1. This civil revision petition arises cut of S. C. S. No. 738 of 1960 on the file of the Court of Small Causes, Madras filed by the petitioner for recovery of the balance of the loan advanced to the respondent on the security of jewels pledged with him.
2. Originally, the respondent borrowed a sum of Rs. 950 on 19-6-1954, and executed a promissory note. Subsequently the respondent deposited with the petitioner some gold jewels as security for the loan on 25-6-1954. Since the respondent did not pay the loan the petitioner brought the pledged jewels to auction after due notice to the respondent. The amount due and payable to the petitioner was about Rs. 1316-50 nP. as on 17-6-1957. He realised by the sale of the pledged jewels Rs. 989 on 17-6-1957. After giving credit to that amount, the petitioner filed the suit for recovery of the balance of Rs. 327-50 with interest at 12 per cent per annum on that amount upto the date of suit.
3. The defence to the suit was that it was barred By limitation on the ground that when the loan itself was based on the promissory note dated 19-6-1954, the suit should have been filed within three years from that Gate and that inasmuch as it has been filed on 23-1-1960 it is barred by limitation.
4. It was contended by the petitioner in the courts below that the starting point of limitation1 in respect of the loan was not the date of the promissory note, viz., 19-6-1954, but it was 17-6-1957, when the jewels given by the respondent as security for the said loan were sold and when it was found that the sale proceeds were not enough to discharge the entire loan. He relied on Section 176 of the Indian Contract Act. He further reiterated that Article 57 of the Limitation Act is not applicable but only Article 120. The Courts below repelled the contentions of the petitioner and dismissed the suit. It is against that dismissal that this revision petition has been filed.
5. The only question for consideration is, whether the suit is barred by limitation, or in other words, whether Article 57 applies or Article 120 of the Limitation Act read with Article 176 of the Indian Contract Act applies to this case.
6. Article 57 of the Limitation Act is a general Article applicable for suits for recovery of money payable for money lent. This Article is applicable only when the suit is based on the loan. Therefore, a suit to recover personally from the debtor the amount of the loan advanced or the balance of the amount due after crediting the proceeds realised by sale of the pledged articles, is governed by Article 57 and time begins to run from the date of the loan. The earliest authority for this proposition of law is Saiyid All Khan v. Debi Prasad, ILR 24 All 251. The facts in mat case are similar to the facts in the instant case. The learned, Judges relying on Madan Mohanlal v. Kanhailal, ILR 17 Al 284, made the following observations at page 252:
'It has been held by this Court that a suit to recover; personally from the debtor the amount of a loan for which moveable property is pledged is governed by Article 57 of the Schedule II of the Limitation Act; ILR 17 All 284. It was also held in that case that the six years limitation prescribed by Article 120 applies to a claim to enforce the pledge. This is admittedly not a suit to enforce a pledge. In our opinion the claim is one to recover the unpaid balance of a loan, that is to say, it is a suit for money payable to the plaintiff for money lent by him, a suit which is specifically provided for by Article 57.'
7. Similarly, Jenkins C. J. made a short ruling in Yellappa v. Desayappa, ILR 30 Bom 216 in the following words:
'This is a suit for money lent and none the less so, because the money lent was secured by a pledge. The period of limitation for such a suit is three years from the time the loan is made.'
8. We have also got a Full Bench ruling of this Court in Mahalinga Nadar v. Ganapathi Subbian, ILR 27 Mad 528. There the question arose whether the plaintiff can enforce the pledge by bringing an action against pledger for recovery of the amount by sale of the jewels, subramama Aiyar and Benson JJ observed at pages 529-530 as follows:
'It is obvious that a right to sue for the sale of the property exists even in the absence of a right to sue for a personal decree against the debtor for the money lent. It would be clearly so if it had been agreed between the parties that no personal liability for the debt was to accompany the pledge of the jewels.
It would follow therefore that in a case where both rights exist they are concurrent rights and the right to proceed against the property pledged is not merely accessory to the right to proceed against the debtor personally.'
9. Therefore, following these rulings, it is clear that the petitioner's suit is barred by limitation as only Article 5/ of Sch. II of the Limitation Act applies to it. The civil revision petition is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs throughout.