General Lien vs Particular Lien - Key Differences
General Lien vs Particular Lien - Key Differences

Key Differences between General Lien and Particular Lien – Definition with Examples explained in simple words – Before we discuss difference between General lien and Particular lien let us discuss about lien. ‘Lien’ is the right of a person to retail possession of goods and securities owned by the debtor until the debt due from the latter is paid. Lien can be classified into two types – General Lien and Particular Lien.

General Lien vs Particular Lien - Key Differences
General Lien vs Particular Lien – Key Differences

In General lien, a person can retain possession of any goods belonging to another party, until the debt owed by that person is discharged. Whereas in case of particular lien, a person can retain possession of only specific goods until the liability against those goods are discharged.

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Have you noticed that in both case the word ‘possession’ is used. It means when there is no possession of goods, there is no lien.

General Lien vs Particular Lien

General Lien

General Lien is defined under Section 171 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. General lien refer to right of a person to retain possession of any movable goods belonging to any another person, as security against a general balance of the account, until the debts are cleared by the owner.

A general lien is available to bankers, factors, wharfingers, high court attorneys etc. who may, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, retain as a security for a general balance of account, any goods bailed to them; but no other persons have a right to retain, as a security for such balance, goods bailed to them, unless there is an express contract to that effect.

Example – Banker’s Lien is general lien and he can retain possession of goods or securities for satisfaction of a debt other than the one for which goods are pledged.

Particular Lien

Particular Lien is defined under Section 170 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. According to which, it is a right of a person to retain possession of particular goods bailed to him/her as security, for which charges are due. Particular lien is available to bailee only against specific goods in respect to which he rendered some service involving the exercise of labor or skill.

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The right of particular lien is available to bailee until he/she receive remuneration for the services rendered, provided the services are delivered in full within the stipulated time. The bailee has no right to sue the bailor.

If bailee delivers the goods to bailor without any services or not within the stipulated time period, he can sue the bailor and particular lien will be waived.

Example – Mr. Sham delivers two cars – KWID and i20, for repairs to Mr. B. B repaired the KWID.

Mr. Sham took delivery of the KWID without making the payment of repair charges. B cannot retain the i20 for the repair charges due in respect of the i20.

Difference between General Lien and Particular Lien

S.No General Lien Particular Lien
1. General Lien is the right of person to retain the possession of goods belonging to another person, against general balance of the account Particular Lien is the right of person to keep possession of specific goods or securities, until the charges related to those goods are cleared.
2. General lien can be exercised for any goods. Particular lien is available only against the goods with respect to which services are rendered.
3. Section 171 of Indian Contract Act, 1872 deal with general lien. Section 170 of Indian Contract Act, 1872 deal with particular lien.
4. General Lien is not automatic but is recognized through an agreement. Particular lien is automatic.
5. In case of general lien, bailee has no right to sell the goods to discharge the outstanding amount. In case of particular lien, bailee has no right to sell the goods to recover the debt but in special condition, the right is conferred.
6. General lien is available to bankers, wharfingers, factors, high court attorneys etc. Whereas particular lien is employed by a bailee, unpaid seller, finder of goods, pledge, agent etc.

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