1. This petition raises a question under the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act. The petitioner was the second defendant in a suit on a promissory note dated 8th October, 1934, executed by himself and by his brother the first defendant. This promissory note was in supersession of an earlier promissory note executed by the first defendant alone on 28th May, 1930. The first defendant is admittedly not an agriculturist within the purview of the Act. The second defendant claims to be entitled to the benefit of Section 9 of the Act on the basis that the debt upon which he has been sued is in renewal of a prior debt so far as he is concerned.
2. It seems to us unnecessary to decide the question whether, when there is a debt incurred by A, superseded by another debt incurred by A and B, B can contend that his liability is in renewal of a prior debt. So far as the facts of this case go, it is clear to us that the original debt is not a debt as defined by Section 3(iii) of the Act which defines a debt as 'any liability in cash or kind, whether secured or unsecured due from an agriculturist.' The proviso to Section 9 deals with any part of a debt which is found to be a renewal of a prior debt. Both the debts sued on and the prior debt which it is found to have superseded ' must, if this section is to have any application, fall within the definition of the term 'debt' in Section 3; that is to say, both the prior debt and the debt sued on must be debts due from an agriculturist. In the present case, admittedly the original debt was not due from an agriculturist and it is therefore not open to the petitioner to call in aid Section 9 on the ground that the debt upon which he is sued is in renewal of a prior debt.
3. This petition is therefore dismissed with costs.
C.R.P. No. 1106 of 1939.
4. This petition need not be decided on the merits in view of our decision in C.R.P. No. 1115, for it only seeks to canvass by means of a new trial application the question upon which we have given a finding adverse to the petitioner. The petition is therefore dismissed but there will be no order as to costs.