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Present: Lascelles C.J. and Wood Benton J.
CABUPPIAH v. DOBASAMY.
330—D. C. Nuwara Eliya, 116.
Promissory note—Material alteration—Note signed in blank and issuedundated—Insertion of one date by payee—Subsequent insertion ofanother date.
An alteration in the date of a note is, generally speaking, amaterial alteration. But the note is not avoided against a partywho has himap-lf made or authorised or assented to the alteration.
Where a note is issued in blank and undated, the insertion of onedate (April 16, 1909) and the subsequent alteration in the date(April 26, 1909) does not invalidate the note against the maker,inasmuch as he, by issuing the note in blank and undated, mustbe taken to have authorized the payee to have inserted whateverdate he pleased.
fjp HE facts appear sufficiently from the judgment.
H. A. Jayewardene, for the appellant.
Wadsworth, for the respondent.
February 3, 1913. Lascelles C.J.—
This is "an appeal from a judgment of .the District Judge ofNuwara Eliya dismissing an action on a promissory note on theground of material alteration. The alteration in question is withregard to the date oh the note. It is apparent from an examinationof .the note that the date as originally written at the head of the note/was April 16, 1909, and that the figure “ 16 ’’ has been altered into“ 26.” There is no question but that an alteration in the date of anote is, generally speaking, a material alteration. This is speciallyprovided by sub-section (2) of section 64 of the Bills of ExchangeAct of 1882. But the law with regard to .the alteration of bills ofexchange or promissory notes is subject to an exception that thebill is not avoided against a party who has himself made or author-ized or assented to the alteration—section 64, sub-section (1).The question which arises on this appeal, and has still to be deter-,mined, is whether the maker of the note, by issuing the note in blankand undated, did not authorize the insertion of, a date on the note.If it be the fact that the alteration in the date was made after thenote had been signed and issued, then there can be no question butthat the note is invalid. If, on the other hand, the note was issuedin blank and undated, then I am of opinion that the alteration in
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the date subsequently inserted would not invalidate the noteagainst the maker, inasmuch as he, by issuing the note in blank andundated, must be taken to have authorized the payee to haveinserted 'whatever date he pleased. According to the evidence oftiie defendant, the note was in fact issued by' him signed and undated.The plaintiff, on the other hand, has given a different account, midit is necessary, before the validity 'of the note can be determined,"to have a definite finding on this point. I would therefore remitthe case jto the District Judge to adjudicate on the issue -which1 have indicated, namely, whether the alteration was made to adate which was already on the note at the time when it was signedand issued, or whether the alteration was made to a date insertedafter the note bad been signed and bad left the hands of the maker.If the Court finds that the alteration is not material, it will proceedto ascertain the amount due on the note and give judgmentaccordingly. All costs, including the costs of the appeal, should bein the discretion of the District Judge.
Wood Benton J.—I concur.
CARUPPIAH v. DORASAMY