Patanjali Sastri, J.
1. This is an application to revise an order of the Agent to the Government of Madras refusing to refund one half of the court-fee paid by the petitioner on his plaint in Q.S. No. 1 of 1941 on his file.
2. After the defendant filed his written statement, issues were framed in the suit, but before the. suit proceeded to trial, the parties compromised the matter and a decree was passed in terms of the compromise. The petitioner claims that under Rule 29(2)(ii) of the Agency Rules he is entitled to a refund of half the Court-fee paid. The clause runs as follows:
In all suits which are adjusted by an agreement or razinama or which are otherwise settled out of Court or which are withdrawn or are decreed on confession, the plaintiff shall be entitled to a refund of one half of the Court-fee paid on the plaint if the agreement or razinama is reported to it or the withdrawal or the confession is made before any hearing of the suit has been held.
The question is whether the razinama in this case was presented to the Court ' before any hearing of the suit was held.' It is argued for the petitioner that as a settlement of issues is not obligatory on the Court under the Agency Rules, the hearing of the suit must be taken to mean hearing of the evidence in the suit. We are unable to accept the contention. It is true the Agency Rules do not contemplate the framing of issues before trial of every suit to which they are applicable, but when the Agency Court thinks fit to settle issues in any particular suit there seems to be no obvious reason why the Court should not be regarded as ' hearing ' the suit when it frames the issues arising for determination after hearing the pleaders as it did in this case. The decision relied on by the learned advocate for the petitioner in Swamam Iyer v. Veeragu Ammal : AIR1943Mad286 dealt with a small cause suit where no issues were in fact framed by the Court. Wadsworth, J., held that the first hearing in such a case, where no framing of the issuess was obligatory and none were framed, would be the date which the Court appoints for the trial to begin. But, as we have already observed, the Agent in the present case did settle issues after considering the pleadings and hearing the parties, and we are of opinion that that was a '' hearing ' of the suit by the Agent.
3. Rule 15 (g) of the Agency Rules also supports that view. It says so far as is material here:
When at the first hearing of a suit it appears that the parties are at issue on some question of law or fact, if the Court shall be satisfied that no further argument or evidence than that which the parties or their pleaders can at once supply is required upon any such of the issues of law or fact as may be sufficient for the decision of the suit, the Court after hearing such argument and evidence, may proceed to determine such issue or issues and, if the finding thereon is sufficient for the decision of the suit, may pronounce judgment accordingly ; otherwise the Court shall postpone the further hearing of the suit...
This rule shows that the Court first 'hears' a suit when it ascertains on what question of law or fact the parties are at issue and whether any further argument or evidence is necessary for their determination than what the parties or their pleaders are able to supply at once, and if it finds such argument or evidence necessary, it postpones the 'further hearing' of the suit, which is more or less what happened in this case. Though the rules of the Code of Civil Procedure as to framing of the issues are not applicable to the suits tried by the Government Agent, the language used by the Code with reference to settlement of issues by the Court may be taken to be a correct description of what the Court does on that occasion. The Code calls it the ' first hearing ' of the suit. We hold that there was a hearing of the suit when the Agent settled issues in the case,- and the compromise having been presented to the Court after such hearing, Rule 19(2)(ii) has no application here.
4. The petition is accordingly dismissed. We make no order as to costs.