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Kanthasami Reddiar Vs. Pethusami Reddiar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1940Mad887; (1940)2MLJ334
AppellantKanthasami Reddiar
RespondentPethusami Reddiar
Cases ReferredUlyanji v. Dulabh Jeevan I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - but the learned district munsif gives findings of fact which clearly brings the suit within article 85 of the limitation act. on the accounts before me, the findings recorded by the learned district munsif appear to be correct and the suit appears to be clearly within time having regard to article 85 of the limitation act......limitation act. but the learned district munsif gives findings of fact which clearly brings the suit within article 85 of the limitation act. he finds that there are a number of credit entries showing sales of cotton by the defendant to the plaintiff which constitute counter-claims for the. defendant and that in, the same account the balance shifts at times against the plaintiff. there was no necessary for the learned district munsif to record these findings unless he had in mind the considerations governing the disposal of a case falling under article 85. it is not at all likely that any further evidence of value would be forthcoming if the suit were sent back for an express finding whether article 85 does apply. on the accounts before me, the findings recorded by the learned.....
Judgment:

Wadsworth, J.

1. The petitioner was the defendant in a Small Cause suit for a sum of Rs. 232-2-2 due on account of dealings had by defendant with plaintiff from 6th March, 1933, to 1st March, 1934. The plaint was certainly based on a settlement of account on 1st March, 1934. The defendant raised pleas of discharge and also alleged that the suit was barred by limitation. The trial Court found against the pleas of discharge, there being no oral evidence adduced for the defendant. That decision of fact cannot be canvassed here.

2. The learned District Munsif also held that the suit was in time having regard to Article 64 of the Limitation Act. Now, the actual page of the account bearing this alleged settlement entry is proved to be all in the handwriting of the defendant who was employed by the plaintiff. The heading shows that it is the account of Kandasami Reddiar the defendant in the plaintiff's cotton shop. That also was in the handwriting of the defendant. The first entry in that page is dated 6th March, 1933, and the account closes with a small credit for cotton supplied by the defendant to the plaintiff on 1st March, 1934. Then the credit and debit entries are totalled in pencil and there is another pencil entry striking the balance, at Rs. 230-2-2. These pencil entries are also in the handwriting of the defendant. The learned District Munsif has held that, having regard to the fact that the defendant has written his own name at the top of the account and that the final balance is in the handwriting of the defendant, the decisions in Sadasook Agarwalla v. Baikanta Nath Basunia I.L.R.(1904)Cal. 1043 and Andarji KUlyanji v. Dulabh Jeevan I.L.R.(1877)Bom. 88, warrant the conclusion that there is a statement of account signed by the defendant sufficient for the purpose of Article 64 of the Limitation Act. Now, it is difficult to support this conclusion. The cases referred to deal with accounts bearing the name of the debtor at the head and at the foot an authentication in the manner customary amongst the class of people to which the writer belongs indicating that he is the writer of the balance and accepts it as correct, he being also the writer of the name at the head. The Courts, haying regard to the commercial practice of authenticating accounts in this way, have held that the authentication at the foot of the account and the name at the head may be taken together to spell out a signature of the settled account. There are no such facts in the present case. All we have is an account starting approximately one year before the settlement with the writing of the heading by the defendant. This must have been written at the time when the account was blank. Then follow a series of entries all in the handwriting of the defendant and a mere pencilled, totalling and striking of the balance. There is nothing in the way of an authentication of this balance or an express indication that the writer accepts it as binding upon himself and authenticates it as accepted by the person whose name appears at the head of the account and the writing of the name at the head of the accounts cannot possibly be regarded as an authentication of the balance finally struck approximately one year later. It seems to me clear that Article 64 of the Limitation Act does not apply.

3. There is no reference in the judgment to any other article of the Limitation Act. But the learned District Munsif gives findings of fact which clearly brings the suit within Article 85 of the Limitation Act. He finds that there are a number of credit entries showing sales of cotton by the defendant to the plaintiff which constitute counter-claims for the. defendant and that in, the same account the balance shifts at times against the plaintiff. There was no necessary for the learned District Munsif to record these findings unless he had in mind the considerations governing the disposal of a case falling under Article 85. It is not at all likely that any further evidence of value would be forthcoming if the suit were sent back for an express finding whether Article 85 does apply. On the accounts before me, the findings recorded by the learned District Munsif appear to be correct and the suit appears to be clearly within time having regard to Article 85 of the Limitation Act. This being a revision petition, it does not seem to me in the circumstances of the case necessary to interfere with the decision of the trial Court though the finding that the case is within time having regard to Article 64 of the Limitation Act seems to me to be erroneous. To my mind, the suit is within time, though the wrong article has been quoted.

4. In the result therefore this petition is dismissed with costs.


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