OOMMAN Vs. KOTTAYAM ORIENT BANK LTD
LAWS(KER)-1963-11-10
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on November 01,1963

OOMMAN Appellant
VERSUS
KOTTAYAM ORIENT BANK LTD. Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

CHANDY CHERIYAN VS. TRAVANCORE GENERAL BANK LTD [LAWS(KER)-1964-12-29] [REFERRED TO]
MADHAVAN VS. ORIENT UNION BANK LTD [LAWS(KER)-1964-9-39] [REFERRED TO]
KUNJAMMA KARTHIANI AMMA VS. LORD KRISHNA BANK LTD [LAWS(KER)-1965-11-28] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This appeal has arisen in a suit for Rs. 9,450, odd on an overdraft account that the defendant had with the plaintiff Bank. The defendant contended that Rs. 2,500/- only were due by him, that the suit was barred by limitation, and that he was entitled to the benefits of the Kerala Agriculturists Debt Relief Act, XXXI of 1958. The first two contentions have been overruled by the court below and the last accepted, and the suit claim allowed to be repaid under S.2(c)(xi) of the Act. Counsel could not make out any error in the judgment of the court below regarding the amount decreed, or the bar of limitation, but contended that the exception enacted in clause (xi) of S.2(c) could not be attracted in this case without an enquiry whether any or all the cheques drawn by the defendant on the plaintiff Bank were over Rs. 1,500/-.
(2.)The clause in question reads:
''2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires: --

..............

(c) "debt" means any liability in cash or kind, whether secured or unsecured, due from or incurred by an agriculturist on or before the commencement of this Act, whether payable under a contract or under a decree or order of any Court, or otherwise, and includes any debt or balance of debt due at the commencement of this Act under the Madras Indebted Agriculturists (Repayment of Debts) Act, 1955, or the Travancore Cochin Indebted Agriculturists Relief Act, 1956, but does not include

..........

(xi) any debt exceeding one thousand five hundred rupees borrowed under a single transaction and due before the commencement of this Act to any banking company as defined in the Banking Companies Act, 1949:

Provided that in the case of any debt exceeding one thousand five hundred rupees borrowed under a single transaction and due before the commencement of this Act to any banking company as defined in the Banking Companies Act, 1949, any agriculturist debtor shall be entitled to repay such debt in eight equal half yearly instalments as provided in sub-s.(3) of S.4, but the provisions of S.5 shall not apply to such debt."

The contention is that each cheque drawn on the Bank forms a transaction in itself and unless that be over Rs. 1,500/- the benefits of S.4 & 5 of the Act cannot be denied to the defendant. We do not agree with that interpretation. The transaction that the defendant had with the plaintiff is the overdraft account. The entire account is but one continuous transaction though under it amounts had been drawn on various occasions. The definition of 'debt' as a liability 'under a contract or under a decree or order of any court or other wise' also indicates that the transaction meant in the Act as the source of a debt is a contract, decree, order of court or the like. Evidently the instant liability of the defendant has arisen out of an overdraft agreement between himself and the plaintiff. That being the only transaction concerned in this case, we hold that the suit claim is within the mischief of the aforesaid clause and that therefore the defendant cannot claim the larger benefits of S.4 & 5 of the Act. The appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.

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