ILLURU HANUMANTHIAH Vs. UMNABAD THIMMAIAH
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
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Rajamannar, C.J. -
(1.) Two points are raised by Mr. Kothandaramiah, learned counsel for the appellant In these two second appeals. These second appeals arise out of two suite filed by the appellant for recovery of damages in respect of two contracts under which the deceased father of defendants 1 to 6 agreed to supply bags of groundnut seeds. The contracts were entered into on 18-8-1945 and 19-9-1945. The delivery in respect of these two contracts was to be made in December 1945 and in December 1945 or January 1946 respectively. Both the Courts below have dismissed the suits mainly on the ground that the suit contracts are void as being in contravention of the provisions of "the Oil Seeds (Forward Contracts Prohibition) Order, 1943".
(2.) Learned counsel wanted to escape the provisions of this Order by contending that they would not apply to these cases on two grounds. One was that the contracts in these cases were not forward contracts within the meaning of the definition of the term in Clause (ii) of Section 2 of the Order. The definition is as follows: " 'Forward contract' means a contract for the delivery of oilseeds at some future date." The argument is that as the contracts did not specify the dates but only mentioned generally the entire month or months there were no contracts for the delivery "at some future date". I do not accept this argument, because the phrase "at some future date" is not the same as "on a future date". "At some future date" only means at some time in future.
(3.) The second ground is that the suit contracts come within the scope of exemption granted to certain contracts by notification of the Central Government dated 31-5-1943. According to that notification
"Forward contracts for groundnut.......... etc., not transferable to third parties are excluded from the provisions of the order". Learned counsel conceded that there was nothing on the face of the contracts to show that they were not transferable to third parties. His contention is that under the general law, executory contracts like the contracts in question under which there were mutual obligations to be performed, namely, the payment of price and delivery of goods, could not be assigned. In support of this contention learned counsel was able to cite only a decision of a single Judge of the Bombay High Court in 1892 in -- 'J. H. Tod v. Lakshmidas Purushothamadas', 16 Bom 441 (A). In subsequent decisions both of the Bombay High Court and the Calcutta High Court it has been held that the buyer's right under a contract to get goods on payment of price is capable of assignment because it comes within the definition of an actionable claim,;
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