Mohatta Brothers Vs. Bharat Suryodaya
Mills Co. Ltd., Ahmadabad  INSC 98 (5 April 1976)
KHANNA, HANS RAJ KHANNA, HANS RAJ GOSWAMI,
CITATION: 1976 AIR 1703 1976 SCR (3)1022 1976
SCC (4) 420
Indian Partnership Act (9 of 1932), s.
69-Scope of- Partnership deed showing partners-Later deed showing change in
partners-Proof that it was not acted upon.
The appellant, a registered partnership-firm,
was the managing agent of (he respondent. After submitting its resignation to
the board of directors of the respondent- company, the appellant filed a suit
claiming a sum of money in accordance with an agreed scheme. The appellant-firm
consisted of 5 partners with effect from April 1, 1949, and in addition, a
minor was entitled to a 4-anna share in the profits of the partnership but was
not liable for the losses. The minor was represented by his mother as guardian.
On October 24, 1949, another partnership deed
was executed wherein the mother was shown as a partner of the appellant- firm
with a 4-anna share and the minor's name was omitted.
The respondent contended that the suit was
because the constitution of the old firm had
been changed on October 24, 1949, and that the newly constituted firm
consisting of 6 partners had not been registered.
The trial court held that the new partnership
deed was not acted upon and decreed the suit for a part of the amount claimed.
There were appeals by both sides. The High Court disagreed with the finding of
the trial court that the later partnership deed had not been acted upon and
held that the mandatory condition of s. 69(2), Indian Partnership Act, was not
fulfilled as the name Of the mother who was a partner in the reconstituted firm
and in whose favour cause of action had accrued, was not shown in the register
of firms, and that this defect was fatal to the suit.
Allowing the appellant's appeal to this Court
and remanding the appeal to the High Court for disposal on merits,
HELD: The trial court took the correct view
of the matter in so far as it held that the later partnership deed was not
acted upon and that the mother did not become a partner of the appellant-firm.
[1028B] (1) The question as to when it was decided not to act upon the later
deed is not material. The evidence of one of the partners of the appellant-firm
that it was not acted upon and that the mother was not a partner is admissible
and is fully corroborated by the documentary evidence. It is a statement made
by him against his own Pecuniary interest, because, if the mother was a
partner, the loss of the other partners would extend only to 12-anna share in
whereas if she was not a partner then they
would have to bear losses to the full extent of 16 annas in the rupee.
[1029G-H; 1030H-1031D] (2) In the register
relating to the registration of firms kept under the Indian Partnership Act, an
entry relating to the registration of the appellant-firm dated May 5, 1952.
reveals that even in the year 1952, the stand of the partners of the
appellant-firm was that the mother was not a partner and that it was only her
minor son who was entitled to a share in the profits of the partnership.
[1028G-1029A] (3) In the statement of
accounts of the appellant-firm it is only the minor that is shown to have a
4-anna share and not his mother. [1030B-C] (4) Applications in connection with
the registration of that firm were pre rented to the Income Tax Authorities
under s. 26A, Indian Income Tax Act, 1922. All there applications were signed
by the mother and they show that the mother never claimed to be a partner of
the appellant- firm and that, on the contrary. she acknowledged that it was her
minor son who was entitled to the 4-anna share in the profits. [1029E-G] 1023
(5) The directors of the respondent-company had passed a resolution in 1950
referring to the two partnership deeds. But the entry which was made in the
register of the respondent-company regarding the partners of its managing
agents as required by s. 87, Indian Companies Act, 1913, shows that after April
1, 1949, there were only 5 partners, besides the minor under the guardianship
of his mother of the appellant-firm. If the mother had become a partner since
October 24, 1949, it is unlikely that an entry to that effect would not have
been made in the register of the defendant-company, because, under s. 87, a
return has to be sent to the Registrar of Firms regarding any change in the
particulars required to be contained in the register and non-compliance with
the requirement would entail imposition of fine. [1029A-E] (6) The letter of
resignation sent by the appellant- firm was signed by the mother also, but
there was no indication whether she signed in her capacity as partner or as the
guardian of her minor son. [1028F-G] (7) Soon after the presentation of the suit,
on an application under order XXX, r. 2, C.P.C., filed by the respondents, the
appellant-firm declared the names of its partners and the declaration did not
show the mother as one of the partners. The question as to who should share the
profits of the appellant-firm and should be otherwise entitled to its assets is
essentially a matter for the partners of that firm. Unlike the case of a
defendant-firm from which money is claimed where each partner may be personally
liable, in the case of the plaintiff (appellant) firm claiming money, it would
be a wholly untenable plea for the defendants, from whom money is claimed, to
urge that even though the mother as well as other partners claimed that it was
not she but her minor son that was entitled to the 4-anna share in the
partnership, the Court should hold that it was the mother who was entitled to
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals
Nos. 2075 & 2076 of 1968.
