1. The short facts leading to this revision petition under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act are that a promissory note was executed by the defendants' paternal grandmother as their de facto guardian for a sum due by their deceased father on a previous obligation. The plaintiff brought the suit on the promissory note only against the minors and it was summarily dismissed by the learned District Munsiff on the authority of Chennappa v. Onkarappa : AIR1940Mad38 . There is a clear distinction to be drawn between the facts of the present case and the facts in the case cited, where the promissory note had been executed not by the grandmother as de facto guardian but by the deceased father himself and payments had subsequently been made by the paternal grandmother. It was held by the Full Bench that the grandmother in her capacity as de facto guardian was not an ' agent duly authorised in this behalf' within the meaning of Section 21(1) of the Indian Limitation Act so as to be capable of extending limitation under Section 20(1) of the same Act and that although the grandmother might be the de facto guardian, she was not a lawful guardian. In the present case the promissory note was executed by the grandmother herself and therefore the payment made within time by her is one made ' by the person liable to pay the debt ' within the meaning of Section 20(1) of the Limitation Act. The question whether the de facto guardian was a duly authorised agent of the minors did not therefore arise. In Lakshmi Naidu v. Gunnamma (1934) 68 M.L.J. 470 : I.L.R. Mad. 418 it was held that Section 20 of the Limitation Act does not contemplate that when there is a plurality of persons liable in respect of a debt, all of them should join in making a part payment, and such a part payment by one of the persons liable can avail not merely against the person making the same or those deriving title under him subsequent to such payment but also against other persons liable in respect of the debt. The payment by the paternal grandmother as a person liable under the note accordingly saves limitation under Section 20(1) of the Indian Limitation Act and the suit is within time.
2. In the result, the petition is allowed, the order of dismissal of the suit is set aside and the suit remanded for further disposal when it will be necessary for the learned District Munsiff to consider whether the minors are liable for the debt contracted by their de facto guardian. The costs of the petition will abide the final result of the suit.