HASMUKHBHAI MANMOHANDAS PATEL Vs. PUNAMCHAND KALIDAS
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
HASMUKHBHAI MANMOHANDAS PATEL
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(1.) This revision application raises an interesting question relating to the jurisdiction of the City Civil Court at Ahmedabad. The facts giving rise to this revision application may be briefly stated at first. One Hasmukhbhai Manmohandas Patel filed Special Jurisdiction Darkhast No. 4 of 1953 in the Court of the then learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad for execution of a final partition decree. All the properties except one ordered to be partitioned were situated in the city of Ahmedabad. That one property was situated in a village of the District of Ahmedabad and thus was within the ordinary jurisdiction of the then learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad. Whilst this darkhast was pending The Ahmedabad City Courts Act 1961 Gujarat Act No. XIX of 1961 ( hereafter calledthe Act) was passed on the 15th of May 1961 and on 4th of November 1961 the City Civil Court ( here after calledthe City Court) was established by the State of Gujarat for the city of Ahmedabad under the power vested in it by section 3 of the Act. Under sec. 20 sub-sec. (1) of the Act the above darkhast was taken to have stood transferred to the City Court and was given a new number in that Court. The darkhast came up for hearing before a learned Judge of the City Court. He held that the decree had become exhausted so far as the properties situated within the limits of the city of Ahmedabad were concerned and that inasmuch as the part of the decree which thereafter remained to be executed related to a property which was not situated within the city of Ahmedabad he had no longer any jurisdiction to deal with the darkhast. Therefore the learned Judge ordered that the record of the darkhast should be sent to the Court of the learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) at Narol ( hereafter called the Narol Court) which had come to be established in place of the Court of the Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad with effect on and from 4th of November 1961 under a Notification No. CCC. 1061/4166(ix)dated 1st of November 1961 by the State Government in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sec. 21 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act 1869( hereinafter calledthe Act of 1869). This darkhast was then numbered as Darkhast No. 4 of 1961 by the Narol Court. The Narol Court came to the conclusion that it had no jurisdiction to hear the darkhast and that the Court which had jurisdiction to do so was the City Court. Consequently the Narol Court sent the record of the darkhast back to the City Court. The darkhast came up for hearing before Shri D P. Desai the learned Judge 7 Court of the City Courton 20th of February 1963 It appears that there were several other darkhasts similarly instituted in the Court of the then learned Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ahmedabad before 4-11-1961 and which had similarly been transferred to the Narol Court and which had been similarly retransferred by that Court to the City Court. The learned Judge aforesaidpassed a common order on 20th of February 1963 in respect of all these retransferred darkhasts. He said in his order that in Miscellaneous Application No. 49 of 1962 in which he had heard a similar matter he had held that such darkhasts were within the jurisdiction of the Narol Court and that consequently by retransfer of such darkhasts the Narol Court had failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it by law. Consequently by his above order dated 20th February 1963 the learned Judge ordered that all the aforesaid darkhasts should be referred to this Court for passing suitable orders. Accordingly a reference was made by the Principal Judge City Court by his letter dated 27th of February 1963 to this Court in which he referred all the aforesaid darkhasts for the orders of this Court. The said reference was numbered as a civil revision application. There are some other proceedings pending in the City Court which have also been similarly referred to this Court. The proceedings so referred may broadly be divided into three categories. The first category consists of darkhast proceedings which were pending immediately before 4-11-1961 in the Court of the then learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad. The second category consists of those darkhasts which were filed in the City Court after 4-11-1961 but in respect of which decrees were passed by the then learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad before 4-11-1961. The third category consists of proceedings for obtaining final decrees instituted after 4-11-1961 but in respect of which the preliminary decrees were passed before 4-11-1961 by the then learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad. The common feature of all these three kinds of proceedings is that they relate to properties which were all situated outside the jurisdiction of the City Court but which were situated before 4-11-1961 within the jurisdiction of the Court of the then Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) Ahmedabad.
(2.) The question which arises for determination in the present revision application is whether the Special Darkhast No. 4 of 1953 which was pending in the Court of the learned Civil Judge ( Senior Division )Ahmedabad on 4-11-1961 was cognizable by the City Court or by the newly established Court at Narol. As the decision of this question in the present proceeding affected the decisions in the other cases which were similarly referred by the Principal Judge City Court by his letter dated 27 February 1963 and other matters which have been similarly referred not only Mr. M.C. Shah the learned advocate for Hasmukhbhai Manmohandas Patel but also the learned advocates appearing in those other cases were heard for or against the question to be decided I have heard the arguments of all those learned advocates and after giving full consideration to all that the learned advocates on both the sides had to say I have reached the conclusion that on the facts aforesaid it is the City Court which has jurisdiction to deal with the original darkhast No. 4 of 1963. My reasons for this conclusion are as follows.
(3.) Mr. Shah contends that it is the City Court which has jurisdiction to deal with the aforesaid darkhast. He bases his submission on sec. 20 sub-section (1) of the Act which is in following terms:--
20 (1) All suits and proceedings cognizable by the City Court and pending immediately before the appointed day in the District Court or the Court of a Civil Judge shall stand transferred to the City Court. The expression appointed day has been defined in sub-section (1) of sec. 2 of the Act as the day on which the remaining provisions of the Act come into force under sub-section (2) of section 1. Under the latter sub-section section I of the Act came into force at once and the remaining provisions were to come into force on such day as the State Government might by notification in the Official Gazette appoint. By a notification No. CCC. 1061/3733-D dated 4th October 1961 issued by the State Government under sub-section (2) of section I aforesaid the State Government appointed 4th of November 1961 as the day on which the other provisions of the Act were to come into force. Therefore there is no dispute that the expression appointed dayin section 20 subsection (1) now means 4th November 1961. Sub-section (1) of section 20 refers to all suits and proceedings . There is no dispute that the latter expression includes execution proceedings and proceedings for final decree The sub-section says that all suits and proceedings shall stand transferred to the City Court provided two conditions are satisfied. The first condition is that the suits and proceedings must be pending either in the District Court which means the then District Court at Ahmedabad or the Court of a Civil Judge which means the then Court of the Civil Judge ( Senior Division ) at Ahmedabad. There is no dispute that in the present case the darkhast was so pending on this day. The second condition is that the suits and proceedings must becognizable by the City Court . The contention of Mr. Shah is that the darkhast aforesaid was cognizable by the City Court. As against this the learned advocates who support the references of the learned Principal Judge and oppose the proposition for which Mr. Shah contends contend that the darkhast aforesaid is not cognizable by the City Court. Therefore having regard to the rival contentions the key expression in sec. 20 sub-sec. (1) of the Act is the expression cognizable by the City Court and it is on a proper interpretation of that expression that the answer to the aforesaid question depends. Omitting a reference to suits with which I am not concerned in the present proceeding the question for consideration is which proceedings come within the cognizance of the City Court.;
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