Gouri Sankar Ram Kumar vs Sashi Bhusan Das Bairagya on 9 December, 1932

Calcutta High Court
Gouri Sankar Ram Kumar vs Sashi Bhusan Das Bairagya on 9 December, 1932
Equivalent citations: AIR 1933 Cal 501
Author: M Ghose


M.C. Ghose, J.

1. This is an application under Section 25, Provincial Small Cause Court Act, by the plaintiff whose claim for a sum of Rs. 20 odd for goods supplied together with interest of Rs. 11 odd has been dismissed by the Court below. The plaintiff’s case was that the defendant Sashi Bhusan Das Bairagya introduced his son Rebati to the plaintiff’s firm and asked them to supply goods on credit to the said son Rebati, that thereupon the plaintiff supplied biris to the son Rebati for a large sum. At the end a sum of Rs. 20 odd was the balance outstanding. As no payment was made the suit was instituted against the defendant. The defence was that he did not stand surety for his son Rebati, that Rebati took the biris for himself and the defendant was not responsible for the debts of Rebati. The Court accepted the defence view and dismissed the suit.

2. In this Court is urged that the learned Court below committed a material error in the appreciation of the evidence that the P.W. 2, Bejan Behari Dutta, gave evidence that the defendant himself paid Rs. 10 to him on account of the balance outstanding against Rebati. The amount was entered in the account book which was signed by the defendant. It is urged that this important piece of documentary evidence was not at all considered by the Court below and by that omission of the Court the plaintiff has suffered grievous injustice not so much for the small sum in dispute, but because a slur that has been cast upon his reputation as an honest merchant. Section 25 lays down that the High Court for the purpose of satisfying itself that a decree or an order made in any case decided by a Court of Small Causes was in accordance with the law may call for the case and may pass such order as it thinks fit. In this case the question is whether the Court below made any error of law. The learned advocate for the petitioner has referred to many cases, notably the case of Nathuram Shivnarayan v. Dhularam Hariram AIR 1921 Bom 407, in which case it was decided that the Court had powers of interfering with the decision on questions of fact. The passage runs thus:

Interference in regard to appreciation of evidence should in general only be exercised when there appears to the Court to be a very clear case of misappreciation which has resulted in injustice to a party and makes the decree one that cannot be regarded by a revisional Court as ‘according to law.’

3. The learned advocate for the opposite party has quoted various decisions where the Court refused to interfere. On questions of law it appears to me that the wording of Section 25 allows this Court to interfere where by reason of omission to consider material evidence or where by evident mistake in the appreciation of evidence substantial injustice has been done to the party. Bearing the above principle in mind it is to be considered whether in this case there has been substantial injustice. It is true that the entry Ex. 3 was proved of the plaintiff’s side as being written by the defendant. The defendant however totally denied the allegation that he had paid Rs. 10. Unfortunately no question was asked as to his signature in Ex. 3. But the manner of his evidence does not leave any doubt that he probably would have denied the signature. The plaintiff supplied goods to Rebati and not to his father, the defendant; but the suit was instituted only against the defendant and not also against his son. On account of this the plaintiffs’ firm stand to lose the amount claimed in the suit. In my opinion the failure in this rule does not cast any slur upon the plaintiff’s firm as merchants. In the result I am of opinion that there is no sufficient ground for interference in this matter. The rule is discharged. The parties will bear their own costs in this Court.

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