A. Alagiriswami, J.
1. Two common questions of law arise in these two cases. The appellants, in both these cases executed promissory notes in Singapore stamped with Indian stamp. The instruments were endorsed in favour of the respondent in these two cases in Singapore. On suits being filed in India on the basis of these two promissory notes, the defendants contended that the suit promissory notes had not been properly stamped as required by Section 19 of the Indian Stamp Act. They also contended they were foreign instruments and, having been executed in Singapore, the Singapore Money-lenders Act would apply and therefore no suit could be laid on them. The learned District Munsif who tried these suits accepted the contention of the defendants and dismissed the suits. The learned Subordinate Judge, who heard the appeals, has taken a contrary view on both the points, allowed the appeals and remanded the suits for fresh disposal. Hence these two Civil Miscellaneous Appeals.
2. I am satisfied that the conclusion of the lower appellate Court is correct-Section 19 of the Stamp Act reads thus:
The first holder in India of any bill of exchange, payable otherwise than on demand or promissory note drawn or made out of India shall, before he presents the same for acceptance or payment, or endorses, transfers or otherwise negotiates, the same in India, affix thereto the proper stamp and cancel the same; Provided that....
3. In this case, the suits were filed on the basis of the promissory notes. They have not been presented for acceptance or payment. Nor have they been endorsed or transferred or otherwise negotiated in India. There is, therefore, no need for affixing proper stamp and cancelling the same. That, when a suit is filed on a promissory note executed as well as endorsed outside India, it need not be stamped as required under Section 19 has been held as early as 1898 in Simulu Ebrahim Rowthen v. Abdul Rahiman Mohamad : (1898)8MLJ182 . The decision in Sivasubramania Thavan v. Kolankaraya Konar : AIR1941Mad868 , merely held that in a case of assignment or transfer of a promissory note drawn or made outside British India, the first holder in British India must affix a proper stamp and cancel the same and the affixing of the stamp and its cancellation must be done before the process of transfer began in British India. In this case, we arc not concerned with a case of transfer in India. The further point whether,, where a promissory note has been executed abroad but has been stamped there according to the law in India, it should or should not be stamped again when it is brought into India and submitted to any of the processes referred to under Section 19 of the Stamp Act does not really arise in this case. There is the decision of this Court in Lobo v. Narajal Dogg : AIR1953Mad424 , which seem; to take the view that it would be necessary in such a case to affix stamps again afresh even if it had been affixed under the Indian Stamp Act when it had been executed out of India. That question does not arise in this case and need not be considered.
4. The next point is whether it is an inland instrument or a foreign instrument. I think that question does not arise at all on the facts of this case. Sections 11 and 12 of the Negotiable Instruments Act which deal with the definition of inland instrument and foreign instrument arc purely for the purpose of that Act and it cannot have any relevance for deciding the question whether, when a suit is instituted in India on a promissory note executed and endorsed in Singapore outside India the Singapore Money-lenders Act would apply or not. It appears to me, therefore, that the Courts below have unnecessarily gone into the question whether the instruments in question in this case are inland instruments or foreign instruments. But whether, because of the Singapore Money-lenders Act, the suits can be maintained or not is a different point which has got to be decided upon different considerations. That question may be gone into by the trial Court without reference to what the lower appellate Court has decided in this case.
5. With these observations, the two appeals are dismissed. No costs.