reasons for that order. From enquiries which my learned brother and I have made and from what was stated by the learned Counsel for the respondents in Court, and having regard to certain judgments delivered on the Original Side to which reference was made, it appears that in several cases recently orders somewhat similar to the one now under consideration have been made. At the same time it seems to me that it cannot be denied that an order of this kind is out of the ordinary : and, for that reason, in my judgment, it is desirable that the learned Judge should state the reasons for such an order. In this case, as I have already said, having regard to the fact that the learned Judge who tried the case, had all the circumstances connected with it, present to his mind at the time he made the order and having regard to what he said in his judgment, by which he decided the question of liability, it seems to me that there were materials upon which the learned Judge was justified in exercising his discretion in the way he did.
7. For these reasons in my judgment this appeal should be dismissed with costs.
8. I agree,