1. This is an appeal against the order of the Subordinate Judge. Srikakulam, dated 15-2-1974 rejecting the plaint filed by the plaintiff.
2. The plaintiff is the appellant herein. The suit was instituted against defendants 1 to 4 for recovery of a sum of Rs. 98,355-36 with subsequent interest at 6 per cent per annum towards damages for irregularities in conducting the sale of movable property. Defendant 1 is one Sri G. Veerabhadra Rao who was working as the then (principal) Subordinate Judge. Srikakulam. Defendant 2 is the receiver who has been appointed by the 1st defendant. Defendant 3 is the executive Officer of Devasthanam who filed the execution petition for executing the decree and defendant 1 is the advocate who appears for defendant 3. The case of the plaintiff is that for realisation of balance of the decretal amount in O. S. l /63 the 3rd defendant representing the decree holder deities got bled E. P. 64/72. The 4th defendant is the advocate who filed the execution petition. The standing crop belonging to the plaintiff was got attached. E. A. 351/72 dated 8-12-1972 was filed asking for the appointment of a receiver to get the attached property sold Sri Veerabhadra Rao, 1st defendant who was working as the then (Principal) Subordinate Judge, Srikakulam appointed one Sri B. Bhagirathi as receiver i.e., the defendant to take possession of the paddy crop got attached in E.P. 64/72. auction it or in the alternative to cut, gather and harvest the paddy crop and to deposit the said produce into Court or its value. The plaintiff alleges that the receiver inflated the expenses and minimised the income by his several acts and omissions and that the plaintiff was deprived of an opportunity of raising greengram worth Rs. 6,000/-. Therefore, the plaintiff is constrained to file the unnumbered suit O. S. of 1973 -to recover the damage from all the 4 defendants. According to the plaintiff, the total income would have been Rs. 42,250-00 consisting of Rupees 32,500/- being the value of the 30 graces of paddy at Rs 65/- per bag, Rs. 3,750/- being the value of hay, Rs. 6,000/- being the value of 30 bags of green-gram which could have been raised by the plaintiff. A sum of Rs. 4,225/- was deducted for cutting and harvesting operations and credit was given far Rupees 9,669-64 as the second defendant had deposited that amount into court and therefore, the plaintiff prayed for a decree for the balance of Rs. 28,355-86. The plaint was rejected by the learned subordinate Judge in view of S. 1-A of the Judicial officers Protection Act. 1850 as amended by a State Amendment by the State of Andhra Pradesh (Vide A.P. Act XXIII of 1958, Sec. 3 and Schedule (1-2-1960) ). The said section reads as follows:--
'No Judge, Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, Collector or other person acting judicially shall be liable to be sued in any Civil Court for any act done or ordered to be done by him in the discharge of his judicial duty, whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction: provided that he at the time, in good faith, believed himself to have jurisdiction to do or order the act complained of and no officer of any court or other person, bound to execute the lawful warrants or orders of any such Judge Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, Collector or other person, acting judicially shall be liable to he rued in any Civil Court for the execution of any warrant or order, which he would be bound to execute ii within the jurisdiction of the person issuing the same,'
Relying upon various decisions of the Supreme Court particularly on the decision in Anowar Hussain v. Ajoy Kumar, : 1965CriLJ686 , the Court below has held that the 1st defendant who was the (principal) subordinate Judge, Srikakulam at the time when the application for appointment of a receiver was made acted only in the discharge of his judicial duties and it was within his jurisdiction to deal with the matter in question and he was the judicial officer empowered to do so, and therefore, the plaint is liable to be rejected on the ground that he is protected under cl. 1-A of the Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850 as amended by the State of Andhra Pradesh. The trial Court further held that the plaint is liable to be rejected against all the defendants even as against 1, because the plaintiff has no cause of action as against the 1st defendant alone In support of this conclusion, the trial Judge relied upon the decision of this Court to which one of us was party in Kalepu Pala Subrahmanyam v. Tiguti Venkatapeddi Raju, : AIR1971AP313 wherein the learned Judge relied upon a number of decisions of the Madras High Court which were binding an this Court and consequently dismissed the plaint with regard to the other defendants also. In this appeal, the learned counsel for the appellant Sri Y. Suryanarayana. has strenuously contended that the order of the Court below rejecting the plaint is contrary to law and without jurisdiction. He laid particular stress on the word used namely 'judicially- in S 1-A of Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850 and contended that