From the judgment and decree dated the 29th
March & 1st April 1968 of the Gujarat High Court in First Appeals Nos.
769 and 1029 of 1960.
A.K. Sen, L.M. Singhvi. S. K. Bagga and Mrs.
Bagga, for the appellant.
R.P. Bhatt, B.S. Trivedi H. S. Parihar and
I.N. Shroff, for the respondent.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
KHANNA, J. These two appeals on certificate by Mohatta Brothers plaintiff-firm
are directed against the judgment of Gujarat High Court whereby that court
reversed on appeal the judgment of the trial court awarding a decree for
recovery of Rs. 77,286/0 Anna/2 Pies in favour of the plaintiff- appellant
against the respondent-company and dismissed the suit.
The plaintiff is a partnership firm doing
business under the name and style of Mohatta Brothers. The plaintiff- firm
carried on the business of managing agency of the defendant company up to
September 4, 1950. Sometime before that date, it appears the plaintiff-firm
expressed an intention of giving up the post of managing agents. July 31, 1950
Chaturbhujdas on behalf of M/s. Chaturbhujdas, Kharawala Mohatta & Co.
submitted scheme Ex. 168 in consultation with the plaintiff. Paras 5, 6 and 7
of the scheme were as under:
"(5) Before our this Scheme is approved
by the Company the present Directors shall submit before the Company 1024 the
Balance Sheets and the Profit and Loss Account upto the end of the year 1949
and get the same passed, and they shall get the Proforma Balance Sheet upto the
date 31-7-50 prepared by the Auditors of the Company and shall hand over the
same to us, and this Scheme has been given while understanding that at present
everything is according to the list of machinery given to us by the present
Agents. And no one has any kind of charge or debt claimable from the Company
till this day excepting the appropriate amount of Rs. 4,77,850/- due to the
Agents and their kith and Kin till this day and the list of which is given to
us. We give this Scheme believing the said fact true.
(6) The amounts of the Agents of the Company
and their kith and kin which may have been deposited in the Company on the day
the date 31-7-50 and which come to about Rs. 4,77,850/- as told by the present
Agents are to be kept credited in their accounts and interest thereon is not to
be given from the date 1-8-50. And when our Scheme is approved they have not to
take any interest on the said amounts from the Company for five years from the
date we start the work of the Mills and they have not to withdraw the said
amounts for a period of ten years thereafter but the same are to be kept
credited in the Company with interest at six per cent.
But the Company shall return the amount
earlier if it so desires.
(7) At present the amount of Rs.
3,46,466-11-8 is due to the Punjab National Bank Ltd. by the Company and the
demand of giving bonus to the workers for the year 1949 is outstanding from the
Company. The present Agent states that in both of the said matters payments can
be made from the amounts obtained by selling the goods of stores, etc. which is
lying with the Company at present, the list of which is given to us by the present
Agents, and from the amounts of E.P.T. deposit and advance payments of the
income tax. On making arrangement accordingly if the debt of the Bank is not
fully paid or the liability of bonus is not fully fulfilled and if the Company
is found responsible in any way, then the same is to be fulfilled by the
But after fulfilling all liabilities
accordingly if any amount remains in balance the same shall be treated as
assets of the Company and half of the said amount shall be returned to wards
the above mentioned amount deposited in the Company and which belongs to the
present Agent and their kith and kin. But on fulfilling completely the
liability of the Bank from the sale of goods of the Stores, etc. if there does
not remain sufficient surplus or before getting the amount of E.P.T. deposit
and income tax advance payment if the amount of bonus is required to be paid
then the present Managing Agents has to give that amount first." 1025 On
the following day, i.e. August 1, 1950, the following letter was addressed by
the plaintiff-firm to the Board of Directors of the defendant-company :
"We Messrs Mohatta Brothers, the
Secretaries, Treasurers & Agents of the company hereby beg to tender our
resignation as Secretaries, Treasurers and Agents of the Company on condition
of the scheme of Sheth Chaturbhujdas Chimanlal dated 31-7-50 duly approved by
the Board of Directors, being passed by the share- holders of the company in
the Extraordinary General Meeting of the company to be held on 4th September,
FOR MOHATTA BROTHERS Ahmedabad Shivaratan G.
