1. This case arises out of a mortgage-bond executed by the defendants in favour of the plaintiffs. The bond recites that the defendants on the day of execution of the bond borrowed Rs. 2,000 from the plaintiffs. It then goes on to say: 'We shall pay interest on this sum at the rate of Re. 1-9 per month.' Further on there is a provision which is as follows: 'We shall pay the interest every six months from this date. If we fail to do so, the interest and compound interest shall, at the end of every six months, be added to the principal and we shall go on paying interest thereon at the aforesaid rate until the time of re-payment.'
2. Before the lower Court it was argued on behalf of the plaintiffs that the first of these passages meant that interest was to be payable at the rate of Re. 1-9 per cent. per month and that the words 'per cent.' had been left out by mistake. Under the circumstances, the lower Court allowed evidence to be adduced to show that such a mistake had in fact been made, and eventually held that the proper construction of the document in question was to read the words as though 'per cent.' had been added.
3. In appeal, it is argued before us that the lower Court had no authority to admit the evidence that was tendered as regards the making of the mistake and that the construction of the document, is wrong. We cannot take this view. For myself, I must admit that had I to construe only the words 'we shall pay interest on this sum at the rate of Re. 1-9 per month,' I should hold that the words are intelligible in themselves and mean that Re. 1-9 would be due on the whole sum of Rs. 2,000. This is an intelligible construction. It creates a provision which it was open to the parties to make. Looking, however, at the subsequent words relating to compound interest, it seems to me that the document becomes absolutely unintelligible unless the words 'per cent.' are included in the earlier sentence. It is not to be supposed that compound interest was to be reckoned at the rate of Re. 1-9 on the sum of Rs. 2,000. Some other rate was in contemplation and I have no doubt that that was intended to be indicated by the words 'per cent.' which have been omitted by mistake. Taking the document as a whole, I consider that the Judge is correct in reading it as he did. I would, therefore, dismiss the appeal with costs, the hearing-fee being assessed at two gold mohurs.
4. I agree in the conclusion arrived at by my learned brother. The question, as I understand it, is one of construction and for my part, bearing in mind the universality of the practice of fixing the rate of interest at a rate per cent., I think that the words to be construed can only mean as they stand that interest was to be chargeable at the rate of Re. 1-9 per cent. per month. If the document be read as a whole, there can be no room for doubt on the subject.