Skip to content


S.A. Chelappa Chetty Vs. E. Pr. Vr. S. Subramania Chetty and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in47Ind.Cas.948
AppellantS.A. Chelappa Chetty
RespondentE. Pr. Vr. S. Subramania Chetty and ors.
Cases ReferredBalakrishnudu v. Narayanasawmy Chetty
Excerpt:
limitation act (ix of 1908), schedule i, article 60 - deposit for term, payable on demand after expiry of term--suit for recovery of deposit--limitation--maral deposit--'deposit in name of one person maral another,' meaning of--bights of maral man--'nattukottai chetties, practice of. - - i am not satisfied that that is so. coming, as i do, to the conclusion that this money was intended to be left on deposit after the expiration of the 6 thavanais, it seems to me that article 60 is clearly applicable and, therefore, that the suit is not barred......the name of the plaintiff's wife, because the deposit had been made with them in the plaintiff's name maral the 6th defendant. maral literally means that the deposit had been made on the recommendation or introduction of the 6th defendant defendants nos. 1 to 5 have treated it as if it meant that the money was deposited to the order of the 6th defendant, so that the 6th defendant was authorised to operate on the deposit although it was in the name of the plaintiff. in appeal no. 17 of 1913 there was some discussion on the meaning of the word maral and it was suggested that it might mean that the money could not be withdrawn by the person in whose name it had been deposited without the consent of the person under whose maral the deposit had been made. some of the evidence in this case,.....
Judgment:

John Wallis, C.J.

1. Two questions arise in this appeal. The first question is whether the defendants Nos. to 5, with whom the suit deposit was made, were justified in acting on the order of the 6th defendant to transfer the deposit which was in the name of the plaintiff to the name of the plaintiff's wife, because the deposit had been made with them in the plaintiff's name maral the 6th defendant. Maral literally means that the deposit had been made on the recommendation or introduction of the 6th defendant Defendants Nos. 1 to 5 have treated it as if it meant that the money was deposited to the order of the 6th defendant, so that the 6th Defendant was authorised to operate on the deposit although it was in the name of the plaintiff. In Appeal No. 17 of 1913 there was some discussion on the meaning of the word maral and it was suggested that it might mean that the money could not be withdrawn by the person in whose name it had been deposited without the consent of the person under whose maral the deposit had been made. Some of the evidence in this case, including the evidence of one of the defendants' own witnesses, goes to show that that is the meaning. 'Whether that be so or not, the evidence for the defendants Nos. 1 to 5 altogether fails to show that a deposit in the name of one man under the maral of another justifies the firm with whom the money has been deposited in acting on the orders of the person under whose moral the deposit has been made without the authority of the person in whose name the de-posit stands. We, therefore, agree with the Subordinate Judge that defendants Nos. 1 to 5 were not justified in transferring this deposit from the name of the plaintiff to the name of the plaintiff's wife and in subsequently transferring it to another firm on the order of the 6th defendant, under whose maral it continued to be when deposited in the name cf the plaintiff's wife.

2. The only other serious question in the case is one of limitation. There is no direct evidence as to the terms upon which this money was deposited, so far as the date of the repayment goes. But in Exhibit I, which is a letter from one member of the defendants' firm to another forwarding a Hundi, Exhibit B, it is said that the money was to be credited in the name of the plaintiff under the maral of the 6th defendant for 6 Thavanais with interest at a rate exceeding the two months' Thavanai interest of E.R. by 1/32 of a rupee, and Mr. K. Srinivasa Aiyangar has argued that this shows that the agreement was that the money should, be deposited for a term of 6 Thavanais and should be repayable at the end of 6 Thavanais, and consequently it was not money deposited under an agreement that it shall be payable on demand, within the meaning of Article 60 of the Limitation Act.

