1. The suit is for a declaration that the plaintiff is entitled to collect the debts set out in the plaint--debts payable to one Subbiah Chetty, deceased. The defendant is the widow of Subbiah Chetty deceased and after his death she obtained a succession certificate under Act VII of 1889 entitling her to collect the plaint debts of her deceased husband on giving security which she has done.
2. The plaintiff is the paternal uncle of the deceased Subbiah Chetty. He now sues for the above declaration claiming that at the time of his death he and the deceased were members of an undivided family and therefore that he is entitled to the declaration asked for.
3. The suit was dismissed by the Munsiff on the ground that the suit was not maintainable as brought for a declaration with the object of practically cancelling a certificate granted under the statute and also on the ground that even if it were maintainable in the circumstances of the case in his discretion he ought to refuse to make the declaration asked for.
4. On. appeal by the plaintiff the Subordinate Judge dismissed the appeal holding that the suit as framed did not lie, that the question was governed by Section 18, Clause (e) of Act VII of 1887 as that clause required that a party aggrieved by the granting of a certificate should establish his representative character in respect of the effects including the debts in question and that the suit instituted for the purpose should be brought in a competent court, that a suit in respect of the whole of the effects of the deceased would probably exceed the jurisdiction of the Munsiff's Court in which the suit had been brought and therefore that the Munsiff's Court was not competent to dispose of the suits. The present appeal is from those decress. It seems clear that the ground of the decision of the Subordinate Judge cannot be supported. The suit is not a suit brought under Act VII of 1889 and Section 18, Clause (e) does not in any way govern or affect the suit. It only applies when an application is made to revoke a certificate on the ground that a decree or order of a competent court has already been obtained ' in a suit or other proceeding with respect to the effects comprising debts or securities specified in the certificate.'
5. Act VII of 1889 in no way interferes with or limits the lights of any one to bring any suit which he may think fit to bring and which he otherwise is by law entitled to bring. Any person may bring a suit for a declaration in any manner he thinks fit and if the subject matter of the declaration sought for is within the jurisdiction of the court in which the suit will lie.
6. The declaration claimed in the plaintiff's suit was within the jurisdiction of the Munsiff's Court in which it was brought and therefore so far as the declaration sought was concerned it should not have been dismissed solely on the ground that the Munsiff's Court was not a court of competent jurisdiction.
7. The granting or refusing of a declaratory decree is no doubt a discretionary matter, but we see be reason for refusing to grant the decree asked for merely on the ground that the plaintiff asks for a declaration that he is entitled to collect the debts for the collection of which a certificate has been granted to the defendant and asks for nothing else. It may be that he requires nothing more and in those circumstances to refuse to make the decree asked for would be a denial of justice.
8. We must, therefore, reverse the decrees of the courts below and remand the suit to the Munsiff's Court for trial and disposal according to law.
9. The court will abide and follow the event.