the following instruments and documents shall be
chargeable with duty of the amount indicated ….
(«)(/>) Every bill of exchange, cheque, or promissory note
drawn or made outof Ceylonandaccepted or
paid, or presented for acceptance or payment, orendorsed, transferred, or otherwise negotiated inCeylon ….
– Mr. Navaratnam, for the defendant, agrees that if the note doesnot fall within 4 (b) it is not chargeable with stamp duty. Heurges, however, that the note is so chargeable as having beenpresented for payment in Ceylon. He also stated he was preparedto argue that it had also been 14 otherwise negotiated " in Ceylon,but later admitted he could not sustain this argument.
The document is undoubtedly a promissory note made in India,and it is also stated to have been endorsed in India. I can findnothing on the record to show where it was endorsed, but the casewas presented in the lower Court and in this Court on the footing
111914) 17 N. L. R. 174.
( 329 )
that it had been endorsed in India. The plaintiff und defendantboth now live in Ceylon and so the former is suing on it here. Underthe Bills of Exchange Act presentment of the note for paymentis only necessary to render the indorser liable on the note. Nopresentment was therefore necessary in this case, and there hasbeen in fact no presentment within the meaning of that Act. Itwas argued, however, that any demand for payment is a present-ment for payment within .the meaning of section 4 of the StampsOrdinance. That section makes use of the same phraseology assection 35 of the Stamp Act, 1891 (54 & 55 Viet. c. 39). Anearlier Act (17 & 19 Viet. c. 83) in section 5 uses the same termsand has been the subject of legal decision. In Griffin v. Weatherbyand Henshaiv1 the Court had to consider whether a bill, drawn inthe Isle of Man and so for revenue purposes a foreign bill, wasrequired to be stamped in Englandi as having been ” presentedfor payment, indorsed, transferred, or otherwise negotiated inthe United Kingdom.** Blackburn J. pointed out that none ofthese things had happened yet. He continued to say that *' present-ment for. payment must mean presentment according to mercantileusage; the document itself must be present, though not the holder.No doubt there has been ample notice and demand of payment,but there has been no presentment.*’ Lush J. says that “ present-ment for payment” must mean such a presentment as would besufficient to charge indorsers or other persons collaterally liableon the bill, and the document itself must be presented so as toenable the person presenting to give it up if paid. This is anauthority directly contrary to the argument addressed to us as tothe meaning of the term ” presentment for payment ” in section 4.It must, in my opinion, be held that the document has not beenpresented for payment. It has not been ” otherwise negotiated,”for on the same authority ” negotiating ” can only mean doingsomething that can only be done with a negotiable instru-ment, and no such act haa been shown to have been done inCeylon.
It appears, therefore, that none of the things for which section 4
provides have yet been done in Ceylon, and therefore the instru-ment is not yet liable to any stamp duty here. Mohamado v.Manangady2 does not help the respondent.
It was suggested that this was an attempt to get paymeut ofthe bill, but even so it has not yet been “ paid,” and if judgmentbe obtained it would still have to be decided whether the debt dueon the note had not disappeared in the judgment and whetherthere could under such circumstances be any payment of the noteso as to bring it within section 4 (6).
1 (7868) L. J?. 3 Q. B. D. 753.2 9 S. C. C. 193.
Dai/ton J.
Abdul Cadetv. Rawther
Temp os* J1.
''Abdul (Taderv. frdwther
( 330 )
I have therefore come to the conclusion that the learned Judgewas wrong in holding that the note was liable to stamp duty underthe provisions of section 4. The decree entered must, therefore,be set aside and the case sent back to be heard.
IiYALn Grant J.—
have arrived at the same conclusion.
Decree set aside and case sent back.