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Madras High Court
Tirupathi Goundan vs Rama Reddi on 30 March, 1897
Equivalent citations: (1897) 7 MLJ 291


JUDGMENT

1. The question is whether the document of the 2nd February of 1891 relied on by the plaintiff is a pro-note within the moaning of Section 4 of ” The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.” or mere acknowledgment of liability falling under Article 1 of Schedule I, of the General Stamp Act, or an agreement.

2. If it is a pro-note, the suit must fail, as rightly decided by the lower Courts. The correct translation of the document is set out in para. 2 of the judgment of the Lower Appellate Court.

3. The only question is whether the words therein ” I am liable to pay” can be held to be an ” undertaking to pay within the meaning of Section 4 of the Act.” The construction depends on the actual words used rather than on what their effect maybe as regards the rights at the parties. Examining the document; in this light, we are of opinion that the words do amount to acknowledgment of liability to pay.

4. The words “I am liable to pay” do not, in fact, mean anything more, than the previous words in the document, “I am bound to pay” which clearly do not constitute an undertaking to pay.

5. We must, therefore, hold that.the document is not a pro-note and the Plaintiff’s claim as a suit for money lent is sustainable.

6. We set aside the decrees of the Court below and, remand the suit for disposal according to law. Costs hitherto incurred.willabove and follow.the result.


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