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Bombay High CourtIndian Cases

Amrit Banaspati Co. Ltd. vs J.C. Engineer And Co. on 18 January 1961

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Bombay High Court
Amrit Banaspati Co. Ltd. vs J.C. Engineer And Co. on 18 January, 1961
Equivalent citations: (1961)63BOMLR568

Patel, J.

1. This is an application in revision against an order made by the Judge of the City Civil Court granting conditional leave to defend to the petitioner on his depositing Rs. 13,000 in Court.

2. The plaintiffs filed a suit for a sum of Rs. 17,064.37 nP. and further interest on Rs. 14,952.97 nP. alleging that it had supplied certain goods to the defendant and that this was the amount due to it towards the price of the same. In the summons for judgment the defendant claimed leave to defend the suit and raised several defences. It alleged that the goods were in short supply, that they were defective and the rates were high. It raised contentions in respect of its purchase of two winding machines in April 1957 and sale of 4 Bowl Friction Calendar machines. Both transactions were alleged to be with plaintiff. In the counter affidavit the plaintiff referred to the bills towards which the amounts were due. It was pointed out that out of the 21 bills, 14 bills contained the rates quoted by the defendant itself. It also pointed out that the defendant had received the bills and that thereafter given certificates for claiming exemption from sales tax on the basis of the same rates. Moreover right till the date of suit it was never contended that the rates were high or that the goods were short or that they were defective. Regarding its sale of Calendar machines the plaintiff pointed out that though originally the transaction was with the plaintiff firm, that transaction was transferred to M/s V. S. & Co. and the goods were actually supplied by the defendant to V. S. & Co. The defendant had purchased the winding machines from V. S. & Co. and they had mutually settled the claims against each other and V. S. & Co. had also sent the balance of the amount which the defendant accepted. For this purpose there was correspondence between the two. Over and above the correspondence the defendants had also sent certificates for the purposes of sales-tax which show that the statements of the plaintiffs in their affidavit were true. It may also be noted that the plaintiffs called upon the defendants to produce its correspondence with M/s V.S. & Co. but except one letter, it conveniently avoided producing the same. It is under these circumstances that the learned Judge granted conditional leave.

3. Mr. Jahagirdar relying on the only letter produced by his client has argued that the transaction of sale of Calendar machines was with the plaintiffs. As stated above, it was under subsequent arrangement that the transaction was transferred to V. S. & Co. The learned Counsel also argued that in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Santosh Kumar v. Mool Singh , the Court was bound to grant unconditional leave inasmuch as there were triable issues. The statements in the affidavits clearly show that the defences are patently false and in any case they are frivolous. In these circumstances, applying the principles stated by Mr. Justice Bose in that case the learned Judge was justified in refusing to grant unconditional leave.

4. It is then argued that the learned Judge has not given reasons for the order that he made and, therefore, the order ought to be set aside. For this purpose reliance was placed on the case of Woman Vasudeo v. Pratapmal . Now, the City Civil Court is established under Bombay Act XL of 1948. Section 9 of the Act provides:

Save as otherwise provided in this Act all questions which arise in suits or other proceedings under this Act in the City Court shall be dealt with and determined according to the law for the time being administered by the High Court in the exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction.
On the Original Side of this Court in non-appealable matters a Judge does not give reasons and the appellate Court does not require him to do so. Following this practice if a Judge of that Court does not give reasons in non-appealable orders it cannot be said that the order is illegal. There is slight difference, however, between the Original Side of this Court and the City Civil Court. The latter is subject to the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court since Section 5 of the Act provides that it shall be deemed to be a Court subordinate to the High Court within the meaning of the Letters Patent and the Civil Procedure Code. It is, therefore, desirable that in complicated cases the Judge should give indication of what he thinks about the defences. For this purpose it is not necessary to give details. He may give a reference to paragraphs in the affidavits and his conclusion very briefly.
5. In Waman Vasudeo v. Pratapmal, attention of the learned Judge was not invited to Section 9 of the Act. Moreover, it is difficult to read the judgment to mean that the Judge must, in every case, give reasons. The learned Judge has said that it is desirable that it should set out in its order the substance of the defence and then give its reasons for the same.

This is far from saying that the order is illegal and must, in every case, be set aside on the assumption that the Judge has not applied his mind. Each case must depend on its own facts and the Court would interfere in revision if it is satisfied from the materials before it that the learned Judge has not really appreciated the points at issue or that his order is arbitrary or capricious, and there is consequential failure of justice. As stated above, no case is made out for my interference.

6. The result is that the rule must be discharged with costs.

7. The learned Counsel for the petitioner has applied that I should extend time for payment of deposit by one month and that I should direct a deposit of only half the amount claimed by the plaintiff. So far as the amount of deposit is concerned, as I stated above, the learned Judge was fully justified in requiring the defendants to make the deposit for Rs. 13,000. In view of this application, which has already extended time by about 1 year and two months, I am reluctant to give more than 15 days’ time for the purpose of making the deposit. No further time will be granted. The defendant to make the deposit on or before February 4, 1961.