CPC Case Brief – Ashok Kumar Yadav v. Noble Designs

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Facts: Plaintiff and defendant entered into an agreement of sale of a land in Patna. In clause 17 of that agreement, the plaintiff was to execute and give an irrevocable general power of attorney to the defendant, and that power was to be governed by the provisions of that agreement. The terms and conditions of the agreement were to prevail in case of conflict between the power and the agreement.

Alleging that the members of the Hindu undivided family of which the plaintiff was the Karta, failed and neglected to carry out their obligations in terms of the agreement for sale, the defendant, as the plaintiff in the court of the first subordinate judge in Patna files a suit in July 2004. It prayed for a decree for specific performance of a contract for the sale of the land. It impleaded one Manvendra Singh as the second set defendant in that suit. First Defendant files written statement in April 2005.

On December 8, 2004, a case was filed in Calcutta high court by the first defendant in Patna suit in the capacity of being a Karta of Hindu undivided family. He alleged that since the defendant failed and neglected to discharge its obligation in terms of the agreement, the agreement for sale stood determined, and as a result, the power of attorney executed in terms of Clause 17 of the agreement stood cancelled. He also alleged that for non-registration the power of attorney concerned was invalid and void. He prayed for a decree declaring the power of attorney as void and cancelled. On June 6, 2005, the defendant took out the present application under Section 10.

Issue: Whether the matter in issue in the Calcutta suit is directly and substantially in issue in the Patna suit under section 10 of the CPC as in the subsequent suit another party(First defendant) in addition to the previous one( Second defendant: Manvendra Singh) was included.

Contentions: Defendants counsel contended that the matter in issue in the Calcutta suit is whether the agreement for sale had stood determined, and hence it is directly and wholly in issue in the Patna suit where his client prayed for a decree for specific performance of the contract arising out of that agreement. A test is not whether parties in the suits are identical in every aspect. He contends in a subsequent suit a person can be

Plaintiff: According to counsel for the plaintiff though the issue whether the agreement for sale stood determined is directly in issue in both the suits, it cannot be said that the matter in issue, meaning thereby the whole subject-matter of the Calcutta suit, is directly and substantially in issue in the Patna suit. He contends that unless there is the absolute identity of the whole subject-matter, it cannot be said that the matter in issue in the Calcutta suit is directly and substantially in issue in the Patna suit as held in National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences v. C. Parameshwar.

Held:  Absolute identity of the parties is not the consideration. Further, the subject matter in Patna suit is agreement for sale on basis of which specific performance was filed. The power of attorney originated from that agreement under clause 17. So the question of validity of the agreement is the whole controversy in the Patna suit. It was held that the same controversy is the subject matter of the Calcutta case where it is alleged that the power of attorney stood cancelled. The decision in the Patna suit will make the Calcutta suit absolutely useless and academic. Hence the application under section 10 of CPC should be allowed and the suit in Calcutta court be stayed. Also for maintaining application u/s.10 defendant in suit concerned need not first file his written statement s.10 application can be taken out even before filing the written statement.

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