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Ponnusami Alias Periana Kone and ors. Vs. Palayathan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in51Ind.Cas.252
AppellantPonnusami Alias Periana Kone and ors.
RespondentPalayathan and anr.
Cases ReferredRam Sarup Bhagat v. Bansi Mandar
Excerpt:
contract act (ix of 1872), section 23 - money bond--contract for labour in lieu of interest for specified term, whether slavery--public policy--bond, whether enforceable. - .....interest. here the debtor only undertakes to work for five years, and this undertaking is accepted by the creditor in lieu of interest. there is nothing to prevent the debtor leaving service at the end of five years, and if he commits default he has to repay the advance with 25 per cent, interest. this can by no means be called a contract of slavery, for the work done by the debtor is to be paid for at the ordinary rates and the agreement to continue in service is treated by the employer as consideration equivalent to interest. respondents are not unfortunately represented in this court, but there seems to me very little difference between such a contract and one of apprenticeship or indenture and, therefore, it cannot be treated as opposed to public policy. it appears that respondents.....
Judgment:

Phillips, J.

1. This case is by no means identical with Ram Sarup Bhagat v. Bansi Mandar 60 Ind. Cas. 955 ; 42 C.P 742 ; 19 C.W.N. 1118 in which the debtor bound himself to serve until the debt was repaid and in default to pay exorbitant interest. Here the debtor only undertakes to work for five years, and this undertaking is accepted by the creditor in lieu of interest. There is nothing to prevent the debtor leaving service at the end of five years, and if he commits default he has to repay the advance with 25 per cent, interest. This can by no means be called a contract of slavery, for the work done by the debtor is to be paid for at the ordinary rates and the agreement to continue in service is treated by the employer as consideration equivalent to interest. Respondents are not unfortunately represented in this Court, but there seems to me very little difference between such a contract and one of apprenticeship or indenture and, therefore, it cannot be treated as opposed to public policy. It appears that respondents completed their contract so far as the labour was concerned and plaintiff can only claim his principal amount subject to limitation or any subsequent contract. The decree is set aside and the suit remanded for disposal in the light of the above remarks. Costs will abide the result.


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