BASNAYAKE, C.J.—Badurdeen v. Alagvrisamy
Present: Basnayake, C.J., and Pulle, J.
BADURDEEN, Appellant, and ALAG3RISAM3T and others, Respondent®
3. G. 412—B. G. Colombo, 13,900
Cheques—Indorsement—Validity of signature by initials—Bills of Exchange Ordinance,s. 32 (I).
A person, may -validly indorse a cheque by placing hia initials thereon.There is nothing in the context of section 32 of the Bills of Exchange Ordinancethat excludes signature by initials.
^APPEAL from a judgment of the District Court, Colombo.
Mengancsthan, for 5th Defendant-Appellant.
JR. S. R. Goomaraswamy, -with B. A. JR. Ganda%><pa, for Plaintiff-Respondent.
Pebruary 15, i957. Basstaxaxe, C.J.—
This is an action by the plaintiffs carrying on business under the nameof A. L. ft. M. Alagirisamy Pillai against the six defendants for tharecovery of two sums of money of Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 3,300 payable on twocheques drawn in favour of the 3rd defendant by the Pinn of A. E. M.
1 (1956) 58 N. L. R. 56.
3 (1958) 59 N. L. R. 402.
BASNAYAKE, C.J.—Badurdeen v. Alagirisamy
Sulaiman Bros, of 'which, the 1st and 2nd defendants are partners. Theaction was contested by the 4th, 5th, and 6 th defendants who are tradingunder the name of The Ceylon Produce Trading Agency. It would appearthat the plaintiffs sold a consignment of tea to the 4th, 5th, and 6thdefendants. In payment for it the 5th defendant brought to the Kanaka-pulle of the plaintiffs two cheques drawn by the 1st and 2nd defendants infavour of the 3rd defendant.
The Hanakapuile requested the 5th defendant to sign each of thembelow the endorsement of the 3rd defendant in whose favour they weredrawn. The 5th defendant thereupon initialled them. Not satisfiedwith his initials alone the Kanakapulle asked the 5th defendant to writethe Company’s name. He then placed below his own initials the letters“ C. P. T. A. ” in English. These letters represented the initial lettersof the name of his firm. Even this did not satisfy the plaintiff’s manager(Mudalali) and the 5th defendant was asked to place the seal of the Firmon them. Thereupon the 5th defendant took the cheques to his place ofbusiness and brought them back with a rubber stamp bearing the words“ The Ceylon Produce Trading Agency ”, affixed to them below theletters " C. P. T. A. ”
The 5th defendant’s evidence is that he did not intend to endorse thecheque but that he was required by the plaintiffs’ firm to put his initialsas a witness to the signature of the payee. His evidence has been rejectedand the plaintiffs’ evidence has been accepted. The only questionwhich remains for decision is whether the learned trial Judge is right inholding that the initials placed on the cheque by the 5th defendantsatisfy the requirements of section 32 of the Bills of Exchange Ordinancewhich provides :—
“ An endorsement in order to operate as a negotiation must comply
with the following conditions, namely:—
it must be written on the bill itself and be signed by the indorser.
The simple signature of the indorser on the bill, withoutadditional words, is sufficient.
Learned counsel for the 5th defendant strenuously argued that the initialsof a person do not constitute his signature. In the instant case it is quiteclear and it is admitted that the 5th defendant placed his initials on theback of the cheques. He claims that he did so only for the purpose ofauthenticating the signature of the payee and not- as an endorsee of thecheque. But the learned District Judge has rejected his explanation andheld that he did so as an endorsee.
There is nothing in the context of section 32 of the Bills of ExchangeOrdinance that excludes signature by initials and we are of the opinionthat an endorsement written on a bill and signed by the endorsee withhis initials is a good endorsement for the purpose of that provision.The word ‘ sign ’ is from the Latin sigrt/um, and means a mark. A sig-na-tore is the name or -special mark placed on a document by a person orby his authorised agent either with his own hand or with the hand ofsuch agent or with any artificial aid or mechanical device with the
=214SnSHSTETAMBY, J.—Haramanis v. Fernando.
intention of authenticating a document as being that of, or as binding on,the person "whose name or mark is so placed. Signature does not,necessarily, mean writing a person’s forename and surname in fall.The signature of a person on a document by placing thereon the initialletters of his names or name is a good signature. This mode of signatureis not uncommon among the Indian business community in Ceylonespecially the South Indian.
For the above reasons we affirm the finding of the learned trial Judgeand dismiss the appeal with costs.
Pttlle, J.—I agree.