The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held in a judgment that Section 69 (2) of the Indian Partnership Act 1932 cannot bar the enforcement by way of suit by an unregistered firm in respect of a statutory right or common law right.
The decision was delivered by the High Court of Delhi in the matter of Blueberry Books and Ors. Vs. Bharti Goyal and Anr., CS(OS) No. 1498 of 2014 decided on 14.01.2019.
The only limited issue for adjudication before the High Court was whether an unregistered firm can file a suit for enforcement of statutory and common law rights.
In the present suit for injunction and declaration of a copyright, the Defendants filed an application for rejection of plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 seeking the dismissal of the suit as the same is barred by law, i.e. Section 69 of the Indian Partnership Act 1932.
By dismissing the application of the Defendants, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that while considering the question whether a suit filed by the Plaintiff is hit by Section 69 (2) of the Partnership Act, the court will have to see what the plaintiff claims as his cause of action. It was further held that Section 69(2) of the Act of 1932, dealing with the effect of non-registration of a partnership firm, cannot bar the enforcement by way of suit by an unregistered firm in respect of a statutory right or a common law right.
The Court also observed that copyright is a statutory right and merely because some additional or ancillary issues are also arising in the course of adjudication of the controversy in the plaint, that would not be sufficient to hold that the suit is barred under Section 69(2) of the Partnership Act.
The said decision was pronounced after placing reliance upon the decision of the Apex Court in Haldiram Bhujiawala & Anr. vs. Anand Kumar Deepak Kumar & Anr., (2000) 3 SCC 250.