6. Particulars of set-off to be given in written statement.

(1) Where in a suit for the recovery of money the defendant claims to set-off against the plaintiff’s demand any ascertained sum of money legally recoverable by him from the plaintiff, not exceeding the pecuniary limits of the jurisdiction of the Court, and both parties fill the same character as they fill in the plaintiff’s suit, the defendant may, at the first hearing of the suit, but not afterwards unless permitted by the Court, presents a written statement containing the particulars of the debt sought to be set-off.

(2) Effect of set-off- The written statement shall have the same effect as a plaint in a cross-suit so as to enable the Court to pronounce a final judgment in respect both of the original claim and of the set-off : but this shall not affect the lien, upon the amount decreed, of any pleader in respect of the costs payable to him under the decree.

(3) The rules relating to a written statement by a defendant apply to a written statement in answer to a claim of set-off. 

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Illustrations-
(a) A bequeaths Rs. 2,000 to B and appoints C his executor and residuary legatee. B dies and D takes out administration to B’s effect, C pays Rs. 1,000 as surety for D: then D sues C for the legacy. C cannot set-off the debt of Rs. 1,000 against the legacy, for neither C nor D fills the same character with respect to the legacy as they fill with respect to the payment of Rs. 1,000.

(b) A dies intestate and in debt to B. C takes out administration to A’s effects and B buys part of the effects from C. In a suit for the purchase-money by C against B, the latter cannot set-off the debt against the price, for C fills two different characters, one as the vendor to B, in which he sues B, and the other as representative to A.

(c) A sues B on a bill of exchange. B alleges that A has wrongfully neglected to insure B’s goods and is liable to him in compensation which he claims to set-off. The amount not being ascertained cannot be set-off.

(d) A sues B on a bill of exchange for Rs. 500. B holds a judgment against A for Rs. 1,000. The two claims being both definite, pecuniary demands may be set-off.

(e) A sues B for compensation on account of trespass. B holds a promissory note for Rs. 1,000 from A and claims to set-off that amount against any sum that A may recover in the suit. B may do so, for as soon as A recovers, both sums are definite pecuniary demands.

(f) A and B sue C for Rs. 1,000 C cannot set-off a debt due to him by A alone. (g) A sues B and C for Rs. 1000. B cannot set-off a debt due to him alone by A.

(h) A owes the partnership firm of B and C Rs. 1,000 B dies, leaving C surviving. A sues C for a debt of Rs. 1,500 due in his separate character. C may set-off the debt of Rs. 1,000.

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