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Bidyadhar Bachar and ors. Vs. Manindra Nath Das and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1925Cal1076
AppellantBidyadhar Bachar and ors.
RespondentManindra Nath Das and ors.
Cases ReferredBaikuntha Nath Kundu v. Mohananda Barat
Excerpt:
- ordersuhrawardy and duval, jj.1. these two appeals arise out of two suits instituted by the plaintiff-appellants in the court of the munsif for recovery of possession of certain lands with mesne profits. an order was passed against the plaintiff under section 145, criminal procedure code, and the suits were instituted on 12th september 1911, for declaration of title. on the 20th february 1914, the suits were decreed. the appeals to the lower appellate court were dismissed on 12th june 1915. there were second appeals to this court by the defendant, which were also discussed on the 21st august 1913. in the meantime, i.e., on 2nd december 1915, plaintiff book possession of the decreed lands and after the appeal do this court was disposed of, on the 27th february 1919, applied to the court of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Suhrawardy and Duval, JJ.

1. These two appeals arise out of two suits instituted by the plaintiff-appellants in the Court of the Munsif for recovery of possession of certain lands with mesne profits. An order was passed against the plaintiff under Section 145, Criminal Procedure Code, and the suits were instituted on 12th September 1911, for declaration of title. On the 20th February 1914, the suits were decreed. The appeals to the lower Appellate Court were dismissed on 12th June 1915. There were second appeals to this Court by the defendant, which were also discussed on the 21st August 1913. In the meantime, i.e., on 2nd December 1915, plaintiff book possession of the decreed lands and after the appeal do this Court was disposed of, on the 27th February 1919, applied to the Court of the Munsif which had passed the decree to ascertain mesne profits from the date of institution of the suit to the data of delivery of possession and to pass a decree for such amount as may be found due on enquiry. The plaintiff's applications really related to the ascertainment of mesne profits, pendente lite, for he subsequently gave up his claim for antecedent mesne profits which was very small. In his applications the plaintiff valued his claim for mesne profit; in one case at over Rs. 3,000 and in another case at Rs. 12,000. The amounts claimed being beyond the jurisdiction of the Munsif, he returned them for presentation to the proper Court. The plaintiff then filed the applications before the Subordinate Judge of Khulna, but the learned Judge, following a certain decision of this Court, registered the applications as new suits. In an elaborate judgment the Subordinate Judge held that the Munsif had jurisdiction to ascertain the mesne profits and pass a decree for any sum so ascertained, even though it might be beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction. The learned Subordinate Judge held that the proceedings before him could not be considered as continuation of the proceedings in the suit before the Munsif, and therefore the applications muss be taken to have initiated fresh suits for the purpose of recovery of mesne profits. In that view he was of opinion that the statute of limitation would apply, whereas if the Munsif was to try the applications, no question of limitation could arise. 1 he learned Subordinate Judge thereupon ordered that the plaints for ascertainment of mesne pro-tits be returned to the plaintiff's pleader for being filed in the Munsifs Court within 30 days for disposal under Order 20, Rule 12, Civil Procedure Code. Against this order the plaintiff has appealed to this Court, and it is argued that the Subordinate judge has erred in holding that the Munsif's Court was the proper Court for ascertainment of the mesne profits and that the applications before the Subordinate Judge were affected by the law of limitation.

