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Report No. 63

4.18. Recommendation.-

In this view of the law, as it emerges under the present section, the question which falls for our consideration is whether we should recommend that the section should be suitably amended to enable the creditor to sue for the recovery of interest alone in cases where the debt or sum certain payable to him by the debtor has been repaid, or whether the law should be amended in the opposite direction. We have carefully considered the pros and cons of this problem, and we are satisfied that the initial bar against the competence of a claim by the creditor to recover only the interest-a bar which would arise under the narrower interpretation-is not justified on any ground of justice, equity or good conscience.

We do not think it necessary to consider the question whether, on the text of the section, the Calcutta view (the narrower one) is correct, or the Lahore one (the wider one) is correct. On principle, however, we are of the opinion that a suit merely for interest, where the principal has been paid, should be permissible. If the narrower construction is allowed to prevail, the person liable would pay up the principal just before the suit, and thus defeat the section. That would be unjust. We, therefore, recommend adoption of the wider view and an amendment of the section for the purpose.

Interest Act, 1839 Back

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