1. The applicant, who was the defendant in the Court below, challenged through this revision application an order of the Court below allowing the opposite party, plaintiff to amend his plaint. The suit was for possession over a house. It seems that the applicant took possession of the house and after demolishing it constructed a new house in its place; but this fact was not mentioned in the plaint and the relief claimed was just for possession of the opposite party's house. The opposite party applied for amendment of the plaint in order to make it clear that he sought possession over his old house and not over the new house constructed on it's site by the applicant. The application for amendment was opposed by the applicant, who pleaded that the value of the house constructed by him was more than Rs. 5000/-, that consequently the suit was not within the jurisdiction of the lower Court and that it had no jurisdiction to pass any order including one allowing the amendment. The lower Court held that through the amendment the opposite party was only clarifying the relief that he wanted and that it could allow the clarification regardless of the question of jurisdiction. Accordingly it allowed the amendment.
2. Through the amendment, the opposite party has only clarified what he meant in the plaint; he did not want any reduction in the subject-matter covered by the plaint. When he wanted only to explain what he meant in the plaint, there could not arise any question of jurisdiction to allow the amendment. If the opposite party did not originally seek possession over the house constructed by the applicant at the cost of more than Rs. 5,000/-, the suit was not beyond the jurisdiction of the lower Court.
If the only effect of the amendment is that the opposite party makes this clear, there was nothing to bar the amendment being allowed. It is not that the opposite party originally claimed possession over the house constructed by the applicant and now through the amendment sought a different relief of less valuation.
3. Even if the opposite party had in this original plaint sought possession over the house constructed by the applicant and consequently the suit had been beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Court below, we hold that the Court below had jurisdiction to allow the amendment in order to reduce the valuation of the suit so as to bring it within its pecuniary jurisdiction. The powers of a Court to allow amendment are very wide.
It cannot be doubted that a Court has jurisdiction to pass certain orders even though it has no jurisdiction to try the suit; it has power to find that it is beyond its jurisdiction, it has power to order the plaint to be amended so as to enhance the valuation and it has power to return the plaint for presentation to a competent Court. When a Court has jurisdiction to pass certain orders, even though it has no jurisdiction to try the suit, there is no justification for saying that it cannot allow an amendment, if it has no jurisdiction to try the suit.
4. The only authority cited before us by Sri Brij Lal Gupta is Tirkha v. Ghasi Ram : AIR1935All842 . The facts in that case were that a suit was filed for recovery ot a sum of Rs. 553 and odd which was beyond the pecuniary juiisdiction of the Small Cause Court in which it was filed, that when the want of jurisdiction was brought to the notice of the plaintiff, he applied for amendment by reducing the claim to Rs. 500/- and Kendall J. held that the Small Cause Court had no jurisdiction to allow the amendment.
As we pointed out earlier the facts in the case before us are materially different and the opposite party did not seek to reduce the value of the subject-matter of the suit but he simply clarified its nature. Even otherwise with great respect to the learned Judge we are unable to agree that a Court has no jurisdiction to -allow amendment of a plaint if it has no jurisdiction to try the suit. The facts before us are similar to those in Legon v. Count, 1945-1 All ER 710 (B).
In that case, the plaintiff had sued for damages without specifying the amount and an objection was raised on the ground that he might prove and claim damages to the extent of 1,900 which would be beyond the jurisdiction of the County Court in which the suit was filed. Thereupon, the plaintiff applied for permission to amend the plaint so as to limit the amount of claim to 100. The trial Court refused to allow the amendment, but on appeal the amendment was allowed. We are also supported by the following observations of Balkrishna Ayyar, J. in Govindaraja Mudaliar v. Saravana Mudaliar, AIR 1949 Mad 640 (C) :
'The circumstance that the amendment of the plaint was sought only after the demand for deficit court-fee had been made cannot stand in the way of the amendment being allowed if it would be otherwise proper.'
In that case there was a deficiency in the court-fee paid on the plaint and on the plaintiffs being ordered to make good the deficiency, he applied for amendment of the plaint by reducing the amount of the claim and the amendment was allowed. So long as there was a deficiency in the court-fee the Court was barred from taking any action on the plaint; still its power to allow the amendment was held to remain intact. Similarly in the present case though the lower Court had no jurisdiction to pass a decree, it could allow the amendment so as to bring the subject-matter within its pecuniary jurisdiction.
5. This was the only ground taken beforeus. It fails and consequently we dismiss thisapplication with costs. The record should besent back to the Court below at once.