2. On the first question raised there has been divergence of opinion in this Court) and it is necessary to refer to the authorities briefly. In Bhupendra Kumar Chakravarti v. Purna Chandra Bose [1910] 43 Cal. 650, it was hold by Mukerjee and Teunon, JJ., that a Munsif cannot entertain an application for investigation of mesne profits pendente lite, when the claim is laid at over Rs. 1,000 and that the proper course for him to follow is to direct the return of the plaint, so far as it embodies a prayer for assessment) of mesne profits from the date of institution of the suit to the date of delivery of possession, for presentation to the proper Court. A similar view was taken in the case of Baikuntha Nath Kundu v. Mohananda Barat [1919] 24 C.W.N. 342. The facts of that case are similar to those of the present case. The suit there, as here, was instituted in the Court of the Munsif, and subsequently after the final decision by the High Court the plaintiff applied for ascertainment of mesne profits which he assessed at over Rs. 5,000. The Munsif, thereupon returned the plaint for presentation before the Subordinate Judge. On the defendant raising the plea of limitation, the Subordinate Judge held that under Section 14 of the Limitation Act the claim was not tarred. Against that decision the defendant appealed to this Court and the learned Judges decides that the order of the Subordinate Judge was correct in substance, as they were of opinion that the proceedings before the Subordinate Judge were in continuation of the suit before the Munsif and were not affected by the statute of limitation. The question argued in the present oases was not pointedly raised in that case, but the learned Judges seem to be of opinion that the procedure followed was correct. A contrary view was taken in Rameswar Mahton v. Dilu Mahton [1894] 21 Cal. 550. There the suit valued at Rs. 950 was brought in the Munsif's Court to recover possession of certain lands and for a decree for such mesne profits from the date of the institution of the suit to the date of the delivery of possession, as might be assessed in execution of the decree. The Munsif made a decree in accordance with the prayer in the plaint. The plaintiff then asked that the mesne profits might; be assessed and in his petition he roughly estimated them at Rs. 1,595. On an appeal the District Judge held that the Court of the Munsif had no authority to determine the amount of mesne profits beyond its pecuniary jurisdiction and that the plaintiff could not recover more than Rs. 50 as mesne profits, being the difference between the limit of the Munsif's jurisdiction and the value of the lands as given in the plaint. On an appeal to this Court, Ghose and Rampini, JJ., held that the view taken by the lower Appellate Court was erroneous and that the Munsif had jurisdiction to ascertain the mesne profits and give effect to the order made in his decree in the suit notwithstanding that the amount of such mesne profits added to the value of the suit might come to a sum in excess of the pecuniary jurisdiction of his Court. This case was followed by Brett and Sharfuddin, JJ., in Pachuram v. Kinu [1913] 40 Cal. 56. In that case the amount of mesne profits ascertained by the Munsif was Rs. 1,630 in execution. On an objection taken by the judgment-debtor that the executing Court being a Munsif was not entitled to award mesne profits of a higher amount than Rs. 1,000, it was held that such Court had jurisdiction to award the mesne profits ascertained. The learned Judges tried to distinguish the case Bhupendra Kumar Chakravarti v. Purna Chandra Bose [1910] 43 Cal. 650 on the ground that the amount of mesne profits was ascertained in the case before them in the execution proceedings by a Commissioner but we fail to recognize how the principles of law laid down in these two cases can be reconciled. We are conscious of the alteration in the law made by the Civil Procedure Code of 1908, namely, that under the present Code mesne profits have to be ascertained in the suit, whereas in the Code of 18851 the investigation was relegated to the execution department. We do not think that this difference in the procedure materially affects the principles of law underlying these decisions. The latter view has been accepted by the High Court of Madras in the full Bench case of Putta Kannayya v. Rudra Bhatta [1917] 40 Mad. 1 and by the Patna High Court in Dinanath Sahai v. Mt. Mayawati Kuer A.I.R. 1921 Pat. 118. In the last case, much stress has been laid on Order 20, Rule 12, Civil Procedure Code, 1908, which is construed as empowering the Court which passes the decree for recovery of land be make a decree for mesne profit, irrespective of the amount being within or beyond its jurisdiction.

3. We have been unable to reconcile on principle the decisions of this Court in the oases to which we have referred, and the result of these conflicting decisions is patent from the opposite courses adopted in this ease by the Courts below, the Munsif choosing to follow the case of Bhupendra Kumar Chakravarti v. Purna Chandra Bose [1910] 43 Cal. 650 and the Subordinate Judge preferring to follow the case of Pachuram v. Kinu [1913] 40 Cal. 56.

