Entries in books of account - If duty maintained and are corroborated through other evidence - Same are admissible under Section 34 of 1872 Act

PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

Before :- Sham Sunder, J.
R.S.A. No. 2746 of 2007. D/d. 23.7.2009.

Natha Singh - Appellant
Versus
Mittal Traders - Respondent

For the Appellant :- Gaurav Singal, Advocate.

Cases Referred :
Madvan Nair v. Bhaskar Pillai, (2005) 10 SCC 533
Harjeet Singh v. Amrik Singh, (2005) 12 SCC 270.

H.P. Pyarejan v. Dasappa, 2006(1) R.C.R.(Civil) 646 : AIR 2006 SC 1144.

Gurdev Kaur v. Kaki, 2006(2) R.C.R.(Civil) 561 : 2006 (5) JT (SC) 72 : AIR 2006 SC 1975.

Kanshi Ram v. Rajinder, 1999(4) R.C.R.(Civil) 650 : 2000 (1) CCC 143 (P&H).

Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh

JUDGMENT


Sham Sunder, J. - This appeal, is directed, against the judgment and decree, dated 11-4-2007, rendered by the Court of Additional District Judge, Patiala, vide which, it accepted the appeal of the plaintiff/respondent, and set aside the judgment and decree dated 6-10-2005, rendered by the Court of Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Samana, vide which, it dismissed the suit of the plaintiff/respondent.
2. Shorn of unnecessary details, the facts, relevant for the decision of this appeal, are that, Ramesh Chand, the sole proprietor of M/s. Mittal Traders, Patran (plaintiff/respondent), was doing the business of commission agent. It was stated that the defendant/appellant, who had been selling his agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent, cleared/adjusted his entire previous account, on 17-11-2001, by receiving the balance amount, from the plaintiff/respondent, and signed the entry, in this regard, in his (plaintiff/respondent's) rokan bahi. It was further stated that after adjusting the entire previous account, on 17-11-2001, the defendant/appellant, did not sell his agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent, in April 2002, and in September/October, 2002. It was further stated that, thereafter, the defendant/appellant, borrowed a sum of Rs. 97,000/- from the plaintiff/respondent, to meet his various domestic needs, making promise, to him that, in future, he would sell his entire agricultural produce, at his (plaintiff/respondent's) shop. It was further stated that, the defendant/appellant, after borrowing the loan amount, in the sum of Rs. 97,000/-, from the plaintiff/respondent, on 25-11-2002, signed the entry, in the rokar bahi, regularly maintained, by the plaintiff/respondent, in the ordinary course of business. It was further stated that, the defendant/appellant, thereafter, neither came, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent, nor returned the borrowed amount, in the sum of Rs. 97,000/-, nor adjusted the same. The defendant/appellant, was many a time asked, to repay the borrowed amount along with interest, but to no avail. On the final refusal of the defendant/appellant, left with no other alternative, a suit for recovery, was filed.
3. The defendant/appellant, put in appearance, and filed written statement, wherein, he took up various objections, and contested the suit. It was pleaded that the suit of the plaintiff/respondent, was not maintainable. It was further pleaded that, no cause of action accrued, to the plaintiff/respondent, to file the suit. It was further pleaded that, the plaintiff/respondent, had no money lending licence, for running the business of advancing money on loan. It was further pleaded that the plaintiff/respondent, had concealed the material facts, from the Court. It was further pleaded that the plaintiff/respondent, had not come to the Court, with clean hands. It was denied that the defendant/appellant, put signatures, on the rokar, after borrowing a sum of Rs. 97,000/-. It was stated that the plaintiff/respondent, had never issued 'J' forms of agricultural produce, sold by the defendant, at his shop. It was further stated that, when the defendant, had not sold his crop, at the shop of the plaintiff, after 17-11-2001, the question of getting any advance, from him, did not at all arise. It was further stated that, much prior to the aforesaid episode, the defendant stopped selling his agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff. It was further stated that the plaintiff, obtained his (defendant/appellant's) signatures, on account of settlement of account, and, later on, the same might have been used, for fabricating the alleged entry. The remaining averments, were denied, being wrong.
4. On the pleadings of the parties, the following issues were struck :-
    i) Whether plaintiff firm is doing business of Commission Agent of Patran and Ramesh Chand, plaintiff, is its sole proprietor ? OPP
    ii) Whether plaintiff is entitled to recovery of Rs. 1,027,28/- along with interest from the defendant ? OPP
    iii) Whether suit is not maintainable in the present form ? OPD
    iv) Whether plaintiff has got no cause of action to file the present suit ? OPD
    v) Whether plaintiff has no money lending licence, if so, its effect ? OPD
    vi) Whether plaintiff has concealed the material facts from the Court and has not come to the Court with clean hands, if so, its effect ? OPD
    vii) Relief.
5. After hearing the Counsel for the parties, and, on going through the evidence, on record, the trial Court, dismissed the suit of the plaintiff, for recovery.
6. Feeling aggrieved, an appeal was preferred, by the plaintiff/respondent, which was accepted, by the Court of Additional District Judge, Patiala, vide judgment and decree dated 11-4-2007.
7. Feeling dissatisfied, the instant Regular Second Appeal, has been filed by the defendant/appellant.
8. I have heard the Counsel for the defendant/appellant, and have gone through the documents, on record, carefully.