Mohatta Chandratan G. Moondhra D.R. Moondhra Brijratan S. Mohatta S.R. Mohatta
Satyavati Mohatta" A notice was then issued for convening a general
meeting of the defendant-company on September 4, 1950 for sanctioning the said
scheme. The said scheme was approved by the shareholders on September 4, 1950.
Accordingly, as from that date Messrs Chaturbhujdas Kharawala Mohatta & Co.
took over as the new managing agents of the defendant-company instead of the plaintiff-firm.
The plaintiff's case was that the liability
of the Punjab National Bank was fully discharged by sale of the stores. No
bonus was held to be payable by the Industrial Court to the employees of the
company for the year 1949. It was stated that there was surplus left after
discharging the liability of the Punjab National Bank from earmarked assets
consisting of excess profit tax deposits, income tax advance amount and the
amounts realised from the sale of the stores.
The plaintiff-firm claimed half the surplus
in terms of clause (7) of the scheme towards the deposit amounts of the
plaintiff. Prayer was made for accounts of the surplus and decree for the
amount due as per terms of the scheme with 9 per cent interest.
It may be stated that the plaintiff-firm with
effect from April 1, 1949 consisted of five partners. In addition to those five
partners, Shashi Kumar, who was a minor and whose mother Satyavati was his
guardian, was entitled to four Anna share in a rupee in the profits of the partnership
but was not liable for its losses. Partnership deed Ex. 116 was executed for
this purpose on May 19, 1949 and was signed by the five partners and Satyavati.
On October 24, 1949 another partnership deed Ex. 116 was executed wherein
Satyavati was shown as a partner of the plaintiff-firm instead of her minor son
1026 The suit was resisted by the
defendant-company. Besides taking other pleas with which we are not concerned,
the defendant contended that the plaintiff firm could not maintain the suit as
the constitution of the old firm which acted as managing agents of the
defendant-company had been changed on October 24, 1949. From that date, it was
stated, the plaintiff-firm consisted of six partners, including Satyavati. The
newly constituted firm, according to the defendant-company, had not been
registered and as such the suit was not maintainable.
The trial court held that the new partnership
116 by which Satyavati became a partner was
not acted upon.
As the original partnership mentioned in the
partnership deed dated May 19, 1949 had been registered, the plaintiffs suit
was held to be not barred by section 69 of the Indian Partnership Act. It is
not necessary to refer to the other issues and the findings of the trial court
on those issues.
Suffice it to say that the defendant was held
entitled to deduct certain amounts from the amount claimed by the plaintiff.
The trial court accordingly passed the following order :
"The plaintiff has filed this suit for
account as the account was to be taken of the realisation and expenses of the
stores. But by pursis Exhibit 424 the parties have agreed about the net
realisation of the stores and have therefore urged that no Commissioner be
appointed and a final decree be passed. The real account was to be taken of the
actual receipts and expenses of the sale of stores. But now nothing is required
to be done and hence there is no necessity of passing any preliminary decree.
The plaintiffs as shown above are entitled to receive Rs. 77,286-0-2, from
defendant towards their deposit amount being the net surplus which they are
entitled. Hence defendants are liable to pay the said amount to plaintiff. The
plaintiff should pay the remaining Court-fee stamp within a month. I,
therefore, pass the following order.
ORDER Defendants do pay Rs. 77,286-0-2 and
the cost of the suit to plaintiff with future interest at 6 per cent from 1st
January, 1956. The plaintiff should pay the remaining Court fees within a
month. Defendants to bear their own cost." Two cross-appeals were filed
against the judgment and decree of the trial Court. One appeal was by the
defendant- company praying for the dismissal of the plaintiff's suit.
