Skip to content


Veeraswami Reddy Vs. Kanakammal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 709 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1961Mad199; (1960)2MLJ379
ActsLimitation Act, 1908 - Sections 9 and 13
AppellantVeeraswami Reddy
RespondentKanakammal
Appellant AdvocateM. Srinivasachari and ;V. Ratnam, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateR.D. Indrasenan, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredBeake and Co. v. Davis
Excerpt:
- .....munsif, sholinghur. the defendant filed a written statement in which he contended that the suit note was not supported by consideration and that it was time-barred. the learned munsif overruled these contentions and decreed the suit. the defendant has come to this court in revision.2. the first contention of mr. ratnam, the learned advocate for the petitioner, may be thus expressed. though section 13 of the limitation act provides that in computing the period of limitation prescribed for a suit the time during which the defendant has been absent from india should be excluded, still section 9 enacts that when once time has begun to run no subsequent disability or inability to sue stops it. in the present case the promissory note was executed on 1st march 1951. time began to run.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Balakrishna Ayyar, J.

1. The defendant is the petitioner. On the 1st March 1951 he executed a promissory note for Rs. 200 in favour of the plaintiff. Some two years thereafter, the defendant left India for Ceylon and has not since come back. In July 1958 the plaintiff filed a suit on the promissory note in the court of the District Munsif, Sholinghur. The defendant filed a written statement in which he contended that the suit note was not supported by consideration and that it was time-barred. The learned Munsif overruled these contentions and decreed the suit. The defendant has come to this court in revision.

2. The first contention of Mr. Ratnam, the learned advocate for the petitioner, may be thus expressed. Though Section 13 of the Limitation Act provides that in computing the period of limitation prescribed for a suit the time during which the defendant has been absent from India should be excluded, still Section 9 enacts that when once time has begun to run no subsequent disability or inability to sue stops it. In the present case the promissory note was executed on 1st March 1951. Time began to run immediately thereafter. The absence of the petitioner outside India did not by virtue of Section 9 stop time from running. The suit was filed more than seven years after the promissory note was executed. The claim is therefore barred. In support of this contention he referred to the decision in Narronji Bhimji v. Mugniram Chandaji, ILR 6 Bom 103. The material facts there were as follows:

On 13-1-1871 an agency account between the plaintiff and the defendant was adjusted in Bombay and on that date the defendant signed an entry in the account books of the plaintiff admitting his liability in a sum of Rs. 30092-2-0. Thereafter the defendant left for the Nizam's dominions and did not come back. The plaintiff instituted a suit to recover the money due to him in 1880. Bayley J. held that the suit was time haired. With respect to the learned Judge, I am unable to agree with his view of the matter. If that view were sound the statute would furnish debtors with a very facile way of avoiding payment of their debts.

A person who borrows money in India and executes a promissory note has only to go to Ceylon or Malaya or some other place abroad and stay there for the requisite length of time and the debt which he has incurred would automatically get barred by limitation. That surely could not have been the intention of the provisions of Section 13. As I understand the matter the proper way of reading Sections 9 and 13 is this. When it has to be ascertained whether a suit is in time or not, the interval between the date when the cause of action arose and the date when the suit was instituted should be first computed. From that interval the time during which the defendant has been absent from India should be subtracted by virtue of Section 13.

If the resultant period does not exceed the time specified in column 3 of the first schedule to the Act, the suit would be in lime. I notice that in Hanmantram Sadhuram Pity v. Arthur Bowles, ILR 8 Bom 561 the decision of Bayley J. in ILR 6 Bom 103 was dissented from. A Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Beake and Co. v. Davis, ILR All. 530 adopted the view which am inclined to take. The Court observed:

'It appears to us that Section 13 of the Limitation Act is in no way affected or qualified by Section 9 of the same law and that its obvious scope and intention is to save the creditors subsequently suing their debtors, the period during which such debtors have been absent from British India.'

The Bench expressly declined to follow the decision in ILR 6 Bom 103.

3. The second contention of Mr. Ratnam was that if the view for which he contended is not accepted then it must be held that the suit is premature. I am unable to agree here either. The plaintiff was entitled to sue on the promissory note the moment after it was executed. The journeys of the defendant or his absence from India did not affect his right to sue. The Limitation Act nowhere says that no suit may be filed when the defendant is outside India. Section 13 merely enables the plaintiff to wait if he is so inclined till the defendant comes back to India.

4. This revision petition fails and is dismissed with costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //