Skip to content


C.C. Basu Vs. Patel Dahyabhai Vaghjibhai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1967)8GLR123
AppellantC.C. Basu
RespondentPatel Dahyabhai Vaghjibhai and ors.
Cases ReferredIn Brajnandan Sinha v. Jyoti Narain
Excerpt:
- - , bad no jurisdiction to try and dispose of the suits. under section 22a, the state government may, by notification in the official gazette, fix, and, by a like notification, from time to time, alter the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the civil judges. the question of persona designata or the power to transfer does not arise so far as the provisions of the act before me are concerned but so far as the scheme of section 23 of the bombay civil courts act is concerned, the decision of the division bench will be applicable to the present case as well. 19. the result therefore, is that both these civil revision applications fail and they are dismissed.b.j. divan, j.1. the opponents in both these civil revision applications are the same. the petitioners in the two civil revision applications are different. the opponents in both these civil revision applications are the landlords and the petitioners in each of these civil revision applications are the tenants occupying different portions of the same building, which is situated at baroda. the plaintiffs had filed two suits against these two different tenants for recovery of possession of the premises in suit and the suits were originally filed in the court of the civil judge, sr. dn., baroda. thereafter both these suits were transferred. so far as the suit from which civil revision application no. 197 of 1966 arises is concerned, it was transferred to the court of the 5th joint civil.....
Judgment:

B.J. Divan, J.

1. The opponents in both these Civil Revision Applications are the same. The petitioners in the two Civil Revision Applications are different. The opponents in both these Civil Revision Applications are the landlords and the petitioners in each of these Civil Revision Applications are the tenants occupying different portions of the same building, which is situated at Baroda. The plaintiffs had filed two suits against these two different tenants for recovery of possession of the premises in suit and the suits were originally filed in the Court of the Civil Judge, Sr. Dn., Baroda. Thereafter both these suits were transferred. So far as the suit from which Civil Revision Application No. 197 of 1966 arises is concerned, it was transferred to the Court of the 5th Joint Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., Baroda, and so far as the suit from which Civil Revision Application No. 106 of 1966 arises is concerned, it was transferred to the Court of the 6th Joint Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., Baroda. While these suits were pending in the Courts of the 5th and the 6th Joint Civil Judges, Jr. Dn., Baroda respectively, the District Judge, Baroda, passed an order under Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure transferring these two suits to the Court of the Joint Civil Judge, Sr. Dn., Baroda. After both these suits were thus transferred, an application was filed by the respective defendant in each of these two suits contending that under the provisions of Section 28 of the Bombay Rents, Hotel & Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), it was only the Court of Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., functioning at Baroda that had exclusive jurisdiction to try these suits under the Act and, therefore, the Court of the Joint Civil Judge, Sr. Dn., bad no jurisdiction to try and dispose of the suits. The learned trial Judge dismissed both these applications by separate judgments, which were both on the same lines and the present two Civil Revision Applications have been filed against the judgment and orders in these two suits.

2. The same point is involved in both the Civil Revision Applications and I will dispose of both of them by this common judgment.

3. The contention on behalf of the petitioners in these two Civil, Revision Applications is based on the wording of Section 28 of the Act and so far as is relevant the words of the section are:

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law and notwithstanding that by reason of the amount of the claim or for any other reason, the suit or proceeding would not, but for this provision be within its jurisdiction,

(b) elsewhere, the Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) having jurisdiction in the area in which the premises are situate or, if there is no such Civil Judge, the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) having ordinary jurisdiction, shall have jurisdiction to entertain and try any suit or proceeding between a landlord and a tenant relating to the recovery of rent or possession of any premises to which any of the provisions of this part apply and.... no other court shall have jurisdiction to

entertain any such suit, proceeding or application or to deal with such claim or question.

Now, the Act nowhere lays down how the Court of Civil Judge, Jr. Dn. is to be constituted or how the Court of Civil Judge, Sr. Dn. is to be constituted or how the area in which these two different types of Courts are to exercise their ordinary jurisdiction is to be determined. In order to find out how the Courts of Civil Judges, Jr. Dn. and the Courts of Civil Judges, Sr. Dn. in different areas are to be constituted and also to find out the areas in which these respective Courts have ordinary jurisdiction, one has to go to the provisions of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, being Bombay Act No. 14 of 1869.

