STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Vs. SAUDANSINGH ROOPSINGH
LAWS(MPH)-1967-2-2
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Decided on February 08,1967

STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Appellant
VERSUS
SAUDANSINGH ROOPSINGH Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) ONE Saudansingh filed a suit in the Court of the Civil Judge, Class II, Agar, on the regular side for recovery of Rs. 654.25 from Lalji and Gopalsingh. The suit was filed on 10th November 1965. During the pendency of the suit an objection was raised that the Civil Judge, Class II, had no jurisdiction to try the suit which was of a small cause nature in view of sections 9 and 27 of the Madhya Pradesh Civil Courts Act, 1958 and sections 15 (3) and 16 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act. The learned Civil Judge, Class II, has now made this reference to this Court for deciding the following questions:- "1. Whether this Court has jurisdiction to try small cause suits of the value of more than Rs. 200 when the Honourable Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Shajapur, has been invested with the power of small cause Court for this area? In case it has, then,
(2.) WHETHER it would not be inconsistent between the central law of the Code of Civil Procedure & state law of the M. P. Civil Courts Act, with regard to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts invested with small cause powers? (sic)". 2. At the outset, it must be stated that the reference made by the learned Civil Judge is not clear either in regard to facts or in regard to the statutory provisions referred to by him. The only question that arises for determination is whether the suit filed .by Saudansingh, which is plainly of a small cause nature and of the valuation of Rs. 654.25, is triable by the Civil Judge, Class II, Agar, as a regular suit. The matter is plain enough. Section 16 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act provides:- "Save as expressly provided by this Act or by any other enactment for the time being in force, a suit cognizable by a Court of small causes shall not be tried by any other Court having jurisdiction within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court of small causes by which the suit is triable." This provision means that if there is a small cause Court having jurisdiction to try the suit, then the suit shall not be tried by any other Court having jurisdiction within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the small cause Court. Now, on 1st January, 1959 a notification was issued by this Court in exercise of the powers conferred by section 9 of the Madhya Pradesh Civil Courts Act, 1958, investing, inter alia, all Courts of the Additional District Judges with powers of a Court of small causes, for the trial of suits cognizable by small cause Courts and not exceeding Rs. 1,000 in value arising within the local limits of the jurisdiction of such Courts. If, therefore, as stated by the learned Civil Judge, at the time of the institution of the suit there was a Court of Additional District Judge invested with the powers of a Court of small causes under the aforesaid notification having jurisdiction to try the suit, then clearly the learned Civil Judge has no jurisdiction to try the suit filed by Saudansingh as a regular suit. In such a case, the proper course for the Civil Judge to follow is the one laid down in Order 7, rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure which says that the "plaint shall at any stage of the suit be returned to the Court in which the suit should have been instituted." If there was a Court of Additional District Judge invested with the powers of a Court of Small Causes at the time when Saudansingh filed the suit, then it is obligatory for the Civil Judge, Class II, to return the plaint to the plaintiff for presentation to that Court. The learned Civil Judge has made a reference to the decision of this Court in Ramkaran v. Shankarrao, 1966 MPLJ 905. That decision has no applicability for the simple reason that it related to the transfer of a case which had been filed as a regular suit in the Court of Civil Judge, Class II, Indore on 15th July, 1958, that is to say, before the M. P. Civil Courts Act, 1958, came into force and before the notification referred to earlier was issued by this Court under section 9 of the M. P. Civil Courts Act, 1958. Saudansingh's suit was filed on 10th November 1965 after the coming into force of the M. P. Civil Courts Act, 1958, and the issue of the notification by this Court under section 9 of the Act. Section 27 of the M. P. Civil Courts Act, 1958, has also no applicability here as it deals with transfer of suits and proceedings pending in the existing Courts specified in section 25 of the Act to the 'deemed' Courts mentioned in section 25. It may be stated that the decision in Ramkaran v. Shankarrao1 has been recently overruled by a Division Bench sitting at Jabalpur presided over by me, See Alamchand v. Motilal (1967 MPLJ 875).
(3.) THE answer to the first question posed by the learned Civil Judge is that if at the time of the institution of Saudansingh's suit there was a Court invested with the powers of a Small Cause Court having jurisdiction to try it, then the learned Civil Judge has no jurisdiction to try the suit. In view of this answer, it is unnecessary to consider and answer the second question propounded by the learned Civil Judge. There will be no order as to costs of this reference.;


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