STATE BANK OF INDIA Vs. JYOTI RANJAN MAZUMDAR
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE BANK OF INDIA
JYOTI RANJAN MAZUMDAR
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A.C.Gupta, J. -
(1.) This appeal is from a judgment and decree passed by a learned Judge of the City Civil Court at Calcutta in a suit instituted by the respondent No. 1 before me as plaintiff.
(2.) The material facts are not disputed. A sum of Rs. 26,790/- was due from the Government of West Bengal to the plaintiff who describes himself as a "supplier" to the Government. To satisfy this claim the Principal Agricultural Officer, 24-Parganas (North), Barasat, on February 20, 1966 purchased a demand draft for the amount payable to the plaintiff in his trade name from the State Bank o India, Barasat Branch, drawn on the State Bank of India, Head Office, at 1, Strand Road, Calcutta. This draft bearing No. T 824720 was made over to the plaintiff from whose custody it was subsequently lost. The plaintiff immediately reported the loss to all concerned including State Bank of India, Barasat Branch, and State Bank of India, Head Office, who are respectively defendants Nos. 1 and 2 in the suit, and asked for a duplicate draft conveying his readiness to execute an indemnity bond for this purpose. The State Bank of India informed the plaintiff that the draft in question had not been paid and was still outstanding in their books assuring him that due caution would be exercised in the event of its presentation for payment but pleaded their inability to issue a duplicate draft except on an indemnity bond executed by the purchaser of the original draft, the Principal Agricultural Officer, who has been impleaded as pro forma defendant No. 3. As he was in no way responsible for the loss, the Principal Agricultural Officer declined to execute the bond but requested defendant No. 1 to issue a duplicate draft as asked for by the plaintiff. Ultimately having failed to persuade defendants Nos. 1 and 2 to issue a duplicate, the plaintiff brought the instant suit praying for a decree declaring that the plaintiff is entitled to a duplicate demand draft for Rs. 26,790 from defendants Nos. 1 and 2 and for a direction on the said defendants to issue a duplicate draft, if necessary, on the plaintiff executing an indemnity bond and for permanent injunction restraining the defendants from making any payment on the original draft.
(3.) The main defence of defendant Nos. 1 and 2 as appearing from their written statement is based on a rule in the Bank's Book of Instructions which "requires inter alia an indemnity bond to be executed by the "purchaser of the draft before a duplicate could be issued. The court below decreed the suit declaring that the plaintiff is entitled to a duplicate demand draft from defendants Nos. 1 and 2 who were directed to issue a duplicate on the plaintiff executing an indemnity bond and the defendants were permanently restrained from making any payment on the original draft.;
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