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Present; Ennis and Porter -JJ.CHELlLIAH v. SOOSE.
163—D. C. Mannar, 9,179.
Contract—Agreement by tavern-keeper to give Be. 1 per gallon to renter—Contract supply system—Impossible to make profit of Re. 1 if'arrack teas sold -at th-e price -fixed by Government—Is contract-illegal f
■ A tavern-keeper agreed to pay the renter Be. 1 per gallon ofarrack sold at the tavern. If the tavern-keeper sold the arrackat the price fixed by the Government, be could not have made aprofit of Be. 1 per gallon.
Held, that the agreement was void as against public policy.
HE defendant respondent was employed by the plaintiff-appellant as a paid servant to sell arrack. -Among other things
it was agreed between the plaintiff and the defendant (a) that thedefendant should pay to the plaintiff Be. 1 as profit on every gallonof arrack sold by the defendant; (6) that the defendant should keepregular accounts, and should conform to the rules of the ExciseDepartment.
The defendant having failed to render proper account, the plaintiffv, brought this action for Bb. 490, of which Bs. 849.10 was the amount;of profit at the rate of Re. 1 per gallon.
The defendant denied in his answer that any amount was dueto the plaintiff, and specially denied that there was any agree-ment to give Re. 1 as profit to the plaintiff on every gallon ofarrack sold. The District Judge held that it was impossible tomake a profit of -Re. 1 per gallon without an infringement of theExcise regulations, and dismissed plaintiff's action.
Pereira, K.C. (with him H. V. Per era and S. Rajaratnam), for theplaintiff, appellant.
Arulanandan (with him J. Joseph), for the defendant, respondent.November 9, 1922. Ennis, J.—
The only question on appeal in this case was whether an agreementto pay Re. 1 per gallon of arrack sold in an arrack tavern was legalas between the renter and the tavern-keeper. The learned Judgehas found that the tavern-keeper, if he sold the arrack at the pricefixed by the Government, could not make Re. 1-per gallon profit,and he, therefore, held that the agreement was void as againstpublic policy, and to that extent dismissed the plaintiff’s action.
On appeal it was urged that there was no evidence to show thatRe. 1 per gallon profit could not be made legitimately. The plaintiffgave evidence as to the price at which he purchased the arrack, andit appears to have been accepted throughout the case and in thepetition of appeal that by selling the arrack at the price fixed byGovernment, Re. 1 per gallon, profit could not be made. I am unable,therefore, to say that the learned Judge’s finding in this respect iswrong.
There remains to be considered whether this is an agreementwhich would be void as against public policy. The agreement wouldseem to be one which had for its object the collection of moreprofit than allowed within the price fixed under the Excise regula-tions; and in that respect it was one which was likely to defeat theprovisions of the Excise Ordinance. I am, therefore, of opinionthat the learned Judge was . right in holding that the agreement inquestion was void.
1 would accordingly dismiss the appeal, with costs.
Porter J.—I agree.
CHELLIAH v. SOOSE