1. This is a revision arising out of a decree passed by the Small Cause Court Judge, Cuttack, in a suit based on what is called a blank handnote. The plaintiff is a pleader and says that he lent a sum of Rs. 150/- on a promissory note marked Ext. A which contains merely a signature with the words 'Rs. 150/-' on a one-anna stamp. The signature is denied by the defendant as a forgery and the loan also is denied.
2. The plaintiff examined himself and another person, one Baidyanath Panda, who, it is said, was present at the time of the transaction. The defendant denied this and alleged that there was bitter enmity between himself and the plaintiff's uncle-in-law relating to the marriage of his daughter. The plaintiff's case is that the defendant was in great hurry and so he gave his signature on a blank paper as there was not enough time to execute a formally completed handnote.
3. The document has been marked and treated as a handnote. The learned Small Cause Judge has entered into an elaborate discussion of the writing and a comparison of the same with other, writings of the defendant. It is rather remarkable that the learned S. C. C. Judge has overlooked the fact that this piece of writing, even if it be genuine, cannot be taken to create any liability on the part of the defendant, that it is no evidence of any loan having been contracted and that it is certainly not a promissory note as defined in the Negotiable Instruments Act. There is no promise to pay, no acknowledgment of any liability, nor any admission of having borrowed, and I am surprised that the learned S. C. C. Judge should have treated this document which is no better than a scrap of paper -- as a document creating a liability in favour of the plaintiff.
4. The oral evidence adduced by the plaintiff is equally unreliable. He said in cross-examination that he could not say how P. W. 1 is connected with his sister's husband. Such a statement would not be expected from a pleader -- as the plaintiff admittedly is. Either P. W. 1 is related to the plaintiff or he is not. In either case it should not be difficult for the plaintiff to answer one way or the other. What the plaintiff has done, in his deposition, is to evade a straight answer.
5. It has also been pointed out that P. W. 1 could not have been present at the scene inasmuch as he says that the defendant gave his signature and thumb impression on the document but admittedly there is no thumb impression on Ext. 1.
6. I have, therefore, no hesitation in holding that there is no liability created by the suit document Ext. 1 and accordingly the plaintiff's suit should have been dismissed. The judgment of the learned S. C. C. Judge is set aside and this revision is allowed with costs, hearing fee one Gold Mohur.