8. Appearance under protest.
(1) Any person served with summons as a partner under rule 3 may enter an appearance under protest, denying that he was a partner at any material time.
(2) On such appearance being made, either the plaintiff or the person entering the appearance may, at any time before the date fixed for hearing and final disposal of the suit, apply to the Court for determining whether that person was a partner of the firm and liable as such.
(3) If, on such application, the Court holds that he was a partner at the material time, that shall not preclude the person from filing a defence denying the liability of the firm in respect of the claim against the defendant.
(4) If the Court, however, holds that such person was not a partner of the firm and was not liable as such that shall not preclude the plaintiff from otherwise serving a summons on the firm and proceeding with the suit; but in that event, the plaintiff shall be precluded from alleging the liability of that person as a partner of the firm in execution of any decree that may be passed against the firm.