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Abaji Vithal Paranjpe Vs. Narhari Keshav Dharap - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberAppeal from Order No. 51 of 1926
Judge
Reported inAIR1927Bom460; (1927)29BOMLR947
AppellantAbaji Vithal Paranjpe
RespondentNarhari Keshav Dharap
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
bombay civil courts act (xiv of 1869), section 25-first class subordinate judge-special jurisdiction-proceedings under provincial insolvency act (v of 1920)-local limits of jurisdiction-notification by government-provincial insolvency act (v of 1920), section 3.;a notification issued by the government of bombay invested courts of subordinate judges of the first class with jurisdiction under the provincial insolvency act in all classes of cases arising within the local limits of the jurisdiction of such courts:-;that the notification gave to a first glass subordinate judge jurisdiction to entertain proceedings under the act in cases arising in the whole district, under the special jurisdiction conferred by section 25 of the bombay civil courts act 1869. - - as is well known there is in..........in insolvency. the insolvency in question, supposing it to be established, arose within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the mahad court and not within the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the first class subordinate judge. as is well known there is in the thana district, as in many other districts, a first class subordinate judge who has a jurisdiction within a certain local area inside that district, which is known as his ordinary jurisdiction. within those local limits his pecuniary jurisdiction extends to all original suits and proceedings of a civil nature. in addition to that jurisdiction the first class subordinate judge has a special jurisdiction, as it is termed, conferred by section 25 of the bombay civil courts act. that special jurisdiction is in.....
Judgment:

Crump, J.

1. The only question which arises for decision in this appeal is whether the First Class Subordinate Judge of Thana had jurisdiction to entertain the petition in insolvency. The insolvency in question, supposing it to be established, arose within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Mahad Court and not within the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the First Class Subordinate Judge. As is well known there is in the Thana District, as in many other Districts, a First Class Subordinate Judge who has a jurisdiction within a certain local area inside that District, which is known as his ordinary jurisdiction. Within those local limits his pecuniary jurisdiction extends to all original suits and proceedings of a civil nature. In addition to that jurisdiction the First Class Subordinate Judge has a special jurisdiction, as it is termed, conferred by Section 25 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act. That special jurisdiction is in respect of suits and proceedings of a civil nature wherein the subject-matter exceeds five thousand rupees in amount or value as may arise within the local jurisdictions of the Courts in the district presided over by Subordinate Judges of the Second Class. The result of that provision is that the First Class Subordinate Judge exercises jurisdiction in the matters so defined within the limits of the whole district as fixed by notification under Section 3 of the same Act. Bearing this in mind, the point which we have to consider here is, what meaning is to be attached to a notification of the Governor in Council, Home Department, Notification No. 358 dated January 12, 1921, and more particularly what is the intention of the second paragraph of that notification. It runs as follows :- 'The Governor in Council, in exercise of the said powers, is pleased to invest all Courts of Subordinate Judges of the First Class with jurisdiction under the said Act in all classes of cases arising within the local limits of the jurisdiction of such Courts.' The Act is the Provincial Insolvency Act and the section is Section 3 of the same Act. And the words with which we are concerned, 'local limits of the jurisdiction of such Courts,' are taken directly from Section 3 of the Provincial Insolvency Act. The proviso of the first clause of Section 3 empowers the local Government to invest any Court subordinate to a District Court with jurisdiction in any class of cases, and the result of that investiture is expressed as follows :- 'Any Court so invested shall within the local limits of its jurisdiction have concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court under this Act.' It was suggested before us that the First Class Subordinate Judge exercising the special jurisdiction which I have described is not a Court subordinate to the District Court. But that argument is at once met by a reference to Section 21 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act 1869. In the face of that section it is clear that it is impossible to contend that any of the Courts constituted under Part VI of this Act are not subordinate to the District Court. But the question still remains what are the local limits of the jurisdiction of the First Class Subordinate Judge for the purposes of Section 3 of the Provincial Insolvency Act It is possible to look at the matter in two ways. It may be said that the local limits are the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction, or it may be said that the local limits are those wider local limits within which the First Class Subordinate Judge exercises special jurisdiction. Now taking the section as it stands, there appears to be no reason for limiting the words 'local limits of its jurisdiction' to the former case. Within the limits of the district the First Class Subordinate Judge has jurisdiction, though it is not a jurisdiction in all civil suits or proceedings but only in those civil suits or proceedings wherein the subject-matter exceeds Rs. 5,000 in value. Still the jurisdiction is there, and taking the words 'local limits of its jurisdiction' in their wider sense it is clear the notification must bo read as investing the Court of the First Class Subordinate Judge with insolvency jurisdiction in all cases arising within the district. That appears to me the reasonable view of this matter, and if the presumed object of the Legislature is considered, I find that my view is strengthened. I take it that the object of the proviso to Section 3(1) is to enable the local Government by conferring jurisdiction upon subordinate Courts to relieve the District Court of the work arising under the Provincial Insolvency Act. And it seems to me that in considering the section and the notification under it we should give effect to that presumed object rather than put upon the words of the section a narrower construction. And in cases of doubt we are entitled to have recourse to the argument from convenience in interpreting a statute. From that point of view there can be no doubt that the construction which appeals to me is the more convenient. To illustrate the matter by the present case, it seems obviously inconvenient that the present petition which arises in the taluka of Mahad must of necessity be heard by the District Court whereas a precisely similar petition arising within the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the First Class Subordinate Judge could be heard by the First Class Subordinate Judge. There seems much to be said for adopting a construction which will avoid that inconvenience. I think, therefore the decision of the lower appellate Court in this matter is wrong and must be set aside. And the decision of the original Court is also wrong, and the application must be entertained. We must, therefore, set aside the decisions of the Courts below and direct that the petition be restored to the file of the First Class Subordinate Judge and be disposed of in accordance with law. The appellants must have their costs of this appeal Costs in the lower Courts to be costs in the petition.

Baker, J.

2. I agree.


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