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The District Collector vs Nagarajan on 11 December, 2006

Madras High Court
The District Collector vs Nagarajan on 11 December, 2006
       

  

  

 
 
 BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT


DATED : 11/12/2006


CORAM:
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA


A.S.No.945 of 1993


The District Collector,
Thanjavur			... 	Appellant


Vs.


1.Nagarajan

2.Jayaraman			... 	Respondents


	Appeal against the Judgment and decree of the learned Subordinate Judge,
Thanjavur in O.S.No.215 of 1987, dated 29.07.1991.


!For Appellant 	 	...	Mr.K.M.Vijayakumar
				Addl. Government Pleader
		
^For Respondent	 	...	No Appearance


:JUDGMENT

This appeal is directed as against the Judgment and decree dated
29.07.1991, passed by the learned Subordinate Judge, Thanjavur, in O.S.No.215 of
1987, which was filed by the plaintiff as against the defendant for recovery of
amount along with interest.

2. Niggard and bereft of details the case of the plaintiff could be
narrated thus;

The defendants, being hulling agents of the plaintiff’s Government, were
entrusted with huge quantity of paddy under various terms and conditions agreed
to between the parties. The quantum of paddy entrusted to the defendants and
quantity of rice delivered by the defendants to the Government would run thus;

Description
Under 25% Levy Scheme. (Q.Kgs)
Under Open Market Scheme (Q. Kgs)
Paddy deposited from April 1972 to July 1972.

4939-05
425.22
Paddy transferred to other Hulling Agents
1169.00
342.00
Balance
3770.05
83.22
Rice due at 68% as per agreement from 29.04.1972 to 18.09.1972
2563.64
56.59
Rice actually delivered
1664.64

Balance to be delivered (Rice)
899.00
56.59
Total Demand
955.59
(899+56.59)

3. Despite incessant demands made by the plaintiff, the defendant
delivered, out of the said balance, only 155.44 quintals of paddy under the 25%
Levy Scheme and 64.41 quintals towards Open Market Scheme. Even then the
defendants are still in arrears.

	
	The Amount due			= Rs.1,01,250.08

	Security Deposit
	adjusted Chalan			    Rs.5,000,00
	No.7/30/12/72.

	Sale of Ch.53/27-12-72 (Straw)		 10,00

	Sale proceeds of paddy detrained	
	from the land-Nagarajan (Paddy)
	(Ch.No.61/3-4-73)	       		    Rs.1,815.90

	Sale proceeds of (Straw) Ch.
	181/9.5.73			    Rs.  115.75


	Sale proceeds of (Straw) Ch.
	45/9-5-73				   Rs.    4.50

	Sale proceeds of (Paddy) Ch.								
	    Rs.1,075.59
     No.44/9-5-73					

	Cash remittance in Ch.51/11-4-74	   Rs.10,000.00

	Cash remittance in
	Ch.190/30-10-74			   Rs.10,000.00

	Amount collect by adjustment of
     Security Deposits available in
     the shape of 7 years National
	Savings Certificate on 01.03.1976	   Rs. 5,700.00

						   ------------
						   Rs.33,768.74
						   ------------					

Balance amount due (1,01,250.08) – 33,768.74 = 67.481.34

(Rupees sixty seven thousand four hundred and eighty one and paise thirty four
only)

4. Since the defendants committed default, the plaintiff was constrained
to file the suit.

5. Per contra, the defendants filed the written statement with the
averments inter alia which run thus:

The defendants are not aware of the terms and conditions of the alleged
agreement referred to in the plaint and such an agreement cannot be a valid one
as it is only an unilateral one to safeguard the interest of the Government and
its Officers. The defendants signed only in unfilled printed forms without
knowing the contents and if the records in earlier proceedings in O.S.No.260 of
1976 were perused, the truth will come out that there was no shortage at all on
the part of the defendants.

6. The godown concerned was operated under double lock system, so to say
one key with the plaintiff’s Official namely, the Taluk Supply Officer and other
key with the defendants. Whatever paddy was released for hulling by the
official of the plaintiff, the defendants hulled properly those quantities and
rice was delivered properly to the plaintiff.

7. On 04.08.1972, the District Supply Officer checked the actual stock
lying in the godown and as per the register, there was shortage of 80 bags. The
shortage of 80 bags was due to non making of entry of release of 80 bags of
paddy for hulling and actually, there was no shortage after 04.08.1972. As per
the direction of the Collector, the paddy stored in the godown was transferred
to other mills unilaterally by the plaintiff’s official without the knowledge of
the defendants. The defendants never gave any statement voluntarily. Only the
signatures of the defendants were obtained by the plaintiff’s official under
threat. The defendants are not liable for any shortage after 04.08.1972. The
suit was barred by limitation. Accordingly the defendants prayed for the
dismissal of the suit.

8. The trial Court framed as many as eight issues. On the side of the
plaintiff, the plaintiff’s official was examined as P.W1 and Exs.A1 to 25 were
marked. On the side of the defendants, D2 was examined himself as DW1 and P.W1
was marked. The trial Court ultimately decreed the suit only for Rs.2193.63/-

9. Being aggrieved by the said judgment and decree of the trial Court, the
plaintiff has preferred this appeal on the following grounds among others;

(i) The trial Court wrongly arrived at the conclusion that only 493.03
quintals of rice was issued.

(ii) The rate of Rs.99.48 per quintal was only relating to paddy and not
for rice.

(iii). The trial Court failed to appreciate properly the stock account as
in Ex.A9.

(iv) The balance found in Ex.A3 should have been taken together with
Ex.A9.

(v). The trial Court has not properly considered Ex.A3.

