1. A rather novel point has been raised in this revision petition by the defendant who was sued for the recovery of Rs. 61-11.4. He admittedly signed an acknowledgment in an account book of the plaintiffs on 1st April 1945 showing that Rs. 54-3.6 was due on previous dealings. The point raised is a technical one, that this acknowledgment requires a one anna stamp under Schedule 1, Article 1, Stamp Act and that therefore it is inadmissible in evidence as an acknowledgment of liability which has the effect of saving limitation.
2. The learned District Munsif has referred to some authorities and in my view rightly held that this signature was not an acknowledgment requiring any stamp. This was the opinion expressed in Nagappa Chetty v. V. A. A. R. Firm, : AIR1925Mad1215 by Krishnan J. though the point for determination did not directly fall for determination there.
3. To bring the signature within the definition of an acknowledgment in the schedule, it is necessary that it should be 'written, or signed by or on behalf of, a debtor in order to supply evidence of such debt in any book .... or on a separate piece of paper when such book or paper is left in the creditor's possession.' The words 'to supply evidence of such debt' are of vital importance and indicate that the document was intended to be 'evidence of the debt'. A mere signature in a running account is not evidence of the debt of which there is already evidence in the account books. It is merely an acknowledgment of the correctness of the account and does not require to be stamped. There is no law requiring an acknowledgment of liability for the purpose of saving limitation to be stamped. The point raised is an interesting one, which if allowed, would have a rather startling effect on many acknowledgments and account books which are being daily admitted in evidence unstamped for the purpose of acknowledging the correctness of the account and also for acknowledgment of liability saving limitation.
4. No appearance has been made by the respondents. I attach no significance to this. As the amount is so small they may think it scarcely worthwhile making an appearance in this Court.
5. The petition is dismissed without any order as to costs.