4. Section 21 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act provides that there shall be in each district so many Civil Courts subordinate to the District Court as the State Government shall from time to time direct: Provided that for special reasons it shall be lawful for the State Government at any time to close temporarily any such Subordinate Court. Section 22 provides that the Judges of such Subordinate Courts shall be appointed by the State Government, and shall be called Civil Judges. Under Section 22A, the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, fix, and, by a like notification, from time to time, alter the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the Civil Judges. Section 23 provides that the Civil Judges shall hold their Courts at such place or places as the State Government may from time to time appoint within the local limits of their respective jurisdictions; and the 5th para of Section 23 provides that for the purpose of assisting the Judge of any subordinate Court in the disposal of the civil business on his file, the High Court may appoint to such Court from the members of the Subordinate Civil Judicial Service of the State one or more Joint Civil Judges, or the District Judge may, with the previous sanction of the High Court, depute to such Court the Judge of another subordinate Court within the district. Then the section proceeds:

A Civil Judge thus appointed or deputed to assist in the Court of another Civil Judge shall dispose of such civil business within the limits of his pecuniary jurisdiction as may, subject to the control of the District Judge, be referred to him by the Judge of such Court.

Then the section also provides;

For the purposes of this section the provisions of the Act applicable to Civil Judges shall be, and shall be deemed always to have been applicable to Joint Civil Judges.

The proviso is not relevant for the purposes of this judgment.

5. Section 24 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act provides:

The Civil Judges shall be of two classes. The jurisdiction of a Civil Judge (Senior Division) extends to all original suit and proceeding of a civil nature.

The jurisdiction of a Civil Judge (Junior Division) extends to all original suits and proceedings of a civil nature wherein the subject-matter does not exceed in amount or value ten thousand rupees.

The proviso to Section 24 is not relevant for the purposes of this judgment Section 25 provides:

A Civil Judge (Senior Division) in addition to his ordinary jurisdiction shall exercise a special jurisdiction in respect of such suits and proceedings of a civil nature, as may arise within the local jurisdiction of the Courts in the district presided over by Civil Judges (Junior Division) and wherein the subject matter exceeds the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) as defined by Section 24.

In district to which more than one Civil Judge (Senior Division) have been appointed, the District Judge, subject to the orders of the High Court, shall assign to each the local limits within which his said special jurisdiction is to be exercised.

It may be pointed out that under Section 32 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, no subordinate Court other than the Court of a Civil Judge (Senior Division) and no Court of Small Causes shall receive or register any suit in which the Crown or any officer of the Crown in his official capacity is a party; and Sub-section (2) of Section 32 provides that in every such case the plaintiff shall be referred to the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) and such suit shall be instituted only in the Court of the Civil Judge ( Senior Division) and shall be heard by such Civil Judge, subject to the provisions of Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

6. It is clear that under the scheme of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, the State Government sets up Civil Courts subordinate to the District Court and appoints Civil Judges, who may be either Civil Judges (Senior Division) or Civil Judges (Junior Division) to such Courts. Under Section 22A, the State Government has to fix the local limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the different Civil Judges appointed to the different Courts constituted under Section 21. The appointment of Joint Civil Judges is made under Section 23 and it is clear from the scheme of that section that though there may be one Court of Civil Judge, Sr. Dn., at a particular place, joint Civil Judges, who may be either Joint Civil Judges Sr. Dn. or Joint Civil Judges, Jr. Dn., may be appointed and under ordinary circumstances such Joint Judges exercise pecuniary jurisdiction accordingly as they are Civil Judges, Sr. Dn. or Civil Judges, Jr. Dn. and the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of such Joint Civil Judges are the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of the principal Court to which they are joint. Further, such Joint Civil Judges have to dispose of only such work as has been referred to them either by the principal Judge of the Court to which they are joint or has been referred to them by the District Judge of the district in which such Courts are situate. It is, therefore, clear that the Joint Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., wherever he has been appointed to assist the principal Judge of the Court to which he is joint, has no jurisdiction to receive any suit simpliciter. Further he has no jurisdiction to dispose of any civil business, suits or proceedings other than that which is referred to him either by the principal Judge of the Court to which he is joint or by the District Court of the district where such court is situate. It is with reference to the background of these provisions of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, 1869, that one has to consider the provisions of Section 28 of the Act, viz., Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947.

