Decided on March 28,2007

National Panasonic India Ltd Appellant
Seevoice Magnetics India P Ltd Respondents


A.K.SIKRI,J. - (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 outstanding dues. 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. Suit decreed.;

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