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A. Subba Rao Vs. Parasurama Pattar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in46Ind.Cas.973; (1918)34MLJ551
AppellantA. Subba Rao
RespondentParasurama Pattar
Cases ReferredSukhamoni Chowdhrani v. Ishan Chunder Roy
Excerpt:
limitation act (ix of 1903), section 19 - acknowledgment of liability by implication--construction of document. - - sivarama menon did not seriously contest the proposition that an acknowledgment may be implied as well as express......and then say whether anything was due. these and the other authorities quoted do not help me in coming to a conclusion one way or the other as i said before, sukhamoni chowdhrani v. ishan chunder roy 25 i.a. 95 : 2 c.w.n. 402 : 13 ind. dec. 550is the only case which comes near the present one, and in that case the judicial committee implied an acknowledgment from the language used. in my opinion, exhibit b does impliedly say that the debt is due but that the defendant is unable to pay it because of the circumstances mentioned by him in that letter. in this view i think i must reverse the decision of the subordinate judge and direct him to dispose of the case on the merits. costs to abide the result.
Judgment:

Seshagiri Aiyar, J.

1. The plaintiff's suit was dismissed by the Subordinate Judge on the ground that it was barred by limitation. He held that Exhibit B did not contain an acknowledgment of liability. I am unable to agree with him. It is necessary to state the facts which led to the writing of Exhibit B, before deciding whether it contains an acknowledgment of liability. The plaintiff was a subscriber to a chit fund of which the defendant was the manager. The assignor of the plaintiff was entitled to some money from this defendant and the plaintiffs case is that that money was assigned to him. Thereupon he wrote to the defendant a letter asking him to credit towards the chit the amount due under the assignment deed in his favour and to pay him the balance of the subscription amount. In reply to that Exhibit B was written. Exhibit B contains these statements, 'You have not shown me the deed of assignment under which you make the claim. Further I have been issued an injunction order prohibiting me from paying the amount to anybody. A third party named Sundara Row has sent me a notice that the amount is due to him'. After making these statements, the letter goes on to say: 'The position of affairs is this. Therefore you are informed that you must send me the amount of subscription and I cannot give you credit for anything'. The question now is whether these statements amount to an acknowledgment of liability. Mr. Sivarama Menon did not seriously contest the proposition that an acknowledgment may be implied as well as express. The judgment of the Judicial Committee in Sukhamoni Chowdhrani v. Ishan Chunder Roy 25 I.A. 95 : 13 Ind. Dec.550 says that we can spell out such an acknowledgment provided the liability is shown to be subsisting. There is also a decision of the Allahabad High Court in Megh Raj v. Mathura Das 20 Ind. Cas. 27, where the learned Judges point out that a liberal construction should be placed upon documents purporting to be acknowledgments. My construction of Exhibit B is that the writer acknowledged that the amount mentioned in the assignment bond is due and owing, but that he is unable to pay because no assignment deed was shown to him and also because there were counter-claimants who claimed the amount for themselves. In my opinion Exhibit B does contain an acknowledgment of liability.

2. The learned Vakil for the counter-petitioner has drawn my attention to several authorities of this Court, but as I read them, they do not affect the present question. In Venkataramanayya v. Srinivasa Rau 6 M. 182, a debtor wrote to say that he had a mulgeni right, and it was sought to infer from that that a general tenancy was acknowledged, and that, therefore, a chalgeni tenancy could be implied, though there was certainly no acknowledgment of the particular right claimed by the creditor. In Periavenkan Udaya Tevar v. Subramanian Chetti 20 M. s 239 there was no acknowledgment of any subsisting liability. In Andiappa Chetty v. Devarajulu Naidoo 12 Ind. Cas. 378: 21 M.L.J 1024 : (1911) 2 M.W.N. 225 the debtor wanted to look into the accounts and then say whether anything was due. These and the other authorities quoted do not help me in coming to a conclusion one way or the other As I said before, Sukhamoni Chowdhrani v. Ishan Chunder Roy 25 I.A. 95 : 2 C.W.N. 402 : 13 Ind. Dec. 550is the only case which comes near the present one, and in that case the Judicial Committee implied an acknowledgment from the language used. In my opinion, Exhibit B does impliedly say that the debt is due but that the defendant is unable to pay it because of the circumstances mentioned by him in that letter. In this view I think I must reverse the decision of the Subordinate Judge and direct him to dispose of the case on the merits. Costs to abide the result.


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