1. The suit was instituted in the Court of the Agent, as the amount claimed was Rs. 10,000 due under a promissory note executed by the predecessor-in-title of the defendant. The suit was referred by the Agent to the Divisional Assistant. It is clear from the language of Clause 2 of Rule 10 that the Divisional Assistant is to decide the case. Under Rule 16, appeals lie from all cases disposed of by the Divisional Assistant to the Agent, There can be no doubt, on the language of Rules 10 and 16, that the Divisional Assistant did dispose of the case referred to him. It is somewhat anomalous that the Agent should hear appeals from cases which he alone has power to entertain and which are beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Divisional Assistants. The analogy of the Civil Courts Act in the Presidency is against such a procedure. But we have to interpret the rules us we find them, however much we may consider that they should have been different. We must overrule Mr. Rangascbariar's contention that the Agent had no power to hear the appeal.
2. Mr. Rangachariar strongly pressed upon us the fact that no orders were passed by the Divisional Assistant on the application of the plaintiff's Pleader to send for additional records and to examine fresh witnesses. A similar application was made to Mr. Duff's predecessor in September and he rejected it on the ground that it was put in too late. The application of the 9th January was presented during the hearing of the case and it must be taken that Mr. Duff saw no reason to differ from his predecessor that the application was not in time. A number of affidavits were tiled on either side that during the hearing of the appeal the Agent was asked to remand the case to take the evidence which Mr. Duff should have taken. The affidavits are so contradictory that we do not think it safe to act upon any of them. We hold that there was no irregularity in this respect.
3. On the merits, the Agent has refused to believe the plaintiff's witnesses. He was largely influenced by the fact that the plaintiff did not go into the witness-box. We see no error in law in his having refused to base his decision solely on the comparison of handwriting. He has come to a definite conclusion on the facts and we see no ground for interfering with his decision.
4. We dismiss the petition with costs.