Decided on July 16,1900



Burkitt and Henderson, JJ - (1.) In this case we are unable to concur with the decision of the Lower Appellate Court.
(2.) The facts briefly are that, on the 20 November 1896, several persons, including the defendant-respondent--persons described by the Lower Appellate Court as being men of high social standing and considerable wealth--met together at the house of the plaintiff-appellant, and gambling ensued; but in that gambling the plaintiff-appellant took no part whatsoever. From time to time it would appear that the defendant-respondent lost certain sums of money, and in order to pay those he borrowed from the plaintiff up to Rs. 4,000, which he promised to repay. This fact is distinctly found by the Lower Appellate Court, which finds that the money was borrowed by respondent to pay his gambling debts. The Lower Appellate Court very properly finds that the agreement between the plaintiff and defendant was not by way of wager, and therefore not void under Section 30 of the Contract Act; and it further finds that the agreement by the defendant- respondent to repay Rs. 4,000 was in consideration of that sum having been lent to him at his request by the plaintiff; and the Court further found that that consideration as it stood was not in itself unlawful or immoral. On those findings one would have expected that the Lower Appellate Court would have given a decree to the plaintiff. The learned District Judge, however came to the conclusion that the general object of the plaintiff in lending money was to facilitate gambling, and that every loan had this object in view, and every agreement to repay carried the same taint; and each contract had as its general defect the facilitation and promotion of gambling at the plaintiff's house.
(3.) In those remarks we are unable to concur with the learned Judge of the Court below. The object of the one series of transactions with which we are concerned here was to enable the respondent to pay off his gambling debt as is found by the Court below. The consideration for the agreement was the promise made by the defendant to repay the money on demand. We do not see how the remarks of the Judge as to the general object the plaintiff had in lending the money affects the case. The Judge finds that the object or the consideration--for they are only different names for the same thing seen from a different point of view--was not of itself unlawful or immoral. In our opinion to lend money for the purpose of paying off a gambling debt with a knowledge of it being applied for payment of such a debt cannot be considered to be an immoral act. We think the Court below ought not to have reversed the judgment given in favour of the plaintiff by the Court of First Instance. We therefore allow this appeal and restore the decision of the Court of First Instance. Appellant is entitled to his costs in this Court.;

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