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Sarshwati Bai Vs. the Allahabad Bank Ltd. and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Appln No. 182 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1963All546
ActsHigh Court Rules; High Court Order; General (Civil) Rules - Rule 15; Constitution of India - Articles 227(2), 345 and 350; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 122 and 137
AppellantSarshwati Bai
RespondentThe Allahabad Bank Ltd. and anr.
Advocates:V.P. Misra, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
civil - rules of high court - rule 15 of general rules (civil), articles 227(2)(b) and 345 of constitution of india and sections 122 and 137 of code of civil procedure, 1908 - plaint written in english is valid - rule 15 under proviso to article 227(2)(b) - not inconsistent with any law for the time being in force. - - shom nath pathak, did not lay down good law. it clearly indicates that the use of languages other than hindi continued and did not stop......general rules (civil) is as follows:'hindi written in devnagri script shall be the language of the civil courts in uttar pradesh.'these rules have been framed under the powers given to the high court by article 227 of the constitution and section 122 c. p. c. the relevant words of article 227 of the constitution are:'......... the high court may ............ (b} make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts; provided that any rules made, forms prescribed or tables settled under clause (2) or clause (3) shall not be inconsistent with the provision of any law for the time being in force, and shall require the previous approval of the governor. . . admittedly r. 15 was made, if at all, under the powers conferred by article.....
Judgment:

B. Dayal, J.

1. This is an application under Article 227 of the Constitution which has been referred to a Division Bench by a learned single Judge of this Court because he was of the opinion that the decision in Civil Misc. Writ No. 1247 of 1956, D/- 1-10-1958, (All), Vinayakdatt Tewari v. Shom Nath Pathak, did not lay down good law. That being the decision of a learned single Judge it was thought proper to refer the matter to a Division Bench.

2. The facts which have given rise to this application are very short. The respondent Allahabad Bank Ltd. filed a suit in the Court of the Civil Judge Kanpur which came up for hearing before the II Addl. Civil Judge, Kanpur. This was suit No. 136 of 1960. The plaint in the case was written in English language. The defendant filed an application before the Court praying that English not being the language of the court under R. 15 of the General Rules (Civil), the plaint was liable to be rejected. This application was dismissed by the Court below relying upon the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Mohd. azim Uddin v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1959 All LJ 863 : (AIR 1959 All 459). The defendant then moved this application under Article 227 of the Constitution in this Court and prayed that the II Addl. Civil Judge Kanpur be directed, that the plaint in suit No. 136 of 1960 be rejected,

3. The point for consideration, therefore, is whether R. 15 of the Geenral Rules (Civil) is mandatory and the Court is bound to reject the plaint not written in the Hindi language in Devanagri Script. Rule 15 of the General Rules (Civil) is as follows:

'Hindi written in Devnagri script shall be the language of the civil Courts in Uttar Pradesh.'

These rules have been framed under the powers given to the High Court by Article 227 of the Constitution and Section 122 C. P. C. The relevant words of Article 227 of the Constitution are:

'......... The High Court may ............

(b} make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such Courts;

Provided that any rules made, forms prescribed or tables settled under Clause (2) or Clause (3) shall not be inconsistent with the provision of any law for the time being in force, and shall require the previous approval of the Governor. . .

Admittedly R. 15 was made, if at all, under the powers conferred by Article 227{2)(b} of the Constitution. This rule, therefore, could not, under the proviso aforesaid, be inconsistent with any law for the time being in force, Section 122 C. P. C. provides as follows:

'122-High Courts, not being the Court of a Judicial Commissioner may, from time to time after previous publication, make rules regulating their own procedure and the procedure of the civil Courts subject to their superintendence, and may by such rules annul, after or add to all or any of the rules in the First Schedule.'

This gives a general power to the High Court to make rules relating to the procedure of the civil Courts subject to its superintendence. This general power obviously cannot be exercised in contravention of the specific powers conferred on the State Government by the C. P. C. Section 137 C. P. C. specifically authorises the State Government to determine the language which shall be used in the subordinate Courts. It runs as follows;

'137(1) The language which, on the commencement of this Code, is the language of any Court subordinate to a High Court shall continue to be the language of such subordinate Court until the State Government otherwise directs.

