Francis M. Kirigia v Paul Murunga & Rufus Mbaya
Francis M. Kirigia v Paul Murunga & another  eKLR
Francis M. Kirigia v Paul Murunga & another
High Court, at Meru January 10, 1995
Civil Appeal No 72 of 1994
(From the original decision in Principal Magistrate’s Court Civil Suit No 135 of 1994 at Meru - Solomon Wamwayi Esq CM)
Sale of Goods – transfer of property in goods – where there is contract for sale of specific or ascertained goods – when does the property in them transfer to the buyer.
Jurisdiction – High Court – determining whether the Court has jurisdiction – who has duty to look at pleadings and determine whether Court has jurisdiction.
The plaintiff sued the defendant via a plaint filed on 28th February, 1994. He sued them for the return of motor vehicle Reg No KAA 901V Toyota Corolla DX which had allegedly been sold to him by the 1st respondent for Shs 170,000/= and which he paid 160,000/= and the balance was Shs 10,000/=. The vehicle was repossessed by respondents and therefore prayed for an order compelling 1st respondent to transfer the log book in his name. He also prayed for damages for loss of use of car from 23rd February, 1996, costs of suit plus interest.
The 1st respondent denied any agreement being entered between him and the plaintiff contending that Shs 150,000/= received was for the car to be imported.
The trial magistrate entered judgment for the plaintiff. The respondents appealed contending inter alia that the learned Chief Magistrate lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit as his pecuniary limit was only Shs 125,000/= at the time he heard this matter and delivered judgment
1. The issue of jurisdiction may rightly be argued on an appeal as it goes to the root of the matter whether the trial court was competent to adjudicate on the matter before it.
2. On whether the Court has jurisdiction or not, it’s the duty of the counsel appearing to assist the Court by raising the matter.
3. Where there is contract of sale of specific or ascertained goods, the property is them transferred to the buyer at such a time as the parties to the contract intended it to be transferred.
4. Unless a different intention appears, the rule that applies for ascertaining that intention of the parties as to the time at which the property in goods is to pass to the buyer is that where there is unconditional contract for the sale of specific goods, in a deliverable state the property in the goods passes to the buyer when the contract is made and it is immaterial whether the time of payment or the time of delivery or both be postponed.
5. The property in the suit car passed to the appellant when he paid the first instalment and was given the car by the 1st respondent.
6. Motor-car registration book is not a document of title and delivery thereof does not give to the person to whom it is delivered the means of appearing to be the owner.
1. Nyangau v Nyakwara  KLR 712; [1982-88] 1 KAR 805
2. Musoke v Alibhai Garage Ltd  EA 31
1. Sale of Goods Act (cap 31) sections 19(1); 20
2. Traffic Act (cap 403) section 8
Mr Mithega for the Appellant