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Difference between General Lien and Particen Lien

' Lien ', a right to hold in custody, movable property belonging to another person, until such time as the debt owed by that person realized. It can be classified as a general privilege and a special privilege. When one of the parties has the right to retain assets belonging to another party, until all the shares are discharged, called general pledge . On the contrary, the particular privilege implies the right of retention of specific goods, until the claims relating to such goods are realized.

Lien linked to the possession of property, that is where there is no possession of property, there is no restriction. Thus, possession is the essence of privilege. Many think that the two types of privilege are the same thing, but there are slight and subtle differences between the general privilege and the particular privilege.

Comparative graph

Basis for the comparisonGeneral particular LienLien
Sense The general pledge refers to the right to maintain possession of property belonging to others against the general balance of accounts. The special privilege implies the right of the bailee to retain certain assets deposited for non-payment of the amount.
Availablity Any goods, for which the amount owed to another person. Only against property, where skill and work are exercised.
Automatic No s
Right to sell goods No right to sell the goods. In general, there is no right to sell goods, however, the right can be conferred to Bailee in special circumstances.
Practiced by Bankers, Wharfngers, factors, political mediators, lawyers etc. Bailee, pledge, asset seeker, agent, partner, unpaid seller etc.

Definition of General Lien

General Lien means the right of an individual to retain or hold any movable property, which belongs to someone else, as security for a general account balance, until the liability of the holder is discharged. described in section 171 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

A person can renounce the right to pledge through a contract. commonly available for i bankers, the factors, the piers, the high court lawyers, etc. Who keep the assets deposited on them during the course of their profession and do not require any contract to that effect. Unless there is an express contract in this sense, no other person can maintain the ownership of another as the security of the balance due to them.

In general, the property on which the lien is exercised can be maintained, but cannot be sold for any lawful payment due to him.

Definition of Particular Lien

Pursuant to Article 170 of the Indian Agreement, Ac, 1872, the particular privilege defined as the right of a person to keep certain assets saved to him / her as security, for non-payment of dues.

In accordance with the objective of the deposit, when bailee has taken on skill or work and has improved the assets deposited on him / her. He has the right to take into consideration for his service, and if the licensor denies the payment of the amount, then he / she can retain the goods, for a fee.

In this case, the bailee is entitled to a special privilege until he receives compensation for the services rendered, provided that the services are provided in full within the stipulated time. Furthermore, the bailee has no right to sue the bailor.

On the other hand, if the bailee delivers the property belonging to the licensee without any consideration for the services provided, it can sue the bidder, and the particular privilege can be revoked.

Key differences between General Lien and the particular Lien

The following points describe in detail the difference between the general privilege and the particular privilege:

  1. General Lien can be described as the right granted to a person to keep possession of property belonging to another person against the general account balance. On the contrary, the particular privilege can be understood as the right of an individual to keep certain goods saved, until the quotas for such goods are discharged.
  2. A general privilege available for any goods for which the requests are not met. On the other hand, the special privilege available only for assets for which Bailee has operating expenses and labor.
  3. General Lien is not automatic but recognized through an agreement, while the particular privilege is automatic.
  4. The holder of goods does not have the right to sell the goods to pay off the unpaid amount, in the event of a general privilege. On the other hand, in the case of a particular privilege the bailee cannot sell the assets to realize its debts, however, in particular conditions, the right is conferred.
  5. General Lien is more commonly practiced by bankers, wharves, factors, insurance brokers, lawyers, etc. In contrast to this, the particular privilege assumed by a bailee, unpaid seller, asset seeker, pledge, partner, agent, etc.


So far, we have discussed all the important facts, details and differences between general privilege and particular privilege. The key point that distinguishes these two that a general privilege can be exercised against any commodity in which the requests are not met. Unlike the particular privilege that is exercised only on those items on which bailee has provided services.