1. The second respondent in . O. P. No. 78 of 1977 on the file of the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Vellore is the petitioner herein. The first respondent herein filed the original petition under Order 33 Rule 1 C. P. C. to permit him to file the suit as an indigent person. In the suit, the first respondent prayed for a declaration that he has won the first prize of Rs. 27,00,000 on the lottery ticket issued by the Director of State lottery, U. P. (Lucknow) in the draw held on 17-3-1977, by the State of Uttar Pradesh by Secretary to Government, Finance Department, Lucknow U. P. and for a decree directing the Director of State Lottery as well as the State Government to pay the sum to him. The petitioner herein filed a counter opposing the prayer of the first respondent herein by contending that the first respondent is in possession of sufficient means to pay the Court fees due on the plaint and that the first respondent has got lands, houses, pumpsets, rice mill and other immoveable properties worth more than Rs. 3,00,000. He also raised the contention that the Subordinate Judge's court, Vellore has no jurisdiction to entertain the claim of the first respondent herein. The basis on which the last para was put forward was that the relevant rule under the Uttar Pradesh State Lottery Rules, 1969 according to the petitioner herein, vested exclusive jurisdiction in such matters only is the courts in Lucknow and therefore the Subordinate Judge's court of Vellore has no jurisdiction. By consent of both sides, the question of jurisdiction was taken up as a preliminary point and arguments were heard on that point and by the order dated 8-8-1977, the learned Additional Subordinate Judge of Vellore held that the Subordinate Judge's Court had jurisdiction to entertain the matter. It is to revise the said order that the present civil revision petition has been filed.
2. Mr. K. Parasaran, learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that there is absolutely nothing illegal in the parties agreeing when two or more courts have jurisdiction in res-pect of a particular matter, to designate a particular court alone as the competent court to entertain the controversy and deal with and dispose of the same. According to the learned counsel for the petitioner, admittedly the courts in Lucknow have jurisdiction because the Director of State Lottery is there, and if the allegation of the first respondent that his lottery was stolen within the jurisdiction of the Court at Vellore was true, a part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction and consequently as between the two courts, it was open to the parties to agree as to which court will have exclusive jurisdiction to try the controversy. In this context, the learned counsel relied on the following rule, namely, R. 35 in Uttar Pradesh State Lottery Rules, 1969 -
'35. The legal jurisdiction in all matters concerning the State Lottery shall be Lucknow.'
The sole question for consideration in this revision petition is, whether the abovesaid rule has the effect of vesting exclusive jurisdiction only in the courts in Lucknow and thereby taking away the jurisdiction which the Subordinate Judge's Court at Vellore would have, if it was established that the lottery ticket was stolen within the jurisdiction of that Court from the first respondent herein, as alleged by him.
3. It is well established that the jurisdiction of a civil court can be taken away only by an express provision or by necessary implication and the ousting of jurisdiction of a civil court should not and ought not to be lightly inferred from an ambiguous provision. In this particular case, it is common case of the parties that Rule 35 of the Uttar Pradesh State Lottery Rules, 1969, extracted above does not expressly take away the jurisdiction of any other court and vest the exclusive jurisdiction only in the courts in Lucknow However, Mr. Parasaran wants me to draw an inference from R. 35 extracted above, that under that rule the parties intended that the courts in Lucknow should have exclusive jurisdiction. I am unable to accept this argument. For one thing, Rule 35 of the Rules referred to above does not refer to any court at all, nor does it refer to the solving of any dispute arising out of the rules by a court. Mr. Parasaran wants me to draw the inference that the said rule really means 'the jurisdiction of the court', when it uses the expression legal jurisdiction'. I am of the opinion that such a conclusion cannot be drawn. The expression 'legal jurisdiction' is so ambiguous, so nebulous and so tenuousto draw the inference that the said Rule 35, necessarily refers to the jurisdiction of the courts alone. Consequently I am unable to accept the argument of the learned counsel that by Rule 35 of the Rules referred to above, the jurisdiction of the other courts has been taken away and the exclusive jurisdiction has been vested only in the Courts in Lucknow.
4. The next question is, whether the learned Subordinate Judge was right in finding that a part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of his court and under Section 20(c) of the Civil P. C., the said court had ample jurisdiction to try the said suit I am of the opinion that the learned Subordinate Judge was in error in coming to that conclusion. Just prior to the recording of the said finding, the learned Subordinate Judge himself has stated--.
'Whether the ticket was stolen from the custody of the plaintiff within the jurisdiction of this court, has to be decided at the time of the trial. On the allegations mentioned in the plaint, it cannot be said that no part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of this court.'
The allegation itself, without more, does not confer jurisdiction on the court. Consequently the Subordinate Judge's Court, Vellore will have jurisdiction only if it was established that the lottery ticket was stolen from the custody of the first respondent herein within the jurisdiction of the said court. The same has not yet been established and the learned Subordinate Judge is fully aware of it and has expressly stated that the said question can be decided only at the time of the trial. Under these circumstances, when the question whose decision will have the effect of affecting the jurisdiction of the Subordinate Judge's court, Vellore, one way or the other, has to be decided only on taking evidence, the learned Subordinate Judge was in error in deciding the same as a preliminary point without taking evidence. Hence while holding that Rule 35 of the Uttar Pradesh State Lottery Rules 1969, does not take away the jurisdiction of the Subordinate Judge's court of Vellore, if the said court is otherwise having jurisdiction under the law, in respect of the present matter, I set aside the order of the learned Subordinate Judge and direct him to dispose of the question of jurisdiction along with the other questions, after taking evidence. I may make it clear that there is no controversy that if the first respondent establishes that the lottery ticket was stolen from his custody within the jurisdiction of the Subordinate Judge's Court, Vellore, that courtwill have jurisdiction to entertain the suit under Section 20(c) G. P. C.
5. The civil revision petition is accordingly disposed of in the above terms. There will be no order as to costs.
6. Order accordingly.