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Delhi High Court
Concorde Motors Ltd. vs Smt. Raj Kumari Nanda on 25 May, 2006
Author: S Kumar
Bench: S Kumar, S Bhayana

JUDGMENT

Swatanter Kumar, J.

1. This Regular First Appeal is directed against the judgment and decree dated 9.11.2004 passed by the Additional District Judge, Delhi. The challenge to the decree is raised on the ground that the suit of the plaintiff was barred by time and the plaintiff had failed to prove the case by leading cogent and proper evidence, as such the court had fallen in error of law and fact in passing the decree against the defendant in the suit.

2. The necessary facts are that Smt. Raj Kumari Nanda, as the Sole Proprietor of M/s. Kandla Transport Company had filed a suit for recovery of Rs. 5,99,286/- along with pendente lite and future interest @ 24% per annum. The claim of the plaintiff/respondent (in the present appeal) was based upon the fact that they were carrying on the business of transporters and the present appellant was a dealer of Tata Vehicles. The vehicles were transported from the regional sales office of the appellant to various showrooms. The same were also got registered by the plaintiff/respondent with the Transport Authorities in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. This was done at the instance of the appellant and a sum of Rs. 7,60,127/- was outstanding on these accounts. However, subsequently the after repeated requests, the appellant had issued two cheques, one for Rs. 80,455/- and the other for Rs. 2,63,827/- and after adjusting the said amounts, a sum of Rs. 3,89,147/- was outstanding. Having failed to recover the said amount, the respondent served a legal notice upon the appellant claiming the said sum with 18% interest per annum on the principal amount and, thereafter filed a suit for the above sum and also claimed pendente lite and future interest @ 24% per annum. This suit was contested by the appellant/defendant (in suit) and it claimed a plea that the suit was barred by time and other facts were also denied. However, the payments by cheques were not disputed and it was stated that no amount was due and payable to the respondents.

3. On these pleadings of the parties, the learned Trial Court framed the following issues:-

1. Whether plaintiff is entitled to recovery of Rs. 5,99,286/- along with interest OPP

2. If issue No. 1 is decided in favor of plaintiff then the rate of interest to which he is entitled OPP

3. Whether the suit is barred by limitation OPD

4. Relief.

4. As the defendant led no evidence, the learned Trial Court accepting the case of the plaintiff answered the issues in favor of the plaintiff and decreed the suit for the above amount on 9.11.2004 giving rise to the present appeal. First of all, it may be noticed that a number of opportunities were given to the defendant and despite these adjournments the defendant led no evidence and finally the court while rejecting the application of the defendant seeking further adjournment, closed the evidence of the defendant. As such, in the eyes of law, there is no documentary or oral evidence on record produced by the appellant/defendant. The court was required to decide the case on the evidence led by the plaintiff. It is really not necessary for us to discuss findings recorded on each issue by the court as only the above two grounds have been raised before us. The suit of the plaintiff cannot be said to be barred by time and the issue has rightly been answered against the appellant. It is contended that the transactions related to the year 1999, while the suit was filed on 3.7.2002, as such the suit was barred by time. This argument is without any basis. The vehicles have been transported in the year 1999. The statements of the plaintiff as well as PW2, Dhan Singh Mehra, clearly supported the case of the plaintiff that the bills which were raised related to June 1999 and were duly served upon the defendant. It was not even disputed during the course of hearing of this appeal that the appellant had made the payments of Rs. 80,445/- and Rs. 2,63,827/- on 12.2.2001. The said payments were obviously made in furtherance to the bills raised by the respondent upon the appellant. Even if all other pleas of the appellant are taken to be correct for the sake of arguments, the suit cannot be stated to the barred by time as the suit was timely filed on 3.7.2002, the last payment on account being made on 12.2.2001. Thus, we have no hesitation in rejecting this argument.

5. The second plea raised on behalf of the appellant, is in any case, without any merit as there is no evidence led by the appellant on record and the plaintiff had produced the documents as well as examined the witnesses to substantiate its case. It was stated that in terms of the bills, the appellants were liable to pay interest @ 18% per annum. Copies of the bills were duly proved on record as Ex.PW1/2 to Ex. PW1/105. In face of the statements of PW1 and PW2, the documentary evidence on record and there being no evidence on behalf of the appellant, the claim of the respondent has remained un-rebutted.

6. We cannot find any error of fact and law in the judgment of learned Trial Court, thus, the impugned decree calls for no interference and the appeal is accordingly dismissed, while leaving the parties to bear their own costs.