4. There is also apparent conflict of views on the second point raised by the appellant. In Bhupendra Kumar Chakravarti v. Purna Chandra Bose [1910] 43 Cal. 650, the learned Judges ordered that the plaint, in so far as it embodies a claim for mesne profits from the institution of the suit to the delivery of possession, would be returned to the plaintiff for presentation to the proper Court. In pursuance of this direction the plaintiff presented the plaint in the Court of the Subordinate Judge. The defendant took the plea of limitation and the matter came up again to the High Court and was heard by a Bench com-posed of Mookerjee and Beachcroft, JJ., [Bhupendra Kumar Chakravarti v. Purna Chendra Bose M.I. No. 118 of 1913, decided on 25th February 1914, Unreported]. It was there held that the presentation of the plaint in the Court of the Subordinate Judge was tantamount to institution of a fresh suit, which is affected by the law of limitation. A contrary view has been held without discussion in Baikuntha Nath Kundu v. Mohananda Barat [1919] 24 C.W.N. 342.

5. The question raised in these oases is one of general importance and not; infrequently comes up for decision before the Mofussil Courts which, in the unsettled state of the law, may coma to different conclusions, as has been done in the present cases. We, therefore, think it desirable that the law on the points raised should be settled by a Full Bench. We accordingly refer the following questions for the decision of a Full Bench:

6. Where a suit is brought in the Court of a Munsif for recovery of possession of land and mesne profits pendente lite are claimed or assessed at a sum beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Munsif, has the Munsif jurisdiction to fix such mesne profits and pass a decree for a sum beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction?

7. If the above question is answered in the negative, does the presentation of the plaint, so far as it relates to the ascertainment of mesne profits, in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, amount to the institution of a fresh suit which is affected by the law of limitation?

Walmsley, J.

8. The facts which have given rise to this Reference have been fully set out by the learned Judges who made the Reference. It is only necessary to mention the more important of those facts. They are that the two suits were instituted in the Munsif's Court on 12th September, 1911, and decreed on 20th February 1914; and that possession was delivered to the plaintiffs on 2nd December 1915. The suits were for recovery of possession on declaration of title, and the relief was valued at a sum within the Munsif's pecuniary jurisdiction. After the defendants had exhausted their rights of appeal without success, the plaintiffs applied to the Munsif for the ascertainment of mesne profits, claiming Rs. 3,000 in one suit and Rs. 12,000 in the other. The applications as first presented, were for mesne profits ante litem motam and pendente lite, but the former were withdrawn, so that the applications are for mesne profits pendente lite, that is to say for a period a little over four years.

9. The Munsif held that ha had no jurisdiction to entertain the applications. The Subordinate Judge held that the Munsif had jurisdiction, and that in his own Court the applications mush be treated as new suits affected by the law of limitation.

10. The questions referred to us are these:

Where a suit is brought in the Court of a Munsif for recovery of possession of land, and mesne profits pendente lite are claimed or assessed at a sum beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Munsif, has the Munsif jurisdiction to fix such mesne profits and pass a decree beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction?

11. If the above question is answered in the negative, does the presentation of the plaint, so far as it relates to the ascertainment of mesne profits, in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, amount to the institution of a fresh suit which is affected by the law of limitation?

12. It, is unfortunate that the learned vakils who appeared before us were agreed in proposing a negative answer to the first question: they have, however, assisted us by placing before us all the leading decisions on the matter.

13. Act XII of 1887 is the statute which defines the powers of civil Courts in Bengal. In Section 19 the jurisdiction of a Munsif is set out in these word': ' Save as aforesaid (i. e., otherwise provided by any enactment for the time being in force) the jurisdiction of a Munsif extends to all like suits (i. e., originally suits for the time being cognizable by Civil Courts) of which the value does not exceed one thousand rupees.' Then follow provisions about the forum of appeal. These rules are supplemented by the Civil Procedure Code, of which the fifteenth section enacts that every suit shall be instituted in the Court of lowest grade competent to try it. The sixth section may also be quoted: '' Save in so far as is otherwise expressly provided nothing herein contained shall operate to give any Court jurisdiction over suits, the amount or value of the subject-matter of which exceeds the pecuniary limits (if any) of its ordinary jurisdiction.'

14. If it were not for the views that have been expressed in various decisions, I should have thought that the problem presented no difficulty. The pecuniary limits of a Munsif's jurisdiction are stated definitely, and there is no suggestion that circumstances may arise which will not merely enlarge those limits but even withdraw them altogether. Moreover the scheme of appeals is complete and coherent if the limitations to a Munsif's jurisdiction are invariable but it becomes full of inconsistencies if the proposition is admitted that the Munsif can in certain circumstances exceed his ordinary pecuniary limit?.

