Partnership Firm Vs. Vali Mohammad  INSC 1292 (27 July 2009)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4715 OF
2009 [Arising out of SLP(C) No. 742/2005] REGISTERED PARTNERSHIP FIRM ...
question which arises for consideration in this appeal is as to whether the
respondent is a money lender within the meaning of the provisions of M.P. Money
Lenders Act, 1934 (for brevity 'the Act'). Before us it is not denied or
disputed that in the event it is held that the provisions of the said Act are
applicable in the instant case, the impugned judgment must be sustained.
the appellant is a partnership firm. It inter alia carries business in seeds,
medicines, agricultural implements etc. The appellant, however, accepts that
whenever a person is in need of money, plaintiff lends him the same. The
learned Trial Judge opined that only because as and when loan is advanced to
persons who approached the plaintiff-appellant there for, the same would not
mean that it is a money lender. The High Court, however, by reason 2 of the
impugned judgment, noticing, inter alia, that the plaintiff himself has
admitted in paragraph 10 of the cross-examination that he had given loan to
about 60-70 villagers of Village Malvasa on interest at the rate of 2% per
month, is itself a pointer that he is a money lender. It was, therefore, held
that the provisions of Section 7 of the Money Lenders Act were attracted and in
its conclusion the plaintiff was found entitled to a sum of Rs.16,650/- with
interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing of the suit.
appellant herein filed the aforementioned suit for recovery of a sum of Rs.
24,630/-. Indisputably, the suit amount was calculated on the basis of the
interest charged from the defendant - respondent at the rate of 2% per month
i.e. 24 per cent per annum.
Puri, learned counsel for the appellant has taken us through the evidence. From
the evidence of the appellant's witness Shri Kantilal itself, it would appear
that a separate account book is maintained which is known as debtors' book. He
accepted that in that debtors' book, there were about 60-70 accounts. The
debtors mentioned in the said book of account are villagers of Village Malvasa
although the partners of the appellant firm have been living in Ratlam.
furthermore been brought on record that separate accounts are being maintained
in respect of other persons who have not been produced before the Court. The
partner of the appellant firm has furthermore accepted in his 3 evidence that
when they go for recovery of money, accounts are written on a piece of paper,
consisting bill No. and interest. As indicated hereinbefore, it has furthermore
been accepted that whenever persons approach the appellant firm for loan, the
same is granted. Plaintiff's partner Kantilal has admitted that he is a money
lender. Consequently, the plaintiff would not be entitled to get the interest
and cost of the suit as it has not complied with the provisions of Section 7 of
of the materials brought on record and having regard to the fact that the High
Court has arrived at a finding of fact in exercise of its jurisdiction under
Section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure, we find no reason to differ
therewith. Consequently, this appeal is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee is
assessed at Rs. 10,000/-.
.......................J (S.B. SINHA)
.......................J (DEEPAK VERMA)
JULY 27, 2009.