STATE OF M. P. Vs. SAUDAN SINGH
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
State Of M. P.
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(1.) ONE Saudansing 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 16th 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 Courts has jurisdiction to try small cause suits of the value of more than Rs. 200/ - when the Hon'bJe Addl. Distt. and Sessions Judge, Shajapure, 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 and State law of the M. P. Civil Courts Act, with regard to the exclusive jurisdiction of the court in -vesed 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, as 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."
(3.) 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. 1000/ - 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, R. 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure which says that "the plaint shall at any stage of the suit be returned to be presented 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. 1968 JLJ 5).;
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