15. In my opinion the Munsif's jurisdiction in dealing with an application for the ascertainment of mesne profits pendente lite remains subject to the pecuniary limitations contained in Section 19 of Act XII of 1887. I should like to add that there is no harshness in this view, for a plaintiff who values the land for which he sues at loss than Rs. 1,000, and the mesne profits derived from it during four years and a quarter at Rs. 12,000 stands self-convicted of his undervaluing the one or exaggerating the other.

16. There remains the question whether in determining the question of jurisdiction the mesne profits pendente lite are to be added to the rest of the plaintiff's claim or treated separately. It is obvious that it is impossible for a plaintiff to' make even an approximate guess at the mesne profits that may accrue before his suit is determined. Further those prospective mesne profits are not part of the cause of action on which his suit is brought. I hold therefore that they are not to be considered in determining the value of the suit, and deciding whether it has been brought before the right Court. If mesne profits pendente lite are not to be considered for those purposes it follows, I think, that when they are ascertained, the Munsifs will have jurisdiction to pass a decree to the full extent of his pecuniary limits for mesne profits pendente lite over and above the decree already passed for the property and mesne profits prior to institution. This view, I think, is in accordance with the provisions of Order 20, Rule 12 which clearly contemplates two decrees. It does not assist the plaintiffs in these cases, however, and I have mentioned it only to provide against misunderstanding.

17. My answer to the first question therefore is in the negative.

18. Next we have to consider what is the result, if a plaintiff after winning a decree for the land in the Munsif's Court thereafter applies to a higher Court for the ascertainment of mesne profits on the footing that the amount exceeds the Munsif's pecuniary jurisdiction, it appears to me that the question admits of a very simple answer. If a plaintiff forsakes the Court which passed the original decree for possession, he deliberately gives up his right to ask for the enquiry mentioned in Sub-clause (c) of Clause (1) of Rule 12 of Order 20, and the final decree mentioned in Clause (2) and giving up his right to those special forms of relief he must bring fresh suit, entirely independent of the first suit, and that suit must be liable to the ordinary law of limitation.

19. My answer to the second question is therefore in the affirmative.

C.C. Ghose, J.

20. I have had the advantage of reading the judgment which my learned brother Mr. Justice B.B. Ghose has prepared and I agree with him in the view which he has taken.

Surhawardy, J.

21. I also agree in the judgment about to be delivered by my learned brother Mr. Justice B.B. Ghose.

B.B. Ghose, J.

22. Two questions have been referred to us by the Divisional Court. The second question arises only if the first is answered in the negative. The first question is therefore the more important of the two. It runs thus:

Where a suit is brought in the Court of a Munsif for recovery of possession of land, and mesne profits pendente lite are claimed or assessed at a sum beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Munsif has the Munsif jurisdiction to fix such mesne profits and pass a decree for a sum beyond his pecuniary jurisdiction

23. The facts of the eases which have given rise to the question are fully stated in the Order of Reference and it is unnecessary to recapitulate thorn here.

24. It is somewhat to be regretted that we have not received much assistance in this matter from the arguments at the Bar, as both sides a' reed in the contention that the first question should be answered in the negative. They only addressed us on the question of limitation with reference to the second question. The agreement, however, of the parties is not decisive of the question, and we have to arrive at our own conclusion.

25. I do not propose to deal with the several cases having a tearing on the question as there is clearly a divergence of opinion. I shall endeavour to approach the matter with reference to the relevant sections of the Bengal, North-Western Provinces and Assam Civil Courts Act (XII of 1887) find sections and rules and orders of the Civil Procedure Code.

