1. This is an appeal by the defendant from the judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge of Bhagalpur, dated the 30th of September 1912. The plaintiffs brought the suit to recover trom the defendant the sum of Rs. 11,541-2 for principal and interest due on a promissory note dated the 2nd of December 1909.
2. The plaintiffs have two firms, one at Bhagalpur and the other at Calcutta. Admittedly, the defendant had dealings with both these tirms.
3. The transactions with the Bhagalpur firm of the plaintiffs were adjusted and on the 30th of Bhadra 1314 F. 8., corresponding with the 21st of September 1907, the defendant executed in favour of the plaintiffs a promissory note payable on demand for Rs. 2,542 with interest at 12 annas per cent, per mensem.
4. The defendant states that after the execution of this promissory note he made a payment of Rs. 900. There seems to be no truth in this statement.
5. The goods taken from the Calcutta shop of the plaintiffs were as follows: On the 10th of September 1906 goods of the value of Rs. 5,213-6-6; on the 12th of September 1905 goods of the value of Rs. 1,202-9-5; on the 30th of January 1907 goods of the value of Rs. 1,685-14-6, and on the 3rd of February 1907 goods of the value of Rs. 1,114-7. The plaintiffs also prove that there was an agreement to pay interest on the balance due to the Calcutta shop at the rate of 12 annas per cent. per mensem. I reject the defendant's story as to his dealings with the Calcutta shop of the plaintiffs and also as to his having paid their account in full. The payments made by the defendant on account of the moneys due to the Calcutta shop are as follows: On the 14th November 1906 the sum of Rs. 1,000; on the 26th January 1907 the sum of Rs. 1,950; on the 2nd of February 1907 Rs. 600; on the 30th of April 1907 Rs. 600, and on the 2nd of May 1907 the sum of Rs. 400. On the 11th November 1908 the Court of Wards took charge of the defendant's estate. The Court then issued the usual notice calling on persons claiming to be creditors of the disqualified proprietor (the defendant) to prove their debts. The plaintiffs duly appeared and produced their accounts and satisfied the Court as to the amount due to them. Accordingly, under the directions of the Court of Wards, the Manager on the 2nd of December 1909 executed the promissory note that is now sued upon.
6. The defendant has contended on this appeal that the Court had no power to execute a promissory note in respect of any of his debts and that the promissory note, so far as it relates to a portion of the defendant's due to the Calcutta shop, was in respect of debts that were barred by limitation.
7. The Court of Wards Act (Beng. IX of 1579) does not contain any express power authorising the Court to execute promissory notes. Section 16 provides that the Court ' may direct the doing of all such other acts as it may judge to be most for the benefit of the property and the advantage of the ward.'
8. It may be doubted whether the Court had under the terms of Section 18 power to direct the execution of a promissory note. But there can be no doubt on the authorities that the Court has power to give an acknowledgment, so as to give a new period of limitation under Section 19 of the Indian Limitation Act.
9. In the case of Beti Maharani v. Collector of Etawah 17 A. 198 : 22 I.A. 31 (P.C.) : 6 Sar. P.C.J. 551, the Privy Council observed with reference to such an acknowledgment, 'it must be taken that the Court's act would bind the ward.'
10. In the course of his judgment in the case of Ram Charan Das v. Gaya Prasad 30 A. 422 at p. 437 : 5 A.L.J. 375 (F.B.) A.W.N. (1908) 175 : 4 M.L.T. 49 Banerji, J., remarked: 'This Court has held in Kamla Kuar v. Har Sahai A.W.N. (1888) 187 that an acknowledgment by the Court of Wards gives a fresh Start for the computation of limitation.' The same view was adopted by the Madras High Court in the case of Kondamoialu Linga Reddi v. Alluri Sarvarayudu 6 Ind. Cas. 407 : 34 M. 221 : 8 M.L.T. 105 : (1910) M.W.N. 453 : 20 M.L.J. 808. The report of the Deputy Collector of the 20th July 1909 (Exhibit 10),' the letter from the Board of Revenue of the 24th of August 1909 (Exhibit 20), the letter from the Collector of the 18th of September 1909 (Exhibit 14), and the promissory note sued on (Exhibit 6) are all clear acknowledgments of the debts due to the plaintiffs. At the date of those acknowledgments the promissory note of the 21st September 1907, with respect to dealings with the Bhagalpur firm, was clearly not barred by limitation. The earliest dealing with the Calcutta shop was the 10th September 1906. The acknowledgment by the Board of Revenue in their letter (Exhibit 20) of the 24th of August 1909 was within 3 years from the date of the debts. This suit was, therefore, in my opinion, brought within time. The present appeal, therefore, fails and must be dismissed with costs. Let the record be sent down at once.
11. I agree.