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Daulatram Rawatmull Vs. Maharajlal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1936Cal219
AppellantDaulatram Rawatmull
RespondentMaharajlal and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....of his property. with the leave of the court the guardians appointed assigned the promissory note in suit to one of their number, rai bahadur lokenath prosad dandania of baghalpur. on 8th april 1935 the assignee, in his turn, according to the plaint, assigned the promissory note in suit to the present plaintiffs, some of whom, i am informed, are related to him, for valuable consideration. that assignment is said to have been made in calcutta and it is common ground that it is the only part of the cause of action which has arisen within the jurisdiction. it is the plaintiffs' case that the loans and deliveries of goods which were the consideration for the successive promissory notes were made at baghalpur and that the promissory note in suit was executed there.2. my attention has.....
Judgment:

Panckridge, J.

1. This is an application on behalf of some of the defendants to revoke the leave given under C l. 12 of the Charter to institute this suit, and to take the plaint off the file. The suit is on a promissory note and the sum claimed amounts to Rs. 11,684. The plaintiffs are described as a firm carrying on business in Calcutta. The defendants, who are 17 in number, are described as being landholders, residing at a village in the district of Mongyr. I take these descriptions from the cause title. In the body of the plaint the defendants are further described as members of a joint Hindu Mitakshara family. The plaintiffs' case is that certain of the defendants as kurtas and managers of the joint family borrowed moneys and purchased piece-goods and other commodities from one Ramcoomar Marwari. These accounts between the kurtas and Ramcoomar were adjusted from time to time and promissory notes were given and renewed. The last of such promissory notes is said to have been executed by the kurtas on 22nd March 1933 and is the promissory note on which the suit is brought. The payee of the promissory note died on 15th January 1934. His heir and legal representative was a minor and the District Court appointed guardians of his property. With the leave of the Court the guardians appointed assigned the promissory note in suit to one of their number, Rai Bahadur Lokenath Prosad Dandania of Baghalpur. On 8th April 1935 the assignee, in his turn, according to the plaint, assigned the promissory note in suit to the present plaintiffs, some of whom, I am informed, are related to him, for valuable consideration. That assignment is said to have been made in Calcutta and it is common ground that it is the only part of the cause of action which has arisen within the jurisdiction. It is the plaintiffs' case that the loans and deliveries of goods which were the consideration for the successive promissory notes were made at Baghalpur and that the promissory note in suit was executed there.

2. My attention has been drawn to a recent judgment of mine where by I revoked leave under Clause 12 of the Charter in a case where the only part of the cause of action which had arisen within the jurisdiction was the endorsement by the payee of the promissory note in suit. I think that the plaintiffs are fully justified in saying that the circumstances in that case were considerably stronger than in the case with which I am now concerned. I should not feel justified on the materials before me in holding as I did in the former case, that the assignment is prima facie collusive, in the sense that the circumstances indicate that it was effected in Calcutta largely for the purpose of giving jurisdiction to this Court and thereby embarrassing the defence. At the same time I am of opinion that usually, it is not right to grant leave in a case where the part of the cause of action on which the jurisdiction depends is a matter with which the defendants have had nothing to do. I do not lay this down by any means as a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, it appears to me that when people take an assignment of a promissory note they should be prepared to enforce their claim either in the Court within whose jurisdiction the makers reside or in a jurisdiction where a part of the cause of action with which the makers are directly concerned has arisen.

3. The branch of the argument advanced by Mr. Bose which has attracted me most is his submission that if people choose to execute a negotiable instrument, they must be held to contemplate the possibility of its passing from hand to hand by endorsement and delivery and of its eventually getting, in the ordinary course of affairs, into the hands of some one who may elect to institute proceedings in a Court which does not suit the convenience of the makers of the note. Were the defendants in this case a mercantile firm, I am not sure that this argument would not have turned the scale in favour of the plaintiffs, but they are described as land owners and it appears from the plaint that the consideration for the note took the form of advances of cash and the supply of goods for personal consumption. In these circumstances, the argument as to negotiability does not apply with the same force as it would in the case of parties engaged in mercantile transactions. Mr. Bose has also pointed out that by suing in this Court the plaintiffs avoid the necessity of paying a heavy initial Court fee on the institution of the suit. I do not think that that is a circumstance which should affect me one way or the other. It would be wrong for me to take into consideration whether my decision is likely to impoverish or to enrich the revenue. From the nature of things in whichever Court the suit is instituted, one party or the other will be put to a certain amount of inconvenience, and on the whole, I think that the balance of convenience demands that the litigation should be conducted either in the Court within whose jurisdiction the defendants reside or in the Court within whose jurisdiction the doeument sued upon was executed. I therefore revoke the leave given, but in the circumstances of this case, I direct that each party bear his own costs.


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