1. This is an appeal under the Letters Patent Appeal against the judgment of Panchapagesa Sastri, J., dismissing an application under Order 44, Rule 1, Civil P. C., for permission to prefer an appeal 'in forma pauperis' against the judgment and decree of the Subordinate Judge of Narsapur in O. S. No. 9 of 1949. The learned Judge dismissed the application because he did not think that the judgment of the Court below was erroneous or unjust so as to justify the grant of leave to file an appeal 'in forma pauperis.'
2. The Letters Patent Appeal came on for admission during the vacation before Panchapakesa Aiyar, J., on 30th May 1950. The learned Judge apparently felt a doubt whether a single Judge sitting as one of the Vacation Judges had power to admit a Letters Patent Appeal against the judgment of another Judge. He therefore directed notice to the Government Pleader and to the respondents presumably on this preliminary point.
3. Rule 4 of the Appellate Side rules runs thus:
"Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained to the contrary the original and appellate jurisdiction vested in the High Court, may, during the vacation of the Court, be exercised by a single Judge acting as the Vacation Judge, except in cases in which such jurisdiction must be exercised, under any law or regulation made by the Central Government by more than one Judge."
The learned Judge who was acting as a Vacation Judge had therefore vested in him the appellate jurisdiction vested in the High Court. He could therefore admit a Letters Patent Appeal. If the learned Judge was not inclined to admit the appeal, he could not by himself have disposed of the Letters Patent Appeal, because law requires that a Letters Patent Appeal must be disposed of by at least two Judges.
4. As notice has gone to the respondents we heard the appeal on the merits. We see no reason to interfere with the order of Panchapagesa Sastri, J. The main issue in the case relates to the genuineness of a Will. The appellant's entire argument was based upon certain circumstances, which, according to him, throw a good deal of suspicion on the Will and which have not been considered by the Court below. These matters may legitimately be urged at the hearing of the appeal, but at this stage when we can only peruse the judgment and come to a conclusion, it is difficult to say that the judgment, as it stands, is erroneous and unjust 'prima facie.' The application to prefer the appeal is 'in forma pauperis' was therefore rightly dismissed.
5. This Letters Patent Appeal is dismissed. Time for payment of Court-fee till one week after the reopening of the High Court after the Mid-term holidays.