1. A decree was obtained in 1916 against the karnavan of a tarwad. The tarwad was partitioned in 1918 into a number of tavazhies. In 1926 the decree amount was discharged by the representatives of two of these tavazhies, and in 1929. These representatives sued the representatives of the remaining tavazhies which had formed the original tarwad, for contribution. The suit was brought as a small cause suit and the trial court held that it had jurisdiction so to treat it. The question in this Civil Revision Petition is whether that decision is right.
2. Article 41 of the Provincial Small Cause Court Act (IX of 1887) removes from the jurisdiction of the Small Cause Court 'a suit for contribution by a sharer in joint property in respect of a payment made by him of money due from a co-sharer' and the question is whether such a suit is one brought by a person who at the time of bringing it was a sharer in joint property, or one brought by a person whose cause of action depends upon the fact that he once was a, sharer in joint property.
3. There is no discussion of this point in the lower Court's own judgment, and though I have been referred to a number of rulings at the hearing of this petition nowhere have I been able to find any such discussion. In these circumstances I must fall back upon my own powers of interpretation and say unhesitatingly that of the two alternatives set out above I must choose the first. The clause must, I think, be strictly construed, and be held to apply only to a suit where the plaintiff at the time of filing his plaint is a sharer in joint property. In the result this petition fails, and is dismissed with costs.