7. There is no dispute before roe that so far as the town of Baroda is concerned, there is only one Court, viz., the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Baroda; and under Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, Civil Judges, both Senior Division and Junior Division, have been appointed as Joint Civil Judges to assist the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Baroda, in the disposal of the civil business on his file.

8. The question then arises as to whether the jurisdiction to entertain and try any suit or proceeding falling within the provisions of Section 28 of the Act can be exercised by a Joint Civil Judge, Jr. Dn.. at Baroda. It is clear from the scheme of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, which I have analysed earlier, that a Joint Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., has no power to entertain any suit in the first instance. A Joint Civil Judge, either Senior Division or Junior Division, can only dispose of such matters as are refer red to him either by the principal Judge of the Court to which he is joint or by the District Judge of the district in which such court is situate.

9. I am fortified in this conclusion of mine by the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Rathod Bhojaji v. Pathan Nasirkhan III G.L.R. 803. In that case, a Division Bench of this High Court consisting of Shelat J. (as he then was) and Modi J., considered the provisions of Section 15 of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, 1958; and also the provisions of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, Section 23. Under Section 15 of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, it was provided that the election petition under the Act had to be presented in the Court of a Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., and if there be no Civil Judge, Jr. Dn., then to the Civil Judge, Sr. Dn., having ordinary jurisdiction in the area within which the election has been or should have been held for the determination of such question; and in the light of the provisions of Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, the Division Bench held that a Civil Judge (Junior Division), who has been posted as a Joint Judge, under Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, 1869, at a place where there is no Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division), has no independent Court, where suits and proceedings can be filed. It may be pointed out that the wording of Section 15(1) of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act and Section 28 of the Act are in pari materia so far as the question of jurisdiction of the Civil Judges, Senior Division and Civil Judges, Junior Division, to entertain either the election petition or the suit, as the case might be, is concerned. It was held in that particular case that in Mehsana there being no Court of a Civil Judge, Junior Division, where civil work can be filed, the Civil Judge, who had such jurisdiction, was the Civil Judge, Senior Division, and it was further held that under Section 15(1) of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, 1958, the Civil Judge, Senior Division, was a persona designata and he could not transfer an election petition filed before him to another Judge. The question of persona designata or the power to transfer does not arise so far as the provisions of the Act before me are concerned but so far as the scheme of Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act is concerned, the decision of the Division Bench will be applicable to the present case as well. It may be pointed that in that particular case what was challenged was the election to the Panchayat of Village Tundali, situate in Mehsana Taluka of Mehsana District and the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Mehsana was the Court having ordinary jurisdiction so far as Mehsana Taluka was concerned. At page 805 of the report the Division Bench has observed as follows:

The question is, whether at the time when the application was made there was a Civil Judge (Junior Division) having ordinary jurisdiction in Tundali, Mehsana Taluka. It is dear that under Section 15(1) if there was no such Civil Judge (Junior Division) having ordinary jurisdiction in Tundali, where the election took place, then, the application challenging the election must be filed before the Civil Judge (Senior Division). It is not in dispute that there is no Court presided over by a Civil Judge (Junior Division) in the Mehsana Taluka, who has ordinary jurisdiction in the village Tundali. Consequently all civil suits and proceedings have to be, and are in fact, filed in the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mehsana, which is the principal town of Mehsana Taluka, and within which the village Tundali is situate. There being no Court of a Civil Judge (Junior Division) in Mehsana, all such suits and proceedings have to be, and are in fact, filed in the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division). It is true that a Civil Judge (Junior Division) has been posted by the High Court at Mehsana as a Joint Civil Judge but that has been done with a view to assist the Civil Judge (Senior Division) there to dispose of the work filed in his Court. Being a Joint Judge he disposes of such suits and matters as are transferred to his file by the principal Judge viz., the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mehsana, and which suits and matters are within his pecuniary jurisdiction. Being a Civil Judge (Junior Division) his pecuniary Jurisdiction is limited upto Rs. 10, 000/-. It is thus clear that there is only one Court in Mehsana town and that of the Civil Judge (Senior Division), who has under Section 24 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, 1869, jurisdiction to dispose of all original suits and proceedings of a civil nature whether of the value of Rs. 10, 000 and above or below Rs 10, 000/-. There, the work being in sufficient quantity, a Civil Judge (Junior Division) has been posted by the High Court only for the purpose of assisting him in the disposal of matters filed in that Court But unlike some Taluka towns in that District, Mehsana being also a District town there are in that town Courts of the District Judge, the Assistant Judge and the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) but as stated above, there is no Court of a Civil Judge (Junior Division).

