1. This case has been argued before me by Mr. C.B. Agarwala as one under Section 107, Government of India Act. The circumstances may be set forth briefly here. A suit for arrears of rent was brought by a ziladar against the present applicant, and was decreed on 20th September 1930. There was no appeal, and the decree-holder, after unsuccessfully attempting to realise the amount of his decree for arrears of rent, finally made an application for the ejectment of the tenant under Section 79, Agra Tenancy Act of 1926, and after some time had been allowed to the judgment-debtor, an order of ejectment was passed under Section 18 of the Act on 15th August 1933. An appeal was made against this order, but on the office of the appellate Court-reporting that the court-fee was deficient, it was dismissed after time had been given to the appellant to make up the deficiency. It was 'dismissed on 2nd October 1933. The applicant then made an application for review in the appellate Court, which was dismissed on 10th March 1934, in the order against which the present application is made. It was dismissed because the court-fees required for an application under Order 47, Civil P.C., had not been paid. It is admitted that no application in revision to the High Court will lie. Section 115, Civil P.C., is expressly excluded by Section 254, Agra Tenancy Act, read with Schedule 2, and the special section relating to revision by the High Court. Section 153 will not cover the present case. Mr. Agarwala therefore has sought to rely on Section 107, Government of India Act, and a preliminary objection has been made on behalf of the opposite party that this provision of law will not. apply.
2. Section 107, Government of India Act. gives the High Courts powers of superintendence over all Courts subordinate to their jurisdiction, and in particular it specifies powers of an administrative nature. But it has been pointed out by Mr. Agarwala that it has been held in more than one case by more than one High Court that the powers which the High Courts enjoy under the provisions of Section 107, Government of India Act, and which they enjoyed under Section 15, Indian Councils Act of 1861, were not limited to administrative powers, but also included powers of a judicial or quasi-judicial nature. I have been referred to the case of Muhammad Sulaiman Khan v. Fatima (1886) 9 All. 104, in which a Full Bench of this High Court had to consider the limitations of the powers enjoyed by the High Court under Section 15, Indian Councils Act. The maojrity of that Bench were of the opinion that the High Court was not competent to interfere with and set right the orders of a Subordinate Court on the ground that the order of the Subordinate Court load proceeded on an error of law or an error of fact. Two of the learned Judges were of opinion that the Court had powers of a judicial or quasi-judicial character (conferred by Section 15, Indian Councils Act), apart from them conferred by Section 622, Civil P.C., but that the last mentioned provisions might properly be accepted as indicating the extent to which the Court should ordinarily interfere with the finding is of such subordinate tribunals as are invested with exclusive jurisdiction to try and determine all questions of law and fact arising m suits within their exclusive cognizance, and in which their decisions are declared by law to be final. Mr. Agarwala argues therefore that this Court is competent to use Section 107 of the present Government of India Act, in cases where Section 115, Civil P.C., would cover the issue if it were not for the provisions of the Agra Tenancy Act of 1926, and he has pointed to a recent decision of a Bench of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Manmatha Nath v. Emperor 1933 Cal. 132, in which the Court interfered with orders that had been passed under the Bengal Emergency Powers Ordinance notwisitanding the wide language of Section 39 of that Ordinance. It is suggested therefore that the High Court should interfere in the present case notwithstanding the provisions of Section 253, Agra Tenancy Act.
3. Leaving aside for the time being the question of whether the present matter is one which could be covered by the revision powers of the High Court provided for in Section 115, Civil P.C., I think it is necessary to point out that although the High Court may have powers of a judicial as well as of an administrative nature under Section 107. Government of India Act, it will only exercise those powers in the most exceptional cases. If Mr. Agarwala's argument were pressed to its logical conclusion, it would follow that the High Court would be competent to ignore the provisions of Sections 253 and 264. Agra Tenancy Act, and to deal with every application presented to it in a matter relating to the Revenue Courts as if it were one under Section 115, Civil P.C. That the High Court does not do so as a practice is a matter of common knowledge, but that it has no jurisdiction to do so is, I think, clear even from the remarks made by the Bench of the Calcutta High Court in the case which I have quoted:
The power of superintendence is a power of a well known and well recognished character,
4. The learned Judge remarked:
and should be exercised upon those judicial principles which give it its character. The matter cannot be better put than in the words of Lord Demman, C.J., in Queen v. Bolton (1841) 1 Q.B. 66 at p. 76.
It is of a much more importance to hold the rule of a law straight, than from a feeling of the supposed hardship of any particular decision, to interpose relief at the expense of introducing a precedent full inconvenience and uncertainty in the decision of future cases.
5. In another passage they remark:
The limits put upon appeal by the Indian Legislature are a part of the judicial system which it is just as necessary for this Court to enforce under Section 107 as any other feature of that system.
6. In other words it is the duty of this Court under Section 107, Government of India Act, to enforce and not to ignore the provisions of the Agra Tenancy Act. I have been referred to a case in which a learned Judge of this Court made use of the provisions of Section 107, Government of India Act, to interfere judicially with the orders passed by a Munsif: In the matter of Kadhary 1919. All. 46. But that was an order in which he felt that the High Court was bound to interfere. Similarly the Calcutta High Court had to deal with a very serious case under the criminal law in which they felt that a man had been convicted without any evidence, and they felt bound to interfere. These were exceptional oases, but it cannot be said that the present case is an exceptional case. It is the kind of matter that is very common in the Revenue Courts, and if the High court were to interfere with such matters under Section 107 it would indeed be 'introducing a precedent full of inconvenience and uncertainty in the decision of future cases.' The preliminary objections therefore prevails and the application is dismissed with costs