V.G. Oak, J.
1. This is an appeal under the Hindu Marriage Act. Shesh Narain Dikshit filed a petition against Smt. Savitri Devi for judicial separation under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The petition was dismissed by the learned Judge, Small Cause Court, Kanpur on 23-12-1957. This appeal by Shesh Narain Dikshit is directed against that judgment and decree, dated 23-12-1957.
2. Mr. H. N. Seth appearing for the respondent has raised a preliminary objection that the appeal is incompetent. He points out that the judgment under appeal was given by a Small Cause Court. He pointed out that under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act no appeal lies from a decision of a court of Small Causes (Section 27 of Provincial Small Cause Courts Act).
3. The learned counsel for the appellant relies upon Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act states :
'All decrees and orders made by court in any proceeding under this Act shall be enforced in like manner as the decrees and orders of the Court made in the exercise of the original civil jurisdiction are enforced, and may be appealed from under any law for the time being in force,..........'
It will be seen that, although Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides for appeals from decrees, no particular forum of appeal is mentioned in that Section. For ascertaining the forum of appeal, if any, we must refer to the appropriate statute.
4. Section 19 of the Hindu Marriage Act mentions the court to which a petition should be made. It is stated in Section 19 that every petition under the Act shall be presented to the District court. The expression 'District court' has been defined in Clause (b) of Section 3 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
'district court' means, in any area for which there is a city civil court, that court, and in any other area the principal civil court of original jurisdiction, and includes any other civil court which may be specified by the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette, as having jurisdiction in respect of the matters dealt with in this Act;'
It will be seen that under Clause (b) of Section 3 of the Act, the State Government has been empowered to authorise various Civil Courts to function as 'District Court' under the Hindu Marriage Act. Acting under that authority, the State Government has empowered a number of civil courts in Uttar Pradesh to have jurisdiction as District court under the Hindu Marriage Act. The Government notification dated 11-10-1956 is to be found in the Allahabad Law Times, 1956, Part V on page 115. In the list of Officers mentioned in that Government notification we find such authority conferred on four Officers of Kanpur: (1) Civil and Sessions Judge, Kanpur, (2) Judge, Small Cause Court, Kanpur, (3) First Civil Judge, Kanpur, and (4) II Civil Judge, Kanpur. It is on the strength of that Government notification that Sri Ram Chandra, Judge, Small Cause Court, Kanpur disposed of the present petition under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
5. Section 96, C. P. C. states :
'Save where otherwise expressly provided in the body of this Code, or by any other law for the time being in force an appeal shall lie from every decree passed by any Court exercising original jurisdiction to the Court authorized to hear appeals from the decisions of such Court.'
6. Section 27 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act states :
'Save as provided by this Act, a decree or order made under the foregoing provisions of this Act by a Court of Small Causes shall be final.'
7. Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act provides for revision. But there is no provision for appeals under the provincial Small Cause Courts Act. The combined effect of Section 96, C. P. C. and Section 27 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act is that, no appeal lies from a decree of a Court of Small Causes. The decree under consideration is a decree passed by the Judge, Small Cause Court, Kanpur. No appeal lies against this decree. I was not referred to any provision of law under which an appeal from a decree of a Judge, Small Cause Court lies either to the High Court or to the District Judge.
8. The learned counsel for the appellant referred to the Second Schedule to the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act. Item No. 37 of the Second Schedule is--
'a suit for the restitution of conjugal rights, for the custody of a minor, or for a divorce;'
A petition for judicial separation is neither a suit for restitution of conjugal rights nor a suit for divorce. Such a petition is not covered by item No. 37 of the Second Schedule to the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act.
(8-A). The position, therefore, is that in spite of the provision for appeals under Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act, there is no distinct provision for appeals from decrees of courts of Small Causes. It may be that Sri Ram Chandra, who decided the petition on 23-12-1957, was a Civil Judge before he was posted as Judge, Small Cause Court, Kanpur. But he disposed of the petition, not as a Civil Judge, but as the Judge, Small Cause Court, Kanpur. For deciding whether an appeal is competent or not, we must bear in mind that the petition was decided by a Judge of a Small Cause Court. No appeal lies against such a decree.
9. It was suggested for the petitioner that this appeal may be treated as a revision. On going through the grounds of appeal, I find that they raise questions of fact and law. No question of jurisdiction has been raised in the grounds. There is, therefore, no sufficient ground for treating the appeal as a revision.
10. I uphold the preliminary objection, and decide that the appeal is incompetent. The appeal is dismissed with costs.
11. Had such a petition been decided by a Civil Judge, an appeal would have been competent. The appeal in the instant case is incompetent on the ground that the case was decided by a Small Cause Court Judge. It appears somewhat anomalous that an appeal should be competent, if a case of this kind is decided by a District Judge or a Civil Judge, but no appeal should lie if the petition is disposed of by a Small Cause Court Judge. As the law stands, itappears undersirable that cases of this natureshould be disposed of by Small Cause Courts.The State Government may look into this matterin connection with empowering Officers to discharge the function of a District court under theHindu Marriage Act. Let a copy of this judgment be forwarded to the State Government fornecessary action.