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BAKSHI AMRIK

SINGH V/S
UNION OF
INDIA
ENGLISH ASSIGNMENT
JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA
FACULTY OF LAW
B.A LL.B.(HONS)
SAMREEN KHAN

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I have taken efforts in this project however it
would not have been possible without the kind
support and help of many individuals and
organisations. I would like to extent my sincere
thanks to all of them.

I am highly indebted to Mrs.Sabiha Zaidi for


guidance and constant supervision as well as for
providing necessary information regarding the
project and also for her support in completing the
project.

My thanks and appreciations also go to Ms. Iram


Peerzada and my colleague in developing the
project and people who have willingly helped me
out with their abilities.

SAMREEN KHAN
B.A.LL.B.(HONS)
1st year
1st semester
BATCH:2013-18

INTRODUCTION
In Baxi Amrik Singh v. Union Of India, on 14th
May1967,there was an accident between a military truck
and a car on the Mall Road in Ambala Cantt. Due to the
negligent and rash driving by the truck driver, Sepoy Man
Singh,who was also an army employee, Amrik Singh, an
occupant of the car, received serious injuries.
Subsequently, he bought an action against the Union Of
India to recover compensation amounting to Rs.50,000/-.
The Union Of India, apart from pleading that there was no
fault on the part of the Military driver, averred that the
driver was acting in exercise of the sovereign power of
the Union Government at the time of accident in so far as
he was detained for checking Army personnel on duty
throughout that day, and therefore there was no liability
of the Union of India to pay compensation. The Full Bench
of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, after discussing in
detail the various authorities on the point, came to the
conclusion that the checking of the Army personnel on
duty was the function intimately connected with the Army
discipline and it could only be performed by the member
of the Armed Force and that too by such a member of

that Force who is detained on such duty and is


empowered to discharge that function. It was, therefore,
held that since the military driver was acting in discharge
of a sovereign function of the State, the Union Of India
was not liable for injuries sustained by Amrik Singh as a
result of rash and negligent driving of the military driver.

THE CASE IN BRIEF


AIR 1973 PUNJAB AND HARYANA 444
(V 60 C 124)
S. S. SANDHAWALIA, J.
Amrik Singh, Plaintiff-Appellant v. Union of India and
others, Defendants-Respondents.
Second
Appeal
No. 315 of 1972 and
Civil Misc. No. 2289-C of 1972. D/- 7-11-1972, from
decree of R. K. Battas, Sr. Sub. J. , with Enhanced
Appellate Powers, Amritsar, D/- 29-1-1972.

Index Note: ( A ) Court Fees Art (1870), Section 12 (ii) Appeal against decision of Trial Court on question of valuation
Appeal dismissed on the ground that memorandum of appeal was
insufficiently stamped Deficiency of court-fee occasioning because
of failure of trial court to determine precise amount of proper courtfee payable by appellant high court in second appeal can allow the
appellant to make good the deficiency.(AIR 1973 Punj 58, foll.case
law Discussed) (X-Ref:- civil P.C. (1908), Section 149, Section 100).
(Para 7)

Cases Referred:

Chronological Paras

AIR 1973 Punj 58 = 74 Pun LR 359,


Sat

Paul

v.

Jai

Bhan

6
AIR 1961 Punj 426 = 1961 Cur LJ
(Part 1-G), 16, Tarlok Singh v. Daljit Kaur
5
AIR 1959 Punj 387 = ILR (1958)
Punj
5

Atma

Singh

v.

Mohan

Lal

AIR 1957 Punj 315 = 59 Pun LR 265


Uday

Chand

v.

Mohan

Lal

5
H.L. Sarin, with M. L. Sarin, for Appellant; Y. P. Gandhi
(for No. 3) and N. K. Sodhi (for No.1), for Respondents.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE CASE


The general rule that an employer is not liable for the acts of an
independent cases, an employer can be made liable for the wrongs of the
independent contractor:
(i)

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

If an employer authorizes the doing of an illegal act, or


subsequently ratifies the same, he can be made liable for
such an act. The real reason for such a liability is that the
employer himself is a party to the wrongful act, along with
the independent contractor, and, therefore, he is liable as a
joint tortfeasor.
An employer is liable for the act of an independent contractor
in cases of strict liability. In Rylands v. Fletcher, the employer
could not escape the liability for the damage caused to the
plaintiff, when the escape of water from a reservoir got
which was constructed by the defendant from a independent
contractor, flooded the plaintiffs coalmine.
The liability of the employer also arises for the dangers
caused on or near the highway. As it happened in Tarry v.
Ashton.
If the wrong caused to the plaintiff is nuisance in the form of
withdrawal of support from the neighbours land, the

(v)

defendant would be liable irrespective of the fact that the act


causing the said damage was done by a independent
contractor.
When the tort results in the breach of a masters common law
duties to his servant, he would be liable for the same and it is
no defence that the master was acting through an independent
contractor.

