South East Asia Shipping Co. Ltd. Vs. M/S Nav Bharat Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
& Ors  INSC 384 (13 March 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.Venkataswami K. (J)
1996 SCC (3) 443 JT 1996 (3) 656 1996 SCALE (3)190
O R D
appeal by special leave arises from the order of the Division Bench of the
Delhi High Court made on February
19, 1980 in FAO (OS)
No.56/79. The respondents had filed a suit on the original side of the Delhi
High Court for perpetual injunction against the appellant from enforcing bank
guarantee dated July
16, 1977. The learned
single Judge held that no part of the cause of action had arisen within the
jurisdiction of the High Court and, therefore, the Court lacked jurisdiction to
entertain the suit. On appeal, the Division Bench concluded that since the bank
guarantee was executed in Delhi and
payments were to be made in Delhi, the
High Court has jurisdiction to try the suit and the direction of the learned
single Judge to return the plaint for presentation to the proper Court was not
correct in law.
this appeal by special leave.
only controversy is whether the Delhi High Court has jurisdiction to entertain
the suit. It is an admitted position that the contract was executed in Bombay. It is also an admitted position
that the performance of obligations and liabilities under the contract was
required to be done in Bombay inasmuch as Cargo of livestock was
to be transported in the ship from Kandla to Damman or Jeddah.
also an admitted position that in furtherance of the execution of the contract
at Bombay, the respondents had executed the
bank guarantee at Delhi and had transmitted it to Bombay for performance of the contract.
The question, therefore, is whether any part of the cause of action had arisen
in Delhi. The learned counsel for the
respondents had relied upon a judgment of this Court in ABC Laminart Pvt. Ltd.
& Anr. vs. A.P. Agencies, Salem [(1989)
2 SCC 163] to contend that since part of the cause of action had arisen in Delhi, the High Court on the original
side has jurisdiction to entertain the suit. We are unable to accept the
settle law that cause of action consists of bundle of facts which give cause to
enforce the legal injury for redress in a court of law. The cause of action
means, therefore, every fact, which if transferred, it would be necessary for
the plaintiff to prove in order to support his right to a judgment of the
Court. In other words, it is a bundle of facts, which taken with the law
applicable to them, gives the plaintiff a right to claim relief against the
defendant. It must include some act done by the defendant since in the absence
of such an act no cause of action would possibly accrue or would arise. In view
of the admitted position that contract was executed in Bombay, i.e., within the
jurisdiction of the High Court of Bombay, performance of the contract was also
to be done within the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court; merely because
bank guarantee has executed at Delhi and transmitted for performance in Bombay,
it does not constitute a cause of action to give rise to the respondent to lay
the suit on the original side of the Delhi High Court. The contention that the
Division Bench was right in its finding and that since the bank guarantee was executed
and liability was enforced from the bank at Delhi, the Court got jurisdiction, cannot be sustained.
therefore, hold that the learned single Judge was right in his conclusion that
no part of the cause of action had arisen within the jurisdiction on the
original side of the High Court of Delhi and direct to return the plaint for
presentation to the proper court.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The order of the Division Bench is set aside and
that of learned single Judge is restored. No costs.