1. This case is a curious one. It comes before this Court at the instance of a decree-holder who, anticipating an objection to his decree on the ground of Jurisdiction, is requesting the Court to set aside the decree and to remit the case for decision to the Court with Jurisdiction.
2. The facts of the case are somewhat similar to those in Small Cause Revision No. 5 of 1955 which we decided by a separate order today. In the Year 1949 an Ordinance was passed which created Small Cause Jurisdiction up to a limit of Rs. 500 in the Madhya Bharat. The suit out of which this revision arises was filed prior to the promulgation of this Ordinance and was for recovery of rent, the claim being placed at Rs. 338. It was filed in the Court of Civil Judge, Lashkar, because the Small Cause Jurisdiction was limited to Rs. 200, but on the passing of the Ordinance, the Judge transferred it to the Court of Small Causes, Gwalior, for disposal. The Judge, Small Causes passed a decree in the case, and it is this decree which the present applicant seeks to Set declared a nullity and requests that the case be returned to the Sub-Judge (now Civil Judge, First Class), Gwalior for disposal.
3. In Small Cause Revision No. 5 of 1955 we have shown that decrees passed by the Small Cause Courts under these circumstances were null-ties and we have set aside that decree and sent the case back for disposal from the stage the illegality occurred. In our opinion, the same thing should apply here. The applicant in this case, whoas we have said is the decree-holder, made an application under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure to the Civil Judge, requesting him to recall the case which had been illegally transferred to the Small Cause Court and disposed of there. The Civil Judge rightly declined to withdraw the case which had resulted in a decree and which decree he had no power either to ignore or set aside. A revision has been filed now under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure asking us to do likewise. We think that we cannot do so under Section 115 ibid. But Section 18 of the Madhya Bharat Small Cause Courts Act gives ample Power to the High Court to call for a record to satisfy itself that it is in accordance with law and to make any order which it thinks fit. These are eminent cases in which the matter can and should be rectified. The Court which tried this case was not vested with jurisdiction to hear it and has passed a decree, which, as we have shown in the sister case, will be attacked on the ground of Jurisdiction. No doubt, there must be many more cases, but we need not pass an order in cases which have not been brought to our notice. The present case has been disposed of without Jurisdiction; and we think we should right the Jurisdiction or supply the lack of it even at this stage.
4. We, therefore, order that the decree which has been passed in the case shall be discharged and the case shall be sent back to the Civil Judge, First Class, Gwalior, for disposal from the stage of the transfer to the Small Cause Court, Gwalior. We think it right to direct that these cases should be given a very high priority and that they should be taken up from day to day and disposed of as early as possible. In the special circumstances of the case and regard being had to the fact that the decree-holder is himself asking his own decree to be set aside and also that the non-applicant did not care to appear before us, we see no reason to make any order about costs.
5. We also wish to record our thanks to ShriShiv Dayal, Advocate, who appeared at our requestas an amicus curiae and assisted the Court withhis arguments.