(vi) Accordingly, the plaintiff prayed for decreeing the original suit in
toto by modifying the judgment and decree of the trial Court.

10. The Points for consideration are :

1. Whether the defendant committed default in supply of rice in
commensurate with the paddy supplied by the Government to the defendants? and if
so, whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover a sum of Rs.67,481.37 ?

2. Whether there is any infirmity in the Judgment and decree of the trial
Court?

11. The analysis of the evidence on record with reference to the Judgment
and decree of the trial Court, would make it crystal clear that the trial Court
misunderstood the entries found in Ex.A.9. The trial Court in paragraph No.6 of
its Judgment gave a finding as though as per Ex.A.9, register, there was no
shortage of paddy at all and that the defendants were liable to give to the
Government only rice to the tune of 436.93 quintals. Accordingly, the trial
Court proceeded further in understanding that out of that 436.93 quintals of
rice, whatever quantities, referred to in paragraph No.4 of the plaint, should
be deducted and accordingly, arrived at a wrong conclusion.

12. A perusal of Ex.A.9 would clearly show that there was deficit paddy to
the tune of 679.51 quintals and apart from that the rice to be supplied was to
the tune of 436.93 quintals and at the end of the entries in Ex.A.9, abstract is
found written, which was wrongly understood by the trial Court as there was a
shortage in supply of rice only and there was no shortage of paddy.

13. The entire perusal of Ex.A.9 would clearly show that even after
04.08.1972, there were lot of entries showing the details including the details
of transfer to other mills and accordingly on 12.09.1972, the balance was struck
to the effect that there were shortage of paddy to the tune of 1197 bags of
paddy weighing 679.15 quintals in addition to shortage of rice to the tune of
436.93 quintals and the trial Court failed to note this aspect.

14. In Ex.A.9 itself, there is an abstract for shortage of paddy and
accordingly, the officials concerned clearly specified the shortage of paddy was
679.15 quintals, which tallies with the entries in Ex.A.9.

15. Over and above that the rice account is found as specified at the last
of the entries and as per which 436.93 quintals of rice was yet to be delivered
by the defendants to the plaintiff based on the paddy supplied to the defendant
for hulling.

16. The trial Court cannot approbate and reprobate. Believing the entries
in Ex.A.9, the trial Court arrived at the figure of 436.93 quintals of rice as
due to the plaintiff. But, it gave a finding quite as against the entries found
in Ex.A.9 as though there was no evidence that after 04.08.1972, the paddy was
supplied to the defendants for hulling. Relating to the paddy supplied for
hulling to the defendants by the plaintiff, the quantity of rice after hulling
to be given to the defendants is 436.93 quintals; the shortage in paddy is in
addition to it.

17. It is the specific case of the plaintiff that as revealed by the
entries in the register that there was a shortage of paddy to the tune of 679.51
quintals. Without any basis, the trial Court took it as gospel truth the
version of the defendants that the government officials simply without their
knowledge take away the paddy. If that be so, it is for the defendants to prove
that what made them not to complain then and there about it to higher officials.
Why they have not prevented such removal. Absolutely there are no explanation
from the defendants. They would in another breath contend that accounts if
produced would show no shortage. Accounts produced as discussed supra reveals
the correct and clear picture. The allegations made by the defendants remain
unproved. To say the least, the trial court fixed Rs.99.48 as the value of rice
per quintal, but it was the value of paddy per quintal. The trial Court jumped
to the conclusion that there was no possibility of shortage of paddy and it is
not known as to how quite as against the same from Ex.A.9 which the trial Court
relied on could arrive at such a conclusion. Ex.A.15, notice dated 10.10.1972
issued by the District Revenue Officer to the defendants contain the clear
details relating to the claim of the plaintiff as against the defendants and it
is extracted hereunder for ready reference:

	"Levy Scheme:				Q.Kg
		Paddy					679.51	
   		Rice						436.93

	Open Market Purchase Scheme:
		Paddy					 83.22	

The value for the shortages of paddy and rice including 25% penalty works out to
Rs.1,18,732.06 as detailed below:

Levy Scheme											Q. Kg
Rice due at 68%				462.07
for 679.51 Q.Kg of Paddy

Closing stock of rice which		436.93
is found short   			------						
	899.00	


						------
Open Market Purchase Scheme:		Q. Kg

Rice due at 68%
for 83.22 Q.Kg of Paddy			56.59

Total rice due	   		       955.59
	
Value at Rs.99.40
per quintal of rice for
955.59 quintal of rice		   Rs.94,985.65

25% penalty			   Rs.23,746.41					   	   -----
-------
					Rs. 1,18,732.06						
------------


18. This calculation is borne by entries in Ex.A.9 and that tallies with
the claim in the plaint. During arguments on the defendants’ side, nothing has
been elicited out so as to discredit the entries found in the plaint as well as
the calculation found in Ex.A.15 coupled with Ex.A.9. Relating to other aspects
involved in this matter, the facts are admitted. The Government correctly made
calculations and also given due deductions to amounts so far recovered in
paragraph No.7 and arrived at the net claim amount of Rs.67,481.34.
Accordingly, the point No.(i) is answered to the effect that the suit has to be
decreed as prayed for.

19. It is just and necessary to award interest at the rate of 6% per annum
from the date of suit till the date of recovery of the said amount of
Rs.67,481.34

20. In the result, in view of the aforesaid points, the appeal is allowed
by setting aside the Judgment and decree of the trial Court and by decreeing the
original suit, directing the defendants to pay jointly and severally a sum of
Rs.67,481.34 with 6% interest from the date of plaint till the date of
realisation. The defendants also shall pay the costs throughout to the
plaintiff.

To
The Subordinate Judge, Thanjavur.

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