With the substitution of the word 'Mehsana' for 'Baroda' and the words 'Baroda Town' for 'Tundali village' whatever has been stated in the passage just now cited from the decision of the Division Bench will apply with equal force to the facts of the present case.

10. It is true that by virtue of the opening words of Section 28 of the Act, which lays down non-obstante clauses, a Civil Judge, Junior Division, disposes of a matter under the Act either because such matter has been originally entertained in his Court or because being a Joint Civil Judge, such matter has been transferred to him either by the principal Judge of the Court to which he is joint or by the District Judge and such a Civil Judge, Junior Division can dispose of suits of any valuation irrespective of the fact that under Section 24 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, ordinarily his pecuniary jurisdiction is to try suits upto the valuation of Rs. 10, 000/-. Similarly, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 32 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, in any suit in which the Government or an officer of the Government in his official capacity is a party, where the suit is governed by the provisions of the Act because of the non-obstante clause at the commencement of Section 28 of the Act, a Civil Judge, Junior Division, will have jurisdiction to entertain, try and dispose of such suits, though ordinarily but for such non-obstante clauses, he would not have such jurisdiction to dispose of such suits against the Government or the officers of the Government in their official capacity.

11. It was contended that under Section 28(1)(b) of the Act, the Court of the Civil Judge, Sr. Dn. having ordinary jurisdiction in the area in which the premises are situated, has jurisdiction to entertain and try any suit falling within the purview of the Act, only if there is no Civil Judge, Junior Division, having jurisdiction in the area. It was contended before me that a Joint Civil Judge, Junior Division, has jurisdiction in the area viz., Baroda Town; but it has to be borne in mind that there must be a Court of the Civil Judge, Junior Division, having ordinary jurisdiction in Baroda town before it can be said that the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda has no jurisdiction to entertain and try suits arising within Baroda town or within the local limits of his jurisdiction as defined by Section 22A of the Bombay Civil Courts Act. As I have emphasized earlier, so far as Baroda town is concerned, there is only the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, and no Joint Civil Judge, either Senior Division or Junior Division, in Baroda town has ordinary jurisdiction to entertain and try suits, except such suits as are referred to him under the provisions of Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act. Therefore, the words 'such Civil Judge' occurring in Section 28(1)(b) of the Act have only reference to a Civil Judge, Junior Division, who is the Civil Judge, Junior Division, of a Court having ordinary jurisdiction over the area in which the premises are situated and as explained by the Division Bench in the case of Rathod Bhojaji, III G L R 803 (supra) and also as explained by me on the analysis of the scheme of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, Joint Civil Judge, Junior Division, posted at Baroda to assist the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, has no ordinary jurisdiction in Baroda town.

12. Under these circumstances, apart from any other authority on the point, it seems to me that in Baroda Town, a suit or a proceeding referred to in Section 28 of the Act can only be entertained and tried by the Civil Judge, Senior Division; and once it is entertained by him, by virtue of Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, it can be disposed of by any Joint Civil Judge, who has been appointed to assist the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, for the disposal of civil matters on his file. It is by virtue of the non-obstante clause at the commencement of Section 28 of the Act that the Joint Civil Judge, Junior Division, Baroda, can dispose of matters of unlimited jurisdiction arising under the Act irrespective of the pecuniary valuation of such suit but he has no jurisdiction to entertain in the first instance any suit referred to in Section 28 of the Act. Once it is held that the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, is the only Court which has jurisdiction to entertain and try a suit arising under the Act, then it necessarily follows that all Joint Civil Judges, either Senior Division or Junior Division, to whom the suits have been referred either by the principal Judge of the Court or the Civil Judge, Senior Division, or by the District Judge, either under Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act or Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure, will have jurisdiction to try and dispose of the suit.

