1. This is a creditors appeal arising out of an application in an insolvency case to be entered as a scheduled-creditor in respect of an amount due on a promissory note, dated the 19th of July, 1922, executed by the insolvent along with two other persons for a sum of Rs. 800. The promissory note bore an interest at the rate of one anna per rupee per mensem, which works out at 75 per cent, per annum.
2. The learned District Judge came to the conclusion that the rate of interest was excessive and that the transaction was unfair as between the parties thereto. He accordingly reduced the rate of interest to 12 per cent per annum simple interest which he considered to be adequate having regard to all the circumstances of this case.
3. The creditor has appealed.
4. The first point urged on his behalf is that the Act has no application to this case because the respondent, E.C. Dennet, was not the principal debtor but a mere surety. In our opinion, this argument has no force whatsoever. If the creditor wishes to bind the respondent-and recover from him a sum of money said to be due on a transaction entered into between the parties, the Usurious I Loans Act (Act No. X of 1918) would be applicable irrespective of the fact whether the respondent is liable as a principal debtor or as a surety. Section 2(3)(b) is wide enough to cover the case of a surety, also. We think that the Act makes no distinction whatsoever on this account.
5. The next point urged is that the rata of interest was not excessive. We think that it was not only excessive but was extortionately high, and the learned District Judge was perfectly justified in reducing the amount as it would have been grossly unjust to allow a claim for such a high rate of interest to succeed in a Court of law.
6. It is lastly urged that 12 per cent, per annum simple interest which has been allowed by the District Judge is too low. The learned District Judge had before-him several circumstances. It was not only one person but three persons who joined in executing the promissory note. The promissory note was for Rs. 800 and was payable on demand and the creditor was not bound to wait for any long period. One of executants, namely the present respondent, was employed on the Railway and was earning, from Rs. 155 to Rs. 100 a month as pay. No other circumstances were brought before the Court to show that the creditor was running any serious risk in advancing the money to these three persons who had been held jointly and severally responsible. Having regard to all the circumstances of this case, he arrived at the conclusion that the rate of interest at 12 per cent, per annum was a proper and fair rate of interest. We find it impossible to differ from the view which he has taken. The result is that the appeal fails and we dismiss it with costs.