M.S. Menon, J.
1. The first defendant in O. S. No. 1 of 1958 of the District Court of Trivandrum is the petitioner before us. The prayers in the plaint are for a declaration 'that the election of the first defendant as Mayor to the City Corporation of Trivandrum for the year 1958-59 is invalid' and for a permanent injunction 'restraining the first defendant from functioning as Mayor during the period 1958-69'. It is common ground that the valuation of the suit for purposes of jurisdiction is Rs. 100 and that but for the provisions of the Section 62 of the Trivandrum City Municipal Act, Act IV of 1116, there can be no doubt that the plaint has to be returned for presentation before the Court of the District Munsiff of Trivandrum under Rule 10 of Order VII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
2. Section 62 as amended by Act XVIII of 1952 reads as follows :
'(1) Our Government may make rules regulating the procedure with regard to elections.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of Sub-section (1) such rules may --
(a) regulate the preparation, revision and publication of electoral rolls;
(b) provide for the adjudication by the District Court of Trivandrum of disputes relating to electoral rolls or arising out of elections;
(c) provide for all matters not expressly provided for in this Act relating to the election of the Mayor, or councillors including deposits to be made by candidates standing for election as councillors and the conditions under which such deposits may be forfeited :
Provided that the deposit required shall not exceed one hundred rupees.'
Certain rules were framed under Section 62 on the 4th May 1942. The opening portion of the Rules appearing in Volume XIII of the Acts and Proclamations of Travancore, Part II, page 1474 is :
'In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 62 of the Trivandrum City Municipal Act (IV of 1116) the Government of His Highness the Maharaja are pleased to make the following rules for the adjudication by the District Court, Trivandrum, of disputes arising out of elections of Councillors of the Corporation of Trivandrum',
and Rule 1 of the said Rules :
'Save as otherwise provided no election held under the Trivandrum City Municipal Act (Act IV of 1116) hereinafter referred to as the Act, of a councillor of the corporation of Trivandrum shall be called in question except by an election petition presented in accordance with these rules to the District Court of Trivandrum (hereinafter referred to as the Court) by any candidate or elector against the candidate (hereinafter called the returned candidate) who has been declared to have been duly elected.'
3. There can be no doubt that the rule applies only to disputes arising out of the elections of councillors of the Corporation of Trivandrum and that it has nothing to do with disputes relating to the election of a Mayor of that corporation. It is agreed that no similar rule obtains regarding the election of a Mayor and in view of that we must hold that the matter in controversy has to be resolved solely in accordance with the provisions of Section 15 of C. P. C., 1908:
'Every suit shall be instituted in the court of the lowest grade competent to try it.'
4. The two decisions relied upon by the Court below for coming to the conclusion that the Court competent to entertain the suit is the District Court of Trivandrum are Narayana Iyer v. Ramayya Pillai, 33 Trav LJ 154 and P. Govinda Pillai v. Shan Mukham Pillai, 34 Trav LJ 549. Counsel for the respondent agrees that 34 Trav. LJ 540 has no application to the present case.
5. 33 Trav. LJ 154 deals with the election of a councillor -- not of a Mayor -- and all that was decided in that case was :
'In view of the express language of the section and rules it is vain to contend that the District Court herein is the District Judge functioning as persona designata. In using the words 'the District Court' in both the Act and rules the Legislature meant the principal civil court of original jurisdiction.
The special jurisdiction with which the court is invested is really an extension and not an ouster of the ordinary jurisdiction and the courts exercising them will be therefore subject to the Ordinary laws of procedure. A revision will therefore lie.
Any enquiry which the Commissioner or District Judge is expected to make at the stage of nomination is of a purely summary nature which would not displace the judicial enquiry on the same subject'. (Head-note).
We are unconcerned with these matters in this case.
6. It follows that this petition has to be allowed and the lower court directed to act in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10 of Order VII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Order accordingly. No costs.