1. This is an appeal by leave from the decision of Rajamannar J. pursuant to Clause 15, Letters Patent of this Court.
2. The relevant facts can shortly be stated. The plaintiff, appellant here, instituted a suit in the Court of the District Munsif of Guntur. At the trial, it was dismissed as being not maintainable on some preliminary objection, the merits not having been considered. That dismissal was set aside upon appeal by the plaintiff to the learned Subordinate Judge of Guntur who on 31st January 1947 directed the suit to be remanded for disposal by the learned District Munsif. Shortly thereafter, defendant 7, respondent before us, preferred an application for review to the learned Subordinate Judge. The grounds of review manifest clearly and unequivocably that the application was for the purpose of setting aside the whole of the previous order and decree of the Subordinate Judge directing the suit to be tried. No other relief is found to be contained in the application. It was disposed of by the learned Subordinate Judge on 31st March 1947 when the previous order or decree remanding the suit for trial was not interfered with; but the learned Judge directed two very minor and, I would have thought, entirely unnecessary-textual alterations to the wording of the former decree. In place of the words 'is entitled to' he directed the word 'can' to be substituted and the words 'and in the light of the observations contained herein' to be deleted from para. 8 of his judgment. In regard to the first alteration, the new wording, it would seem, has identical effect as the old wording. With regard to the second alteration, whenever the trial Court is directed to hear and determine the suit it does so always having regard to the observations contained in the judgment of the appellate Court making such a direction. Defendant 7 preferred an appeal to this Court by way of second appeal against the decree and order of the learned Subordinate Judge directing the District Munsif to try the suit. In respect of that second appeal an application wa3 made to Rajamannar J. to grant a stay of the order of the learned Subordinate Judge so that until disposal of the second appeal, the learned District Munsif would not try the suit on the merits. The learned Judge acceded to the application and granted a stay. It is to be observed that the order, apart from the questions which are hereafter discussed was per-fealty proper. If appellant defendant 7 in the suit is successful in the second appeal, then it will be entirely unnecessary for the learned District Munsif to hear and determine the suit upon its merits and if he does so, in tho3e circumstances, it would be waste of judicial time and occasion an entirely unnecessary expenditure of litigant's money.
3. At the outset a preliminary point was taken on behalf of defendant 7, respondent, that no appeal lies in the present instance. It was argued that the order of Rajamannar J. granting a stay, is not a 'judgment' within the contemplation of that word in Clause 15, Letters Patent. Consequently no appeal lies. The relevant wording of the Letters Patent which was added by an amendment made in 1929 is the following:
An appeal shall He to the said High Court from a judgment of one Judge of the said High Court...made in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction in respect of a decree or order made in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction by a Court subject to the superintendence of the said High Court.
The application made to Rajamannar J. was referable to a second appeal then pending before this Court and in dealing with it, there is no doubt, the learned Judge was exercising appellate jurisdiction in respect of a decree or order made in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction by the Subordinate Judge's Court of Guntur, which is subject to the superintendence of this Court.
4. In my view this matter is covered entirely by a decision of a Full Bench of this Court in Tuljaram v. Alagappa Chettiar (1912) 35 Mad. 1 There, Sir Arnold While C. J. observed at p. 7 as follows:
I think, too, an order on an independent proceeding which is ancillary to the suit...but with a view to rendering the judgment effective if obtained, e g., an order on an application for interim injunction, or for the appointment of a receiver is a 'judgment' within the meaning of the clause.
Later on the same page he observes:
I think the decision may be a judgment for the purpose of the Section though it does not affect the merits of the suit or proceeding and does not determine any question of right raised in the suit or proceeding.
Here, the order which Rajamannar J. made was one in an application the subject-matter of which] had the view of rendering the judgment effective if obtained. By judgment, in this case, is meant the judgment in second appeal. If the appellant, defendant 7 in the suit, is successful, then an investigation of the merits of the suit becomes unnecessary in the District Munsif's Court and to that end a stay of the hearing of the suit would render the judgment effective. For the reasons given, the preliminary objection, in my opinion, should fail.
5. Now coming to the merits. The sole argument in support of the appeal was this. After the learned Subordinate Judge has delivered judgment and a decree in accordance with it was passed directing a trial of the suit by the District Munsif, defendant 7 made an application to the learned Subordinate Judge for review; that review was allowed. Consequently, there was a fresh decree passed in the appeal to the learned Subordinate Judge and, therefore, the present appeal pending in this Court is incompetent and there should have been an appeal 'against the order made in review.
6. In support of the contention, reference was made to Vadilal v. Fulchand (1906) 30 Bom. 56 and particularly to observations of for Lawrence Jenkins C.J. at p. 60 where it is observed that, in effect, if a review application is heard and is allowed on the merits and the original decree even may be repeated, nevertheless, there is a new decree and no appeal lies against the earlier decree. The decision in Kanhailal v. Baldeo Prasad (1906) 28 All. 240 was also cited; there, upon review of a judgment in appeal, the decree was modified in important particulars and a new. decree was passed and it was held that an appeal lay against the second decree but none against the first,
7. In my opinion those cases are not in point in the present instance. The review sought one object and one end only, viz., to have set aside the previous decree and order of the learned Subordinate Judge directing the District Munsif to hear and determine the suit. There are some five grounds for review each of which was for the purpose already stated. Ground (e) is in express language and states that the appeal to the learned Subordinate Judge should have been dismissed. 'Whilst in his judgment, the learned Judge makes two very minor and it would seem unnecessary textual alterations to the decree, the I prayer sought by the review was not granted. The learned Judge does observe that he allowed the application for review and substituted the word mentioned in place of the existing words and ordered a deletion but does not, to my mind, correctly express what in fact took place. What took place was a dismissal or rejection of the review application but some unasked and [unsought, and I would add, quite unnecessary, textual alterations were made to the wording of the original decree. Further it would appear that there is no other decree in the Court and there is no amended decree on record.
8. The only ground urged in support of the appeal was the one above mentioned, and its correctness I am unable to accept. In my view, the order which the learned Judge made was correct and it follows that this appeal should be dismissed with costs.
9. I agree.