(2) The State Government may declare what shall be the language of any such Court and in what character applications to and proceedings in such Courts shall be written.

(3) Where this Code requires or allows any thing other than the recording of evidence to be done in writing in any such Court, such writing may be in English; but if any party or his pleader is unacquainted with English, a translation into the language of the Court shall, at his request, be supplied to him; and the Court shall make such order as it thinks fit in respect of the payment of the costs of such translation,'

From this provision, it is quite clear that the power to determine the language which is to be used in the subordinate Courts is exclusively given to the State Government. In exercise of this power, the State Government issued Notification No. 4588{S)/ill-170-47 dated the 8th of October, 1947, by which it was declared that the Hindi shall be the language in the civil Courts subordinate to the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and the Chief Court of Oudh and that applications to and proceedings in such Courts shall be written in Devanagri character provided that the continued use of any other language or script already in the use under the existing taw and the rules shall be permissible in accordance with the executive instructions issued by the Provincial Government from time to time.

Thus the State Government determined the language of the civil Courts to be Hindi but under the proviso permitted the continued use of such languages as were being used on the date of the Notification unless the Government directed otherwise, by executive directions. No executive direction has been issued to discontinue the use of any language that was in use on that date. Under the proviso the phrase 'continued use of any language' is very significant. It clearly indicates that the use of languages other than Hindi continued and did not stop. It cannot, therefore, be contended that this proviso directed the use of other languages only if there was an express executive direction to that effect. We respectfully agree with the opinion expressed by Chief Justice Mootham, as he then was, in 1959 All LJ 863 : (AIR 1959 All 459).

4. Under the Notification, therefore, it was quite clear that English, which was one of the languages used, was to continue in use and on this question any rule framed by the High Court could not alter the position, particularly in view of Section 137(3) which allowed the use of English, Rule 15, as framed, in the General Rules (Civil) expressly refers to the Notification mentioned above in the foot-note and seems to have been included in the General Rules (Civil) merely for the purposes of drawing the attention of the civil Courts to the said Notification and was not meant to be an independent rule to be followed by the Courts. By mistake, this rule did not incorporate the proviso which was contained In the notification. Subsequently, the proviso to the Notification has been added to this rule also but that took place after the decision in the Court below.

5. The decision of the learned single Judge of this Court in the case of Vinayak Datt, Civil Misc. Writ No. 1247 of 1956, D/- 1-10-1958 (All) was in the first place in a case where the plaint had been filed in Sanskrit and entirely different considerations were applicable and in the second place the proviso to the Notification does not appear to have been brought to the notice of the learned single Judge as otherwise, he would not have 'observed

'This rule is in full accord with Government Notification No. 4586(6)/III-170-47 dated 8th of October, 1947.'

The attention of the learned single Judge was also not drawn to the difference in language between Sections 122 and 137 C. P. C. so that it was not noticed that Section 137 of C. P. C. expressly relates to the language of the Civil Courts, and being the special provision on that question, it was bound to over-ride the general powers given under Section 122 C. P. C. That case, in the circumstances, was not decided after a full consideration of the relevant provisions of law.

6. The matter can be looked upon from another point of view also. Article 345 of the Constitution provides:

'345. Subject to the provisions of Arts. 346 and 347, the Legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State;

Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution.'

The proviso to this Article also emphasises that unless the Legislature of a State expressly provided by law, the English is to continue as the language to be used for official purposes within the State. The plaint, in the present case therefore having been filed in the English language cannot possibly be rejected on that ground.

7. Learned counsel for the respondents also drew our attention to Article 350 of the Constitution. Under that Article, every person is entitled to submit a representation for the redress of any grievance to any officer or authority of a State in any of the languages used. In this Article, two points have to be considered. Firstly whether a plaint presented before a Court of law can be said to be a representation for redress of a grievance. Secondly, can a court of law be properly described as an officer or authority of a State. This Article appears to be applicable to petitions made before executive authorities for redress of grievances against the Government and may, therefore, not apply to a plaint in a Court of law. In view, however, of our finding based on other provisions of law that the plaint in the English language filed in the present case was a valid plaint, it is not necessary to give a final decision on the interpretation of Article 350 of the Constitution in this case.

8. In the result, therefore, this petition under Article 227 of the Constitution is dismissed with costs.


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