1. In this ease, certain matters in the suit were referred to arbitrators who duly returned their award into Court. The petitioners filed objections to this award and the Judge declined to hear them on the ground that they were out of time. A glance at his diary, and at the section of the Limitation Act, shows that they were not out of time.
2. Now it is said that my discretion in this matter is restricted by rules of law, and that in obedience to the principle laid down in the decided cases, I must decline to interfere. What that principle exactly is, has not been made very clear to me either by Mr. V.C. Seshacharriar's researches or my own. But it seems to me formulated in some such way as this: you must not interfere with errors of fact or errors of law or wrong decisions as to limitation. You must only interfere where the lower Court has either purported to exercise a jurisdiction which it does not possess, or declined to exercise a jurisdiction which it does possess. The difficulty to my mind in applying such, a rule is that it appears to make the erroneous assumption that every case will fall exclusively into one or other of these categories. This very case is certainly an instance of error either of fact or law, possibly of both: it is a decision on a question of limitation; and it is a clear declination of a jurisdiction which the lower Court possessed and was bound to exercise. In my opinion, the latter feature is the most predominant, and I think the petitioners have been deprived of a hearing to which they were entitled. I, therefore, Allow the petition and remit the case to the District Munsif's Court to hear and to determine the objections according to law. I may say in conclusion that I view with alarm and distrust judicial limitations of a discretion imposed in general terms upon the Courts by the express words of Statutes. In this instance, I do not think that any decided case precludes me from doing what I think right, The petition is allowed with costs.