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Pitambar Shivlal Vs. Patel Hargovanbhai Amthabhai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Appln. No. 166 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1972Guj119; (1972)GLR527
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 24 (4)
AppellantPitambar Shivlal
RespondentPatel Hargovanbhai Amthabhai
Appellant Advocate S.K. Zaveri, Adv.
Respondent Advocate M.B. Shah, Adv.
Cases ReferredBhagwati v. Badri
Excerpt:
civil - jurisdiction - section 24 (4) of code of civil procedure, 1908 - 'court of small causes' occurring in section 24 (4) include - court of small causes constituted under provincial small cause courts act as well as court invested with jurisdiction of court of small causes. - - , thereafter heard the case and feeling that as he himself had no small cause powers, the case should be tried as a regular suit, be heard in the regular manner like a regular suit and not under the special procedure prescribed for small cause suits. the division bench held that the expression 'a court of small causes' in section 24(4) of the code of civil procedure includes courts invested with small cause court jurisdiction as well as courts constituted under act no. --we agree with the learned judges of.....order1. the petitioner herein is original plaintiff and the opponent is the original defendant. the suit out of which this revision application arises was filed originally in the court of the civil judge, s. d. mehsana; and it was filed as a small cause suit. by an order of the learned district judge, dated december 6, 1965, this particular small cause suit along with several other small cause suits was transferred from the file of the civil judge, s. d. to the file of the second joint civil judge, j.d., thereafter heard the case and feeling that as he himself had no small cause powers, the case should be tried as a regular suit, be heard in the regular manner like a regular suit and not under the special procedure prescribed for small cause suits. the learned trial judge dismissed the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The petitioner herein is original plaintiff and the opponent is the original defendant. The suit out of which this Revision Application arises was filed originally in the Court of the Civil Judge, S. D. Mehsana; and it was filed as a Small Cause Suit. By an order of the learned District Judge, dated December 6, 1965, this particular Small Cause Suit along with several other Small Cause Suits was transferred from the file of the Civil Judge, S. D. To the file of the Second Joint Civil Judge, J.D., thereafter heard the case and feeling that as he himself had no small cause powers, the case should be tried as a Regular Suit, be heard in the regular manner like a Regular Suit and not under the special procedure prescribed for small cause suits. The learned trial Judge dismissed the plaintiff's suit and against that decision there was an appeal to the District Court. The appeal was disposed of by the learned Assistant Judge, Mehsana; and the learned Judge in the lower Appellate Court held that no appeal lay because of the different provisions of law and particularly in the light of the provision of Section 27 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act and Section 24(4) Civil Procedure Code and he, therefore, dismissed the appeal as it was not maintainable under Section 96 Civil Procedure Code. There after the present Revision Application has been filed against the order dismissing the appeal. I may also point out that the Revision Application has been filed alternatively i.e. in the first instance it is under Section 115 Civil Procedure Code against the order of the learned Assistant Judge dismission the appeal and in the alternative if has been prayed that this Civil Revision Application may be treated as one under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act.

2. Mr. Zaveri, on behalf of the petitioner, has contended that the words; 'a Court of Small Causes' in Section 24(4) Civil Procedure Code refer to Court of Small Causes constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887, and not to a Court exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under the said Act. Section 24, Civil Procedure Code, enables the District Court of its own motion even without giving notice to the parties or hearing the parties to transfer any suit pending in any Court subordinate to it to another Court subordinate to it. Sub-section (4) of Section 24 provides:-

'The Court trying any suit transferred or withdrawn under this section from a Court of Small Causes shall for the purposes of such suit, be deemed to be a Court of Small Causes.'

The question that I have to consider is whether the Court of the Civil Judge. S. D. Mehsana, from whom the suit was transferred was a Court of Small Causes for the purposes of Section 24(4) because it is only if that Court is deemed to be a Court of Small Causes that the transferee Court i.e. the Court of the Second Joint Civil Judge J.D. would be deemed to be a Court of Small Causes; and then by virtue of Section 27 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, the appeal against the decision of the Section Joint Civil Judge, J.D. would be barred.