The other appeal was by the plaintiff-firm
claiming for enhancement of the amount decreed by the trial court. One of the
contentions advanced by the defendant company was as under :
"The plaintiff-firm was not entitled to
file a suit as the plaintiff-firm was differently constituted from the firm of
Mohatta Brothers as on 31st July 1950, and, in any event, as the minor Shashi
kumar had become major in 1953 and had 1027 become a partner of the
plaintiff-firm Mohatta Brothers, Ahmedabad, and as even the name of Satyavati
Devi who was the partner suing did not appear in the entry in the register of
firms the present suit was barred under section 69(2) of the Act." Dealing
with the above contention, the High Court disagreed with the finding of the
trial court that partnership deed Ex. 116 dated October 24, 1949 had not been
acted upon. The learned Judges of the High Court held so far as the first part
of the above contention is concerned that when a firm is reconstituted by
introduction of a new partner, it would remain the same registered firm, and
there would be no necessity of fresh registration if the continuing firm was
registered with the Registrar of the Firms under section 59 of the Indian
Partnership Act. Dealing with the contention that Shashi Kumar had become
major, the High Court found that there was no evidence to show the age of Shashi
Kumar and the whole argument in this respect was based on mere conjecture. On
the latter part of the submission, the High Court held that the mandatory
condition under section 69(2) of the Indian Partnership Act was not fulfilled
in the present case as the name of Satyavati who was a partner of the
reconstituted firm and in whose favour a cause of action had accrued was not
shown in the register of the firms. This defect was held to be fatal. The High
Court in this context observed .
"In view of this legal position which we
have discussed the second mandatory condition under section 69(2) is not
fulfilled in the present case as the name of Satyavati who was partner of the
reconstituted firm and in whose favour the cause of action had accrued is not
shown in the register of firms. This defect would be fatal as the first defect
of want of registration of the firm itself and in both the cases we would have
no option but to dismiss the suit. In that view of the matter it would be
wholly unnecessary to go into any of the other contentions which have been
raised in these two appeals and to record any finding on the issues relating to
the merits of the case or as regards the other appeal of the plaintiff as well.
Howsoever much we may regret to dismiss the plaintiff's suit which apparently
is well founded by up-holding this technical objection of the defendant
company, we are bound to dismiss this suit as in law a non-compliance of this
second mandatory condition is also equally fatal as the non-compliance of first
condition. At the same time, however, in the circumstances of the cases while
dismissing the plaintiff's suit we would order both the parties shall bear
their own costs all throughout." In appeal before us Mr. Sen on behalf of
the appellants has assailed the judgment of the High Court in so far as it has
disagreed with the finding of the trial court that Satyavati was not a partner
of the plaintiff-firm and the deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949 had
not been acted upon. Mr. Sen has also questioned the correctness of the view
taken by the High Court regarding the construction of section 1028 69(2) of the
Indian Partnership Act. As against that, Mr. Bhatt on behalf of the respondents
has canvassed for the correctness of the view taken by the High Court. both on
the question of fact as well as on the question of law.
After hearing the learned counsel for the
parties and after having been taken through the relevant material on the
record, we are of the opinion that the trial court took a correct view of the
matter in so far as it has held that Satyavati did not become a partner of the
plaintiff firm and that the deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949 was not
The main consideration which prevailed with
the High Court in holding that Satyavati became a partner of the plaintiff-firm
was the execution of deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949. According to
this deed, Satyavati became a partner to the extent of 4 Annas share out of 16
Annas, which had been previously held by her minor son Shashi Kumar. Shashi
Kumar under the deed of partnership of May 19, 1949 was entitled to the share
of profits to the extent of four Annas in a rupee and was not liable for the
losses which were to be borne by the other five partners.
Satyavati became entitled under the deed of
October 24, 1949 not only to the share of profit to the extent of 4 Annas in a
rupee but also became liable to share losses to that extent. The other
circumstance relied upon by the High Court was resolution dated January 21,
1950 passed by the Board of Directors of the defendant-company. That meeting
was presided over by Shivratan G. Mohatta, partner of the plaintiff-firm. In
that resolution there was reference to partnership deeds dated May 19, 1949 and
October 24, 1949 which had been received along with letter dated December 1,
1949 from Mohatta Brothers. The Board of Directors took note of the changes
mentioned in the above two partnership deeds and agreed to accept the partners
therein mentioned. The third circumstance relied upon by the High Court is
letter dated August 1, 1950 Ex. 118 which was sent on behalf of the plaintiff
firm, Mohatta Brothers, for the purpose of tendering resignation as
Secretaries, Treasurers and Agents of the defendant-company. This letter was
signed, besides the other partners, by Satyavati. There was, however, no
indication in the letter as to whether Satyavati signed it in her capacity as a
partner or as the guardian of her minor son Shashi Kumar.