9. The Counsel for the defendant/appellant, submitted that, the First Appellate Court, was wrong, in coming to the conclusion that solely on the basis of the bahi entries, liability, with regard to the recovery of amount, in question, could be fastened upon the defendant/appellant. He further submitted that, the defendant/appellant, was selling his agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent, and the accounts were cleared/adjusted, on 17-11-2001. He further submitted that, after the receipt of balance amount by the appellant from the respondent, which was settled, between the parties, on 17-11-2001, the entry was signed, by the parties. He further submitted that, thereafter, the defendant/appellant, did not sell any agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent, and, it could not be imagined, that the plaintiff/respondent, would pay a sum of Rupees 97,000/-, to the defendant/appellant, on 25-11-2002 as loan. He further submitted that the judgment and the decree of the Appellate Court, being illegal, were liable to be set aside.
10. After giving my thoughtful consideration, to the contentions, advanced by the Counsel for the defendant/appellant, in my considered opinion, the appeal deserves to be dismissed, for the reasons to be recorded, hereinafter. In Madvan Nair v. Bhaskar Pillai (2005) 10 SCC 533, Harjeet Singh v. Amrik Singh (2005) 12 SCC 270, H.P. Pyarejan v. Dasappa, 2006(1) R.C.R.(Civil) 646 : 2006 (2) JT (SC) 228 : AIR 2006 SC 1144 and Gurdev Kaur v. Kaki, 2006(2) R.C.R.(Civil) 561 : 2006 (5) JT (SC) 72 : AIR 2006 SC 1975, while interpreting the scope of Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the principle of law, laid down, was that the High Court, has no jurisdiction to interfere with the findings of fact, arrived at by the first Appellate Court, even if the same are grossly erroneous, as the legislative intention, was very clear, that the legislature never wanted second appeal to become a "third trial on facts" or "one more dice in the gamble." It was further held that the jurisdiction of the High Court in interfering with the judgments of the Courts below, is confined only to the hearing of substantial questions of law. Admittedly, Natha Singh, defendant appellant, was earlier, selling his agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent. On 17-11-2001, accounts, were settled, and whatever amount, was due, at that time, to the appellant, against the respondent, was paid, to him, and an entry, in this regard, was made, in the bahi which was signed. No doubt, thereafter, for sometime, the defendant/appellant, did not sell the agricultural produce, at the shop of the plaintiff/respondent. Ramesh Chand, plaintiff/respondent, himself appeared, in the witness box, as P.W. 1, and deposed that, on 25-11-2002, the defendant/appellant, borrowed a sum of Rs. 97,000/-. He brought the original books of account, maintained by him, in the regular course of business, and proved P3, the entry, in the bahi, showing that a sum of Rs. 97,000/- was borrowed, by the defendant/appellant, from the plaintiff/respondent, on 25-11-2002. P3/1, is the Punjabi version thereof. Even the original khata, for the year 2002-2003, was brought, by the plaintiff/respondent, and the relevant entry of the same is P4, and the Punjabi translation thereof, is P4/1. He deposed that Natha Singh, defendant/appellant, signed the entry after receipt of Rs. 97,000/-. Jiwan Kumar alias Jagjiwan Kumar, also deposed, with regard to the borrowing of Rupees 97,000/-, by the defendant/appellant, from the plaintiff/respondent, on 25-11-2002, and entries, referred to above, in the account books. He also deposed, that Natha Singh signed the entry, in the account books, at the time of obtaining a sum of Rs. 97,000/-, as loan. Not only this, Navdeep Gupta, Hand Writing and Finger Prints Expert, was produced, as P.W. 2, by the plaintiff/respondent, who compared the questioned signatures of Natha Singh, defendant/appellant, against the entry, in the original account books, and compared the same, with his specimen signatures. He came to the conclusion, that the questioned signatures, were written by the same person, who wrote the specimen signatures. The entries in the account books, therefore, stood duly corroborated, through the evidence of Ramesh Kumar, P.W. 1, the plaintiff/respondent, Jiwan Kumar alias Jagjiwan Kumar, P.W. 3, and Navdeep Gupta, Hand Writing and Finger Prints Expert, P.W. 2. It, therefore, could not be said that the liability, was fastened upon the plaintiff/respondent, regarding the recovery of the amount, only on the basis of uncorroborated entries in the account books. In Kanshi Ram v. Rajinder, 1999(4) R.C.R.(Civil) 650 : 2000 (1) CCC 143 (P&H), it was held that, if the entries, in the books of account, duly maintained, in the ordinary course of business, are corroborated, through other evidence, the same, are admissible, under Section 34 of the Evidence Act. The principle of law, laid down, in the aforesaid case, is fully applicable, to the facts of the instant case. No doubt, the defendant/appellant, denied that, he borrowed the loan, in question. He also denied that, he signed any entry, in the account books. However, he did not muster enough courage, to appear, as his own witness, to deny the factum of obtaining loan and signing the entry. The  findings of fact, recorded by the First Appellate Court, that the P> defendant/appellant, borrowed a sum of Rs. 97,000/-, on 25-11-2002, from the plaintiff/respondent; signed the entry in that regard in the account books of the plaintiff; that the entries in the account books were duly corroborated through the evidence of the plaintiff/respondent, Navdeep Gupta, Hand Writing and Finger Prints Expert, and Jiwan Kumar alias Jagjiwan Kumar, P.W. 3; and that the liability, could be fastened upon the defendant/appellant, for the recovery of the amount, on the basis of the evidence, produced by the plaintiff/respondent, being based, on the correct appreciation of evidence, and law, on the point, suffer from no illegality, or perversity, and warrant no interference. The submission of the Counsel for the defendant/appellant, being without merit, must fail, and same stands rejected. The judgment and decree of the First Appellate Court, as liable to be upheld.
11. No question of law, much less substantial, has arisen, in this appeal, for the determination of this Court.
12. For the reasons recorded above, the instant Regular Second Appeal, being devoid of merit, must fail, and the same is dismissed.

Appeal dismissed.
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