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Kuppuswamy Chetty Vs. Ayyammai Ammal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1935Mad723
AppellantKuppuswamy Chetty
RespondentAyyammai Ammal
Excerpt:
- .....an application was made and which numbered it as a suit has dismissed it, and the plaintiff in the suit appeals from that order of dismissal, the subject-matter is the subject-matter of the award and nothing less. the value of the relief sought by the plaintiff which is put forward as the right basis of valuation does not lead to a different conclusion; for in a case like the present the plaintiff does not ask for any particular relief, which is confined to himself, but for a decree to be passed in terms of the award which must necessarily include the entire subject-matter of the award. viewed in either light, the position is the one indicated in the order of the district judge.4. it is contended however that this objection on the ground of want of jurisdiction should not have been.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Pandrang Row, J.

1. This is a petition seeking to revise the order of the District Judge of Madura dated 17th February 1930 in C.M.A. No. 26 of 1929, which was an appeal from the order of the Subordinate Judge of Madura dated 31st December 1928 dismissing an application to file an award and to pass a decree in terms of the award. The District Judge held that the appeal was beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction and accordingly directed the appeal to be returned for presentation to the proper Court. The appeal was accordingly presented to this Court and it has been filed as C.M.A. No. 295 of 1930. The present petition is a kind of alternative remedy sought by the appellant in that appeal, his contention in this petition being that the order of the District Judge is wrong, and that the appeal which he returned for presentation was within his competence to decide and should have been decided by himself.

2. The jurisdiction in this matter of the District Judge is defined by Section 13, Madras Civil Courts Act, according to which appeals from decrees and orders of a Subordinate Judge lie to the District Court except when the amount or value of the subject-matter of the suit exceeds Rs. 5,000 in which case the appeal shall lie to the High Court. In the present case, the appeal is from an order in a suit which was numbered as such under the provisions of para. 20, Schedule. 2, Civil P.C. which provides that an application for filing an award shall be numbered and registered as a suit. The same paragraph provides that such an application should be made in a Court having jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the award. It is not disputed that for this purpose the valuation is to be based on the subject-matter of the award itself: it is also not disputed that the subject-matter of the award must be valued at over Rs. 5,000. The question however is whether in an appeal from an order on such an application numbered as a suit the valuation for the purpose of jurisdiction should be based on a method of valuation different from what is to be applied in considering the valuation for the purpose of jurisdiction in the matter of the original application to file an award.

3. The expression used in the Madras Civil Courts Act, namely, 'the subject-matter of the suit,' is capable of only one interpretation in the case of a suit which is numbered as such after an application to file an award is made, and it can only mean the subject-matter of the award; and when as in this case the Court to which such an application was made and which numbered it as a suit has dismissed it, and the plaintiff in the suit appeals from that order of dismissal, the subject-matter is the subject-matter of the award and nothing less. The value of the relief sought by the plaintiff which is put forward as the right basis of valuation does not lead to a different conclusion; for in a case like the present the plaintiff does not ask for any particular relief, which is confined to himself, but for a decree to be passed in terms of the award which must necessarily include the entire subject-matter of the award. Viewed in either light, the position is the one indicated in the order of the District Judge.

4. It is contended however that this objection on the ground of want of jurisdiction should not have been considered or decided upon by the District Judge; because the respondent in the appeal before him had asked for security for costs, and must be deemed thereby to; have waived his objection on the ground of want of jurisdiction. It has even been contended that his conduct in asking for security estops him from, thereafter contending that the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal. I do not think that the mere application for security for costs has this result. Even otherwise, it is seen that in that very application for security the respondent did allege his objection on the score of want of jurisdiction, because he had stated therein that the appeal was not maintainable. I am further of opinion that in the matter of pecuniary jurisdiction the waiver of a party is not sufficient to clothe the Court with jurisdiction which it does not otherwise possess.

5. The gradation of Courts on the basis of pecuniary jurisdiction is dictated by important considerations of public policy which require that controversies involving matters of greater pecuniary importance should be heard only by superior Courts, and those considerations of public policy stand in the way of private arrangements nullifying their effect. There has been however no waiver in this case, and nothing in the, nature of an estoppel which can be relied upon by the petitioner. I am of opinion that the order sought, to be revised is right. The petition is therefore dismissed with costs.


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