PUNJAB COMMERCE BANK LTD Vs. BRIJ LAL MAHANDI RATTA
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
PUNJAB COMMERCE BANK LTD.
BRIJ LAL MAHANDI RATTA
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Bishan Narain, J. -
(1.) This is a Letters Patent Appeal under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent against the judgment of Soni J. dismissing the suit of the Punjab Commerce Bank Limited (in liquidation), Amritsar, against Shri Brij Lal Mahandi Ratta proprietor of Baj Hosiery, Attari Bazar, Jullundur City, for the recovery of Rs. 10,269/12/6 as barred by time.
(2.) The facts of the case are that the defendant had a cash credit account with the Lahore Branch of the plaintiff Bank and on 9-10-1946 the defendant executed a pronote in favour of the Bank for a sum of Rs. 10,000/-. Balance due to the plaintiff Bank on 1-1-1947 was Rs. 10,163/6/9. On 17-2-1948 an application for winding up of the Bank was made in this Court and by his order dated 11-10-1950 Harnam Singh J. ordered the winding up of the Bank and appointed Shri Ram Narain Vermoni as official liquidator. On 31-3-1952 the present suit was filed in this. Court under Section 45-B, Companies Act, 1949, as amended by Act 20 of 1950. In the plaint the Bank claimed that the suit was within time as Article 85, Limitation Act, was applicable to the dealings between the parties and it was further alleged that the cause of action had accrued to the plaintiff on 9-10-1946 and that the suit was within time from various dates of part payments and acknowledgments and also because of the Displaced Persons' (Institution of Suits and Legal Proceedings) Amendment Act 68 of 1950 and the provisions of the Banking Companies Act. On 11-7-1952 the following issues were framed by Harnam Singh J., but we are concerned in this appeal with Issue No. 1 only:
1. Whether the suit was within time? 2. Whether the Bank was entitled to the interest charged? And
(3.) Whether the defendant was entitled to instalments? By his judgment dated 2-12-1952 Soni J. dismissed the suit as barred by time holding that the dealings between the parties did not come within Article 85, Limitation Act, and that under Article 57 the limitation expired on 9-10-1949. He further held that neither acknowledgments nor Section 45 of the Banking Companies Act was of any avail to the plaintiff. 3. Mr. Gosain the learned counsel for the plaintiff Bank in appeal did not press before us the grounds that were urged by his client before Soni J. to bring the suit within time. He, however, urged that since the decision of Soni J. the Banking Companies Act of 1949 has been further amended by Act 52 of 1953 which came into force on 30-12-1953 and he urged that this Amending Act of 1953 is retrospective in effect and applies to all suits which were pending on the date that the Amending Act of 1953 came into force and inasmuch as an appeal is a rehearing of the case the suit is still within time as the Amending Act is applicable to the case on the date of the decision. He further urged that in any case the law of limitation being a purely procedural law the Amending Act of 1953 should be applied to this case at the time of the decision of the suit.;
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