1. Two suits (C.S. Nos. 6 and 7 of 1929) for damages for breach of contract were filed in the; Panchayat Court of Tiruchuli against the petitioner in these two revision, petitions. The 'plaintiff in Suit No. 6, corresponding here to C.R.P. No. 1766 of 1929, appears as respondent. The respondent to the other petition is absent. The contention of the petitioner is that the Panchayat Court had no jurisdiction to try these suits, and upon this ground he presented petitions for transfer to the District Munsif of Manamadura under Section 21 of the Village Courts Act. The learned District Munsif has dismissed the petitions and I am now asked to say that his decision on this question of jurisdiction is incorrect. The respondent in C.R.P. No. 1766 of 1929 raises the point that this objection to jurisdiction was not taken at the earliest possible moment, namely, in the written statement, and I find that while the written statement to C.S. No. 7 does contain such a protest, there is no corresponding plea in that to C.S. No. 6. I do not think, however, that this is a very serious objection. The Civil Procedure Code does not apply to proceedings before the Village Courts and we cannot expect litigants in such Courts to adopt the procedure which it lays down. The objection was taken before the District Munsif as a ground for transfer and must, I think, now be decided upon its merits.
2. The question depends upon the construction to be placed upon the words 'claims for money due on contract'' which under Section 13 of the Act is one of the classes of suits cognizable by Village Courts. The learned District Munsif is of opinion apparently that because the Act applies to a Village Court, this phrase may be read in some vague or general manner. I am unable to follow him in this view or to agree that it is necessarily a nice distinction to distinguish between suits for money due on the contract and suits for damages due for breach of contract. Nor do I understand how he gains assistance from the terms of the provisos to Section 13, because those clearly relate to the exclusion of special cases to which the body of the section would apply in their general aspect. I think that suits for money due on a contract are of a clearly definable nature, as, for instance, a suit for the price of goods sold or for wages for labour performed. These are ordinarily suits of a simple character and for ascertained sums. The word 'due' I think of itself rather connotes that the sum sued for must be ascertained, but if we look to the nature of a suit for damages for breach of contract it appears to be of quite a different class from a suit to enforce the payment of money due under a contract, and moreover, it becomes extremely doubtful whether the Legislature can have intended to invest' the Village Courts with power to try suits of this latter class. Such cases are often very difficult. The principles upon' which damages should be awarded are not' easily grasped except by trained lawyers and the discretion as to the amount of damages to be awarded may vary within wide limits. I think, therefore, not only upon the grammatical construction of the section but upon general considerations of this latter kind, it cannot have been the intention to include such suits as triable by a Village Court.
3. I must accordingly allow these petitions, set aside the orders of the District Munsif and direct him to transfer the two suits C.S. Nos. 6 and 7 of 1929 on the file of the Tiruchuli Pancha-yat Court to the file of his Court. The petitioner will get his costs in both the petitions in the two Courts.