1. This is a Letters Patent appeal from a decision of a learned Judge of this Court dismissing the whole claim. The trial Court decreed the claim in part and dismissed the rest of the claim. The defendants filed an appeal to the lower appellate Court and the plaintiffs filed a cross-objection to that appeal. The result was that the plaintiffs' cross-objection was allowed and the claim was decreed to a larger extent while the defendants' appeal was only dismissed. The plaintiffs were not satisfied with their partial success and came up to the High Court in second appeal. The defendants, instead of filing any separate appeal, filed a cross-objection to the plaintiffs' appeal. The learned Judge held that the defendants' cross-objection was well founded and dismissed the whole suit.
2. In the Letters Patent appeal it is contended before us on behalf of the plaintiffs that the learned Judge of this Court had no jurisdiction to dismiss the whole claim. It is urged that it was the duty of the defendants to appeal from the decree dismissing their appeal and pot merely file a cross-objection Reliance was placed on the cases of Ramji Das v. Ajudhia Prasad (1903) 25 All. 628 and Parbhu Dayal v. Murli Dhar 1924 All. 867. The farmer case was under the old Code, and in both, the cases there were cross-appeals before the lower appellate Court.
3. In the case of the two cross-appeals in the lower appellate Court, where that Court passes two separate decrees which are not identical with each other, it may well be suggested that the subject-matter in dispute in the two cases is distinct and separate. Where the Court has passed two separate decrees in the two cross-appeals, it may well be argued that although a defendant who has not appealed from the decree dismissing his own appeal, pay be allowed to file a cross-objection to the plaintiff's appeal in respect of any matter that was decided against him in the plaintiff's appeal, he should not be allowed to raise by way of cross-objection the matter which was decided against him in his own appeal from which he has filed no appeal. But in the case of a cross-objection pending in. the lower appellate Court, no separate decrees are passed and there is only one joint decree disposing of the whole matter. To such a case Order 41, Rule 22, is in express terms applicable; and where the plaintiff appeals from a part of that joint decree, it is open to the defendant either to file a cross-appeal from the other part or to file a cross-objection to the plaintiff's appeal. In either case the appellate Court is seized of the whole matter and has jurisdiction to dispose of the entire suit. We are therefore unable to hold that the learned Judge of this Court, when he had a cross-objection before Mm, had no authority to interfere with the dismissal of the defendants' cross-objection in the Court below. The appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.