3. Now in the first place, I do not think that that is the effect of the evidence. The surrounding circumstances show that the money was deposited in the name of a minor and in connection with the marriage of a minor, and it cannot have been the intention of the parties that it should be repayable at the end of 6 Thavanais. The agreement appears to have been that at any rate for 6 Thavanais interest should be payable at a rate exceeding nadappu interest by 1/32 of a rupee. This is also borne out by the way in which the deposit was dealt with after it had been transferred to the name of the plaintiff's wife, because in Exhibit IX we find that interest is allowed at 1/32 of a rupee in excess of the nadappu rate for 3 Thavanais and afterwards at the nadappu rate, so that. the agreement seems to have been simply that at any rate for 6 Thavanais interest should be paid in excess of the nadappu rate.

4. Now Mr. Srinivana Aiyangar contended that it was not open to the plaintiff or those acting on his behalf to demand the money back until the expiration of 6 Thavanais. I am not satisfied that that is so. But on a full consideration of the question, I think it makes no difference. Supposing that the agreement was that the money should be deposited for 6 Thavanais and be not repayable until the end of 6 Thavanais and thereafter that it should remain on deposit payable on demand, I think that that would come within the terms of Article 60 of the Limitation Act, and I .need only refer to what I had already said with regard to the history and meaning of this Article in Balakrishnudu v. Narayana-sawmy Chetty 21 Ind. Cas. 852 . where I pointed out that the Legislature in 1877 treated deposits of money repayable on demand as a special class of loans which ought to have a special starting point. Coming, as I do, to the conclusion that this money was intended to be left on deposit after the expiration of the 6 Thavanais, it seems to me that Article 60 is clearly applicable and, therefore, that the suit is not barred.

5. In other respects, I agree with the Subordinate .Judge, and dismiss the appeal with costs.

6. We do not pronounce any opinion as to the respective rights of the 6th defendant and the other defendants inter se.

Seshagiri Aiyar, J.

6. I entirely agree. Having regard to the fact that the decision in this case rests largely upon the construction to be placed on the Tamil word maral, I wish to add a few words. It is not denied that the natural meaning of the term is 'through' or 'on the recommendation of.' The evidence discussed by the Subordinate Judge shows that it is in this sense that Chetties use the expression. No doubt there is also evidence that a usage has sprung up among Chetties that when money is deposited on the maral of a third party, it should not be allowed to be drawn out unless it be with the consent of the person who is the intermediary. This practice is mainly attributable to the fact that usually third persons intervene to recommend a Bank to a depositor who is a young man and in order that that young man may not waste money, the precaution has been taken by the Banks not to allow him to draw it out unless he has the consent of the maral man. Evidence also, shows that where the maral man declines to give his consent the usual remedy by suit is open to the depositor; of course, the hands of the Court are not to be tied down by the usage; the necessity for the consent of the maral man is obviated by a decision authorising the taking away of the money from the Bank and the Bank is safeguarded. The practice and the evidence show that the maral man is neither the trustee in respect of the money nor has he any right to operate on it, This conclusion of mine is supported by the judgment which the learned Chief Justice referred to, namely, the judgment of this Court in Appeal No. 17 of 1913, of which one of the members had very large and considerable practice in litigation among Chetties. It seems to me, therefore, that the money on deposit remained as the money of the plaintiff and the defendants were not justified in allowing it to be deposited first in the name of the plaintiff's wife and subsequently in allowing it to be transferred to another firm.

7. On the question of limitation, the Sub ordinate Judge has discussed the evidence and has come to the conclusion that the original condition of the deposit Was that it should be drawn out on demand. It may be said that the evidence is not very full or conclusive, but even supposing that the only possible conclusion upon the evidence is as spoken to by the 2nd defendant himself, that there was an agreement that the money should remain with the Bank for a year certain (that is, 6 Thavanais of 2 months each) and that it should be drawn out thereafter on demand., I entirely agree with the learned Chief Justice that Article 60 of the Limitation Act is not made inapplicable by that fact. I think the history of the Article given by the learned Chief Justice in Balakrishnudu v. Narayanasawmy Chetty 21 Ind. Cas. 852clearly shows that in such a case it would still be a case of deposit repayable on demand.

8. I, therefore, agree in holding that the appeal should be dismissed with costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //