ASWARTHANARAYAN GUPTA Vs. E A SRIRAMAYYA
LAWS(APH)-1972-8-12
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on August 17,1972

ASWARTHANARAYAN GUPTA Appellant
VERSUS
E.A.SRIRAMAYYA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Ramachandra Raju J. - (1.) These two Lttters Patent Appeals arise out of two suits, O. S. Nos. 9 and 10 of 1962 on the file of the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Anantapur, filed to recover money on the basis of a promissory note in each. The defendants in the suits, who are 17 in number are common and were members of a trading joint Hindu family of which late Dontbi Bheemaiah Setty was the manager, the executant of the two promissory-notes. The plaintiffs in the two suits are different, but they are father and son. As common questions were involved in the two suits they were tried together and disposed of by a common Judgment Against the decision of the trial Court in the two suits, two appeals and cross-objections, out of which these two Letters Patent Appeals have arisen, were filed to this Court by the plaintiffs. The appellants in the present Letters Patent Appeals are the defendants.
(2.) O.S.No. 9 of 1962 relating to L.P. A. No 236 was filed by the son to re cover a sum of Rs. 10, 436/- being the principal and interest due on a promissory-note of date 4-4-1961 executed for a sum of Rs. 10,000/- in his favour by late Donthi Bheemaiah Setty. Similary O. S. No: 10 of 1962 relating to L. P. A. No. 237 was filed by the father to recover a similar amount being the principal and interest due on a promisory note dated 5-4-1961 executed for a similar sum by late Donthi Bheemaiah Setty in his favour The principal questions which were involved in the suits are : Whether the defendants are agriculturists entitled to the relief under the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act, (IV of 1938, whether the suit promissory notes were executed in renewal of prior promissory notes and transactions and whether the debts relating to them are liable to be scaled down The trial court found that the promissory rotes relating to both the suits were executed in renewal of prior promissory-notes and transactions and the debts are liable to be scaled down, and that the defendants are agriculturists entitled to the benefits of the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') On the basis of these findings, the trial Court decreed the two suits for a lesser amount of Rs. 5.704-82 ps, in each suit. The trial court found that the debts relating to the two promissory-notes were incurred, tor the first time, in the year 1454, by which time section 13-A of the Act came into force having been introduced by the Amendment Act, XXIII of 1948, and though the defendants were aasessees to profession tax and property tax they were not debarred from claiming the benefit under section 13 of the Act- According to that section the liability to pay interest cannot exceed more than 51/3 percent per annum simple though the parties may contract for payment of a higher rate of interest. Accordingly the trial Court by giving the defendants the benefit under Sections 13 and 13-A of the Act scaled down the debts due under the two promissory notes and decreed the two suits for the lesser amounts as mentioned above. In the appeals and cross-objections filed against the judgment of the trial court, our learned brother, Mr.Justice Chinnappa Reddy who disposed of them came to the same conclusion as the trial court did that the debts relating to the two promissory-notes were incurred for the first time in the year 1954 and the amounts for which the two promissory notes were executed are in renewal of the balance amounts due under those debts after adjusting several payments made from time to time. This concurrent finding is not canvassed before us.
(3.) But, however, Justice Chinnappa Reddy did not agree with the trial court with regard to the applicability of section 13-A of the Act to the defendants for the purpose of claiming benefit of scaling down by calculating interest at the reduced rate of interest as provided under Section 13. According to the learned Judge, Section 13-A in terms does not apply to the defendants and therefore they are not entitled to the scaling down as provided under section 13 of the Act. Thus, in effect, the learned Judge found that the defendants are not entitled to the benefits of the Act and accordingly allowing the appeals filed by the plaintiffs decreed the suits as prayed for. Assailing this view taken by our learned brother that the defendants are not entitled to the benefits of the Act, the defendants have preferred these two Letters Patent Appeals.;


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