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Kannepalli Chinna Venkata Chelamiah Sastri Vs. Meduru Annapoornamma and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1942Mad353; (1942)1MLJ469
AppellantKannepalli Chinna Venkata Chelamiah Sastri
RespondentMeduru Annapoornamma and anr.
Cases ReferredDosapati Ramayya v. Pattam Anjayya
Excerpt:
- - where, however, the endorsement is, as it was in the present case, paid rs, 350 towards this promissory note and endorsed the payment. it is interesting to learn that four months after sulaiman, c......this statement. if, for instance, on the back of a promissory note are written by the maker the words 'paid rs. 10', the endorsement cannot be construed as being anything more than a statement of the payment. the sum of rs. 10, may constitute all which remains due in respect of the debt evidenced by the instrument. where, however, the endorsement is, as it was in the present case, 'paid rs, 350 towards this promissory note and endorsed the payment. hereon, the position is altogether different. the use of the word 'towards' in itself implies that more remains to be paid; in other words, that the payment is made on account of a larger sum due under the instrument. this amounts to an acknowledgment of liability within the meaning of section 19 of the limitation act.3. in the course of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.

1. When the judgment of the Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Udaypal Singh v. Lakhmi Chand I.L.R. (1935) All. 261 and the judgment of the Privy Council in Rama Shah v. Lal Chand (1940) 1 M.L.J. 895 : L.R. 67 IndAp 160 : I.L.R.(1940) Lah. 470 are examined, it is quite clear that there is nothing in the judgment of the Judicial Committee to throw doubt on the long line of decisions of this Court referred to in Dosapati Ramayya v. Pattam Anjayya : AIR1942Mad146 . The case of Rama Shah v. Lal Chand (1940) 1 M.L.J. 895 : L.R. 67 IndAp 160 : I.L.R. (1940) Lah. 470 had reference to Section 20 of the Limitation Act and there is nothing in the judgment which can be deemed to be by way of interpretation of Section 19, beyond the statement that Section 19, is not to be read as based upon the theory of implied promise. Section 19, applies to an acknowledgment of liability in writing and in deciding whether the words used constitute an acknowledgment, the Court can only have regard to the words used.

2. In the course of his judgment in Udaypal Singh v. Lakhmi Chand I.L.R. (1935) All. 261 Sulaiman C.J., observed:

It is equally obvious that where a payment is made without any specification and the debtor does not signify whether he is making the payment of interest as such or of part payment of the principal, there is really no admission on his part that any further sum is still due from him, and there is therefore no acknowledgment of liability on his part.

We are in full agreement with this statement. If, for instance, on the back of a promissory note are written by the maker the words 'paid Rs. 10', the endorsement cannot be construed as being anything more than a statement of the payment. The sum of Rs. 10, may constitute all which remains due in respect of the debt evidenced by the instrument. Where, however, the endorsement is, as it was in the present case, 'paid Rs, 350 towards this promissory note and endorsed the payment. hereon, the position is altogether different. The use of the word 'towards' in itself implies that more remains to be paid; in other words, that the payment is made on account of a larger sum due under the instrument. This amounts to an acknowledgment of liability within the meaning of Section 19 of the Limitation Act.

3. In the course of the judgment delivered by him in Dosapati Ramayya v. Pattam Anjayya : AIR1942Mad146 , Wadsworth, J., referred to the line of cases of this Court on the question and stated that the judgment in Lutchumanan Chetty v. Mutta Iburaki Marakkayer (1869) 5 M.H.C.R. 90 provided an exception. This is not in fact the case. There tie endorsement consisted of these words 'Rs. 50 paid', and the Court pointed out that the writing imported a simple payment of Rs. 50 and that oral evidence was not admissible to add to its meaning. The judgment in that case can only be regarded as being in conformity with the judgment in Udaypal Singh v. Lakhmi Chand I.L.R. (1935) All. 261 and as we have already indicated the judgment in the latter case does not affect the question now before the Court. It is interesting to learn that four months after Sulaiman, C.J., had delivered the judgment in Udaypal Singh v. Lakhmi Chand I.L.R. (1935) All. 261 he had to consider whether an endorsement in these words 'Having paid Rs. 10 towards the amount due on the document I have made this endorsement' was an acknowledgment of liability within Section 19 and the learned Chief Justice held that it was. There is no essential difference between that endorsement and the endorsement which we are now considering. The later judgment of Sulaiman, C.J., was not reported but it is referred to in the judgment delivered by a Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Isri Prasad Tewari v. Chandrabum Prasad Tewari I.L.R. (1939) All. 200.

4. It is not necessary to refer in detail to the other decisions of this Court on the question. Sufficient reference is made to them by Wadsworth, J., in his judgment in Dospdti Ramayya v. Pattam Anjayya : AIR1942Mad146 . It may, however, be added that the opinion of this Court is shared by the High Courts of Calcutta, Bombay, Lahore and Rangoon. See Prasanna Kumar Roy v. Niranjan Roy I.L.R. (1921) Cal. 1046 Tayerali Mahamadali v. Garabad Sadu A.I.R. 1939 Bom. 252, Bur Singh v. Sikri Brothers A.I.R. 1940 Lah. 106 and M. K. Kasiviswanathan Chettyar v. R. M. S. L. Lakshmanan Chettyar I.L.R. (1937) Bang. 421. In fact there does not appear to be any decision to the contrary. The learned Advocate-General has not been able to refer us to one.

5. We consider that the decision in Dosapati Ramayya v. Pattam Anjayya : AIR1942Mad146 is correct and consequently we answer this reference in the affirmative. The costs of this reference will be made costs in the appeal.


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