Suit number 597 of 1961
AIR 1964 CAL 239
Single judge bench, Judge Bijayesh Mukherji presiding.
Friday, 10th January 1964
- Section 68 of the Partnership Act, 1932
- Section 28 of the Partnership Act, 1932
- Section 67 of Evidence Act, 1872
- Section 114 A of Evidence Act, 1872
- Order 14 of the Procedure Code
BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Shree Hanuman Transport Company (hereafter referred to as Transport Company) was a firm involved in the shipment business. Snow White Food Product Company Ltd (hereafter referred to as Snow White) contracted the Transport Company for the shipment of two products, namely refined groundnut oil and Balloon brand vegetable product, to Raiganj and Islampur in the district of West Dinajpur. The said delivery was to take place on 20th April 1960. According to the facts of the case presented, the Transport Company, for the benefit of Snow White, had insured the goods to be delivered with an insurance company bearing the name of New India Assurance Co. Ltd. (hereafter referred to as the Insurance Company). The complaint filed by Snow White Company claims that while the goods were in transit, the goods were tampered with and damaged by the partners of the Transport Company, namely Sohanlal Bagla and Madanlal Poddar, also the Insurance Company. The plaintiff claimed damages of sixteen thousand for the goods to be delivered to Islampur and a subsequent amount of rupees nine hundred and thirty-one for the goods to be transported to Raiganj. This comes to a total of rupees seventeen thousand five hundred and thirty-one. Out of this, the Transport Company had already paid the plaintiff rupees four thousand and five hundred. Snow White Food Product Company Ltd brought this suit to recover the remaining damages of Rs 13031.
ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT:
The issues in question before the Hon’ble Court were:
- Whether Sohanlal Bagla (first defendant) was ever a partner of Shree Hanuman Transport Company (third defendant)?
- Whether Shree Hanuman Transport Company had insured the goods delivered to Snow White Food Products Ltd. from the New India Assurance Co. Ltd for the plaintiff’s benefit (Snow White Food Products Ltd.)?
- Whether the consignment called in question were damaged or converted to benefit their use by the defendants when the goods were in transit?
- Whether New India Assurance Co. Ltd (fourth defendant) is liable to pay the amount of the claim to Snow White Food Products Ltd.?
- Whether the plaintiff is entitled to any reliefs, and if so, then what reliefs must be granted?
RATIO OF THE CASE:
Sohanlal presented certain evidences before the Court sufficient enough to prove that he was not a partner of Shree Hanuman Transport Co. Ltd. To corroborate Sohanlal’s statements in the Register of firm’s entries, Madanlal Poddar and Babulal Saraogl were mentioned as the partners of the Transport Company. Against this evidence, Snow White put before the Court that although the terms on paper were maybe different, Sohanlal, through his various actions, has provided a reasonable reason for Snow White to believe him to be a partner of the Transport Company. It presented before the Court, evidence of official communication between Snow White and the Transport Company through letters signed by Sohanlal on behalf of the firm. Not only this but also the surveyor of the Insurance Company, on instructions from Sohanlal, had sold the damaged good to the highest bidder and returned the proceeds of the sale (Rs 11556) to Sohanlal. Thus, this gives reasonable reason for Snow White to believe him to be a partner of the Transport Company, making him liable to pay for the loss suffered due to the non-delivery of goods.
DECISION OF THE COURT:
After careful consideration of the facts of the said case and taking into account the pieces of evidence and witnesses presented, the Calcutta High Court concluded that Sohanlal had presented himself as a partner when dealings were taking place between the Transport Company and Snow White Food Product Company Ltd. He had also signed documents it the capacity of a partner and thus is qualified as a partner by holding out of the Transport Company. Therefore he was made liable to pay the remaining amount of the claim to Snow White Food Product Company Ltd.
This case analysis is provided by Debasmita Nandi, a first year law student at CHRIST (DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY), LAVASA.
Edited by- Deeksha Arora
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