1. This is an appeal by the plaintiff who sought to recover a sum of money from the defendants, one item of which was Rs. 660. This was claimed on a memorandum of account signed by one of the defendants on the 27th November 1917 admitting that a sum of Rs. 660 was due by him to the plaintiff. This account, it, appears, started in 1915. The suit was brought on the 14th April 1920, so that unless the memorandum of the 27th November 1917 was legally admissible as an acknowledgment within Section 19 of the Indian Limitation Act, so much, of the claim as referred to this, account would be time-barred. Both the lower Courts have held that this document came within the definition of an acknowledgment of a debt in Article I of the First Schedule to the Indian Stamp Act and held that, inasmuch as it did not bear a one-anna stamp, under Section 35 of that Act it was inadmissible. Both Courts, therefore, dismissed the suit so far as this claim was concerned. On appeal before us it has been urged,-
(1) that the document did not require a stamp;
(2) that the suit was not based on this acknowledgment, and
(3) that, properly considered, this really was a suit for an account stated within the meaning of Art, 64 of the First Schedule of the Indian Limitation Act.
2. The document in question is in the form of a letter on a printed form in a book kept by the plaintiff. A carbon copy is taken from it and presumably was given to the defendants. It is addressed to the defendants, and, after mentioning certain credits and debits, concludes with the statement that a sum of Rs. 660 is due to the plaintiff from the defendant, errors and omissions excepted, or rather the Hindi equivalent for this. This is signed by one of the defendants. It seems to us impossible to hold that this is not precisely within the meaning of Article 1 of the First Schedule to the Stamp Act. The way in which the book is kept and signed seems to us to prove that the acknowledgment was made in order to supply evidence of the debt. Various rulings have been quoted by the learned Advocate for the appellant and, among others, Galstaun v. Hutchison 16 Ind. Cas. 279 : 39 C. 789 : 16 C.W.N. 945. That case after all merely lays down that each document has to be looked at by itself and it is for the Court in each case of decide whether or not it falls within the definition of Article 1 of the Schedule to the Stamp Act. Accepting that criterion, we have no hesitation in saying that in this case, in our opinion, the document required a one-anna stamp. That being so, it seems to us that, under Section 35, it cannot be used for any purpose at all. This really does away with both the other contentions raised by the appellant. In our opinion, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.