HOOSEN KASAM DADA INDIA LTD Vs. MOTILAL PADAMPAT SUGAR MILLS CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
HOOSEN KASAM DADA (INDIA) LTD., BY AGENT SAKOOR DAWOOD
MOTILAL PADAMPAT SUGAR MILLS CO. LTD.
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Rajamannar, C.J. -
(1.) These are two appeals against the judgment of Rajagopalan J. disposing of two applications in two suits, C. S. Nos. 762 and 763 of 1948 on the original side of this court. The two applications Were heard together and disposed of by a common judgment. The applications were made by the common defendant in the two suits to revoke the leave granted to the plaintiff in each of the two suits under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent. The defendant is a limited company engaged in the business of manufacture of sugar at its mills at Majhaulia in the Champaram District in Bihar State. The registered office of the company happens to be at Kanpur. The plaintiffs are dealers in sugar carrying on business at Madras. They placed orders with the defendant for certain bags of sugar. These orders were booked by one Purushotham Pai who is described in the concerned contracts as the sugar agent of the defendant. The contract forms relating to the suit contracts purport to be offers made by the plaintiffs for the purchase of sugar, and it is recited therein that the plaintiff would agree to sign formal contracts on receipt of the acceptance of the offers. Sakoor Dawood vs. Motilal Padampat Sugar ... Page 3 of 9 It is common ground that the offers were accepted by the defendant. The forms which were signed by the buyers wore also signed by the agent Pai and another for the mills and seller. The address of the mills is given as Majhaulia. In each of the two suits the plaintiff claimed damages for breach of the respective contract in his favour. Before instituting the suit, each of the plaintiffs obtained an ex parte order granting leave to sue the defendant (Appins. Nos. 3613 and 3614 of 19-18). The orders were obtained on the following allegations, viz., that the cause of action for the suite entirely arose at Madras where the contracts were entered into and concluded, where the payment under the contracts was made and where delivery was to be effected. The defendant entered appearance in each of the two suits under Order 5, Rule 12 of the Original Side rules, i.e., it entered appearance under protest. The defendants also applied and obtained extension of time to file the written statement but before filing the written statement took out two applications out of which these appeals arise, praying 'inter alia' that the leave granted to the plaintiff in each of the two suite be revoked and the suits dismissed for want of jurisdiction and also for a stay of the suits under Section 34, Arbitration Act.
(2.) The applications were entirely founded on the terms of Clause 8 in each of the two offer forms which runs thus: "All disputes in respect of this contract shall be settled by arbitration failing which shall be settled in the court of the seller's jurisdiction where this contract shall be deemed to have been entered into." The learned Judge granted the first prayer and revoked the leave granted to the two plaintiffs. He did not therefore deal with the next prayer.
(3.) Wo entirely agree with the learned Judge that Clause 8 not only provided for a determination of the place of the contract, but it also provided that a suit relating to the contract should be instituted in a particular court, viz., the Court of the seller's jurisdiction. It is obvious that under the general law the Madras Court would also have jurisdiction to entertain the suits. The parties must be deemed therefore to have had a choice of courts at the time when they entered into the contracts but they voluntarily agreed with each other that any suit relating to the contract shall be instituted only in the court of the seller's jurisdiction.;
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