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Report No. 63

5.2. English Act of 1934.-

It may be noted in this connection, that in England, the law on this point1 was amended in 1934. The current statutory provision in England is quoted again2 below, for ready reference:-

"3. Power of courts of record to award interest on debts and damages.-(1) In any proceedings tried in any court of record for the recovery of any debt or damages, the court may, if it thinks fit, order that there shall be included in the sum for which judgment is given interest at such rate as it thinks fit on the whole or any part of the debt or damages for the whole or any part of the period between the date, when the cause of action arose and the date of the judgment:

Provided that nothing in this section-

(a) shall authorise the giving of interest upon interest; or

(b) shall apply in relation to any debt upon which interest is payable as of right whether by virtue of any agreement or otherwise; or

(c) shall affect the damages recoverable for the dishonour of a bill of exchange."

This sub-section replaces the provisions in sections 28-29 of the Civil Procedure Act, 1833. In some respects, the repealed provisions were, perhaps, wider than those enacted3 in this sub-section, but, in relation to actions in tort, the repealed provisions were certainly narrower, being limited to authorising interest by way of damages for trover or trespass. The new provision permits the award of interest on any award of damages for any tort, subject only to the discretion of the court.4

We think that the English provision,5 allowing interest on damages, is sound in principle, and should be incorporated in our law, to the extent indicated below-

(a) In so far as this section of the English Act relates to interest on debt or damages for the period before the filing of the suit, the necessary reform, for allowing interest on debts not falling, at present, within section 1, that is, on damages, should be made by adding a provision in the Act.

(b) In so far as the period after the filing of the suit is concerned, the matter pertains to section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. That section3 appears to be comprehensive enough to allow the award of interest on damages, for the period after the institution of the suit.6

1. Section 3(1), Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1934.

2. See also para. 4.3, supra.

3. Fine Industrial Commodities Ltd. (in re:), (1955) 3 All ER 707 (709): 1956 Ch 256 (261) (per Vaisey, J.)

4. Carr v. Boxall, (1960) 1 All ER 495.

5. Section 3, Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1934 (24 and 25 Geo. 5, Ch. 41).

6. Bhagwant v. Gangabisan, AIR 1940 Born 369.

(a) Dominion of India v. A.I.R. Ltd., AIR 1952 Nag 32;

(b) Arjunsa v. Mohanlal, AIR 1937 Nag 345.

Interest Act, 1839 Back

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