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W.H. Brady and Co. Vs. Ganesh F. Mills - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil R. Appeal No. 3 of 1980
Judge
Reported in1981RLR364
ActsDelhi High Court Act - Sections 5(2); Punjab Courts Act - Sections 24; Trusts Act - Sections 74
AppellantW.H. Brady and Co.
RespondentGanesh F. Mills
Advocates: P.G. Gokhale and; P.C. Khanna, Advs
Excerpt:
- - (1) the short and interesting question which has been raised by way of a preliminary objection to this application u/s 74 of the indian trust act......original jurisdiction in the district. the exception to that is contained in s. 5(2) , the delhi high courts act whereby the high court has been given jurisdiction only in respects of suits having a value of, originally, more that rs. 25,000.00, which value has now been increased to rs. 1 lac. in proceedings other than suits, s. 5(2) would have no application. the present application is not a suit. this is an application u/s 74 of the indian trust act. s. 5(2) of the delhi high court act will have no application. s. 24 of the punjab courts act would apply and the present application should have been filed in the court of the district judge, delhi. it will also be seen that whereas the schedule shows that amendments to ss. 25 and 26, as a consequence of the insertion of s. 5(2), have.....
Judgment:

B.N. Kripal, J.

(1) The short and interesting question which has been raised by way of a preliminary objection to this application u/s 74 of the Indian Trust Act. is as to whether this court has jurisdiction to try this application.

(2) A trust deed dated 20.5.70 was executed which is known as the Debenture Trust Deed. Two of the trustees of the said trust were Sh. Gokal Chand D. Morarka and Sh. H. Nevatia. Both those trustees having expired, the present application was filed u/s 74 for the filling up of the vacancies caused by the deaths of the trustees. At the time of the hearing of Ihe application Sh. P, Khanna, the leaned counsel for the dents has contended, by way of preliminary objection, that the High Couit has no jurisdiction to try this application and the application ought to have been filed in the court of District Judge Delhi. [In para 3, S. 74 is reproduced]

(3) The contention of Sh. Khanna is that in view of S. 24 Punjab Courts Act, 1918 the High Court is not the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction. Mr. Gokhale, on the other hand, has contended that in view of the provisions of 5(2) of the Delhi High Court Act and on a correct interpretation of 24 and 25 of the Punjab Courts Act, it is the High Court which alone can be regarded as the principal Civil Court of the original jurisdiction.

(4) It is not disputed that even after the enactmant of Delhi High Court Act, the Punjab Courts Act continues to apply in Delhi. [Ss. 24 and 25 and S. 2(4) Civil Procedure Code are then reproduced]

(5) S. 24 of the Punjab Courts Act is a deeming provision. The Court of District Judge is deemed to be the District Court or principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in the district. The District referred to in S. 2(4) of the Civil Procedure Code merely refers to the local limits and no more. In any event the said section can be of no assistance to the petitioner. S. 24 deems the court of District Judge to be the District Court. Assuming, as contended by Sh. Gokhale, that the expression District Court in the Union Territory of Delhi would include the High Court but in view of the deeming provisions of S. 25 of the Punjab. Courts Act, it is the court of the District Judge which is deemed to be the District Court of principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction. The effect of this is that in S. 74 when reference is made to the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction then because of S. 24 of the Punjab Courts Act, that court would mean the court of the District Judge.

(6) The next question which arises is as to whether the enactment of the Delhi High Court Act, 1966 has made any difference. S, 19 of the Delhi High Court Act, read with the Schedule annexed thereto, specified some of the laws wherein amendments have been made. By Clause (1) of the said Schedule, amendments were made in Ss. 25 and 26 of the Punjab Courts Act. In S. 25 for the words 'in original civil suits without limit as regards the value' the words 'in every original suit value of which does not exceed Rs. 25,000.00 was substituted. The effect of this change was that in the case of civil suits of a value of more than Rs. 25,000.00, the court of the District Judge no longer had any jurisdiction to try the same. By virtue of S. 5(2) of the Delhi High Court Act the jurisdiction to try the said suits stood transferred to the High Court. The said provision reads.(---)

(7) The aforesaid provision made the High Court as the principal civil court of original jurisdiction with regard to those suits where the valution is more than Rs. 25,000.00. To that limited extent S. 24 of the Punjab Courts Act would not be applicable. There is no provision under Delhi High Court Act, to my mind, which is analogous to S. 24 of the Punjab Courts Act. All the aforesaid provisions, namely, S. 5(2) cf the Delhi High Court Act, Ss. 24 and 25 of the Punjab Courts Act, can be easily harmonised. Reading of the aforesaid provisions shows that by virtue of S. 24 of the Punjab Courts Act, it is the court of the District Judge which is the District Conn or principal civil court of original jurisdiction in the district. The exception to that is contained in S. 5(2) , the Delhi High Courts Act whereby the High Court has been given jurisdiction only in respects of suits having a value of, originally, more that Rs. 25,000.00, which value has now been increased to Rs. 1 lac. In proceedings other than suits, S. 5(2) would have no application. The present application is not a suit. This is an application u/s 74 of the Indian Trust Act. S. 5(2) of the Delhi High Court Act will have no application. S. 24 of the Punjab Courts Act would apply and the present application should have been filed in the court of the District Judge, Delhi. It will also be seen that whereas the Schedule shows that amendments to Ss. 25 and 26, as a consequence of the insertion of S. 5(2), have been made, but no amendment has been made in S 24 of the Punjab Courts Act. This omission to my mind is significant and further strengthens my belief that the Legislature never intended the High Court of Delhi to be the principal civil court of original jurisdiction except in so for as it related to suits of valuation of more than Rs. 25.000.00.


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