13. It was contended on behalf of the petitioners in these two Civil Revision Applications that there are some decisions of Division Benches of the High Court at Bombay prior to Bifurcation in 1960, which lay down that so far as the jurisdiction under Section 28(1)(b) of the Act is concerned, the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, has no jurisdiction to entertain or try such suits. The first of these decisions in point of time is the decision of a Division Bench consisting of Rajadhyaksha & Vyas JJ. in Ranchhodlal Maneklal v. Maneklal 56 Bom. L.R. 962. There the Division Bench was concerned with a decree passed by the Third Joint Civil Judge. Sr. Dn., Ahmedabad, in a suit filed in ejectment by the landlord. The suit was filed in 1945 and during the pendency of the suit the Act of 1947 was enacted and by virtue of Section 50 of the Act, this particular suit which was pending in the said Court was to be transferred to and continued before the Court which would have jurisdiction to try such suits or proceedings under the newly enacted Act and all the provisions of the newly enacted Act and the rules made thereunder were to apply to all such pending suits and proceedings. The Division Bench considered the provisions of Section 28 of the Act and it came to the conclusion that by reason of the provisions of Section 50 of the Act, the suit which was pending before the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Ahmedabad, had to be transferred to the Civil Judge, Junior Division, who alone had jurisdiction to hear and dispose of the suit under Section 28 of the Act. The Division Bench pointed out that the requisite transfer was not made. The suit ultimately came to be disposed of by the Third Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division. It was held by the Division Perch that the trial of the suit by the learned Civil Judge. Senior Division, Ahmedabad, was without jurisdiction and. therefore, the Division Bench set aside the decree of the lower court and sent the case back for trial by the appropriate Court; and after the amendment of 1949. which added Clause (aa) to Section 28(1) of the Act. it was the Court of Small Causes at Ahmedabad, which was the appropriate Court having jurisdiction. It is true that in that case it was held that tinder Section 28 of the Act. the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division. Ahmedabad, had no jurisdiction to try and dispose of the suit under the Act hut the point which has arisen for decision before me is based on the distinction between the powers of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, having jurisdiction in the area and the powers of the Joint Civil Judges. Senior Division or Junior Division, who have been appointed under Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act to assist such principal Judge and this point was not considered by that Division Bench. It is clear, therefore, that so far as this particular point was concerned the derision of the Division Bench was coram non-judice. It is true, as has been pointed out by the Supreme Court in Mahadeolal v. Administrator General of West Kenya] : [1960]3SCR578 , Jaisri v. Rajdewan : [1962]2SCR558 and Somawanti v. State of Punjab : [1963]2SCR774 , that a single Judge of a High Court is bound by the decision of a Division Bench and if the point which has arisen for decision before me had been considered by the Division Bench in 56 Bom. L. R 962 (supra), I would have been bound by that decision but the principle of the Latin maxim coram non-judice is equally clear and what is referred to sometimes as the principle of sub silentio would also apply and since the point was never considered by the previous Division Bench in Ranchhodlal's case (supra). its decision would not bind me as regards this point, It is no doubt true that in that case in terms the Division Bench held that the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Ahmedabad, had no jurisdiction. under Section 28 of the Act to entertain and try a suit referred to in Section 23 of the Act but in the absence of any consideration of the powers of Civil Judge, Senior Division, Ahmedabad and the Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division or Junior Division, Ahmedabad, under the scheme of the Bombay Civil Courts Act, the decision of the Division Bench, with respect, is not binding on me. 14. The other decision on which reliance was placed by the learned Advocate for the petitioners was the decision of a Division Bench consisting of Gajendragadkar J. (as he then was) and Gokhale J. in Civil Revision Application No. 751 of 1955 (Natvarlal v. Kanaiyalal), decided on April 6, 1956. What happened in that case was that a suit for obtaining certain reliefs under the Act was filed as a Special Jurisdiction Civil Suit No. 54 of 1954 in the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda and in that suit a preliminary issue was raised whether the Court of the Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, to whom the suit was transferred, had the jurisdiction to entertain the suit in view of the provisions of Section 28 of the Act. The learned Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, tried the issue as a preliminary issue and held that the suit be struck off from the file of Special Jurisdiction Civil Suits and it should be numbered as a Regular Civil Suit and it should be sent to the Court of the Civil Judge, Junior Division, Baroda, for being proceeded with in accordance with law. Against this judgment and order there was a Revision Application, being Civil Revision Application No. 751 of 1955 and the Division Bench by its judgment, dated April 6, 1956 disposed of that Civil Revision Application. In that Civil Revision Application, it was urged that the Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, had no power to transfer the suit on his file to the Civil Judge, Junior Division, at Baroda and in that context it was held that in view of the decision of the Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in Ranchhodlal v. Mahendrakumar 58 Bom. L.R. 465, the District Judge, Baroda, had the power to transfer suits pending in any Court subordinate to him under Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Division Bench observed that the District Judge could have transferred the suit from one Judge to another and the High Court also could do it. Then the Division Bench has observed as follows:

