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Kandasami Chetty Vs. Ramalinga Chetty - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in59Ind.Cas.906
AppellantKandasami Chetty
RespondentRamalinga Chetty
Cases ReferredBai Jasoda v. Bamansha
Excerpt:
civil procedure code (act v of 1908) order xx, rule 4(1) - provincial small cause courts act (ix of 1887), section 25--judgment of small cause court, contents of--brief reasons for decision, statement of. - .....one of the judges of the bench examined the materials placed before them to find out whether the small cause judge had applied his mind to the consideration of the evidence adduced before him. i may at once say, with reference to the observations contained in the judgment of farran, c.j., in bai jasoda v. bamansha 23 b. 334 , that i am not prepared to act upon the suggestion. the learned chief justice says; 'in a case where there is nothing to excite suspicion, and where the plaintiff has given such proof of her claim as the law requires, the plaintiff is entitled, and this court is entitled, to have some indication from the judge of the point upon which he dismisses the suit, to show that he is not acting from mere caprice or in ignorance of the rules of law which regulate the proof.....
Judgment:

1. The judgment of the District Munsif under revision is in these terms, 'Point; Is the plaint claim true? I find the plaint claim true.' The question for consideration is whether this is a judgment which should be accepted by this Court. Mr. Srinivasagopala Chariar, who appeared for the respondent, has drawn my attention to the language of Order XX, Rule 4 Clauses (1) and (2) of the Civil Procedure Code and contended that, in a Small Cause suit, the Judge is not bound to give reasons for his decision. He is supported by the Calcutta High Court in Protap Chandra Dutt v. Abhimanini Surini 48 Ind. Cas. 752 . On the other hand, in Malik Rahmat v. Shiva Prasad 13 A. 533 Mr. Justice Mahmood and in Bai Jasoda v. Bamansha 23 B. 334 one of the Judges of the Bench examined the materials placed before them to find out whether the Small Cause Judge had applied his mind to the consideration of the evidence adduced before him. I may at once say, with reference to the observations contained in the judgment of Farran, C.J., in Bai Jasoda v. Bamansha 23 B. 334 , that I am not prepared to act upon the suggestion. The learned Chief Justice says; 'In a case where there is nothing to excite suspicion, and where the plaintiff has given such proof of her claim as the law requires, the plaintiff is entitled, and this Court is entitled, to have some indication from the Judge of the point upon which he dismisses the suit, to show that he is not acting from mere caprice or in ignorance of the rules of law which regulate the proof requisite to establish a plaintiff's claim.' The learned Judge prefaces this with a remark by saying, 'In many cases the point for determination which forms the basis for dismissing the suit, is obvious upon the face of the proceedings.' With all deference, this seems to me to necessitate an enquiry on the part of the High Court whether the case is one in which upon the face of it, the unsatisfactory judgment of the lower Court should be accepted or is one which should be further examined notwithstanding the unsatisfactory and uninforming nature of the judgment under revision. Now this would cast more work upon the High Court than Section 25 of the Small Cause Courts Act requires. In a given case, whether a judgment should be looked upon with suspicion or whether it is one where, despite the meagre judgment given by the lower Court, the High Court should see whether the parties have not been injured will not be an easy process and I am not, therefore, prepared to make the distinction suggested. Once the Court is compelled to embark upon an enquiry as to whether a particular judgment should be scrutinized or not, it would be tantamount to the Court examining for itself the materials which were available to the lower Court and judging for itself whether the decision has been properly arrived at by the lower Court. I am free to admit that the interpretation sought to be planed upon Order XX, Rule 4, would appeal to Judges in different ways. Speaking for myself, I have been under the impression while at the Bar that in this Court it had always been insisted upon that the Judge of the Small Cause Court should give some reasons which would satisfy the High Court that he had applied his mind to the materials placed before him. Brought up in that tradition, while sitting in the Admission Court, I have always insisted upon the lower Court exercising Small Cause jurisdiction giving some indication as to what was in its mind, so that I may be in a position to say whether its conclusion is right or not. There are three reasons for this attitude of mind. First of all, the High Court, in exercising its powers of revision under Section 25, is really supervising the work of the lower Court, in order to enable it effectually to do its work, the lower Court must give us some materials upon which we can say that it has done its duty property. Otherwise, we will have to go into the whole record to see whether the work has been properly done. That in from the point of view of the Judge of the High Court revising the work of the Small Cause Judge, Secondly, a party who has adduced evidence--it may be one or two witnesses in a case or half a dozen witnesses in another--must have some satisfaction that the Judge has really come to the conclusion whether his witnesses should be believed or not and whether his documents should be accepted as genuine or not. If, after the examination of all the witnesses and documents, a particular point is decided in a particular manner, the party will be able to see whether what he did has the approval of the Judge or not. Thirdly, what is most important is, that the High Court should not encourage this habit of mind in the lower Court, Once we allow the lower Court to be slack in the discharge of its duty by not giving reasons which indented it in coming to a certain conclusion, I am not quite sure whether this habit of mind would not ultimately have a serious effect upon the temperament or the Judge and upon the rights of the parties, in more important cases. It would not be a mere waste of time on the part of the Small Cause Judge to say simply whether it believed certain witnesses and whether the documents produced before it in the case are to be relied on or not. While it may not be absolutely necessary that it should go into the details regarding the conclusion it has come to, I think that this Court is entitled to have some glimpse into the inner working of the mind of the Small Cause Judge to see whether the work has been done properly or not. For these reasons, I am of opinion that the judgment before me under revision is not one which I can accept. Fortunately, there are not many such judgments coming up for revision. In most cases the Judges elaborately give their reasons for the conclusions they come to. I think this learned District Munsif should be called upon to give his reasons for the decision he has come to. I must, therefore, reverse the judgment and send the case back to him for disposal in the light of the above observations. Costs will abide the result.


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