JUDGEMENT
It is not necessary to advert to the facts and the merits of
the case in the regular second appeal. The plaintiffappellant had brought a suit seeking a declaration that
the sale by public auction of the suit property situated in
the hussain- pura suburb of the Amritsar town was invalid, without jurisdiction and therefore not binding on
the plaintiff-appellant. The suit was contested and on the
pleading of the parties apart from others the following
issue No. 1 which was treated as preliminary was
framed:-

whether the suit is properly valued for purposes of


court-fee and jurisdiction?
The trial court came to the finding that the suit fell with in
section 7 (iv) (C) of the court fees act and the plaintiff
was, therefore, bound to pay ad valorem court-fee on the
market value of property in dispute. Consequently the
other issues were not adverted to upon merits and the
plaintiff-appellant was directed to make up the deficiency
on the basis of the market value of the property on the 8 th
April, 1968. However, the appellant failed to pay the
court-fee and correct the valuation of the suit in spite of
two or three adjournments given by the Trial court. Acting
under Order 7, Rule 11,Civil Procedure Code, the Trial
Court then rejected the plaint with costs on the 22nd of
May,1968.
2. Aggrieved by the order abovesaid the
plaintiff-appellant went up in appeal which came up
before the learned senior Subordinate Judge, Amritsar,
exercising enhanced appellant powers. Therein a
preliminary objection was raised on behalf of the
respondent that the memorandum of appeal had itself
been insufficiently stamped and the appeal be rejected
on that ground alone. The first Appellate Court opened
that the view taken by the Trial Court that the case fell
within Section 7 (iv) (C) of the Court - fees Act was
apparently correct and therefore held that the
memorandum of appeal was in sufficiently stamped. It
further saw no ground to allow the plaintiff-appellant to

make good the deficiency in the court - fee before it and


rejected the appeal on this preliminary ground.
3. The appellant has now come up
against the order abovesaid of the first Appellate Court.
4. Curiously enough in this court again a
preliminary objection has been taken on behalf of the
respondents by Mr. Gandhi that the present second
appeal also had not been adequately stamped and that
the appeal be rejected on this ground alone. On a close
perusal of the record, however, it appears that this
objection which was rather strenuously be pressed by the
learned counsel has been raised under some
misapprehension. The first Appellate Court had rendered
its judgement on the 29th January,1972. The present
appeal was filed in this Court, on the 18 th 0f
February,1972. The Court fee paid thereon was only Rs.
14.00. The Registry, therefore, raised an objection that
the memorandum of appeal was in sufficiently stamped
and the appeal was returned to be refilled after
complaying with the objection. On the 8th of March,1972,
however, the deficiency in the Court fee amounding to
Rs.160.40 P. was duly made up by the appellant after
giving a detailed account of the deficiency which was to
be made up. This was accepted by the office and the case
was then placed before the Motion Bench on the 9 th of
March,1972, and after the days adjournment was
admitted on the adequate Court fee has been duly paid
and that too within the prescribed period of limitation.
The preliminary objection, therefore, must be rejected.

5. On the issue as to what was the court


fee payable by the appellant before the first Appellate
Court there does not appear now to be any serious
controversy. In Uday Chand v. Mohan Lal, 59 pun LR 265
= (AIR 1957 Punj 315) the Division Bench authoritatively
held that where a plaint had been rejected under the
provisions of Order 7, Rule 11, then the court fee
payable on appeal is an ad valorem Court fee on the
difference between the Court-fee is paid by the plaintiff in
the lower Court and the Court-fee held to be the proper
Court-fee by the lower Court. That view has found
repeated affirmance in this Court subsequently in Atma
Singh v. Mohan Lal, AIR 1959 Punj 387 and Tarlok Singh v.
Daljit Kaur, AIR 1961 Punj 426.
6. In view of the above, the solitary argument
of Mr. M.L.Sarin in support of the appeal is that the
appellant may be allowed to make up the deficiency of
the Court-fee in the appeal before the lower Appellate
Court and the case be remanded for a decision on merits.
Reliance has been primarily placed on the decision of the
Court in Sat Paul v. Jai Bhan, 74 Pun LR 359 = (AIR 1973
Punj 58).
7. The contention of the appellant is patently
meritorious. It is significant to note that even at the stage
of the admission the appellant had primarily pressed this
prayer and the motion bench noticed the same in the
following terms:says he is prepared to make up the deficiency in this
court relying upon S. A. O. No. 17 of 1970 decided on 22-

12-1971 (Reported on AIR 1973 punj 58). Notice very


early, status quo for the meanwhile to continue.
The appellant has then filed civil miscellaneous No. 2289C of 1972 dated the 28th of January, 1972, which after
notice to the counsel opposite is also before me for
decision. The prayer therein also in the identical terms
and that apart the deficiency in the court-fee before the
lower appellant court amounting to Rs. 160.40 P. has
been pait and its attached to the application above said.
The prayer has been made specifically under section 140
read with section 151, civil procedure code. In this
contest it also deserves notice that the trial court whilst
rejecting the plaint did not precisely lay down as to what
was the market value of the property and consequently
the precise per court-fee payable by him. The appellant,
therefore, could not precisely determine the amount of
the court-fee which was payable on the case is fully
covered by the ratio of sat Pauls case 74 pun LR 359 =
(AIR 1973 Punj 58) on which reliance rightly has been
placed by the appellant. Mr. Gandhi on behalf of the
respondent has neither distinguish the case nor cited any
authority to the contrary. Considering all the
circumstances in the present case I deem it to be a fit one
for allowing the prayer of the plaintiff-appellant to make
up the deficiency. As the same has already been made up
in the present court I accept the appeal the appeal and
remand the case to the first appellate court for a decision
on merits. There will be on order as to costs.


Appeal allowed.

PRESS RELEASE
Rash driving by Army Personnel caused
Accident

Last night, there was an accident between a military


truck and a car on the Mall Road in Ambala cantt on the
outskirts of Punjab. Due to the negligent and rash driving
by the truck driver, Sepoy Man Singh, who was also an
army employee, Amrik Singh, an occupant of the car,
received serious injuries. Amrik singh, the victim, filed a
suit against the Union of India, in which, he asked for the
compensation of Rs. 50,000.