1. This is an application for revision of an order made by the Small Cause Court, Bombay, dismissing the applicant's suit on the ground that there is no plaint.
2. The applicant sought leave to sue as a pauper before the Court of Small Causes. The claim made by him against the opponents is for Rs. 3,000 or so. His application for leave to sue as a pauper was enquired into by the Deputy Registrar. The Deputy Registrar allowed the application and granted him leave to sue as a pauper. Thereupon the application was registered as a suit. During the pendency of the matter before the Small Cause Court, the applicant made an application for amendment of the plaint with a view to show that the claim was within time. This application was taken up by the learned Judge on -July 19, 1957, when he passed the following order:-
It is obvious that there is no plaint in this case. The leave to sue in forma pauperis has been treated as a plaint and there is no application even till now to amend the said application in such a manner as to convert it into a plaint. In these circumstances, there being no plaint, the suit must be dismissed....
3. Order XXXIII, Rule 8, Civil Procedure Code, provides that where an application to sue as a pauper is granted, that application itself is to be registered as a plaint. That is clearly because the Civil Procedure Code requires that an application to sue as a pauper should contain all the particulars which are required in a plaint. It is true that this provision is not applicable to proceedings in the Presidency Small Cause Court. The matter there is governed by Sections 41 and 74 of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act. Section 74 of that Act provides that the Small Cause Court may, whenever it thinks fit, receive and register suits instituted by poor persons without payment of Court-fees. It thus contemplates a single document which, besides containing a prayer for being allowed to sue as a poor person, also contains a statement of the claim. No provision has been brought to my notice which requires that a pauper has to file two documents: (1) an application for leave to sue as a pauper, and (2) a plaint. Now, the language of Section 74 itself makes it clear that only one document is contemplated. It may be that in some respects the document filed in this case is deficient. But that is entirely a different matter. After the Deputy Registrar granted leave to the applicant to sue as a pauper and after the suit was ordered to be registered, it could not be said that there was no plaint. The only, document before the Court was the application initially made by the applicant, and after leave was granted to him to sue as a pauper and the registration of the suit was ordered, that document became the plaint in the case. Therefore, the learned Judge was not right in saying that there was no plaint. Mr. Bhagat who appears for the opponents says that it is the practice in the Small Cause Court to require two documents to be filed. That may be so. But it does not appear that there is any basis in the Act for that practice. Indeed, the object in establishing Courts of Small Causes was to devise a summary procedure for dealing with a suit. Where in a regular suit only one document is contemplated, it cannot be said that the Legislature wanted two documents to be filed in the Court of Small Causes. The application for amendment has not been considered by the learned Judge on the merits. He will have to do so now.
4. For these reasons I allow this application with costs and direct the learned Judge to consider the application for amendment of the plaint on merits and proceed with the suit further according to law. The Rule is made absolute.