1. This Rule arises out of an application made by the plaintiff under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act and is directed against an order of the Munsif of Jungipore returning a plaint to the plaintiff petitioner for presentation in the proper Court in the District of Santhal Perganas. The facts briefly stated are these : The defendant executed a hand-note in favour of the plaintiff in the District of Santhal Perganas where he resides. The plaintiff instituted the present suit for the money due on the hand-note in the Court of the Munsif of Jangipur in the District of Murshidabad exercising Small Cause powers on the allegation that there was an oral agreement between the parties to re-pay the loan at Raghunathgunge in the District of Murshidabad and within the jurisdiction of the Jundipore Court. The learned Munsif, on the objection taken by the defendant in his written statement that the proper Court where the suit should have been instituted was the Court in the Santhal Perganas District, returned the plaint to the plaintiff for presentation in that Court. The ground upon which the plaint has been returned is that the defendant would get the benefit of the law of damdupat if the suit is tried in Santhal Perganas and that he would be deprived of that advantage if it is tried in the District of Murshidabad. The learned Munsif made the following observations:
Although a part of the cause of action might have arisen within the jurisdiction of this Court yet this suit ought to be tried in the proper Court of the District of Santhal Perganas where he cause of action principally arose.
2. Now under Section 20 of the Civil P.C. the Court within whose jurisdiction the cause of action wholly or in part arises is a Court where the suit can be instituted. If the suit can be instituted In more Courts than one and is instituted in one of such Courts, the defendant may apply under Section 22 to have the suit transferred to another Court. Such application, however, has to be made under Section 23 of the Code to the appellate Court to which both the Courts are subordinate or to the High Court in case the two Courts are under different appellate Courts, but under the same High Court or where the two Courts are subordinate to two different High Courts to the High Court within whose jurisdiction the Court in which the suit is instituted is situated. The power given to the Court in which the suit is instituted to return a plaint is contained in Order 7, Rule 10, Civil P.C., where it is laid down that the plaint shall ad any stage of the suit be returned to be presented to the Court in which the suit should have been instituted. The section means that, if the Court in which the suit is instituted discovers at any stage of the suit that it has no jurisdiction but that another Court has jurisdiction to try it, it shall return the plaint to the plaintiff for presentation in the proper Court. In the present case the Munsif does not say that he has no jurisdiction to try the suit and, on the allegation of the plaintiff, if he succeeds in proving it, the Munsif would certainly have jurisdiction to try it. The stage, therefore, when the Court discovers that it has no jurisdiction to try the suit, but some other Court has, has not yet arrived. If, on account of some advantage to one of the parties it is thought desirable that the case shot Id be tried in the Santhal Perganas it is this High Court, as the two Courts in which the suit might be instituted are subordinate to two different High Courts, which is alone competent to order the transfer and not the trial Court.
3. It is clear, therefore, that the Munsif who returned the plaint for presentation to the Court of Santhal Perganas on the ground that it would be more advantageous to the defendant to have the suit tried in that Court, had no jurisdiction to pass the order and return the plaint. This Rule is accordingly made absolute. The order of the Munsif dated the 14th July 1925, returning the plaint to the plaintiff for presentation to the proper Court in the District of Santhal Perganas is set aside and he is directed to proceed with the suit according to law. As no one appears on the other side, no order is made as to costs.