Meaning and definition of Lien

  •           Lien is the right of one person to retain possession of goods owned by another until the possessor's claims against the owner have been satisfied. In the Contract of Bailment Bailee has a right to exercise the lien over the goods bailed to him.

  •          According to Halsbury's law of England, "Lien is in its primary sense of right in one man to retain that which it in his possession belonging to another until certain demands of the person in possession are satisfied.


Types / Kinds of Lien

There are two kinds of lien are as follows

   (i) Particular Lien

    (ii) General Lien


 (i) Particular Lien:

            Section 170 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 which confers on the Bailee, the right of particular lien. A particular lien gives the right to retain possession only of goods in respect of which the changes or dues have arisen. The right of particular lien can be successfully claimed if, by the exercise of labour or skill, there has been some improvement of the goods.The Right of Particular Lien can be claimed only in respect of goods upon which labour or skill has been exercised by the Bailee.

          Example:

               A delivers a rough diamond to B, a jeweller, to be cut and polished, which is accordingly done. B is entitled to retain the stone till he is paid for the services he has rendered.



 (ii) General Lien:

           Section 171 of the Indian Contract Act,1872 confer on Bailee the right of General Lien.  General Lien is one which gives the right to possession until the whole balance of the amount is paid.
The right of General lien can be claimed in respect of any goods for any change due in respect of other goods.

         Example:

                 The banker’s Lien is a general lien and he can retain the goods for the satisfaction of a debt other than the one for which the goods are pledged.

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