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Analysing General Lien of Banker As Enshrined In ICA In 21st Century

Nandini Verma, BBA LLB Student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune.


The word lien originated from the French word “ligare” which means “to bind”, a lien can be defined as a claim to lawfully retain possession of a property belonging to someone else until he/she discharges the debt owed by him/her. In India, the right to lien is legally recognized by the Indian Contract Act, 1872, under sections 171 and 172. It offers insurance by authorizing an individual or a company to seize the respective property or pursue other legal remedies against the debtor to pay off his/ her debts and obligations.

The Indian Contract Act, (ICA) was enacted by the British Government in the year 1872 and contains some special provisions on some peculiar contracts, these included indemnity, guarantee, bailment, pledge, and agency. Out of these, the most common contract is the contract of bailment, this concept eventually became imperative with the advancements in the society in order to foster trade, and with time more and more people starting delivering goods to others for fulfilling their own interests. The right to lien constitutes one of the major part of the bailment under ICA, 1872. The word bailment has been explained in section 148 of ICA, 1872, which highlights the concept of bailment as the distribution of a chattel by its owner to someone else for a certain objective, this distribution is based on a legal contract that the goods would be reverted or discharged off according to the instructions of the owner once the objective of the delivery is achieved. The person delivering the goods is generally the owner and is called as the ‘bailor’ and the person to whom the owner delivers the goods is called as the ‘bailee'. Both- the bailor and bailee have several rights with respect to the goods delivered.

The right to lien is one of the exclusive right of the bailee, the other rights available to him as per the ICA, 1872 are the right to compensation, as under section 164 of ICA, 1872 and the right to expenses or remuneration, as mentioned under section 158 of ICA, 1872.

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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