PIYARA SINGH Vs. BHAGWAN DAS
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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Harnam Singh, J. -
(1.) THE question which has been referred to this Bench for decision is:
Whether the common law rule that a debtor should seek his creditor is, applicable in the case of promissory notes and in particular promissory notes payable on demand?
(2.) BRIEFLY summarised, the facts leading to this reference are that on 21 -02 -1947, Piara Singh deft. executed the promissory note in suit at Lahore where both parties resided. On the partition of the Punjab under Section 4, Indian Independence Act, 1947, parties have migrated to India and the pltf. is living at Moga Mandi in the Ferozepore District while the deft. is living at Delhi. On 14 -06 -1948, pltf. applied to sue in forma pauperis and filed his appln. in the Ct. of the Subordinate Judge 1st class at Moga. In those proceedings the deft. urged a preliminary objection that the Ct. had no jurisdiction to try the case. Relying on the common law rule that the debtor must seek the creditor the trial Ct. has found that the pltf. was entitled to sue at the place where he resided and the deft. has now come to this Ct. in revn. against that order. In Section 20, Civil P.C. hereinafter referred to as the Code, is contained the statement of the law as to the forum in cases of personal actions. In plain English Section 20 enacts that the Ct. gets jurisdiction to try a case if the deft. resides or carries on business or personally works for gain within the local limits of its jurisdiction on the cause of action arises wholly or in part within such local limits.
(3.) SECTION 17, Civil P.C. 1882, corresponded to Section 20 of the present Code. In Section 17 of the old Code there was Expln. III which provided that in a suit arising out of a contact the cause of action arose within the meaning of the section at any of the following places namely: (a) the place where the contract was made; (b) the place where the contract was to be performed or performance thereof completed; and (c) the place where, in performance of the contract, any money to which the suit relates was expressly or impliedly payable. Indeed Expln. III was added to Section 17 of the Code to make it clear that a suit arising out of contract could be instituted in a Ct. within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the cause of action arose either wholly or in part. The Expln. gave rise to doubts whether other classes of suits could be instituted in a Ct. within the local limits of whose jurisdiction part only of the cause of action arose. In Section 20 of the Code it has now been enacted that all classes of suits can be instituted where the cause of action arises wholly or in part and Expln. III to Section 17 of the Code of 1882 has not been re -enacted in the Code of 1908. In Salig Ram v. Chuba, Mal 34 ALL. 49 : (11 I.C. 712) and Sita Ram v. Ram Chandra,, 26 P.R. 1918:, A.I.R. 1918 Lah. 52 it was held that although Expln. III to Section 17 of the Code of 1882 has not been re -enacted in the Code of 1908, the introduction of the words "wholly or in part" in Section 20(c) of the Code has left the existing law unaltered.;
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