Skip to content


Vakkalagadda Kondiah Vs. Channamsetty Pedda Pulliah and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 384 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1960AP121
ActsNegotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Sections 87; Limitation Act, 1908 - Sections 19 and 20
AppellantVakkalagadda Kondiah
RespondentChannamsetty Pedda Pulliah and ors.
Appellant AdvocateV. Balakoteswara Rao, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateB.K. Bhagwan, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
commercial - promissory note - section 87 of negotiable instruments act, 1881 - plaintiff brought recovery suit based on promissory note - defendant contended that promissory note had been altered by plaintiff - plaintiff bound to preserve instrument in its original state and alteration vitiated instrument - when alteration appears on face - plaintiff had to show that it was not made improperly - held, instrument materially altered. - - 4. on 4-1-1955 the advocate for the petitioner endorsed on the plaint in the lower court giving up the 6th respondent. in the present case, there is no such plea and, therefore, the authorities cited are clearly distinguishable. the respondents had clearly imputed the act to him for it......under the renewed promissory note. respondents 1 to 5 resisted the suit. they contended that the suit promissory note had been materially altered by the plaintiff and for that reason the same was not enforceable. they denied that they ever paid rs. 4/- on 2-11-1951 as alleged by the petitioner and that the endorsement to that effect was forgery. their last plea was that about three years back, the 1st respondent and fathers of respondents 2 to 4 and 5 had paid rs. 400/- in full discharge of the suit debt.4. on 4-1-1955 the advocate for the petitioner endorsed on the plaint in the lower court giving up the 6th respondent. in this state of pleadings the points that arose for consideration were --(1) whether the alteration in the date of the suit promissory note amounted to a material.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Qamar Hassan, J.

1. This is a revision petition on behalf of the plaintiff and it is directed against the judgment and decree dated 25-7-1955 of the District Munsif, Narasaraopet, dismissing the suit.

2. To appreciate the points canvassed before me a few facts need be mentioned. Channamsetty Pedda Puliah, respondent No. 1, Boligorla Yerrayya father of Respondents 2 to 4, Madagani Venkatigaou father of respondent No. 5, and Megali Pulligadu, respondent No. 6 executed a promissory note' Ex. A-1 on 6-11-1945 promissing to pay Rs. 300/- with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum. On 4-11-1948 they made an endorsement Ex. A1(a) on Ex. A.1 to the effect that a promissory note is executed for the sum of principal and interest for Rs. 410-4-0 due under the promissory note.

The renewed promissory note, Ex. A-2 again bore the endorsement, Ex. A.2(a) by the promisors acknowledging the payment of Rs. 4/- on 2-11-1951 under Ex. A.2.

3. The petitioner brought SCS No. 500 of 1954 for recovery of Rs. 444/- towards the principal and interest due under the renewed promissory note. Respondents 1 to 5 resisted the suit. They contended that the suit promissory note had been materially altered by the plaintiff and for that reason the same was not enforceable. They denied that they ever paid Rs. 4/- on 2-11-1951 as alleged by the petitioner and that the endorsement to that effect was forgery. Their last plea was that about three years back, the 1st respondent and fathers of respondents 2 to 4 and 5 had paid Rs. 400/- in full discharge of the suit debt.

4. On 4-1-1955 the advocate for the petitioner endorsed on the plaint in the lower court giving up the 6th respondent. In this state of pleadings the points that arose for consideration were --

(1) Whether the alteration in the date of the suit promissory note amounted to a material alteration? If so, whether the suit promissory note was enforceable?

(2) Whether the endorsement of payment of Rs. 4/- dated 2nd November, 1951 on the suit promissory note was true, valid and binding on the respondents?

(3) Whether the plea of discharge set up by the respondents was true?

On points 2 and 3 the learned District Munsif, on the authority of Govindaswami v. Kuppuswami, ILR 12 Mad 239, Kedarnath Singh v. W. C. Garrad, 77 Ind Cas 761: (AIR 1922 Low Bur 40 (1)), and Bas-appa v. Marule Gowda, AIR 1951 Mys 102, decided that there was material alteration of the date and month in the opening line of the suit promissory note which attracted the mischief contemplated by Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and the same could not he said to be enforceable.

