Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.
1. The plaintiff sued to recover Rs. 1,445-11-0 from the defendant being the balance on. two promissory notes with future interest and costs. The lower Court passed a decree for Rs. 580-6-6 from the second defendant and the estate of defendants Nos. 1, 3 and 4 on the one note, and Rs. 865-4-6 from the second defendant on the other note. The chief contest was with regard to the liability on the note of November 12, 1913, on which it was said the balance due was Rs. 865-4-6. An issue was raised whether the claim on the promissory note of 1913 was in time. The learned Judge held that the claim was in time as against the second defendant and not against defendants Nos. 1, 3 and 4. In appeal the claim on this note as against the second defendant was also rejected. Now it is admitted that the second defendant signed this promissory note on November 12, 1913, for Rs. 1,500 with interest at six per cent. Payments were made of Rs. 90 on February 2, 1913, Rs. 200 on January 11, 1916, and Rs. 381-12-0 on April 21, 1916. On November 6, 1916, the second defendant endorsed on the note the three payments which had been made on the previous dates, added up the total, and signed underneath.
2. It is contended by the plaintiff that this was an acknowledgment of liability within the meaning of Section ID of the Indian Limitation Act. On the part of the second defendant it is contended that there was no sufficient acknowledgment. It may be admitted that the second defendant had not written in so many words that he admitted his liability for the balance due. But we must read the whole endorsement made by him, taken in conjunction with the words on the face of the note. It is difficult to say that that endorsement can mean anything else than this 'I have paid so much on account of my liability on the note, and in consequence I am only liable for the balance remaining due.
3. We have been referred to the case of Venkatakriehniah v. Subbarayudu I.L.R. (1916) Mad. 693 where it was held that where a payment was made by a mortgagor who was able to write and was recorded on the back of the mortgage bond by a servant of the creditor and signed by the debtor, the endorsement amounted to an acknowledgment of liability within the meaning of p. 19 of the Indian Limitation Act, though the payment was not good as a part payment within the meaning of Section 20 of the Act. Mr. Justice Napier said:
I adhere to the opinion expressed by me in Jaganadha sahu v. Rama Sahu (1914) 17 M.L.T. 80 on the same words as are in this document, I have no doubt that there is in this endorsement an acknowledgment.
4. And Mr. Justice Srinivasa Ayyangar said (p. 700):
I have no doubt that the terms of the endorsement in this case, amount to an acknowledgment of liability. The debtor states in terms that he pays Rs. 378 towards the amount due on the bond and on the same day, made another payment of Rs. 22 and made another endorsement. I construe the the endorsement as meaning that the debtor made a part-payment of the amount due (on the bond on that day over Rs. 1,500 was due as shown on the face of the bond) which is certainly an acknowledgment that more money was due.
5. Following that decision, I think this is an endorsement by which the promissor recorded that he had paid Rs. 671-12-0 against the liability which stood against his name on the promissory note, and consequently he admitted his liability to pay the balance. It seems to me that as a matter of common law an endorsement on a promissory note by the promissor is an acknowledgment of liability, which will start a fresh period of limitation from the date on which it was made, and it makes no difference that such endorsement is below an account showing what has already been paid on the promissory note. I think, therefore, that this appeal must be allowed, the decree of the lower appellate Court set aside, and that of the Subordinate Judge restored with costa in this Court and the Court below.