R L KHANNA Vs. SIMLA BANKING & INDUSTRIAL CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
R L Khanna
Simla Banking And Industrial Co Ltd
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(1.) This is an application made by Shri R.L. Khanna under section 45B of the Banking Companies Act claiming a sum of Rs. 3,654/- from the respondent. The facts of this case are that a short time before the partition of the country, the petitioner gave two treasury bills of Rs. 1,908/ and Rs. 1,746/ respectively, to the respondent for collection. These bills were drawn by the Sub-Divisional Officer, Anandpur Sub-Division in favour of the petitioner for part payment of his dues for some contract work done by him. The petitioner states that after giving the two bills to the respondent Bank, he had been making frequent demands but without success. It appears that the two bills given for collection to the respondent Bank were passed on by it to the Federal Bank of India (Punjab) Limited for collection. The Federal Bank went into liquidation on the 10th of February, 1948, but these bills had been claimed in the treasury before that Bank went into liquidation, as stated by P.W.1, the Liquidator of the Federal Bank of India, and P.W.2. a clerk of the Sub Treasury, Una. According to P.W.2, the Sub Treasury, Una had paid the bill for Rs. 1,908/- on the 13th of June, 1947, to the Manager of the Federal Bank of India, Una Branch, and the second bill for Rs. 1,746/- was paid on the 30th of July, 1947. This was several months before the Federal Bank went into liquidation. The respondent in this case claimed the amount from the Official liquidator of the Federal Bank and on the 10th of October, 1952, the respondent and the liquidator of the Federal Bank agreed among themselves to reduce this amount by 50 per cent as a preferential claim and the claim of the respondent was registered to the extent of one half as a preferential claim and the other half as an ordinary debt. Exhibit R.5 is a letter addressed by the liquidator of the Federal Bank to the Manager of the respondent Bank dated the 29th of September, 1954, in which it was stated that the break up of the amount into two equal portions one of Preferential and one of Ordinary was done only as a compromise between the bank and your representative at the time of disposal of the case in Court. There was no longer basis for the split except that we were treating the entire amount as Ordinary debt while your representative wanted it to be a Preferential one and a via media of splitting it into half and was eventually agreed."
(2.) It is clear from the statement of the petitioner on interrogatories in answer to question No. 4, that these two bills (mentioned as cheques) were given to the respondent Bank for collection only. In reply to a letter received from the petitioner, the Manager of the respondent Bank wrote to him on the 7th of August, 1950. vide Annexure B, that the Federal Bank of India had not paid the proceeds of the two cheques so far, and that a claim with regard to those two cheques had been lodged with the liquidator of the Bank and the amount would be remitted as soon as the respondent received the same from the Federal Bank.
(3.) The statement of the petitioner coupled with what has been stated in Annexure B, and in the absence of any evidence in rebuttal, leaves no room for doubt that the relationship between the parties was that of principal and agent and not of creditor and debtor so far as these two bills were concerned. The Federal Bank of India was, in its turn, the agent of the respondent and there was no privity either in law or in fact between the petitioner and the Federal Bank of India. The principle of law is succinctly stated in the maxim Qui per alium facit per seipsum facere videtur, which means "he who does an act through another is deemed in law to do it himself." The principle is illustrated in Article 63 in Bowstead on Agency (tenth edition) as under :-
"Every agent who employs a sub-agent is liable to the principal for money received by the sub-agent to the principal's use and is responsible to the principal for the negligence and other breaches of duty of the sub-agent in the course of his employment........";
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