He also repelled the plea advanced by the petitioner that he was entitled to relief on the original cause of action as evidenced by Ex. A-l, read with Ex. A-l (a) and Ex. A-2 (a) on the ground that the suit is not based on that cause of action and that the fact that there was a part payment on Ex, A-2 did not alter the position.

5. The learned advocate for this petitioner in the first place contended that the alleged material alterations were not fatal since the petitioner had sworn that he was not responsible for it. To fortify himself he referred me to Krushanacharan Padhi v. Gourochandro Dyano Sumanto, AIR 1940 Mad 62, and Gourochandro Dyano Sumanto v. Krushana-charana Padhi, AIR 1941 Mad 383. The latter nuthority was decided when an appeal was taken from the decision in the former case.

There the question was to the effect of a material alteration in a promissory note made by a stranger and it was held that the right of a holder of a promissory note is not affected by a material alteration in the instrument when the alteration has been made by a stranger without the consent of the holder of the instrument and when there has been no fraud or laches on the part pf the holder. In the present case, there is no such plea and, therefore, the authorities cited are clearly distinguishable.

The bald statement of the petitioner that he did not do it is not sufficient to infer that some stranger was responsible. The respondents had clearly imputed the act to him for it. A reference has been made to two English cases in AIR 1951 Mys 102, which are pertinent to the point under discussion. They are Davidson v. Cooper, (1844) 67 Rules 638, and Henman v. Dickinson, (1828) 5 Bing 183. In the first case it was held that a party who has the custody of an instrument made for his benefit is bound to preserve it in its original state and that any material alteration will vitiate the instrument.

In the other case it is laid down that where a party sues on an instrument which on the face of it appears to have been altered, it is for him to show that the alteration had not been improperly made. ILR 12 Mad 239 is another case in point. There a bond, while in possession of the plaintiff underwent an alteration with regard to the date thereof. The period of limitation from the original date had not expired and no proof of fraud had been tendered. It was held that the bond was void as such and was not receivable in evidence to prove the debt.

In this view of the matter, the first contention advanced by the learned advocate for the petitioner fails and that brings me to the consideration of the question whether the petitioner could get any relief on the original debt as evidenced by Ex. A-1 of which Ex. A-2 is admittedly a renewal. To make the matter short on this aspect of the case, I may refer to Rangaswami Reddy v. K. Doraiswami Reddi, (S) : AIR1957Mad715 , which has been cited by the learned advocate for the respondents in another connection. Therein occur the following observations at page 718 of the report ;

'Here on account of Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act the promissory note has become void and the plaintiff cannot be permitted to adduce sny other evidence to prove the contract of loan. The promise to repay the amount of the loan is certainly a term, indeed an essential term of the contract. 'Of course if there was a completed contract which existed before the execution of the promissory note, in which case the promissory note may be treated as a security or voucher, an action would He on such a contract even though the promissory note executed subsequently cannot be admitted in evidence for any reason'.'

In the instant case, there is no dispute that Ex. A-2 was merely a renewal of Ex. A-1. Therefore, the portion of the above extract underlined (here in ') by me applies with full force. But the learned advocate for the respondents contended that that cause of action would be time-barred since Ex. A-2 (a) will not enure for the benefit of the cause of action arising under Ex. A-l. Ex. A-2 (a) as already stated is an acknowledgment of payment of Rs. 4/- under Ex. A-2.

The contention is that the acknowledgment of part payment of a sum secured by Ex. A-2 must be limited to the liability arising under Ex, A-2 and not for the liability arising under Ex. A-1. No nuthority of rule of law has been cited before me in support of this contention. In my view, Ex. A-1 (a) and Ex. A-2 (a) can be used for purposes of limitation under Sections 19 and 20 of the Limitation Act.

6. I, therefore, allow the revision and decree the suit for Rs. 300-2-0 with interest at Rs. 12/- per cent per annum till the date pf the institution of the suit and Rs. 6/- per cent per annum till the date of realisation of the sum decreed. The petitioner will recover costs throughout from the respondents 1 to 5. The respondent No. 6 had been given up and unnecessarily made a party to this revision petition. The revision against him is dismissed.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //