1. This and several petitions of similar nature have come up before me as Vacation Judge. In all these I raised the question of jurisdiction. The matters that have so come up before me and in which I entertain doubts as to jurisdiction may be divided into two groups : (1) Cases in which there is no pending proceeding anywhere in the Presidency. For the first time a plaint which ought to be filed in a moffusil Court - a District Munsif's Court, Subordinate Judge's Court, or District Court, or an appeal or a original petition but which could not be filed there as that Court is closed, is sought to be filed here and an order is sought from the High Court in the nature of an injunction restraining the defendant from doing something. The High Court is expected to transmit the plaint and the other papers to the Court where it ought to have been filed on the expiry of its vacation. (2) Cases in which there is a proceeding pending in some of the Lower Courts either a original suit or an appeal pending in an Appellate Court (not the High Court) and a party wishes to obtain an interlocutory order. In either case, pending the main proceeding the party desiring to obtain an interlocutory order finds that he cannot obtain such an order because the Court is closed and therefore seeks to obtain it in the High Court. I may observe that in both the above cases there is no main proceeding pending in the High Court. The question is whether the High Court has got jurisdiction to pass any orders in those cases.
2. One of the provisions of law referred to by the learned vakil for the petitioner who argued the matter before me is Clause 13 of the Letters Patent. That clause enables the High Court to remove any suit pending in any Court within the Presidency to its own file. This clause does not help the first group of cases. How far it will help the second group will be discussed later on. Clause 17 of the Letters Patent gives to the High Court the jurisdiction which the Supreme Court possesses over the persons and estates of infants, idiots and lunatics within the whole Presidency. This clause does not help the two groups of cases under discussion. Clause 34 relates to testamentary and intestate jurisdiction within the whole Presidency. That also does not help the two groups of cases now under discussion. Similarly, Clause 35 relates to matrimonial jurisdiction in the whole Presidency. The result is I do not find any provision of law by which the High Court can in the first instance receive a plaint which ought to be filed in some inferior Court within the Presidency and pass orders pending the disposal of the suit. It may be that the High Court has concurrent jurisdiction along with the City Civil Court and the Small Causes Courts within the limits of the Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction and in respect of suits arising within that area the matter may be different. But, I am now dealing with matters that have arisen outside the Ordinary Original Jurisdiction of the High Court. This is the view taken by Seshagiri Aiyar, J., in C.M.P. No. 1498 of 1919. In that case the petitioner sought to file in the High Court a plaint which ought to have been filed ordinarily in the District Munsif's Court of Dindigul and prayed for a temporary injunction. His Lordship held that neither Rule 4 of the Appellate Side Rules nor Clause 13 of the Letters Patent nor Section 107 of the Government of India Act can help the plaintiff in the matter. He also pointed out, and I agree with his observations, that Section 498 of the Criminal Procedure Code gives power to the High Court to grant bail in cases pending anywhere in the Presidency, and the analogy based on that consideration cannot help the petitioner. This disposes of the first group of cases mentioned above. In all those cases my order is that the plaints and petitions shall be returned to be presented to the proper Courts.
3. I now come to the second group of cases. C.M.P. No. 2106 falls under this group. As a suit had been filed in the Sub-Court of Trichinopoly and because the Sub-Court is closed the application is made for an injunction. In this group it may be that the High Court can get seisin over the whole case pending before a Subordinate Court by transferring the case to itself under Clause 13 of the Letters Patent and can then deal with the matter. In so doing the High Court can pass an interlocutory order either granting injunction or some other relief. But it has been held in Srinivasa Aiyar v. Bala krishna Devai (1911) 22 M.L.J. 187 that the application for transfer of a suit in a mofussil Court to the High Court must be made in the Original Side and therefore the procedure taken by the petitioner for obtaining an urgent order in the High Court must conform to this principle, i.e., it must involve as a part of the steps taken on application to transfer the suit itself to the Original Side of the High Court. It may be that at the termination of the proceeding in the High Court the suit is intended to be re-transferred and the process of transfer and re-transfer is not actually intended to be gone through, but even then the step taken must on the face of it necessarily conform to the form of going through these two steps. The petition in the High Court must on the face of it apply for a transfer of a suit in the mofussil Court temporarily to this Court, then ask for an injunction and then apply for re-transfer of the whole proceedings to the Original Court. In respect of Court-fees and other matters it must comply with the provisions of law dealing with all such prayers and even then it is a question whether the urgency is such that the abovementioned form of procedure should be gone through. In the present case I do not think that the matter is so urgent as to make it necessary for me to go through the above forms. The result is the petition is dismissed with costs.
4. Memorandum of costs will follow.