3. It appears that there has been a considerable controversy and there have been several decisions as to the exact scope of Section 24(4) Civil Procedure Code and to the meaning of the words 'withdrawn from a Court of Small Causes' occurring in Section 24(4). Under Section 4 of the Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context. 'Court of Small Causes constituted under the Act and includes any person exercising jurisdiction under the Act in any such Court. Apart from the Court of Small Causes constituted under the Act, that Act also envisages Courts invested by or under any enactment for the time being in force with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes and Section 33 deals with application of certain provisions of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act to Courts invested with jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes. This a distinction between a Court constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act and a Court of Small Causes is maintained in the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act. That distinction is reflected in Section 7 of the Civil Procedure Code which provides--

'The following provisions shall not extend to Courts constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887 ....................... or to Courts exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under the said Act or law ...............'

Section 7 then sets out some of the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, which do not apply inter alia to Courts constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts act or to Courts exercising the jurisdiction of Small Cause Courts under the said Act. Under Section 28 of the Bombay Civil Courts act, 1869, the High Court may invest any Civil Judge with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes for the trial of suits cognizable by such Courts upto such amount as it may deem proper not exceeding in the case of civil Judge. S. D., Rs. 1500/- and in the case of Civil Judge, J. D., Rs. /-. It may also be mentioned that Section as it now stands was substituted for the original section by Bombay Act No. 94 of 1958. Prior to that amendment by Bombay Act No. 94 of 1958, Section 28 stood as follows:-

'The High Court, under the general superintendent of the State Government may invest, within such local limits as it shall from time to time appoint, any Civil Judge with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes for the trial of suits cognizable by such Courts upto such amount as it may deem proper, not exceeding in the case of any Civil Judge, Senior Division, one thousand and five hundred rupees, and in the case of any Civil Judge, Junior Division, five hundred rupees.'

Thus it is clear that by the amendment effected by Bombay Act No. 94 of 1958, the words: 'within such local limits as it shall from time appoint' have been omitted from Section 28; and I am mentioning this fact of omission because some arguments have been advance before me by Mr. Zaveri regarding this omission.

4. Section 33 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act provides--

'33. A Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes, with respect to the exercise of that jurisdiction, and the same Court, with respect to the exercise of is jurisdiction in suits of a civil nature which are not cognizable by a Court of Small Causes, shall, for the purposes of this Act and the Code of Civil Procedure be deemed to be different Courts.'

5. Section 35 provides:--

'35. (1) Where a Court of Small Causes, or a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes, has from any cause ceased to have jurisdiction with respect to any case, any proceeding in relation to the case, whether before or after decree, which, if the Court had not ceased to have jurisdiction, might have been had therein, may be had in the Court which, if the suit out of which the proceeding has arisen were about to be instituted, would have jurisdiction to try the suit.'

6. Regarding the exact scope of Section 24 and the impact of S. 5. Civil Procedure Code as it then stood, on the provisions of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, the Bombay High Court has in four of its decisions taken a particular view. In Bhagvan Dayalji v. Balu, (1884) ILR 8 Bom 230, a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court consisting of West and Nanabhai Haridas, JJ. Held that the Courts of Subordinate Judges invested with the jurisdiction of a Judge of a Small Cause Court under Section 28 of Act XVI of 1869 do not thereby become 'Courts of Small Causes constituted under Act XI of 1865'. They merely exercise a similar jurisdiction. This makes their decisions final in the case to which the jurisdiction extends, but it does not imply that the variations of procedure prescribed expressly for the Courts constituted under Act XI of 1865 are applicable to Courts constituted under a different Act and subject to different conditions. The Court of a Subordinate Judge exercising Small Cause Court powers is, under Section 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Act XIV of 1882) one of the 'other Courts exercising jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes.' And, as such, its procedure is governed by the Civil Procedure Code without the variations provided by Act XI of 1865.

7. In Rampratap v. Ganesh Rangnath, (1888) ILR 12 Bom 31, a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court consisting of Sir Charles Sargent, C. J. and Nanabhai Haridas, J. held that in a suit brought by the plaintiff to recover Rs.36-7-9 from the defendant, under the Small Cause jurisdiction of a Subordinate Judge, the defendant claimed to set off Rs. 72, which exceeded the pecuniary jurisdiction of the judge as a Small Cause Judge. On reference to the High Court, the High Court held that the set-off might be pleaded by the defendant. The Judge would exercise his Small Cause Court jurisdiction in trying the claim of the plaintiff and his ordinary jurisdiction in trying the set-off.

8. In Ramchandra v. Ganesh, (1899) ILR 23 Bom 382. Parsons and Ranade, JJ, considered the meaning of the words 'Court of Small Causes' in Section 24(5) of the Code of Civil Procedure and held that those words mean Court properly and strictly so-called, and do not include a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes. The Division Bench in that case in terms dissented from the view of the Allahabad High Court in Mangal Sen v. Rup Chand (1891) ILR 13 All 324. The facts of the case before the Bombay High Court were similar to the facts of the case before mortgage the suit in that particular case was originally filed in the Court of a Subordinate Judge having Small Cause Court powers under Section 28 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act. The suit was afterwards transferred by the District Judge to the Court of the Assistant Judge. The Assistant Judge passed a decree in favour of the plaintiff. Against this decision of the Assistant Judge, an appeal was filed to the District Judge and the District Judge reversed the decree and rejected the plaintiff's claim. Thereafter there was Revision Application to the High Court and it was contended that the District Judge had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal as under Section 27 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, no appeal lay against the decision of a Court exercising jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under Section 33 of the Act. It may be noticed that in that particular case the Assistant Judge, who ultimately tried the case was a transferee Court to whom the suit had been transferred by the District Judge under Section 25 Civil Procedure Code and the words of Section 25(5) Civil Procedure Code then in force were identical with the present sub-section (4) of Section 24; and the words: 'a Court of Small Causes' were interpreted to mean: 'a Court constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act and not a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes.'

9. In Narayan v. Bhagu. (1907) ILR 31 Bom 314, a Full Bench of the Bombay High Court held that the judgment of a Court invested with Small Cause Court power need not contain more than the points for determination and the decision thereupon; the practice and procedure of such Courts being determined in the matter of judgments by paragraph (1) of Section 203 Civil Procedure Code. 1882. I may point out that Order 20. Rule 4 of the present Civil Procedure Code is equivalent to S. 203. Civil Procedure Code 1882; and by Order 20. Rule 4 (1), the judgments of a Court of Small Causes need not contain more than the points for determination and the decisions thereon; and the words 'a Court of Small Causes' occurring in Order 20. Rule 4 (1) equivalent to Section 203 of the Code of Civil Procedure. 1882, were interpreted by the Full Bench of the Bombay of the Bombay High Court to include not only Courts constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act but also the Courts invested with Small Cause Court's power; and that is the real significance of this judgment of the Full Bench. The decision in (1889) ILR Bom 382 (supra) was considered by Sir Lawrence Jenkins C. J. who delivered the judgment of the Full Bench. It is true as Mr. Zaveri emphasized before me that under S. 32 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, certain Chapters which relate to the practice and procedure of Courts of Small Causes apply to Courts invested by or under any enactment for the time being in force with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes so far as regards the exercise of that jurisdiction by these Courts. The practice and procedure of Courts of Small Causes also applies to the practice and procedure of the Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes. Under Section 17 of the Act, the procedure prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, shall, save in so far as is otherwise provided by that Code or by the Act, be the procedure followed in a Court of Small Causes in all suits cognizable by it and in all proceedings arising out of such suits. When one turns to the Code of Civil Procedure, one finds that under Order 20. Rule 4 (1) of the present Code and under Section 203 of the Code of 1882, the practice and procedure so far, as the writing of judgments is concerned, has been specifically provided with reference to a Court of Small Causes. The Code of Civil Procedure Order 20, Rule 4 (1), which is equivalent to Section 203 of the Code of 1882, refers only to a Court of Small Causes; and it was under these circumstances that the Full Bench held that the Court invested with Small Cause Court power is governed by Section 203 (1), Civil Procedure Code and it was required to write out in its judgment only points for decision and the decision. It is true as Mr. Zaveri emphasized, that throughout the judgment of the Full Bench there is no specific reference to the provisions of Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1882 or to the meaning of the words: 'a Court of Small Causes' occurring in appears, however, that the commentator on that Civil procedure Code treated the Full Bench decision in (1907) ILR 31 Bom 314 (FB) (supra) as in terms having overruled the decision in (1809) ILR 23 Bom (supra). However the decisions in the line of cases in the Bombay High Court subsequent to the Full Bench decision in Narayan's case (1907) ILR 31 Bom 314 (FB) (supra), throw real light on the problem before mortgage I have already mentioned that the decision of the Bombay High Court in (1899) ILR 23 Bom 382 (supra) dissented from the view of the Allahabad High Court in Mangal Sen's case (1891) ILR 13 All 324 (supra).

