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Arjan Dass Ram Lal Vs. Jagan Nath Sardari Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 494 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1966P& H227
ActsProvincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887 - Sections 17(1) and 25; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) - Sections 2(9) - Order 20, Rule 4
AppellantArjan Dass Ram Lal
RespondentJagan Nath Sardari Lal
Advocates: J.S. Shahpuri, Adv.
DispositionRevision allowed
Excerpt:
.....the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply communication of a copy of the written order itself, a party who knows about the making of an order cannot ignore the same and allow grass to grow under its feet and do nothing except waiting for a formal communication of the order or to choose a tenuous plea that even though he knew about the order, he was waiting for its formal communication to seek redress against the same in appeal. if a party does not know about the making of..........of the pro-note following points for determination were framed by the court of shri t r. handa. judge. small cause court, amritsar :--1. whether the pronote in dispute was executed by defendant no. 1. without consideration?2. whether the assignment of the pronote in favour of the plaintiff is for consideration?3. whether the pronote was presented to defendant no. 1, before the filing of the suit?4. whether the plaintiff is a money lender, if so to what effect?5. to what relief and against whom is the plaintiff entitled?6. relief3. his judgment on the above-said points may be quoted verbatim.'point no. 1 this point is decided in favour of defendant no 1.point no. 2. this point is decided in favour of the plaintiff.point no. 3. this point is decided in favour of the plaintiff.point no......
Judgment:
ORDER

R.S. Narula, J.

1. The only question that arises in this case for decision is as to what should be the contents of a judgment pronounced by a Court of Small Causes deciding a case in exercise of its jurisdiction under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act.

2. In a suit for KM. 220 filed by the assignee of a pro-note against the principal debtor as well as the assignor of the pro-note following points for determination were framed by the Court of Shri T R. Handa. Judge. Small Cause Court, Amritsar :--

1. Whether the pronote in dispute was executed by defendant No. 1. without consideration?

2. Whether the assignment of the pronote in favour of the plaintiff is for consideration?

3. Whether the pronote was presented to defendant No. 1, before the filing of the suit?

4. Whether the plaintiff is a money lender, if so to what effect?

5. To what relief and against whom is the plaintiff entitled?

6. Relief

3. His judgment on the above-said points may be quoted verbatim.

'Point No. 1 This point is decided in favour of defendant No 1.

Point No. 2. This point is decided in favour of the plaintiff.

Point No. 3. This point is decided in favour of the plaintiff.

Point No. 4. This point is decided against defendant No. 1.

Point No. 5. In view of my above findings the plaintiff is entitled to decree for the amount in suit against defendant No 2 only '

4. In this petition for revision under Section 25 of Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 9 of 1887 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) Shri Joginder Singh Shahpuri, the learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the judgment under revision is not according to law and is therefore, liable to be sot aside The learned counsel has submitted that in fact the order sought to be set aside in this case is not a 'judgment' at all much less a 'judgment according to law.' By virtue of Section 17(1) of the Act the procedure prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 has to be followed by a Court of Small Causes in all suits cognizable by it and in all proceedings arising out of such suits except to the extent to which it is otherwise provided either by the Code of Civil Procedure or by the Act.

5. Section 2(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure define 'judgment' as follows:

' 'Judgment' means the statement given by the Judge of the grounds of a decree or order'.

6. Order 20, Rule 4 of the Code is in the following words:

'Judgment of a Court of Small Causes need not contain more than the points for determination and the decisions thereon.'

7. The word 'judgment' as used in Rule 4 of Order 20 of the Code means 'judgment' as defined in Section 2(9) of the Code and must in all eventualities contain a statement by the Judge of the Court of Small Causes of the grounds on which the decree or order is passed by him. If any Court of Small Causes has ever thought that Rule 4 of Order 20 authorises it merely to give a final pronouncement on the -points of determination involved in a case in its judgment without anything more i.e., without giving any indication al all of the grounds on which the Judge has come to these findings, the sooner such an impression is removed the better.

8. Under Section 25 of the Act this Court can call for any case decided by a Judge of a Court of Small Causes for the purpose of satisfying itself that a decree or order made in any such case was according to law or not. In order to enable this Court to exercise jurisdiction vested in it under Section 25 of the Act, it has to be presumed that every decree or order which can be revised by this Court, must be supported by some reasons, howsoever brief they may be To put at the minimum, the judgment of a Small Cause Court must be intelligible and must in any case convey that the judge had applied his mind thereto. Unless this is done it would be impossible for the High Court exercising revisional jurisdiction to be satisfied that the judgment is in accordance with law. particularly in a case of this type where some points arising in the case and noticed by the learned Judge. Small Cause Court Amritsar involved mixed questions of law and fact which are not always easy to decide For example, from the judgment under revision it is impossible to find whether Shri T. R. Handa the learned Judge, Small Causes came to a finding on point No 1 to the effect that the story of the defendant was false or that the story was correct but the pronote was still to be deemed to be for consideration Similarly on point No. 3 reproduced above it is impossible to judge whether the Court below was of the opinion that it was not necessary to present the pronote before filing a suit on its basis or whether it had in fact been presented Again on point for determination No 4 the judgment does not disclose if the finding is that the plaintiff was not a money-lender or that he was a money lender but it had no effect on the claim. This kind of an order can hardly be called a 'judgment' in the eye of law In cases where questions of law or mixed questions of law and fact are involved, a Judge of the Court of Small Causes should always set out at least so much of his reasoning on which his findings are based as would throw at least some light on the path by which he had reached those conclusions

9. If the Court below thinks that it has used the provisions of rule 4 of Order 20 of the Code for writing a judgment of this type, I would say, it has abused the said rule rather than used it. This kind of a blanket judgment on points of determination involving mixed questions of law and fact is least intelligible. In case of this type the High Court would have to go through the entire record of the case before finding out whether the judgment is in accordance with law or not. Where a point for determination involves a simple question of fact it may be conceivable that the law allows a judge of the Court of Small Causes to merely record his finding on that point. Even so the finding should be intelligible enough to enable this Court to find out its basis. As interference in revision under Section 25 of the Act is possible even on a question of fact, it is desirable that a Court of Small Causes should at least briefly indicate the reasons for its decision and the process by which it has reached the conclusions recorded in its judgment.

10. In view of the provisions of rule 4 of Order 20 of the Code authorising a Judge of the Court of Small Causes to give a comparatively brief judgment, a correlative duty is impliedly cast on that Judge to make his judgment sufficiently intelligible to enable this Court to perform its duty in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction. In my opinion the provisions of rule 4 of Order 20 have to be applied only to something which is first a 'judgment' within the meaning of Section 2(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure. I hold that the judgment of Shri T. R. Handa, Judge. Small Cause Court. Amritsar, dated 30-4-1964 in this case is not in accordance with law and is no judgment at all. I, therefore, accept this revision petition set aside the judgment of the Court below and direct that the case may be heard and decided afresh by the Judge, Small Cause Court, Amritsar in accordance with law As the respondents have not appeared to contest this petition and to support the judgment under revision in spite of personal service on them for an actual date, there will be no order as to costs.


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