There is no doubt that on the merits the suit could be tried by the Civil Judge (Junior Division) attached to the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division). The only contention is that the procedure adopted by the learned Joint Civil Judge (Senior Division) in bringing about this result is irregular. In our opinion, -the irregularity if any could be easily set right by our directing the Civil Judge (Junior Division) to try the suit; and that is the order we propose to make in the interests of justice

15. In this decision of the Division Bench in Civil Revision Application No. 751 of 1955, the Division Bench has not considered the question regarding the powers of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, and the powers of the Joint Civil Judges, Senior Division or Junior Division, appointed to assist the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda for disposal of civil matters on his file under the provisions of Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act. The point which had arisen before the Division Bench was whether the Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, could have transferred the matter, which had been referred to him for disposal, to another Judge also joint with him though with Junior Division powers and recognizing that an irregularity had been committed by the Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda in straightway transferring the suit from his file to the file of another Civil Judge, viz.,. Joint Civil Judge, Junior Division, Baroda, the Division Beach set that irregularity right. Under these circumstances, it is clear that the decision in Civil Revision Application No. 751 of 1955 will not be of assistance to me in the disposal of the point which has arisen for decision before me.

16. It was contended on behalf of the petitioners that the words 'Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division)' occurring in Section 28(1)(b) mean the place at which the Civil Judge, Junior Division posted at Baroda holds his sittings and for this purpose reliance was placed on two decisions of the Supreme Court. The first of these decisions is the decision in Bharat Bank v. Employees of Bharat Bank : (1950)NULLLLJ921SC , and at page 195 of the report, Mahajan J. has pointed out that the word 'Court' originally meant the King's Palace but subsequently acquired the meaning of, (1) a place where justice was administered, and (2) the person or persons who administer it. In the context of Section 28 of the Act, it can only mean the place where the Civil Judge, Junior Division, administers justice, and the second meaning qua the person or persons with the Court will not have any applicability to this particular section. In Brajnandan Sinha v. Jyoti Narain : 1956CriLJ156 , Bhagwati J. delivering the judgment of Supreme Court has considered the meaning of the word 'Court' occurring in the Contempts of Courts Act, 1952. There the Supreme Court was considering the distinction between an ordinary Court of the country and judicial or quasi-judicial Tribunals and this decision based on the distinction between an ordinary Court and judicial or quasi-judicial Court is not of assistance to me in deciding the point which has arisen before me.

17. In the light of the discussion set out above regarding the scheme of Section 23, Bombay Civil Courts Act, it is clear that the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, had and has jurisdiction to entertain and try suits arising under Section 28 of the Act and all the Joint Civil Judges, either Senior Division, or Junior Division, posted at Baroda, have co-extensive and co-equal jurisdiction with the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Baroda, to dispose of all such suits under Section 28, as may be referred to them either by the principal Judge of that Court or by the District Judge exercising powers either under Section 23 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act or Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

18. The result, therefore, is that the conclusion reached by the Joint Civil Judge, Senior Division, that he had jurisdiction to try the suit was correct but the reasoning which has appealed to me was not the reasoning which appealed to the learned trial Judge. I do not consider the reasoning adopted by the learned trial Judge to be the correct reasoning but ultimately the conclusion is the same.

19. The result therefore, is that both these Civil Revision Applications fail and they are dismissed. The costs of these Civil Revision Applications to be costs in the respective suit before the learned trial Judge. The rule is discharged in each matter.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //