(1) The Petitioner as plaintiff instituted O.S. No. 814 of 1961 in the Court of the Principal Munsiff at Tumkur against the defendants, who are respondents in this Petition, to recover a sum of Rs. 2,300/- due by them. The defendants contested the plaintiff's claim and one of the contentions raised by them was that the Court at Tumkur had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
(2) Necessary issues were framed; and one of the issues which related to the jurisdiction of the Court at Tumkur to entertain the suit was tried as a preliminary issue.
(3) The plaintiff who is a Contractor was supplying goods to the Defendants who are the proprietors of a Dramatic Company. The amount claimed in the suit relates to the period between 28-1-1959 and 5-2-1959. The account kept by the Plaintiff was a running account and he was spending the amount whenever necessary for the Defendants. The account patti shows that a part of the claim arose within the jurisdiction of the Court at Tumkur. Both the Courts below took the view of that a part of the cause of action which arose at Tumkur, compared with the large amount claimed by the plaintiff, was negligible as it did not exceed even one per cent and therefore held that the Court at Tumkur had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit. It is the correctness of this Order that is being challenged by the Plaintiff in this revision petition.
(4) Under Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the Courts shall (subject to the provisions herein contained) have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred. Therefore, every Civil Court will have jurisdiction subject to the provisions mentioned in the Code to try the suit within its cognizance. This jurisdiction exists unless it has been specifically taken away by a statute, either expressly or impliedly. Section 20, clause (c), C.P.C. which is material for the purpose states that--
'Subject to the limitation aforesaid every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction-- (a) X X X(b) X X X(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.'
Thus, it is clear that every suit has to be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the cause of action wholly or in part arises. It would not be right as has been done by the Court below to proceed to examine the extent of the cause of action or to try to find out the percentage of the cause of action. If a part of the cause of action arises within the local limits of the jurisdiction of a Court, then such a Court would have jurisdiction to entertain and try such a suit, irrespective of the extent of the cause of action. It is in my opinion wholly wrong to state that a very small fraction of the cause of action accrued within the jurisdiction of the Tumkur Court, which would not entitle the plaintiff to institute a suit in that Court. This process of examining the cause of action would be wholly wrong in view of Section 20, Clause (c), which provides that every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises. The words 'in part' have not been defined. Even a fraction of a cause of action is a part of the cause of action and therefore, if a part of the cause of action accrues within the local limits of the jurisdiction of Tumkur Court then it must be held that that Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The provisions of clause (s) of Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure are based on broad principle to avoid the multiplicity of the proceedings and inconvenience to the parties. If the reasoning adopted by the Courts below is accepted as correct, it would lead to many inconvenient results which the legislature sought to avoid by enacting the provisions of clause (c) of Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure. For these reasons I hold that the Courts below were wrong in taking the view they took and thus declining to exercise the jurisdiction vested in them by law.
(5) Consequently, I allow this petition, reverse the Order passed by both the Courts below and direct the Munsiff at Tumkur to entertain the suit in its original number, and proceed to hear and dispose of the same in accordance with law. The costs of this petition will be costs in the cause.
(6) Petition allowed.