V RAMACHANDRAIAH GUPTA Vs. RAVULA VENKAT REDDY
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
FIRM OF V.RAMACHANDRAIAH GUPTA
RAVULA VENKAT REDDY
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(1.)The plaintiff, whose suit was dismissed by both the Courts below is the petitioner in the Civil Revision Petition. The petitioner is described in the plaint as the ' Firm V. Ramachandraiah Gupta and K. Anjayya Gupta, Commission Agents, Mahaboobnagar'. One K. Narayana claiming to be a partner of the firm signed and verified the pleadings. The plaintiff filed Exhibit A-4, an Acknowledgment of Registration of Firm', to prove that the firm was a registered firm. The plaintiff, however, did not file any certified extract of the Register of Firms disclosing the names of the partners of the firm. Exhibit A-4 also did not mention the names of the partners and therefore both the lower Courts held that the condition prescribed by section 69 (2) of the Indian Partnership Act had not been fulfilled and therefore dismissed the suit. Before the appellate Court a deed of partnership dated nth December, 1961 was sought to be introduced as additional evidence, but the appellate Court declined to receive the document as additional evidence. On the merits., however, both the lower Courts found that the bond, Exhibit A-1 dated 26th July, 1967, on which the suit was founded was true and supported by consideration and that the denial of the genuineness of the bond by the defendant was false.
(2.)These concurrent findings on the merits are findings of fact based on evidence and are binding on me. The only question for consideration is whether the requirements of section 69 (2) of the Partnership Act are satisfied. Sub-sections i and 2 of section 69 are as follows:
"69.(1) No suit to enforce a right arising from a contract or conferred by this Act shall be instituted in any Court by or on behalf of any person suing as a partner in a firm against the firm or any person alleged to be or to have been a partner in the firm unless the firm is registered and the person suing is or has been shown in the Register of Firms as a partner in the firm. (2) No suit to enforce a right arising from a contract shall be instituted in any Court by or on behalf of a firm against any third party unless the firm is registered and the persons suing are to have been shown in the Register of Firms as partners in the firm."
(3.)Now, a firm is not a legal entity at all, but is a mere abbreviated name for the several partners of which it consists. Ordinarily, therefore, a suit may not be brought by a firm in its own name but a suit may be brought by all the partners acting together or by some of the partners only but impleading the other partners also as parties to the suit. However Order 30, rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Code prescribes a special procedure by which a suit may be brought in the name of the firm. It provides that any two or more persons claiming or being liable as partners and carrying on business may sue or be sued in the name of the firm of which such persons were partners at the time of the accruing of the cause of action and that in such a case it shall suffice if one of such persons signs, verifies or certifies any pleadings or document required by the Code to be signed, verified or certified by the plaintiff or the defendant. The effect of a suit instituted in the name of the firm in the manner, prescribed by Order 30 rule 1 is as if the suit is filed by all the partners collectively.
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