1. The point for determination is, whether the letter, Exhibit B., sent by the defendant's Pleader to the plaintiff's Pleader constituted a sufficient acknowledgment of liability under Section 19 of the Indian Limitation Act, to save the suit from being barred.
2. The following sentences are relied on by the respondent as containing the acknowledgment of liability:
In case the account is compared now, and if any amount is found due, my client is prepared to pay it. The amount mentioned in your notice is not due as per your account.
As my client is not aware of certain amounts contained in the kaichitas given to the aforesaid person it is not possible to set right the account of my client. I am, therefore, instructed by my client that your client should be made to give forthwith the kaichitas and accounts and on getting them compared should receive the amount found to be due.
3. The question is, I think, covered by the Privy Council ruling in Maniram Seth v. Seth Rupchand 33 C. 1017 . The statement in the letter contained an admission that the defendant had dealings with the plaintiff and implied a promise to pay, if he should be found to be indebted on the account being gone into. An acknowledgment of liability, should the balance turn out to be against the person making it, is a sufficient acknowledgment under Section 19 of the Limitation Act.
4. The cases cited by the learned Vakil for the petitioner Narayanaswamy Mudali v. Gangadhara Mudali 48 Ind. Cas. 89 ; Ballapragada Ramamurthi v. Thammanna Gopayya 35 Ind. Cas. 675 and Andiappa Chetty v. Devarajulu Naidoo 12 Ind. Cas. 378 , are clearly distinguishable from the present case, as the acknowledgment was conditional.
5. I cannot accept the contention that the acknowledgment of liability in the Vakil's letter was conditional on the account being at once compared, which was in fact not done. No objection was apparently taken to the correctness of the plaintiff's accounts which were filed in the lower Court. There is no force, I think, in the contention that the Vakil had no authority to send the letter on behalf of his client, and this question was not raised in the lower Court. The petition is dismissed with costs.