KEUNEMAN J.—Aiyampillai v. Somammah.
1242Present: Soertsz and Keuneman JJ.
AIYAMPILLAI v. SORNAMMAH et al.
48—D. C. Jaffna, 13,483
Promissory note—Claim for wages—Compromise—Valuable consideration.
The compromise of a claim accepted by the'party against whom it ismade is a good consideration for a promissory note, if the party makingit is acting in good faith.
Al PPEAL from a judgment of the District Judge of Jaffna.
V. Perera, EL C. (with him M. Rutnam), for defendants, appellants..
N.Nadarajah, for plaintiff, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
February 11, 1942. Keuneman J.—
The plaintiff sued the defendants for the sum of Rs. 1,250 with interestthereon due on promissory note P 1, dated August 13, 1933, signed by the1defendants, and obtained judgment. The defendants now appeal.
The only point argued in appeal was that the said promissory notewas not given for valuable consideration.
It was established in the evidence that plaintiff’s daughter, Kadiramalai.had been employed as servant for a very long period of years under the1st defendant’s husband, Ponniah Aiyar, and for a part of xthat periodhad also been the mistress of Ponniah Aiyar. Ponniah Aiyar died in1932 without any issue. It seems fairly clear that at an early stageKadiramalai had claimed remuneration for her services, in respect ofwhich it is admitted that no payment of wages was ever made. Thedaim for remuneration was accepted by the heirs of Ponniah Aiyar,including the two defendants, and in the testamentary proceedings inrespect of the estate of Ponniah Aiyar, the inventory showed that a debtof Rs. 1,000 in favour of Kadiramalai was accepted. The precise date ofthe inventory has not been proved, but I think it has been establishedin the evidence that the inventory was filed before the date of thepromissory note PI..
Kadiramalai remained in the house of Ponniah Aiyar for about a yearafter his death, and it is in evidence that she refused to leave until somepayment was made to her. Kadiramalai stated that on the date thepromissory note was given to her, she had demanded wages, and also thereturn of certain moneys of hers in the hands of Ponniah Aiyar. Thisstory has not been accepted by the learned District Judge. But I thinkthe position is clarified by the evidence given by the 2nd defendant."The promissory note was given for the Rs. 1,000 shown in the inventoryas a debt. It was given on the understanding that no interest should berecovered and that the money should be claimed, after the estate isclosed.” The promissory note was for Rs. 1,250 and interest andmade in favour of plaintiff, Kadiramalai’s father. The insertion ofinterest in the note destroys the allegation that there was an agreementthat no interest should be recovered.
24 .KEUNEMAN J.—Aiyampillai v. Somammah.
It has been argued that Kadiramalai had no claim for wages or re-muneration, as no agreement has been proved to pay any wages. This,however, does not affect the question. On this point, Byles cm.Bills (18th Edition, page 128) says, on the authority of a number ofcases, “ The compromise of a claim, though really unfounded and believedto be so by the party against whom it is made may be a good considerationfox a promissory note if the party making it is acting in good faith ”.This case goes further, for it is clear that the defendants recognised andaccepted the claim of Kadiramalai and regarded it as a debt and there islittle doubt that Kadiramalai believed in her claim.
The further point that the promissory note was given for an immoralconsideration has been rightly rejected by the District Judge.
It is also clear from the 2nd defendant’s evidence that the promissorynote was given in return for an agreement by Kadiramalai that shewould forbear to claim the amount until after the estate was closed. Thisforbearance, I think, would constitute valuable consideration, not onlyfor the enhancement of the amount, but also for the. whole promissorynote.x
The appeal is dismissed with costs.
Soertsz J.—I agree.