1. These are petitions for leave to appeal to His Majesty in Council from an order passed under Section 25 of Act IX of 1887 in the exercise of the High Court's powers of revision over the Judgment given by the District Munsif of Manamadura in certain Small Cause suits.
2. Those suits were brought by the Rajah of Ramnad in a Small Cause Court to recover damages for the cutting of trees in the defendants holdings. The damages claimed amount to no more than a few rupees in each case. It is now alleged in an affidavit sworn to by a subordinate of the Rajah that the effect of our order will be to deprive the plaintiff of tirwa to the extent of Rs. 30,000 when the whole zamindari is considered. There is no counter affidavit and this statement therefore is not challenged. It is therefore urged that the order involves directly or indirectly, a claim or question of upwards of Rs. 10,000 in value.
3. The reference in the Civil Procedure Code is evidently to questions arising between the parties to the suit and not to questions affecting the title of one of the parties to the suit in suits that may hereafter be brought but are not now pending. Vide Hanuman Prasad v. Bhagavati Prasad I.L.R. 24 All. 236 , which follows a decision of the Privy Council in Moofti Mohummad Ubdoollah v. Baboo Mootichund 1 M.I.A. 363 , and must be therefore preferred to the decision of a single Judge in Ananda Chandra Bose v. Broughton 9 B.L.R. 423 .
4. As the value of the subject matter involved is less than Rs. 10,000, no appeal can lie from our final order unless we certify under Clause 39 of the Letters Patent that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Privy Council.
5. We think it must be conceded that our decision being one on the meaning of Section 12 of the Madras Estates Land Act involved a substantial question of law and that it is likely to have very serious and far-reaching consequences in the Ramnad Zamindan, seeing that other Courts in that district will follow it in dealing with disputes as to the rent payable for trees and as to the right of ryots to take the timber of growing trees. Looked at from this point of view, the right in dispute is not exactly measurable in money but is of great private importance, and in such cases leave to appeal has been granted in Joykissen Mookerjee v. The Collector of East Burdwan 8 M.I.A. 265, and by the Allahabad and Bombay High Courts respectively in Anant Ram v. Sheoraj Singh (1912) 18 I.C. 305 , and Hirijibhai v. Jamshedji (1913) 21 I.C. 783.
6. We therefore certify under clause 39 that these cases are fit cases for appeal. The appeals may be consolidated for the purpose of security.