The three sub-clauses of the explanation attached to section 18 specify and provide for difficulties which may be set up or appear in the applications of section 18. An acknowledgment may fail to specify with exactitude the “nature of the property or the man acknowledging the liability may couple his acknowledgment with a statement that the time of performance, delivery, enjoyment of payment of the property or right has not arrived; or he acknowledges the right but refuses to perform it or claims that he also has claims against the plaintiff by way of set off or even the fact that the acknowledgement is not addressed to the creditor himself but to a third party will not detract from the value of the acknowledgement for purposes of this section. Under all the above and similar circumstances the court will accept the central fact that the debt stands acknowledged and a fresh period will begin to run from that point.
Sub-clause (b) to the Explanation says that the signature on the document which contains the acknowledgment may be that of the debtor himself or of his duly authorised agent in this behalf. The agent must be shown to be specially authorised to acknowledge the debt. A general authority will not do. In the case of a person under disability, the expression “agent duly authorised in this behalf” will include his lawful guardian, committee or manager, or an agent duly authorised by such guardian, committee or manager to sign the acknowledgement.
An acknowledgement made by one of several joint contractors, partners, executors or mortgagees shall not ordinarily bind the others. It may do so if they agree that the acknowledgement will be so binding. According to sub-clause (c) to the explanation an application from the execution of a decree or order cannot be deemed to be an application in respect of any property or right and therefore there can be no extension of time by acknowledgement in respect of execution applications.