(1.) THE plaintiff has filed the instant suit for recovery of Rs. 25,00,000/-. The averments made as per the plaint are that the plaintiff is a Group Company of renowned Matsushita Group, Japan, who are the world
leaders in consumer electronics and other products being sold under the
brand names of National and Panasonic. The plaintiff is, inter alia,
marketing and selling its audio, video and T.V. sets, etc., in Indian
market. It has wide distributor/stockist network. The defendant No. 1 is
a company incorporated under the Companies Act of which the defendant
Nos. 2 and 3 are the Directors. The defendant Nos. 2 and 3 in that
capacity approached the plaintiff in or around July/August, 1995 and
requested the plaintiff to appoint the defendant No. 1 as their stockist
in respect of Panasonic products manufactured and marketed by the
plaintiff. The plaintiff agreed to appoint the defendant No. 1 as one of
its stockists and Stockist Agreement dated 22.9.1995 was entered into
between the parties. On the basis of this agreement, the plaintiff
started supplying goods to the defendants from time-to-time as per the
orders placed by the defendants. Against these supplies, invoices were
raised. The defendant No. 1 was making 'on account' payment. As per the
books of accounts of the plaintiff, total goods supplied were worth Rs.
26,58,648.07 and against these goods the defendant No. 1 made payment of Rs. 8,30,445.60, thus, leaving a balance of Rs. 18,28,202.47. In
discharge of the partial liability, the defendants is
Cheque No. Date Amount/Rs. 635881 18.12.1995 2,00,000/- 646014 30.3.1996 1,00,000/- 646004 20.1.1996 2,00,000/- 646002 5.1.1996 2,00,000/-
(2.) HOWEVER , these cheques were dishonoured on presentation with the remarks "exceeds arrangement". Thus, the total liability of Rs.
18,28,202.47 is outstanding. The plaintiff has filed the suit for recovery claiming interest at the rate of 24% per annum and adding the
interest component of Rs. 6,71,797.53 till filing of the suit, total
claim of Rs. 25,00,000/- is made. The defendant Nos. 2 and 3 arc imp
leaded as Directors on the ground that they are responsible for running
the administration of the defendant No. 1 and also assumed the plaintiff
that they would remit the payment but have failed to liquidate the
The defendant No. 2 died during the proceedings and was directed to be deleted from the array of parties vide order dated 31.7.2003 when
statement was made by the learned Counsel for the plaintiff that the
plaintiff did not wish to proceed against the LRs of the defendant No. 2.
Counsel for defendant Nos. 1 and 3 appeared after receiving the summons
but no written statement was filed in spite of opportunities being given
and cost being imposed. The Counsel for the defendant Nos. 1 and 2
stopped appearing. Therefore, on 31.7.2003, learned Counsel for the
plaintiff prayed for passing off decree under Order 8 Rule 10, CPC.
However, instead of taking this course of action the Court directed the
plaintiff to file an affidavit by way of evidence to prove its case
against the defendant Nos. 1 and 3. In compliance with this order
affidavit of Mr. Vineet Agarwal, Assistant Manager (Legal)-cum-Company
Secretary of the plaintiff company is filed. He has produced on record
the Board Resolution authorising him to depose by way of the said
Affidavit. He has also produced certificate of incorporation as Ex. PW
1/2. Agreement dated 22.8.1995 executed between the parties is annexed with affidavit as Ex. PW 1/3. The cheques, which were given by the
defendant No. 1 and were dishonoured are filed along with bank advice as
Ex. PW 1/4 (colly). The statement of account is filed as Ex. PW 1/5.
Supplementary affidavit is also filed annexing the Resolution dated
(3.) 2.2003 of the company authorising the deponent to file the suit. Because of the change of the name of the company from M/s. National
Panasonic Pvt. Ltd. to M/s. Panasonic India Pvt. Ltd., certificate of
incorporation containing this change is filed as Ex. PW 1/7. Another
affidavit of Sh. Roopesh K. Sharma by way of evidence is filed and in
this affidavit also same averments are stated on oath as in the affidavit
of earlier witness making same averments, which are stated in the plaint
and noted above.
4. From the aforesaid unrebutted testimony I am of the view that the has made out a case that there was a Stockist Agreement between the parties
pursuant to which goods were supplied to the defendants from
time-to-time. Total goods supplied, as per the statement of account
filed, which is on the basis of account maintained by the plaintiff
company in ordinary course of business, were to the tune of Rs.
25,00,000/- against which the defendants made payment of only Rs. 8,30,445.60. The plaintiff is thus entitled to the balance amount of Rs. 18,28,202.47. Thus, the plaintiff has claimed interest at the rate of 24% per annum, I am of the view the claim of interest at this rate is quite
excessive and it would be proper and reasonable to award interest at the
rate of 12% per annum on the amount of Rs. 18,28,202.47 for pre-suit,
pendente lite and future period till the payment is made. The plaintiff
shall also be entitled to cost of the suit. Decree be drawn accordingly.