Any ref.case ?
No member of an unregistered firm can enforce his rights under the partnership contract against either the firm or any present or past member of it, nor can the firm sue its customers on their contracts. The firm remains liable to be sued by persons outside it, and cannot plead a set-off. Only suits for dissolution of the firm, and the powers of official assignees under the Insolvency Acts, are exempt from the prohibition. A small and harmonious firm dealing in a small way and mainly for ready money might be content to take these risks, mitigated as they are by the proviso of sub-s (4)(b) as to claims not exceeding Rs 100 in value. For a business of any considerable magnitude they appear sufficiently deterrent. Mandatory character
Now, the mischief primarily intended to be prevented by the mandatory provisions of Section 69 was the hardship and difficulty to which third parties dealing with a firm were subjected in the matter of proving as to who were the partners. As to the provisions affecting the partners themselves it seems clear that the main object and intention of the Legislature was to prevent a partner from enforcing his claims against fellow partners if the firm was not registered and to compel in such a case dissolution of the firm by laying down that the court will entertain suits only when dissolution and accounts and winding up of the affairs of the firm is sought or where accounts or winding up of the affairs of an already dissolved firm is sought.
Effect of Subsequent Registration
HARRIES CJ of the Patna High Court explained the reasons for this approach:
"Subsequent registration cannot cure the initial defect. A plaint filed by an unregistered firm is in fact no plaint at all, because Section 69 makes claims arising out of a contract unenforceable if the firm is unregistered at the date of the institution of the suit. An unregistered firm has no right to sue and, therefore, a plaint filed by it has no legal effect. If at the time the plaint is filed the claim is bound to fail, how subsequent registration can improve the position. The single Judge of the Calcutta High Court held that there was no reason why the court should not treat the plaint as filed on the date of registration. But I know of no provision of law, which permits a court to treat a plaint as filed on a date subsequent, to the date upon which it was actually filed. The best course in such a case for the suer to adopt is to institute a fresh suit after registration and the court will entertain it if it is still within time.
There will also be this further difficulty that once a dispute between the partners has arisen, all of them may not sign the application form and consequently the firm may remain unregistered and even if registration is obtained by dropping the names of adversaries, those whose names do not figure in the registration cannot still be sued as partners. It is, therefore, advisable to have the firm registered when it is constituted. Partners cannot be compelled to sign registration documents, nor an action is allowed to so compel them. Registration of Sub-partnership A sub-partnership, (Section 29), is the agreement by a partner to share his share of the profits with certain other persons. Since the Partnership Act applies to such partnerships also, for the purposes of suits as between them registration of the sub-partnership would seem to be necessary. Such firms have been recognized as valid for registration purposes.
Scope of Sec.69 (1) And Matters Outside Its Preview
Two conditions are necessary to enable a partner to sue his co-partners or the- firm. First, the firm should be registered and, second, the name of the partner suing must figure in registration. The scope of the sub-section was examined by the Bombay High Court in S.H. Patel v. Husseinbhai Mohd, a case where the action was between two former partners to enforce an agreement restraining the outgoing partner from carrying on in some area any business similar to that of the firm and the court had to examine whether such suit was maintainable the firm being unregistered.
There are many settled laws in this regard, you may make a search in google.