the judicial officer is protected only when he acts judicially and not merely because he acts in a judicial capacity. He also placed stress an 'good faith. and if it can be Shown that the judicial officer has not acted in good faith, he is not entitled to protection under the Act. In defence of this argument, he relied upon certain facts viz. that the 1st defendant who is the 1st respondent herein has not actually given notice in the application flied by the 3rd defendant for the appointment of a receiver, but only staled that it was given. The 2nd defendant who is the receiver has committed several irregularities in conducting the sale and that the 1st respondent at the instance of defendants 3 and 4 purported to pass an order of the appointment of a receiver. This according to the learned counsel for the appellant would amount to the 1st respondent not acting judicially and acting in bad faith. We are unable to appreciate this contention. In the particular case, the 1st respondent who is the Subordinate Judge had admittedly jurisdiction to execute the decree in O S. l/63 and had the jurisdiction to deal with the appointment of a receiver. Assuming without admitting that all the allegations of the appellant viz., that he did not serve the notice before ordering the application for appointment of a receiver and that he passed orders giving police aid even though it was not sought for, it cannot by any stretch of imagination be said that he did not act judicially. The order may be right or wrong. It was open to the aggrieved parties to question the same in proper proceedings. But that by itself does not mean that the officer has not acted judicially. So also the other argument viz., that he must have acted in goad faith relates to the question whether he has got jurisdiction to act or pass the order. In the present case, it is admitted that the 1st respondent has jurisdiction to pass the order for the appointment of a receiver. The words, 'good faith' used in S. 1-A only relate to whether the officer believed in good faith that he has got jurisdiction to deal with the question. In the instant case that question does not arise because it is admitted that the 1st respondent has got jurisdiction to deal with the matter. Even thought a person who does not have the jurisdiction, acts in good faith thinking that he had got jurisdiction, he would be entitled to protection under Section 1-A of the Judicial Officers' Protection Act. But we need not go to that extent in the present case as the jurisdiction of the 1st respondent to pass the order cannot be in doubt whatsoever. For his proposition, we rely upon the decision in Anowar Hussain v. Ajoy Kumar supra, wherein it is observed that once it is proved that the officer has got jurisdiction to deal with the matter, the question of good faith does not arise. We do not agree with the contention of learned counsel for the appellant that because the 1st defendant has not issued notice before passing the order for appointment of a receiver he did not act judicially. This contention therefore fails.
3. The next submission made behalf of the appellant was that even though the plaint was liable to be rejected in respect of defendant 1, the Trial Court should not have rejected the Plaint in respect of defendants 2 to 4. We would like to observe that the plaintiff has no cause of action against the 1st defendant alone. The whole cause of action was because of the acts done by all the defendants. A similar question arose in Kalepu Pala Subrahmanyam v.Tiguti Venkata peddi Raju supra and this court has held that even though a portion of the plaint alone needs rejection, the whole of it haste be rejected. In holding so, reliance was placed upon a decision of the Madras High Court m Venkata Rangiah v. Secy. of State AIR 1931 Mad 175, wherein it is observed that:-
'It is not clear how there can be a partial rejection of the plaint in respect of a portion of the claim or as regards some of the parties A similar question was considered by the Allahabad High Court in the case in (1907) ILR 29 All 325. Referring to Sec. 54 of the Civil Procedure Code the learned Judge states that that section only provides for rejection of a plaint in the event of any matters specified in that section not being complied with and it does not justify the rejection of any particular portion of a plaint. Section 54 now- corresponds to O. 7 of R. 11, C. P. C. The plain meaning of the rule amounts to be that if any of the defects mentioned therein is found to exist in any case, the plaint shall be rejected as a whole. It does not imply any reservation in the matter of the rejection of the plaint.''
4. We respectfully agree with the decision of the Madras High Court in Venkata Rangiah v. Secy of the State supra and also the decision of this Court in Kalepu Pala Subrahmanvam v. Tiguti Venkata Reddy Raju supra. We are not persuaded to take a different view from the same. In view of these decisions the trial court was perfectly right in rejecting the plaint in respect of all the defendants.
5. This appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.
6. Appeal dismissed