1. A petition for winding up the Prabhat Film Co. Ltd., which is the applicants before me, was presented before the District Judge, Poona, and an objection was taken on behalf of the applicant that the District Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition. The learned District Judge held that he had such jurisdiction, and it is from that order that this revision application is preferred.
2. Section 3 of the Indian Companies Act confers jurisdiction upon the High Court in respect of company matters, but there is a proviso to that section which lays down 'that the Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette and subject to such restrictions and conditions as it think fir, empower any District Court to exercise all or any of the jurisdiction by this Act conferred upon the Court, and in that case such District Court shall, as regards the jurisdiction so conferred, be the Court in respect of all companies having their registered offices in the district.'
3. It was urged before the District Court Judge that the notification was issued in 1916 by the Local Government. It was only in 1935 that the Central Government was substituted for the Local Government, and the contention was that as no notification was issued by the Central Government after 1935 the jurisdiction conferred by the notification issued in 1916 by the Local Government had lapsed and the District Court had no jurisdiction. That argument was rejected by the learned District Judge and it has not been pressed before me.
4. What has now been urged is that the proviso to Section 3 itself is bad on the ground that it constitutes delegated legislation. What is urged is that the Central Legislature has delegated to the Local or the Central Government its own legislative function to confer jurisdiction upon Courts, and it is further urged that by this proviso it is left to the Government, either Central or Local, to confer jurisdiction upon the District Court.
5. In support of this contention reliance is placed on a recent decision of this Court reported in Narottamdas Jethabhai v. Phillips. There we were considering Sections 3 and 4 of the Bombay City Civil Court Act, 1948, and we held that Section 4 of that Act was invalid and of no effect as it conferred upon the Provincial Government the power to invest the Bombay City Civil Court with jurisdiction to try claims exceeding Rs. 10,000 in value. It is clear from that judgment that we contrasted Section 3 and 4 of that Act. Section 3 set up the City Civil Court and it left it to the Provincial Government to determine the time when that Court should come into existence, and when the Government determined the time it had to issue a notification which would empower that Court to function. We held that the Legislature had exercised its judgment and violation in bringing that Court into existence. But that was a Court with a certain limited jurisdiction. Then we held that Section 4 indicated that the Legislature had not applied its mind and judgment to the question of the Court having an increased jurisdiction up to Rs. 25,000 and it was left to the executive to decide whether the City Civil Court should have the increased jurisdiction or not. It was on that ground that we held Section 4 to be bad.
6. Now, when we turn to the proviso to Section 3, it is clear to my mind that the Legislature has applied its mind to the question as to whether the District Court should have the same jurisdiction that the High Court has with regard to company matters. Having applied its mind it has come to the conclusion that the District Court should be the Court which within its own jurisdiction should exercise jurisdiction under the Companies Act. But it has left it to the Central or the Local Government to empower the District Court with that jurisdiction at such time as it may decide to issue a notification. Therefore, having exercised its mind and judgment, it has left it to the Government to decide the point of time when the District Court should be empowered to exercise jurisdiction under the Companies Act. Therefore the policy of investing the District Courts with jurisdiction under the Companies Act has been laid down by the Legislature. The carrying out of that policy has been left to the executive and it is left to the executive in the sense that that policy should be come effective at a time when the executive issues a notification. In my opinion, this does not constitute delegated legislation. Therefore the proviso to Section 3 is valid and the District Court of Poona has jurisdiction to entertain this petition.
7. The result is that the revision application fails and the rule is discharged with costs. I direct that the learned District Judge will dispose of this petition as expeditiously as possible.
8. Rule discharged.