Lawrence Jenkins, K.C.I.E., C.J.
1. This is a reference to the High Court under Section 617 of the Civil Procedure Code.
2. By that section it is provided that 'if before or on the hearing of a suit...in which the decree is final,...any question of law arises, on which the Court trying the suit entertains reasonable doubt, the Court may draw up a statement of the facts of the case and the point on which doubt is entertained and refer such statement with its own opinion on the point for the decision of the High Court.'
3. The suit out of which this reference arises is one in which the decree will be final, and so a reference can be made.
4. It is now necessary to see what the point is on which the learned Judge entertains a reasonable doubt.
5. This is to be found at page 5 of his statement. He there says 'I have now raised the question whether it is not obligatory on me to make an enquiry into the history and merits of the past dealings between the parties that led to the execution of the bond sued on, from the commencement of those dealings as per Sections 12, 13 and 71 A of the Act; and as I entertain a reasonable doubt as to the way in which that question should be answered I have decided to draw up this statement of the case for submission to the Honourable High Court.'
6. The only point therefore on which the learned Judge entertained a reasonable doubt was whether it was obligatory on him to make an enquiry into the history and merits of the past dealings between the parties.
7. But with that, Sections 13 and 71 A of the Dekkhan Argicul-turists' Relief Act have nothing to do and the reference to them is irrelevant.
8. The only section on which the doubt of the learned Judge arises is Section 12.
9. In our opinion so much of Section 12 as relates to the doubt entertained by the Judge is purely a matter of procedure and therefore is applicable to this suit : and it is in these terms that the answer to the reference must be made.