BANK OF INDIA Vs. MEHTA BROS
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
BANK OF INDIA
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Charanjit Talwar, J. -
(1.)The plaintiff, Bank of India, has filed this suit for recovery of Rs. 91,58,48008 against six defendants. Defendant No. I is a partnership firm carrying on the business within the jurisdiction of this Court with its head office at 342, Naya Bans, Delhi. Defendants 2 to 5 are its partners who also carry on business in Delhi. Defendant No. 6 is European Asian Bank A.G. a body corporate incorporated in West Germany and it has a branch at Bombay. By this application leave is sought by the plaintiff under Section 20(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure to institute the suit against defendant No 6 in this Court. In reply to this application the following objections have been raised on behalf of that defendant. (1) that the leave sought for cannot be granted as by virtue of Section 120 of the Code the Provisions of Section 20 of the Code do not apply to the present proceedings ; (2) that the claim against the said defendant is bad for misjoinder of causes of action ; and (3) that the main relief sought for is against defendant No. 6, it is thus in the position of the main contesting defendant and, therefore, in its discretion this court ought not to grant leave under Section 20(b) of the code to prosecute that defendant in Delhi.
(2.)So far as the first objection regarding the nonapplicability of the provisions of Section 20 of the Code is concerned it is well-settled by this Court that Sections 16, 17 and 20 of the Code are applicable to the High Court of Delhi. The amendment introduced in Section 120 of the Code in the year 1951. excluding the applicabilityof those sections to the High Court, applies only to .Madras. Calcutta and Bombay High Courts which were then exercisin. g ordinary civil jurisdiction. As held by a Division Bench of this court in Suit No. 51 of 1968 (State Bank of India v. Himalayan Exporters & Another) decided on 20th November, 1970, that amendment was never contemplated to cover the cases of future High Courts. I, therefore, hold that this Court has jurisdiction to grant leave sought for in this application.
(3.)In support of the second objection Mr. U.R. Lalit, learned counsel for defendant No. 6, relies on the averments in paras 16 and 18 of the plaint to show that prima fade cause of action against defendants 1 to 5 is distinct and separate from the one against defendant No. 6. He urged that from the very nature of the claim it is obvious that there is no continuity in the.ssme cause' of action between these two sets of defendants. The plea is that under Rule 3 of Order 2 of the Code defendant No. 6 cannot be joined in the present proceedings with defendants I to 5.
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