10. In Sukha v. Raghunath Das ILR 39 All 214 = (AIR 1971 All 62), a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court was considering a case almost on all fours with the case before me. A suit was instituted, in that case, which was of a Small Cause Court nature. That case was transferred by the District Judge along with other cases to the file of the Munsif. The order was made under Section 24. Civil Procedure Code. The Munsif to whose Court the suit was transferred was not invested with the powers of a Small Cause Court Judge. He, however, tried the case as Small Cause Court Judge and decreed the claim. An appeal was preferred by the defendants and the question arose whether an appeal could lie against the decision passed by the Munsif on trial of such a suit. The Division Bench held that the expression 'a Court of Small Causes' in Section 24(4) of the Code of Civil Procedure includes courts invested with Small Cause Court jurisdiction as well as courts constituted under Act No. IX of 1887; and on this reasoning it held that no appeal lay from the Munsif's decree because by virtue of Section 24(4), the Munsif Court was deemed to be a Court of Small Causes. The Division 1 Bench of the Allahabad High Court consisting of Piggott and Walsh JJ. delivering the judgment observed at page 221 of the report:--

'We agree with the learned Judges of the Madras High Court in holding that the expression 'a Court of Small Causes' in Section 24(4) of the Code of Civil Procedure does include courts invested with Small Cause jurisdiction, as well as Courts constituted under Act IX of 1887. The Legislature apparently intended that the District Court should have power to make an order of transfer such as has been made in the present case, trusting to the discretion of that court, and its knowledge of local conditions, not to make an order of transfer to a court not competent to make a proper exercise of the special powers which an order or transfer carries with it in respect of particular cases so transferred.'

It was pointed out by the Allahabad High Court in that case that in Section 7 of the present Civil Procedure Code the words used are 'a Court of Small Causes constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887; or courts exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under that Act'; and the decision of the Bombay High Court in (1899) ILR 23 Bom 382 (supra) was in terms dissented from. The Allahabad High Court at page 219 of the report pointed out:--

'The provisions of Section 24, sub-section (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure do mean something. On any interpretation, they do mean at least this, that if a suit is pending in a court constituted under the provisions of the Small Cause Courts Act of 1887, the District Court has power to transfer that suit to another court which is neither a court constituted under that Act, nor a court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes, and that the court to which the case is transferred will then be deemed, by virtue of the order or transfer , to be a Court or Small Causes for the purpose of that particular suit. It would seem therefore that the power which the learned Judges of the Calcutta High Court consider to be 'nothing else than disastrous' does in fact exist in certain cases, and the only question is whether it exists in other. In the second place, the provisions of Section 24(4) of the Code of Civil Procedure are strictly limited in extent. Their operation is limited to particular cases transferred by special order of the High Court or of the District Court. It is not unreasonable to suppose that the Legislature felt considerable confidence in district of the intimate acquaintance which such courts are likely to possess with the personnel and the working of all courts subordinate to them; so that it was not deemed improper to invest district courts with powers of transfer in respect of suits of a Small Causes Court nature and to permit that power to be exercised for the transfer of a case from a Court of Small Causes to a court which is neither a Court of Small Causes constituted under Act IX of 1887, nor a court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes.'

