1. This is an appeal from a judgment of a learned single Judge of this Court dated 31st December 1948 holding that the appeal ]ay to the District Judge and not to the High Court & thus giving effect to the objection to the forum of appeal raised by the present respondent.
2. Narain Das appellant entered into anagreement with the Co-operative Society ofLahara village for extraction of resin at a rentalof Rs. 11,425/12/6 out of which he paid to theSociety Rs. 5600/- and dispute arose in regardto the balance Rs. 5825/12/6. Under Section 20,Arbitration Act, the Society made an applicationto the Court for filing the arbitration agreement. In the heading of this application itstated that the application was under theIndian Arbitration Act, 10 of 1940 in respectof a sum of Rs. 5825/12/6. In para. 4 of thepetition the applicant stated that Rs. 5600 hadbeen received from the then respondent andthat Rs. 5825/12/6 were due from him. Mr.Har Charan Das, Sub Judge, 1st Class, Una, byan order dated 12th April 1948 ordered' theagreement to be filed. Against this order anappeal was brought to this Court and objectionwas successfully taken that the appeal shouldhave been taken to the District Judge. Anappeal against this judgment has been broughtby the respondent Narain Das. ;
3. 'Court' is defined in Section 2(c), Arbitration Act as follows:
'(c) 'Court' means a civil Court having jurisdiction to decide the questions forming thesubject-matter of the reference if the samehad been subject-matter of a suit, but doesnot, except for the purpose of arbitrationproceedings under Section 21, include a SmallCause Court.'
As I read it, it means that all proceedings under the Arbitration Act will have to be taken to the Court which would have jurisdiction todecide the question which formed the subject-matter of the reference and the subject-matterIn the present case is over Rs. 5000 and there-tore the application was rightly made in theCourt of a Sub Judge 1st Class, Under Section 39of the Act ah appeal lies from the orderstherein given to the Court authorised by lawto hear appeals from original decrees of theCourt passing the order. If the applicant hadbrought a suit for the sum which he has statedin his application to be due from the respondent(now appellant) the appeal would lie to theHigh Court whatever the amount decreed bythe .trial Court. I am of the opinion that ifSections 2(c) and 39 are read together the appealagainst an order passed in the present application would lie to this Court and not to theCourt of the District Judge. I would, therefore,allow this appeal and set aside the judgmentof the learned single Judge. The appellant willhave his costs of the Letters Patent Appeal.The case will be set down for hearing in thelist before a single Judge.
4. I agree.