As against the circumstances relied upon by
the High Court, we find that in the register relating to the registration of
firms kept under the Indian Partnership Act, an entry was made on May 5, 1952
relating to the registration of the plaintiff-firm. The above entry was plainly
in pursuance of application filed on behalf of the plaintiff-firm shortly
before the making of that entry. The above entry shows that the position taken
up on behalf of the plaintiff-firm even in the year 1952 was that there were
only five partners of the plaintiff-firm and that in addition to that, Shashi
Kumar minor was admitted to the benefit of partnership. The entry thus reveals
that even in the year 1952 the stand of the partners of the plaintiff- firm was
that Satyavati was not a partner of the plaintiff- firm and that it was her minor
son 1029 Shashi Kumar who was entitled to share in the profits of the
partnership. This entry would be inexplicable if Satyavati had become a partner
of the plaintiff firm with effect from October 24, 1949.
Another circumstance which goes to show that
Satyavati did not become a partner of the plaintiff-firm is the entry in the
registers of the defendant-company. According to section 87 of the Indian
Companies Act 1913, which was the Act in force at the relevant time, every
company shall keep inter alia at its registered office a register d managing
agents containing with respect to each of them the following particulars, that
is to say, in the case of a firm, the full name, address and nationality of
each partner, and the date on which each became a partner. The entry which was
made in the register of the defendant company regarding the partners of its
managing agents showed that after April 1, 1949 there were five partners
besides Shashi Kumar minor under the guardianship of his mother Satyavati, of the
firm of the managing agents Mohatta Brothers. Although the above entry was made
on October 6, 1949, no subsequent entry was made there after showing Satyavati
as partner of the firm of Mohatta Brothers. Had Satyavati in fact become a
partner since October 24, 1949 of Mohatta Brothers, it seems unlikely that an
entry to that effect would Not be made in the register of the
defendant-company. It may also be mentioned in the above context that return
has to be sent to the Registrar of Firms under section 87 regarding any change
in the particulars required to be contained in the register.
Failure to comply with the above directions
entailed imposition of fine.
The third significant circumstance which
tends to show that Satyavati despite the execution of the deed of partnership
dated October 24, 1949 did not become a partner of the plaintiff-firm is
evidenced by applications in connection with the registration of that firm
which were presented to the income-tax authorities under section 26A of the
Indian Income-tax Act, 1922. Ex. 280 to 286 are the applications which were
filed on behalf of the plaintiff- firm for the years 1949-50 to 1956-57. In all
these applications, Shashi Kumar minor under the guardianship of Satyavati was
shown entitled to 4 Annas share in a rupee in the plaintiff-firm. Satyavati was
not shown in any of these applications as partner of the plaintiff-firm. All
these applications which were signed by Satyavati clearly go to show that
during these years she did not claim herself to be partner of the plaintiff
firm. on the contrary, she acknowledged that it was her minor son Shashi Kumar
who was entitled to 4 Annas share in the profits of the partnership.
Documentary evidence which has been brought
on the record, in our opinion, clearly lends support to the statement of
Shivratan (PW 1) that partnership deed dated`October 24, 1949 was not acted
upon and that Satyavati did not become a partner of the plaintiff-firm. Jivan
Das PW, who was an employee or the defendant-company, has likewise deposed that
Satyavati was never a partner of Mohatta Brothers.
During the hearing of the appeal, affidavit
of Satyavati has been filed stating that she was never a partner of Mohatta
Brothers and it 1030 was her son Shashi Kumar who was at all material times
admitted to the benefit of the partnership. Mr. Bhatt has objected to this
Court taking notice of the contents of the affidavit of Satyavati including her
disclaimer of any interest in the plaintiff-firm. In this respect we are of the
view that even without the above affidavit, the material on the record clearly
goes to show that Satyavati was not a partner of the plaintiff-firm.
In addition to what has been pointed out, we
find that in the statement of accounts of the plaintiff-firm it is Shashi Kumar
and not Satyavati who is shown to have 4 Annas share in the plaintiff-firm.
Entries show that Shashi Kumar shared the profits as well as the losses in that
The significant thing which emerges from the
account books is that Satyavati was not shown as the person entitled to 4 Annas
share in the partnership firm.