Thus the Allahabad High Court decision in terms holds that the words 'Court of Small Causes' occurring in Section 24(4) refer to both the categories. In this connection I entirely agree with the reasoning of the learned Judges of the Allahabad High Court in Sukha's case. ILR 39 All 214 = (AIR 1917 All 62) (supra and more so because of the fact that a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court in Parshottamdas v. Bhagubhai, LIR 56 Bom 387 = (AIR 1932 Bom 486), has approved of the decision of the Allahabad High Court in Sukhas' case (supra). Even apart from the imprimatur of the Bombay High Court in Parshottam's case (supra) to the decision in Sukha's case, ILR 39 All 214 = (AIR 1917 All 62.). I would, speaking for myself, be inclined to follow the reasoning of Allahabad High Court. The special definition of a Court of Small Causes occurring in Section 4 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act is for the purposes of the Act and cannot be extended to the words 'a Court of Small Causes occurring in Section 24(4) of the Code of Civil Procedure. The legislature had before it in Section 7 Civil Procedure Code the phraseology 'Courts Constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act' and also 'Courts exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes' under the said Act. In spit of this clear distinction which the legislature has set out in Section 7, when it came to enact Section 24(4), the legislature has used a comprehensive phrase 'a Court of Small Causes' in Section 24(4). To my mind, a Court exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act by virtue of the fact that it is invested by an order passed by the High Court under S. 28 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes. Such a Court of Small Causes for the purposes of Section 24(4) Civil Procedure Code in a court of small Causes. If the legislature wanted to make this distinction between the two Courts, viz., a Court constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act on the one had and a Court exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under that Act on the other, it would have definitely said so because this distinction between the two Courts was present to the mind of the legislature as shown in Section 7 Civil Procedure Code. The very fact that a comprehensive term: 'Court of Small Causes' is used in Section 24(4), goes to indicate that the legislature had no mind both the Courts viz., the Court constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act as well as a Court exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under that Act, when it used the phrase 'a Court of Small Causes' in Section 24(4).

11. Mr. Zaveri has drawn my attention to the fact that a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Bhagwati v. Badri : AIR1931All574 , has overruled the decision in Mangal Sen's case (1891) ILR 13 All 324 (supra) and also by necessary implication the decision in Sukha's case ILR 39 All 214 = (AIR 1917 All 62) (supra). If may be pointed out that in that particular case before the Full bench of the Allahabad High Court, it was a case of a successor Judge and not the case of a transferee Court. In the case before the Full Bench the plaintiffs had instituted a suit for recovery of Rs.182 /- principal and interest in the Court of the Munsif of Bensi, who was invested with Small Cause Court powers. After he was transferred from the district another Munsif took over charge who was not invested with such powers. There was an additional Subordinate Judge at Bansi at that time who was invested with Small Cause Court powers. The Additional District Judge directed the new Munsif to transfer all the cases pending on the Small Cause Court side of the Munsif's Court to the regular side. In pursuance of this order, the Munsif transferred this particular case from the Small Cause Side to the Regular Side and the claim was decreed. It was held that an appeal against this decision of the Munsif did lie. That case before the Allahabad High Court fell within Section 35 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, under which in the event of a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes ceasing to have jurisdiction with respect to any case the case has to be tried according to the practice and procedure which would have applied, if this suit had been instituted at the time of the succeeding Court taking over the matter. Really speaking this decision in Bhagwati's case, AIR 1931 All 574 (FB) (supra) is on the interpretation of Section 35 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act and incidentally the provisions of Section 24 have been considered. At page 579 of the report, the Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court explained Section 24 Civil Procedure Code as follows:--

'Obviously Section 24 contemplates the transfer of a case from one existing Court. If therefore a Court of Small causes has ceased to exist or the officer invested with Small Cause Court powers has been transferred from the district and there is no other officer possessing such powers, there would be no Court from which the District Court can under Section 24 Civil Procedure Code transfer the case to an ordinary civil court.'

The Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court in the above case does not appear to have considered the meaning of the words 'a Court of Small Causes' occurring in Section 24(4) in the context of that particular case; nor was it necessary for that Court to consider the scope of Section 24(4) in that particular case. However, as I have stated earlier, the decision in Sukha's case, ILR 39 All 214 = (AIR 1917 All 62) (supra), which is directly in point so far as the present facts are concerned, has been approved by the Bombay High Court in AIR 1932 Bom 486 (supra) and Nanavati J. delivering a separate but concurring judgment has pointed out that Section 24(4) Civil Procedure Code confers jurisdiction on the transferee Court, even though the transferee Court or the Judge presiding over the transferee Court might not have been invested with powers under Section 28 of the Bombay Civil courts Act. He pointed out at page 393 of the report:--

'The jurisdiction of a Subordinate Judge is defined in Section 24 of the Bombay Civil courts Act of 1869. If a suit is within the power of the Court as so defined, then the Court is competent to try the suit. Section 16 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act does not take away this competency. It only directs that certain suits shall not be tried by such courts and this bar is removed under Section 24, sub-section (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure when an order of transfer is made under that section. If Section 16 of the Provincial Small Cause courts Act had the effect of making courts other than those governed by that Act incompetent to try 'Small cause Suits', then Section 24, sub-section (4), Civil Procedure Code, need not have been enacted at all since the situation contemplated therein could not arise.'

With respect I agree and in my opinion, both on general principles, of interpretation as well as on decided cases, I hold in the instant case that the words 'a Court of Small Causes' occurring in Section 24(4) include both the Court of Small Causes constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act as well as a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes.

12. Mr. Zaveri's contention that as a result of the change brought about by the Act of 1958 , a different situation arises cannot be accepted. It is true that the words 'within such local limits as it shall from time to time appoint' occurring in Section 28 before the amendment of 1958, have been omitted, when a Civil Judge invested whether before or after the amendment, with small cause court powers i.e. with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes, tries the suit, his is a Court of Small Causes and if a suit is withdrawn from a Civil Judge invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under Section 28, the question of local limits does not arise at all. The local limits of his jurisdiction are otherwise fixed and even after the amendment of section 28 when the Civil Judge, S.D., or J.D., invested with Small Cause Court powers under Section 28 tries any suit, he can only do so within his territorial jurisdiction which he otherwise exercises in the exercise of his ordinary powers. In view of this fact, the deletion of the words 'within such local limits as it shall from time to time appoint' from Section 28 by the amending Act of 1958, does not alter the situation so far as the interpretation of Section 24(4), Civil P.C. is concerned.

13. It is true that Baker, J. at page 390 of the report in Parshottamdas's case. ILR 56 Bom 387 = (AIR 1932 Bom 486) (supra) observed:--

'The difficulty arises from sub-section (4) of the section, which if the view adopted by the Madras High Court is followed, does not seem to have much point. It is now held by all High Courts, though at one time this Court took a different view, that the words 'Court of Small Causes' in sub-section (4) of Section 24 make no distinction between a regular Court of Small Causes and a Court of the Subordinate Judge invested with Small Cause Court jurisdiction, as nearly all Subordinate Judges are.'

No authorities have been discussed by Baker, J., in support of his conclusion that the Bombay High Court had taken the view that the words 'a Court of Small Causes' in sub-section (4) of Section 24 makes no distinction between a regular Small Cause court and a Court invested with that power. But that as it may, the decision in Parshottam's case (supra) was given in 1931 and has held the field since that time. Even on the principle of stare decisis, there is no reason to interefere with this interpretation of Section 24(4) and even if I were of a different view regarding the meaning of section 24(4), the principle of stare decisis would apply to this decision which has not been dissented from all these years.

14. Application dismissed.


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