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H.V. Low and Co. Ltd. Vs. Sudhanna Kumar Chakravarti and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1931Cal791
AppellantH.V. Low and Co. Ltd.
RespondentSudhanna Kumar Chakravarti and ors.
Cases ReferredAlagappa Chetty v. Alagappa
Excerpt:
- .....banerjee. it is also payable to 'bearer' and it is payable 'on demand.' in my judgment, the learned judge was right in holding that it is hit by section 25, paper currency act (10 of 1923). that section is taken from the bank charter act, 1844 (sir robert pool's act), where a similar provision was made, not however with reference to 'any person,' but only with reference to banks. it was part of the prohibition of issuing bank notes except so far as regards certain banks who by that statute were permitted to continue to issue. by the indian act:no person in british india shall draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand.2. in this case although the name of haridas banerjee is on the face.....
Judgment:

Rankin, C.J.

1. In my opinion, the judgment of the learned Judge is right. The instrument before us is a promissory note. It is payable, in the first place, to Haridas Banerjee. It is also payable to 'bearer' and it is payable 'on demand.' In my judgment, the learned Judge was right in holding that it is hit by Section 25, Paper Currency Act (10 of 1923). That section is taken from the Bank Charter Act, 1844 (Sir Robert Pool's Act), where a similar provision was made, not however with reference to 'any person,' but only with reference to banks. It was part of the prohibition of issuing bank notes except so far as regards certain banks who by that statute were permitted to continue to issue. By the Indian Act:

no person in British India shall draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand.

2. In this case although the name of Haridas Banerjee is on the face of the instrument, it is an instrument that is payable to bearer on demand. The learned Judge has pointed out that there is authority for saying that the mere mention of an individual on the instrument does not make the section inapplicable. Mian Baksh v. Bodhiya A.I.R. 1928 All. 371 and V. C. T. N. Chidambaran Chettiar v. Ayasawami Thevan [1917] 40 Mad. 585. So far, then, as regards the claim upon the maker of this promissory note it would seem that the claim must be founded upon an illegal document. It is suggested that in this case the plaintiffs who are endorsees for value can at all events sue their own endorsers and that line of reasoning was developed in the case of Arunachalam Chettiar v. Narayanam Chettiar [1919] 42 Mad. 470. But in a subsequent case, namely in the case of Alagappa Chetty v. Alagappa, Chetty A.I.R. 1921 Mad. 382, it was pointed out by a Divisional Bench that 'there can be no estoppel against a clear injunction of a statute' and, in my opinion the moment it is seen that this being a promissory note cannot be a document covered by the proviso to Section 25 it becomes impossible to deny that even a holder in due course is bound by the provision of the section and that an endorsee cannot on the basis of the instrument make his claim against the endorser. In my judgment, the opinion of the learned Judge is correct and the plaintiff's suit must fail and this appeal must be dismissed with costs.

Buckland, J.

3. I agree.


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