1. These are two connected applications in revision arising out of a suit on the basis of a promissory note which was decreed against the defendant-applicant. The applicant instituted an appeal against the decree, but the learned Judge refused to interfere upon the ground that he had no jurisdiction because the decree had been passed by a Court of Small Causes and no appeal lay. The suit was instituted in the Court of Mr. Sheo Harakh Lal who had the power to deal with it as a Court of Small Causes. Mr. Sheo Harakh Lal was transferred and was not replaced by any other officer. The suit therefore went to the Court of the learned Munsif who decided it. The learned Judge of the lower Appellate Court held that the Munsif must be deemed to have been acting as a Court of Small Causes under the provisions of Section 24, Civil P.C. Learned Counsel on behalf of the applicant contended that the suit went to the Munsif's Court under the provisions of Section 35, Small Cause Courts Act, and not under the provisions of Section 24, Civil P.C., and that for this reason it was triable as a regular suit.
2. There is a note on the order sheet that the case was transferred under orders passed by the District Judge but the order of the District Judge is not upon the record. I gave the applicant an opportunity to produce a copy of the order because it was impossible to say without examining it whether it was an administrative order or an order purporting to be under Section 24, Civil P.C. Learned Counsel says that he has instructions from his client that the Registrar of this Court drew the attention of the District Judge to the provisions of a General Letter issued by the Court in the year 1931 and that the District Judge forwarded the Registrar's letter to the Court below for necessary action. This General Letter drew the attention of the Subordinate Courts to the provisions of Section 35, Small Cause Courts Act, and pointed out that cases which were transferred automatically by that Section from a Court of Small Causes to a regular Court were to be tried as regular suits. The letter therefore suggested to District Judges that it was advisable for them as a matter of administrative convenience to transfer cases under Section 24, Civil P.C., before a Court of Small Causes was abolished if they were aware that that Court was about to be abolished. Mr. Sheo Harakh Lal gave over charge as appears from the office-note on the afternoon of 22nd April 1937. The letter addressed to the District Judge of Benares was written by the Registrar of this Court on 17th April and learned Counsel admits that it was forwarded by the District Judge before 22nd April. The exact terms of the order are not before me, but in these circumstances there seems to be no doubt whatsoever that the learned District Judge intended to accept the advice given in this Court's General Letter and to transfer cases from the Court of Mr. Sheo Harakh Lal under the provisions of Section 24, Civil P.C. That being so, the learned Munsif was acting an a Court of Small Causes when he dealt with the suit and there was no appeal from his judgment and decree. One application in revision before me is against the order of the learned Judge of the lower Appellate Court refusing to exercise jurisdiction. There is no force in this application and it is dismissed with costs.
3. The other application is against the decree of the learned Munsif. The suit was originally instituted on 29th July 1936. The promissory note was dated 30th July 1933. The suit was therefore within limitation when the plaint was presented. It appears however that the plaint was written upon paper which was insufficiently stamped and although the Court gave the plaintiff an opportunity to pay the court-fees within a certain time the court-fees were not paid and the plaint was rejected under the provisions of Order 7, Rule 11, Civil P.C. Sometime later the plaintiff made an application to the Court that he would have paid the court-fees within the time allowed but that he had taken ill and could not do so. He prayed that the additional court-fees should be accepted and that the plaint should be restored. The Court accepted his contention and restored the plaint on 1st May 1937.
4. It is contended that the Court had no jurisdiction to restore the plaint and that the most that can be said in favour of the plaintiff is that he must be deemed to have instituted a new suit on 1st May 1937. It is contended further that a suit instituted on that date was barred by limitation. Learned Counsel urges strongly that a Court which has rejected a plaint under the provisions of Order 7, Rule 11 cannot restore it. He refers to the case in Bachan Singh v. Dasrath Sigh : AIR1935All985 . This case is not strictly speaking authority for the proposition which he has put forward. That was a case in which this Court; rejected an application in revision which had been made upon the ground that the Court below had restored a suit after it had rejected the plaint because insufficient court-fees had been paid. It is true that this Court in that case based its decision upon the fact that the suit was within limitation on the date when the deficiency in court-fees was made good, but the Court certainly did not dismiss the suit upon the ground that the plaint could not be restored. On the other side there is the authority of a Bench of this Court in Civil Revision No. 367 of 1936. In that case a plaint had been rejected because the court-fees had not been paid within the time allowed. It was argued on behalf of the applicants that as the plaint was rejected under Order 7, Rule 11, the plaintiff's only remedy was by way of filing a fresh suit. The learned Judges pointed out that the plaintiff's suit was in time when the original plaint was presented but was barred by limitation on the date when the plaint was rejected. The Court restored the plaint upon the ground that the plaintiffs had no knowledge of the deficiency in time to enable them to make that deficiency good.
5. In the present case the Court apparently found that the plaintiff was prevented by illness from making good the deficiency. The learned Judges of the Bench said that it had been contended that the learned Judge had no jurisdiction whatsoever to make the order sought to be revised. They said in their judgment that the learned Judge had the jurisdiction reserved by Section 151, Civil P.C. They added however that it was not necessary for them to deal any further with that point because they were satisfied that that was not a case in which they should exercise their discretion and interfere with the order in revision. My feeling about the present application is that of the learned Judges of the Bench. I think that the learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes who passed the order of restoration had jurisdiction under Section 151, Civil P.C., but even if he had not, there is no reason why I should exercise my discretion in revision to discharge the applicant from his liability to pay the debt which he Incurred when he executed the promissory note. The question whether the plaint was sufficiently stamped was not primarily any concern of his. It was a matter between the plaintiff and the revenue authorities of the State. Once it has been found that a liability existed and a decree has been passed to enforce that liability, I do not think it would be proper for this Court to interfere on a technical ground of the nature raised in this application, I dismiss the application with costs.