Iqbal Ahmad, J.
1. This is a reference by the Small Cause Court of Manipuri under Order 46, Rule 6 of the Civil P.C. The point for determination is whether a suit for the recovery of rent for the occupation of a shop is a suit for the recovery of house rent within the meaning of Article 8 of the Second Schedule to the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, and as such exempted from the cognizance of a Court of Small Causes. The learned Judge is inclined to the view that the words 'house rent' in Article 8 mean rent of a building used as a dwelling house only and does not include the rent of a shop. I am of a contrary opinion.
2. If the Legislature wanted to use the word 'house' in the said article in the restricted sense in which the learned Judge making the reference thinks it was used, then the Legislature could easily have indicated its intention qualifying the expression 'house' by the word 'dwelling.' The absence of any such qualifying word leads one to the conclusion that the word 'house' was used in its widest possible sense as meaning a building that is adopted or may be adopted for residential purposes.
3. The fact that the word 'house' has not been used in a restricted sense in the Small Cause Courts Act in Article 8 is also shown by a consideration of the provisions of Clause V of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act. By Section 7 of the Court Fees Act, the Court-fee payable in respect of particular classes of suits has been provided for, and by Clause V provision is made for suits for possession of 'land, houses and gardens.' There also the word 'house' has been used as including buildings of every description, for there is no provision anywhere in the Act prescribing any particular amount of Court-fee with respect to suits for possession of shops as distinguished from houses. If the Legislature wanted to distinguish shops from houses one would have expected some provision being made in the Court Fees Act for suits for possession of shops as distinguished from houses.
4. A reference to pages 401 and 402 of Vol. 23 of Halsbury's Laws of England will show that the word 'house' has been used in the English statutes as meaning not only dwelling-houses but including schools, factories and other buildings in which persons are employed. The fact that the word 'house' used in Article 8 includes a shop is also deducible from the observations of Mr. Justice Piggott in the case of Babu Lal v. Bhawani Das  29 A.L.J. 776. Then there is the decision of the Upper Burma Judicial Commissioner's Court reported as Nag Kan v. Mya  4 I.C. 822, in which it has been held that a stall in a market is a house and a suit to recover rent for the occupation of a stall is a suit for recovery of house-rent within the meaning of Article 8 of Sch. 2 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act and, therefore, cognizable by the Court of Small Causes. The learned Judicial Commissioner in that decision has exhaustively set forth the meaning assigned to the word 'house' in the various dictionaries referred to by him in his judgment and I entirely agree with that decision.
5. My answer to the reference, therefore, is that the word 'house rent' in Article 8 is wide enough to include the rent of a shop and that; the suit filed by the plaintiff in the Small Cause Court has been filed in the proper Court. Let the record be returned.