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NabIn Chandra Dhar and ors. Vs. Abdul Gofur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1926Cal596,91Ind.Cas.436
AppellantNabIn Chandra Dhar and ors.
RespondentAbdul Gofur and ors.
Excerpt:
jurisdiction of court - damages, whether can be awarded in excess of pecuniary jurisdiction. - .....arises out of a suit which was instituted on the 29th november 1912. the plaintiff brought a suit for specific performance of a contract and other reliefs. the essential facts are stated in the former judgment of this court dated the 12th april 1918. the only point that now arises is the amount of damages which should be granted to the plaintiff, since he cannot obtain a decree for specific, performance of the contract. the munsif assessed the damages at the sum of rs. 2,873 odd. on appeal the lower appellate court has held that the munsif could not grant a decree for a sum exceeding rs. 1000, the amount which was the limit of the munsif s pecuniary jurisdiction. he accordingly reduced the decretal amount to this sum.2. the main contention of the appellant is that since a munsif in.....
Judgment:

Babington Newbould, J.

1. This appeal arises out of a suit which was instituted on the 29th November 1912. The plaintiff brought a suit for specific performance of a contract and other reliefs. The essential facts are stated in the former judgment of this Court dated the 12th April 1918. The only point that now arises is the amount of damages which should be granted to the plaintiff, since he cannot obtain a decree for specific, performance of the contract. The Munsif assessed the damages at the sum of Rs. 2,873 odd. On appeal the lower Appellate Court has held that the Munsif could not grant a decree for a sum exceeding Rs. 1000, the amount which was the limit of the Munsif s pecuniary jurisdiction. He accordingly reduced the decretal amount to this sum.

2. The main contention of the appellant is that since a Munsif in awarding mesne profits can award an amount in excess of his pecuniary jurisdiction there is no reason why he should not also grant a larger sum when assessing damages for breach of contract. In our opinion the two cases are clearly distinguishable. As has been pointed out in the recent Full Bench decision of this Court delivered on the 15th Jung 1925 the amount of mesne profits which may be recoverable cannot be valued even approximately at the commencement of the suit. But in the case of damages, they have been incurred before the institution and do not depend on events which may happen after that date. We do not think that the previous decision of this Court in this case was intended to in any way enlarge the Munsif's powers. It came to no more than a direction to the Munsif that he ought to have held that the case was one in which damages should be awarded under Section 19 of the Specific Relief Act. Suppose the Munsif, in the first instance, had decided the case correctly and held that the case was one in which the only relief that could be granted to the plaintiff was by way of damages he would not have given the plaintiff a sum exceeding the amount of his pecuniary jurisdiction. We see no reason why the Munsif should1 have given the plaintiff a decree for a larger amount because it was necessary that he should have a direction of this Court before he could decide rightly. The plaintiff when he brought the suit for specific performance should have contemplated that it was possible that that relief might be refused and the Court of its own motion might decide that he was only entitled to damages for the breach of contract. If he thought that such damages ought to exceed the amount which the Munsif could award he could have brought the suit in the Court of the Subordinate Judge by altering the valuation which in this suit was an arbitrary valuation.

3. For these reasons I uphold the judgment and decrees of the lower Appellate Court and dismiss this appeal with costs.

Graham, J.

4. I agree. At once stage of the hearing I was inclined to hold that the decision of the Court of Appeal below was somewhat hard on the plaintiff-appellant in view of the facts that his suit as originally framed had been brought in a Court of competent jurisdiction and that it had been remanded to that Court as the result of the second appeal to this Court. On further consideration, however, it seems to me to be clear that the unfortunate result for the plaintiff that he has only been able to obtain Rs. 1,000 as damages instead of the sum of Rs. 2,873-12-10 decreed in the Court of first instance has been due to his own fault. He might under Section 19 of the Specific Relief Act have, asked for compensation for breach of contract. The reason that he did not do so appears to have been that he did not wish to pay Court-fees on the larger sum.

5. I agree that the appeal should be dismissed with costs.


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