Khan, J. -
(1.) THE Plaintiff who is the mortgagee of the property in question (which later on he leased to the mortgagors who are the Defendants in this case) brought this suit on the basis of a rent -note for the recovery of arrears of rent and also for eviction of the Defendants. The suit was originally filed before the District Judge, Shajapur and was numbered as Civil Original Suit No. 3 of Samvat 1992.
On the question of Court -fees being raised by the Defendants, the Court held that the Court -fee was insufficient and directed the Plaintiff to pay it on the value of the property, the possession of which was being sought. When the Plaintiff paid the required Court -fees, it was discovered that on account of the value of the property, the suit had become beyond the jurisdiction of the District Judge and that the proper forum for it was the then High Court of Gwalior State, where suits of the valuation of above Rs. 50,000 were filed on its original side.
The District Judge in consequence returned the plaint for presentation to the proper Court. The returned plaint was thereafter filed on the original side of the High Court and the suit was numbered as Case No. 2 of Samvat 2001. The Defendant raised the plea of limitation and also took objections under Order 2, Rule 2, Code of Civil Procedure. While the suit was pending in the High Court, its original civil jurisdiction was abolished and the case again came on the file of the District Judge, Shajapur.
The learned District Judge, dismissed the suit as barred by time, holding that at the time the suit was filed in the High Court, the claim had become time barred and that the Plaintiff had not asked in the plaint for the benefit of Section 14, Limitation Act, though arguments were allegedly addressed to the Court on the point. Aggrieved by this decision, the Plaintiff has filed this first appeal.
(2.) IT is frankly conceded by the learned Counsel for the Appellant that when after the return of the plaint by the District Judge, Shajapur, the suit was filed before the High Court, it was beyond time and that the plaint did not contain any express statement of the ground on which exemption from limitation was sought. But it is contended that there was an endorsement of the District Judge, who returned the plaint and that the endorsement contained the date of original presentation as well as the date of the return of the plaint.
This was enough to entitle the Plaintiff to claim the benefit of Section 14, Limitation Act and as a matter of fact, the Court was addressed on the point by both the parties. The learned Counsel for the Respondent counters this argument by saying that according to Order 7, Rule 6, Code of Civil Procedure, ground of exemption from limitation must be inserted in the plaint and non -compliance with this rule of pleading is fatal.
I have no doubt that where exemption from the law of limitation is claimed, the plaint must show the ground on which such exemption is sought. Order 7 Rule 6, Code of Civil Procedure is clear on the point. But this is a matter which pertains to the domains of pleadings and although legal education in our country has progressed and we are justified in demanding increasing competence from legal practitioner, yet, these who have experience of the Courts in the country know well enough that in the matter of pleadings there is yet room for much improvement.
But where circumstances appear on the face of the record, which entitle the Plaintiff to claim the benefit of Section 14 Limitation Act (in this case there is an endorsement on the plaint of the date on which the suit was originally instituted when it was admittedly within time and there is also an endorsement, showing the date of the return of the plaint for presentation to proper Court) and where arguments have been heard by the Court, relating to the question as to whether the benefit of Section 14, Limitation Act should be given or not, I think the Courts should not take a mere technical view of a question which is a matter of pleading only.
The Courts exist for doing real and substantial justice and must steer clear of mere technicalities. The law cannot provide rules for all cases that may arise. An eminent jurist has observed that "it is the duty of the Judges to apply laws, not only to what appears to be regulated by express provisions, but to all cases also, to which a just application of them may be made and which appear to be comprehended either within the express sense of the law or within the consequences, that may be gathered from it".
In this view of the matter, I am of the opinion that where facts on which the benefits of Section 14, Limitation Act can be claimed appear on the face of the record (as in the present case) that must be deemed sufficient compliance with the, provision of law and the learned District Judge would have been well advised to go into the merits of the questions arising under Section 14 of the Act.
(3.) IN - 'Sukhbir Singh v. Piarelal', AIR 1923 Lah 591 (A), a Division Bench of the Lahore High Court in a similar case has observed.
"A suit was returned to be presented to the proper Court. When it was so presented to the latter Court, it was beyond time. On the plaint no statement, as required under Order 7 Rule 6 was made; held, no statement was necessary as there was the endorsement of the Court, returning the plaint giving the dates of original presentation and the date of return and the circumstances entitling the Plaintiff to claim the benefit of Section 14, Limitation Act appeared on the face of the record.;