1. The Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, Belgaum, has submitted his report in pursuance of this Court's order that an enquiry be made into the pauperism of the Petitioner. He is of the opinion that the Petitioner is without sufficient means to pay the prescribed fee and that her case of pauperism is true.
2. When after the receipt of the report the matter came up before this Court the question arose for consideration whether all that this Court had to do was to transmit the report of the Court below to the Supreme Court or to arrive at its own conclusion on the question of pauperism with the aid of the report submitted by the Court below forward that opinion to the Supreme Court While on the one hand it was urged that what was contemplated by Rule 4 of Order XIV of the Supreme Court Rules was that either the High Court could itself inquire into the pauperism of the Petitioner or in the alternative cause an enquiry to be made by a subordinate Court and that there was nothing in the rule to warrant this Court again going into the matter if it had chosen the second alternative, it was contended on the other hand that the reference in regard to pauperism was made by the Supreme Court to this Court and that the rule only enabled this Court to act with the aid of a subordinate Court in arriving at its own conclusion on the reference. The rule reads as follows:
'The application shall be posted before the Judge in Chambers who may himself enquire into the pauperism of the petitioner after notice to the other parties in the case and to the Attorney General, or make an order directing the High either by itself or by a court subordinate to tie High Court, to investigate the pauperism after notice to the parties interested and submit a report thereon within such time as may be fixed by the order. On receipt of the report, the petition shall again be posted before the Judge in Chambers for further orders.'
3. It will be noticed that what this Court has to do on a reference is to investigate the pauperism of the party in question and to submit its report on the enquiry. So far as the investigation is concerned the rule provides for its being conducted by this Court itself or by a Court subordinate to this Court, i.e., through the agency of a subordinate Court. But the report to the Supreme Court has to be made by this Court. The word 'report'', it seems to me, implies the expression of an opinion on the matter under investigation and not merely the certifying of the material gathered.
It is urged that there is no scope in the rule for two reports, one by the subordinate Court and another by this Court, and that if it is only this Court that has to make a report to the Supreme Court, the learned Civil Judge, S. D., to whom the matter was referred by this Court, had no power or jurisdiction to make a report; nor could this Court have called upon him to make a report. I do not think that them is any substance in this contention. The rule authorises this Court, when this Court itself does not enquire into the matter, to cause an enquiry to be made by a subordinate Court. An enquiry or investigation again is something more than the mere collection and certification of the material.
It necessarily implies application of the mind and formation of an opinion. The word 'Report' implies nothing more than an expression of such opinion. It is thus clear that the scheme of the rule is that this Court should express its opinion either as a result of its own enquiry or with the aid of the enquiry conducted by a subordinate Court. In the latter event the material together with the report of the subordinate Court has to be taken into account by this Court in forming its own Opinion on the matter of pauperism.
4. Coining to the merits of the question of pauperism, the learned Advocate for the Petitioner naturally supports the conclusion arrived at by the learned Civil Judge, S. D. (After discussing the evidence, the judgment proceeds:) I am, therefore, of the view that the Petitioner has established her pauperism.
5. A report to this effect shall be submitted to the Supreme Court.
6. Order accordingly.