1. This is an application in revision from an order of the Judge of the Small Cause Court of Azamgarh ordering the plaint to be returned for presentation to the proper Court. The suit had been originally instituted on 2nd January 1935, on the basis of a promissory note dated 29th December 1931, executed by the defendant in favour of the plaintiff for Bs. 150 carrying interest at Rs. 2 per cent, per mensem compounded six monthly. The defendant has been found to be an agriculturist. First the plaintiff succeeded in obtaining an ex parte decree on 13th February 1935, but the defendant got the decree set aside on showing good cause for his non-appearance. The case was accordingly restored to its original number on the file on 12th September 1935. The defendant then pleaded that he is an agriculturist and that therefore the Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the claim as neither he resides within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court, nor does his holding lie within such jurisdiction. The plaintiff admitted that the defendant was an agriculturist. The Court below has accordingly accepted the argument of the defendant and held that it has no jurisdiction to try the suit. In revision it is contended before us that Section 7, U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act, cannot apply to a case where the suit had been instituted before the Act came into force, particularly where an ex parte decree had once been secured. It seems to us that the mere fact that there was an ex parte decree passed at an earlier stage is wholly irrelevant because that decree was set aside and the suit has now been restored to its original number. Nor does it appear to us that the proper interpretation to be put on Section 7 is that the Court has jurisdiction 'to try a suit if it is filed after the passing of the U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act.
2. That section provides that not with standing anything contained in any other enactment for the time being in force, every suit for recovering an unsecured loan in which the defendants an agriculturist shall be instituted and tried in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction, etc. It seems to us that the intention of the Legislature is that no Court should have jurisdiction to entertain a suit when it is filed or to try it unless the conditions mentioned in that section are fulfilled. The Act is professedly for the relief of agriculturists. The object of the section apparently is that an agriculturist defendant should not be dragged to a distant place for the purpose of defending a claim brought against him and that such suit should be tried and decided by a Court within whose jurisdiction he either resides or within whose jurisdiction his property is situated, if he resides outside the province. We think that the view taken by the Court below is correct. The revision is dismissed with costs. The Court below will return the plaint to the plaintiff for presentation to the proper Court.