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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. OF 2008
(Arising out of SLP (C) No.19515 of 2004)
Prem Nath Motors Ltd. ....Appellant
Anurag Mittal ....Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Challenge in this appeal is to the order passed by Monopolies
Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, New Delhi, (in short
`Commission') dismissing the application filed by the present appellant.
3. Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
An International Car Manufacturing Company i.e. M/s. Automobiles
Peugeot of France had entered into a joint venture agreement with
manufactures of Premier Cars in India which had a network of dealers
spread all over the country, for the purpose of manufacturing and sale of
Peugeot 309 models car in India.
The original agreement of M/s. Automobiles Peugeot of France was
with M/s. Kalyan Motors Company Limited which was incorporated during
1994. Subsequently, M/s. Kalyan Motors was named Pal Peugeot
Limited/Premier Automobiles Limited.
Thereafter M/s Pal Peugeot Limited gave advertisements in various
newspapers, inviting application for Priority-cum-Registration of Peugeot
309 cars. The individual who were interested in purchasing the said car,
applied to M/s Pal Peugeot Limited at: Kalyan Shil Road, Manpada,
Dombilvli-421204, Distt. Thane, Maharashtra.
Some individuals like the respondent No.1 submitted their application
at Prem Nath Motors Ltd. with a cheque of Rs.25,000/- in the name of Pal
It is pertinent to point out that Prem Nath Motors Limited was dealer
of Pal Motors, with whom the Peugeot Company had entered into an
agreement. Petitioner before Commission had nothing to do with the
advertisement, in response to which the individuals had applied for the said.
In fact, the individuals had submitted their applications at Prem Nath
Motor's office only due to above reasons.
It is also necessary to add that the cheque submitted by the individual
person, whoever was interested in purchasing the said car was given in the
name of M/s Pal Peugeot Limited and Prem Nath Motors Limited, i.e. the
appellant herein had no other role except to send the same to M/s Pal
But the individual i.e. the respondent No.1 herein who seems to had
applied for "Peugeot 309 Car" did not get the delivery and, therefore, asked
for the refund of the booking amount of Rs.25,000/-. As the said amount
was not refunded, the respondent No.1 filed a Claim Petition under Section
12-B of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (in short
the `Act') on the grounds of failures on the part of respondents to refund the
The appellant's stand before the Commission was that the liability, if
any, was of M/s. Pal Peugeot to pay to respondent. According to the
appellant it was only the agent/dealer of said party.
4. Section 230 of the Contract Act categorically makes it clear that an
agent is not liable for the acts of a disclosed principal subject to a contract
of the contrary. No such contract to the contrary has been pleaded. An
identical issue was considered by this Court in the case of Marine Contained
Services South Pvt. Ltd. vs. Go Go Garments AIR 1999 (SC) 80 where a
similar order passed under the Consumer Protection Act was set aside by
this Court. It was held that by virtue of Section 230 the agent could not be
sued when the principal had been disclosed.
5. A similar view has been expressed by a three judge Bench of this
Court in Civil Appeal 6653/2005 arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.19562/2004.
6. The appeal is allowed accordingly.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
(Dr. MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA)
November 14, 2008 5