CHEKKA SUBRAHMANYAM Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
UNION OF INDIA
Click here to view full judgement.
PANCHAPAGESA SASTRI, J. -
(1.) THIS civil revision petition arises out of S. C. S. No. 212 of 1946 on the file of the Sub -Court, Kakinada. The plaintiff claimed Rs. 400 and odd for loss of goods sent through the M. and S. M. Eailway. He gave notices, Ex. A -1 dated 22 -8 -1946 to the Chief Commercial Manager, M. S. M. Railway, EX. A -8 of the same date to the Manager, M. S. M. Railway and Ex. A -6, a notice under Section 80, Civil P.C., to the Secretary, Governor -General of India in Council, Department of Railway, New Delhi. Amongst several defences raised by the defendant the objection to the validity of the notice, Ex. A -6, is pressed. The trial Court held that proper notice under Section 80, Civil P. C. was not given and dismissed the suit.
(2.) IN revision it is argued that Ex. A -6 satisfies the requirements of Section 80 and that the lower Court is wrong in holding otherwise. That notice was issued to 'the Secretary, Governor General of India in Council, Department of Railways, New Delhi', and it states that it is under Section 80, Civil P. C. In the body of the notice it is set out that the goods were despatched through the M. S. M. Railway and that the goods were not delivered. The claim is for compensation for the value of the goods. The last para of the notice reads as follows : 'Please therefore take notice that if the said amount of Rs. 419 -2 -0 with interest at 6 per cent. be not paid to my client within 2 months of the receipt of this notice a suit will be filed in due course for the recovery thereof.'
The objection to this notice on behalf of the defendant is that it is not stated in Ex. A. 6 that the suit will be filed against the Governor General in Council. Reliance was placed by the learned Judge on two decisions of this Court reported in Governor General in Council v. Krishnaswami, : AIR1946Mad366 and Governor General in Council v. Raghunandan : AIR1947Mad64 . In the first of those cases the notice that was given was addressed to the Secretary of State for India. The suit itself was filed against the Secretary of State for India. It was later on amended by describing the defendant as the Governor -General in Council. No fresh notice to the Governor -General in Council was given. It was decided that the notice was bad, as the notice actually stated that the suit would be instituted against the Secretary of State for India. In the present case it will be noted that there is no such mistake com -mitted by the person who issued the notice. The notice merely says that a suit will be instituted but it does not state against whom. The argument on behalf of the respondent is that unless the notice expressly states in itself that the suit will be against the Governor General in Council Section 80 is not complied with. I think this reading of Section 80 is not warranted. I realise that the terms of Section 80 are explicit and mandatory and cannot be waived. It requires that the notice should state the name, the residence etc. of the plaintiff, the cause of action, and the relief. There is no objection in this case that the notice was not delivered to the proper person. The only objection is that the notice does not say in the last para where a reference to the proposed suit is made that the suit will be against the Governor -General in Council. Any person who reads this notice can have no doubt that it is a suit proposed to be filed against the Crown or the Government. There is no reason to think that the suit was to be against the Secretary as a public officer concerned. Obviously he has had nothing to do with any of these transactions in question, and the only reasonable way of understanding the notice is that it is given as indicated in Section 80 to the Secretary of the Railway Department, because it is a suit which is intended to be filed against the Government. The decision in Governor General in Council v. Krishnaswami : AIR1946Mad366 is clearly distinguishable because there the notice itself stated distinctly that the suit will be against the Secretary of State, who is altogether a different person from the Governor General in Council. Learned counsel drew my attention to a recent decision of the Patna High Court in Bholaram Shidbhan Firm v. Governor General in Council, : AIR1949Pat416 , where the terms of Section 80 are discussed. I am in agreement with the views contained therein.
In these circumstances I have no doubt that the notice is a proper notice under Section 80, Civil P. C. I set aside the decree of the trial Court, and remand the case for fresh disposal on the other points raised in the pleadings. The petitioner is entitled to get his costs of this revision petition from the respondent.;
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.