1. In my opinion, this appeal must be allowed.
2. It appears that certain persons were owners of a colliery. One of those persons brought a suit for dissolution of partnership and the usual ancillary reliefs. While the suit was pending, the Court in 1917 made an order, first of all, appointing one Purna Chandra Barman to be the receiver of the partnership assets which had to be administered. On 28th June of that year, defendants 1, 2 and 4 put in an application agreeing to the appointment of Babu Purna Chandra as manager of the disputed colliery on Rs. 50 per month but objecting to his appointment as receiver. Accordingly, the plaintiff's pleader having intimated that his client had no objection to the appointment of Purna Chandra Barman as manager of the disputed colliery on Rs. 50 per month, the order appointing him receiver was cancelled and the Court appointed Purna Chandra Barman manager of the disputed colliery on Rs. 50 a month. That was the order on 28th June 1917. In January 1918. there is an order:
Manager Purna Chandra Barman is directed not to pay any amount out of the profits of the disputed colliery to any of the partners without the permission of this Court;
and, later on in February 1918:
the manager is directed to deposit in Court at once the profits of the colliery now in his hands as also the future profits.
3. It would appear that, in 1918, a preliminary decree was passed and it would appear that at some subsequent time a receiver was appointed and that the colliery has since been sold. The time with which we are concerned is December 1921 to February 1923 and, at that time, it would appear that this Mr. Barman had been acting as manager whatever that title may connote for some four years. Some timber was wanted for the colliery and the plaintiff supplied the timber. The plaintiff brings his suit against some five or six persons but does not include among the defendants Mr. Purna Chandra Barman. The plaintiff's case in his evidence, if not in his pleadings, is that he got the order to supply this timber direct from the defendants or some of them themselves. That is entirely disbelieved. The finding of fact is that he got the order straight from this Mr. Barman.
4. The first Court having dismissed the plaintiff's suit upon the ground, among others, that it was not shown that Mr. Barman had the authority of the defendants to pledge their credit for goods required for the colliery, the lower appellate Court deals with the matter in this way:
Purna Chandra Barman had been the manager from before; and, after the preliminary decree in the suit referred to above, his appointment was confirmed by the Court with certain directions. In this state, I cannot, think that he was only an officer of the Court and not an agent for the parties as well and, that being so, I cannot think that the plaintiff was to seek for payment from the Court, or from the manager.
5. It seems to me that the plaintiff, if he is to be allowed to change his case and to show that the orders were given by some one who had the authority of the defendants to give the orders, has not proved the authority which it is necessary for him to prove. I confess some difficulty in understanding what the Subordinate Judge thought he was doing when he rescinded the appointment of Mr. Barman as receiver and appointed him manager of the disputed colliery. But, on the whole, it appears to me that Mr. Barman was intended to act as an officer of the Court, appointed by the Court and taking his directions from the Court. In these circumstances, it seems to me that it is in no way shown that Mr. Barman had authority from these defendants to pledge their credit for the goods which were required for the colliery. Generally speaking, a person who is appointed by the Court has got no power to pledge the credit of an individual party. While in law it is more usual to have that doctrine applied to a receiver or what is called a receiver and manager, the doctrine is equally applicable to any person appointed by the Court as an officer of the Court. In my opinion, the lower appellate Court was wrong in thinking that Mr. Barman was shown to sustain the dual capacity of being an officer of the Court and at the same time an agent for the parties. I do not think that the plaintiff has made good his case as alleged in the plaint or that he has made good his case as it was presented in Court.
6. In my opinion, this appeal must succeed and the plaintiff's suit must be dismissed with costs in all the Courts except the costs of defendant 4 in this, appeal.
S.K. Ghose, J.
7. I agree.