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The Secretary of State for India in Council Represented by the Collector of Tanjore Vs. Muthu Allagappa Chettiar Trustee of Sri Navaneetha Swami Temple - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in113Ind.Cas.872
AppellantThe Secretary of State for India in Council Represented by the Collector of Tanjore
RespondentMuthu Allagappa Chettiar Trustee of Sri Navaneetha Swami Temple
Excerpt:
evidence act (i of 1872), section 162 - confidential documents--order for inspection--omission to object in trial court, effect of--civil procedure code (act v of 1908), order xi, rule 18, order xiii, rule 1--production and inspection of documents--correspondence between district collector and district judge as to production of documents in pending suits, propriety of--departmental orders by district judge in matter pending in subordinate courts--roving inspection, propriety of. - devadoss, j.1. this is an application by the government pleader for revising the order of the district munsif of tiruvahir ordering inspection of certain documents in the possession of the collector of tanjore. the main point urged before me by mr. venkataramana rao is that these documents are confidential communications and, therefore, the respondent is not entitled to look into them. this objection was not raised in the lower court and the order made by the district munsif, which is objected to, cannot be said to have been made without jurisdiction and i, therefore, decline to interfere with it. but in dismissing this petition, i might observe that i strongly depreciate the conducting of correspondence by the collector and the district judge in their official capacity with reference to.....
Judgment:

Devadoss, J.

1. This is an application by the Government Pleader for revising the order of the District Munsif of Tiruvahir ordering inspection of certain documents in the possession of the Collector of Tanjore. The main point urged before me by Mr. Venkataramana Rao is that these documents are confidential communications and, therefore, the respondent is not entitled to look into them. This objection was not raised in the lower Court and the order made by the District Munsif, which is objected to, cannot be said to have been made without jurisdiction and I, therefore, decline to interfere with it. But in dismissing this petition, I might observe that I strongly depreciate the conducting of correspondence by the Collector and the District Judge in their official capacity with reference to the production of these documents. It is to be regretted that acting upon a letter of the District Collector of Tanjore, the District Judge passed proceedings which are printed at page 17. The District Judge is entitled to give general directions to the District Munsifs and Subordinate Judges, but it is not proper for the District Judge to pass any proceedings with reference to pending matters which might fetter the judicial discretion of any of his subordinate officers. The District Munsif will not permit a roving commission into the registers mentioned in the plaintiff's application but will restrict the inspection to only such of the documents as the plaintiff names and which might refer to his case or help him in his case. No party is entitled to have a roving commission into papers belonging to the other side whether the other side is the Government or a private party.

2. Mr. Venkata Ramana Rao is afraid that this order might prevent him from raising the question of privilege before the District Munsifs Court. I see no reason why if properly advised the Government Pleader in the lower Court could not raise this objection. With these remarks I dismiss the civil revision petition.


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