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Death of one of the partners does not foreclose the continuation of the civil proceedings initiated by the firm: Supreme Court

Death of one of the partners does not foreclose the continuation of the civil proceedings initiated by the firm: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court stated on December 16 that the continuation of the civil procedures of the firm had begun was not precluded by the passing of one of the partners. 

The court went on to say that in this case, the legal representatives of the deceased had already applied for their impleadment in place of the deceased, and there was no reason for the High Court to turn down such a prayer when it was submitted on time and without any other legal obstacles. 

In AVK Traders v. Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited, (2013) 15 SCC 217, the court also provided clarification of its decision.

"Para 13 of the above-mentioned judgment cannot be said to have held the suit would stand abated in the event of death of one of the partners where the partnership firm comprises two partners. What this Court has observed is that where one of the several partners dies in the suit instituted in the name of the partnership firm “as compared to when one of the two partners of the partnership firm dies”, the decree so granted would not be executable even if the partnership firm succeeds in the suit. It does not mean that the suit stands abated.", the court said while allowing the appeal.

Shiv Singh Galundia and his son Sumer Singh Galundia were partners in Kamal Engineering Works, a partnership business. The company filed a civil lawsuit for permanent injunction, damages, and specific performance of the contract. They filed the First Appeal before the High Court after the Trial Court dismissed the lawsuit. Shiv Singh Galundia, one of the partners, passed away while that appeal was pending. In the ongoing appeal, his legal heirs filed an application pursuant to Order XXII, Rule 3 CPC for their replacement as the dead partner's legal representatives. The partnership firm dissolves automatically upon the death of one of the two partners, according to the High Court, which is why the other partner's ability to file a lawsuit to get the relief(s) requested by the partnership firm in the lawsuit does not survive.

Case Title: Sumer Singh Galundia vs Jeevan Singh (D) 
Citation: CA 9292 OF 2022

Link: https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2020/3730/3730_2020_11_35_40638_Order_16-Dec-2022.pdf

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