1. This was a suit for re-covery of money on a promissory note, dated the 2nd March 1907, for Rs. 2,000, made by the defendant, Kanhaya Lal, in favour of the plaintiff, Girdhari Lal's father. The suit was resisted on the ground that Kanhaya Lil was a minor at the date of the note. The Court below, reviewing the evidence adduced by the parties, came to the concluison that the oral and documentary evidence produced by Kanhaya Lal was not sufficient to establish that he was a minor on that date. But the burden of proving that the contract was a valid one and not void ah initio lay upon the plaintiff see Gaya Din v. Musammat Dulari 6 A.L.J. 693 : 2 Ind. Cas. 839. The Court below found that the plaintiff had not adduced any satisfactory evidence that the defendant, at the date of the making of the promissory-note, was of full age. The Court, however, finding that the defendant, Kanhaya Lal, had misrepresented his age to the plaintiff's father at the time he borrowed the money and made the promissory note, decreed the claim in part.
2. In appeal it is contended by the earned Counsel for Kanhaya Lal, the defendant, that a misrepresentation of his age at the time of the making of the promissory-note does not render him liable under it. In support of this contention reliance is placed on Section A. 484 of 1910, decided on 2nd December 1910. In that case it was ruled that the defendant was not estopped from pleading infancy by reason of the fact that he had been guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation regarding his age. This ruling supports the contention of the earned Counsel for the appellant. The learned Advocate for the respondent supports the judgment of the Court below on the ground that the defendant, Kanhaya Lal, in his deposition, dated the 18th July, 1907, gave his age as 22 years, and that that admission, taken with the other circumstances of the case, shifts the burden of proof and renders it necessary for the defendant to prove that, on the date of the execution of the pro-note in question, he was a minor.
3. Kanhaya Lal has made conflicting statements about his age, and it is well known that a witness, when asked to state his age at the beginning of his examination, usually satisfies himself with stating it approximately.
4. We are not prepared to attach much importance to the age given by Kanhaya Lal in his deposition of 18th July 1907, and, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, we do not think that the statement amounts to an admission sufficient to shift the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant.
5. For the above reasons, we allow the appeal, set aside the decree of the Court below and dismiss the plaintiff's suit. We make no order as to costs.