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Manikyam and ors. Vs. Sreeramulu and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Mad559
AppellantManikyam and ors.
RespondentSreeramulu and anr.
Cases Referred and Kannuswami Pillai v. Jagathambal
Excerpt:
- .....plaint at the request of the plaintiffs. mr. ch. raghava rao for the defendants contends that the district munsif had no jurisdiction to amend the plaint inasmuch as the relief claimed was. beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction. the suit was filed in 1924 and the defendants chose to raise the question of jurisdiction after the trial of the case was over and after arguments were heard. they applied by a petition for the amendment of the written statement and the district munsif allowed the amendment on 28th august 1926. in the written statement the defendants raised the question of jurisdiction on the ground that the suit was one for a declaration and the value of the declaration was considerably over the pecuniary jurisdiction of the district munsif's court and, therefore, the district.....
Judgment:

Devadoss, J.

1. This is an application to revise the order of the District Munsif' of Bezwada allowing an amendment of the plaint at the request of the plaintiffs. Mr. Ch. Raghava Rao for the defendants contends that the District Munsif had no jurisdiction to amend the plaint inasmuch as the relief claimed was. beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction. The suit was filed in 1924 and the defendants chose to raise the question of jurisdiction after the trial of the case was over and after arguments were heard. They applied by a petition for the amendment of the written statement and the District Munsif allowed the amendment on 28th August 1926. In the written statement the defendants raised the question of jurisdiction on the ground that the suit was one for a declaration and the value of the declaration was considerably over the pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Munsif's Court and, therefore, the District Munsif ought not to have entertained the suit. Anticipating on the part of the defendants this objection the plaintiffs filed a petition on 24th August 1926 asking for an amendment of the plaint by the deletion of the prayer for declaration. The District Munsif granted the prayer of the plaintiffs also.

2. The question is whether the District Munsif was right in allowing the amendment of the plaint as prayed for. Evidently the amendment was allowed on the ground that the value of the relief claimed might be beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Munsif's Court and that was the reason why the plaintiff prayed for the amendment. The question is whether this Court should interfere with the order of the District Munsif. When the relief claimed was beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction he had no power to deal with it in any manner, but he had only to return the plaint for presentation to the proper Court. But if the plaintiffs are prepared to give up any of the reliefs the question is, cannot the Court allow the striking out of any of the reliefs claimed so as to bring the suit within its jurisdiction? What happened in this case was that when the defendants were allowed to amend the written statement by inserting a plea of jurisdiction the plaintiffs were also allowed to amend the plaint by omitting the prayer for declaration. The proper course would have been, if the District Munsif thought that the plaint as presented was beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction to have returned it for the necessary amendment and then to receive back the plaint without the relief by reason of the insertion of which his pecuniary jurisdiction was exceeded. In this case that was not done. The contention that that is the proper course is no doubt well founded.

3. Mr. Ch. Raghava Rao relies on Vaiyapuri Chetty v. Ramachandra Thevar : AIR1925Mad1143 and Kannuswami Pillai v. Jagathambal [1918] 41 Mad. 701. But in this ease I am not prepared to interfere with the order of the lower Court for the simple reason that the defendant did not raise the question of jurisdiction at an earlier stage. If they had raised that question at an earlier stage the District Munsif would have returned the plaint to the plaintiffs and the plaintiffs would not have been prejudiced by the three years' delay during which the suit was pending without any objections on the part of the defendants. Mr. Ch. Raghava Rao argues that the objection to jurisdiction is not a new one as the office of the District Munsif took exception to the amount of Court-fee paid on the ground that the relief claimed was one coming under Section 7, Clause (4) (c), of the Court-fees Act and wanted the proper Court-fee to be paid. The plaintiffs seem to have satisfied the office and no objections were afterwards raised on the ground that proper Court fee had not been paid. It cannot be said that the defendants were unaware of these things and that they came to know of it only after the trial was over and after arguments were heard. I think their objections should not be allowed to prejudice the plaintiffs and, I therefore, decline to interfere with the order of the District Munsif though the order is tainted by an irregularity. The petition is, therefore, dismissed, but in the circumstances of the case without costs.

4. C.R.P. 619 of 1927: No question of jurisdiction in this case. Dismissed. No costs.


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