Soon after the present suit had been filed,
on application filed on behalf of the defendants under order XXX, Rule 2 of the
Code of Civil Procedure, names of the partners of the plaintiff-firm were
declared on behalf of the plaintiff-firm. In the declaration the name of
Satyavati was not mentioned as one of the partners of the plaintiff firm. The
question as to who should share the profits of the plaintiff-firm and should be
otherwise entitled to its assets is essentially a matter for the partners of
the plaintiff-firm. The facts of the case disclose that the partners of the
plaintiff-firm have agreed between themselves that so far as the 4 Annas share
in the profits and assets of the plaintiff-firm are concerned, it would be
Shashi Kumar who would be entitled to the same. That position is also accepted
by Satyavati in the applications in connection with the registration of the
firm to the income-tax authorities. It would, in our opinion, be a wholly
untenable plea for the defendant from whom money is claimed, to urge that even
though Satyavati as well as the other partners claim that it is not she but her
son Shashi Kumar who is entitled to 4 Annas share in the partnership, the court
should hold that it is Satyavati who is entitled to that share. The distinction
between a plaintiff-firm and a defendant-firm in the above context should not
be lost sight of. So far as a defendant-firm against whom a suit for recovery
of money has been filed is concerned, it would be open to the plaintiff to
prove that a person is a partner of the defendant firm despite the denial of
that fact by that person as well as the other partners of the defendant-firm.
The reason for that is that a creditor of a
defendant-firm can, except in some cases to which it is not necessary to refer,
also proceed against the personal assets of each and every partner. Such a
consideration does not hold good when the dispute relates to the question as to
who are the partners of the plaintiff-firm.
It has been mentioned above that Shivratan
stated in the course of his deposition that partnership deed dated October 24,
1949 had not been acted upon. This statement is against the pecuniary interest
of Shivratan. It is plain that if Satyavati were a partner of the
plaintiff-firm, Shivratan and other partners would have to bear losses to the
extent of 12 Annas in a rupee. As against that, if Shashi Kumar be entitled to
share profits to the extent of 4 Annas in a rupee and be not 1031 liable for the
losses, in such an event Shivratan and other partners A would have to bear the
losses to the full extent of 16 Annas in a rupee. If despite that fact,
Shivratan has deposed that Satayvati did not become a partner of the
plaintiff-firm and the deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949 was not acted
upon, his statement in this respect should not, in our view, be rejected,
especially when there is over r whelming documentary evidence which lends
support to the above statement.
The entire course of dealings shows that
despite the execution of the deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949, the
said partnership deed was not acted upon and the relations between the partners
of the - plaintiff-firm continued to be governed by the deed - of partnership
dated May 19, 1949 according to which it was not Satyavati but her son Shashi
Kumar who was entitled to four Annas share in the partnership. The question, to
which a reference has been made in the course of arguments, as to when it was
decided not to act upon the deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949 is
hardly of much importance, the material thing is that the said deed was not
given effect to or acted upon by the parties concerned. The firm which came
into existence as per deed of partnership dated May 19, 1949 was admittedly
registered under the Indian Partnership Act and its partners were shown in the
Register of Firms.
Looking to all the facts we are of the
opinion that the trial court took a correct view of the matter in so far as it
held that Satyavati had not become a partner of the plaintiff-firm and that the
deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949 had not been acted upon. The High
Court, in our opinion, was in error in reversing that finding of the trial
court. In view of this conclusion of ours, it is not necessary to go into the
legal question as to, what should be the proper construction of section 69(2)
of the Indian Partnership Act. Learned counsel for the parties are agreed that
such question would arise only in case we had marked the finding of the High
Court that Satyavati had become a prtner of the plaintiff-firm and that the
deed of partnership dated October 24, 1949 had been acted upon. F The High
Court did not deal with the merits of the cross-appeals filed by the parties in
view of its finding on the point as to whether Satyavati had become partner of
the plaintiff-firm and the construction it placed upon section 69(2) of the
Indian Partnership Act. In the light of the conclusion we have arrived at, it
becomes essential to remand the matter to the High Court so that the cross-
appeals filed by the parties may be disposed of on merits.
We accordingly accept the appeals, set aside
the judgment of the High Court and remand the case to it for disposal of the
appeals filed by the parties on merits Looking to all the circumstances, we
leave the parties to bear their own costs of these appeals.
As the matter has been pending for a long
time, the High Court may dispose of the appeals at an early date.
V.P.S. Appeals allowed.