26. Section 19(1) of Act XII of 1887 provides: 'Save as aforesaid, the jurisdiction of a Munsif extends to all like suits of which he value does not exceed one thousand rupees.' For the present purpose it is not necessary to refer to Section 18 or to Sub-section (2) of Section 19 which extends the jurisdiction of some Munsifs to Rs. 2,000 and I shall as Same that the jurisdiction of the Munsif is limited to suits of the value of Rs. 1,000. The first inquiry is?, what is the value of a suit in which the plaintiff claims recovery of possession of immovable property and also asks for mesne profits pendente lite? It must obviously to the value of the property, The plaintiff is not required nor is it possible for him to value even approximately the amount) of mesne profits pendente lite which must vary according to the period of time the defendant) retains possession of the property. Moreover, the plaintiff has no right to such mesne profits at the date of suit and ha is only allowed such profits in his suit by virtue of a special provision in the Civil Procedure Code. This provision has evidently been made with the object of prevention of a multiplicity of suits. When, therefore, the value of the property is one thousand rupees or less the plaintiff must bring his suit in the Munsif's Court under the provisions of Section 15 of the Civil Procedure Code, and he cannot resort to a Court of higher grade with reference to any prospective mesne profits. The Munsif has then full jurisdiction to entertain the suit having regard be its value, under Section 19 of Act XII of 1887. The next question is, whether such jurisdiction is limited or affected in any way by any subsequent event. Under Order 20, Rule 12 (1), Clause (a) of the Civil Procedure Code, the Court may pass a decree in such a suit as this for possession of the property and under Clause (c), a decree directing an enquiry as to mesne profits from the institution of the suit to a specified date, which I need not reproduce here. Sub-rule (2) of Rule 12 provides that where an inquiry is directed under Clause (c) a final decree in respect of the mesne profits shall be passed in accordance with the result of such inquiry. Where the Munsif has in the proper exercise of his jurisdiction passed a decree for possession, and also a preliminary] decree for mesne profits, he must, I think, be held to have jurisdiction to make a final decree in accordance with his decision. This jurisdiction is not limited if, as a result of the inquiry directed by him, the mesne profits are found to exceed the amount of his pecuniary jurisdiction as' regards the value of the suit.

27. The final decree for mesne profits must therefore be passed for the amount found on enquiry. It seems to me that Section 19 of Act XII of 1887 and Section 6 of the Civil Procedure Code have reference to the value of the suit for the purpose of entertaining jurisdiction, and if the value of the suit is in excess of his jurisdiction he cannot entertain it nor pass any decree in the suit. If a suit is rightly entertained as within the jurisdiction of the Munsif and a decree passed, his power be grant the proper and adequate relief is not affected by any event which increases the value of the relief during the pendency of the suit. To hold that jurisdiction should depend on the amount for which the final decree should be passed would have this effect, that after the Munsif passes a preliminary decree and it is found after accounts taken that the final decree must be for an amount exceeding the pecuniary limit of his jurisdiction, the entire proceedings before him including the decree passed should be considered as being without jurisdiction. Id would also lead to many other anomalies apart from the serious question that the plaintiff would be denied his proper remedy for no fault of his. If the Munsif's jurisdiction to pass a decree is limited to the value of the suit he can entertain, he cannot pass any decree for mesne profits, the amount of which being added to the value of the property would exceed his pecuniary jurisdiction. Thus, where the property was valued at, say Rs. 1,000, the Munsif will not be able to pass a decree for mesne profits, for any further amount. I venture to think that it would not be a proper solution to hold that the Munsif could pass a decree for mesne profit for a further sum of Rs. 1,000, for although there must be two decrees in such a case, there is only one suit, and the Munsif would than have power to pass a decree of the value of Rs. 2,000, in the same suit. Moreover, if the amount of the mesne profits were taken into account in determining the value of the suit and the Munsif's jurisdiction, then, in the case I have stated, he should be considered to have no jurisdiction to entertain the suit or pass any decree, and therefore the decree for possession as well as the preliminary decree for mesne profits should be held to have been passed without jurisdiction. This result however cannot at all be contemplated. Nor can it be said that the Plaintiff must be considered to have abandoned a parti of his claim by bringing his suit in a Court of limited jurisdiction. I have already shown that the plaintiff had no option in the matter and he had no right to bring his suit in a Court of higher grade with reference to prospective mesne profits and it would be manifestly wrong not to allow him a decree for what he would be entitled to. The Court must have jurisdiction either to grant the relief a party is entitled to or not, and in the latter case it must stay its hand and cannot grant only a partial relief by assuming jurisdiction. I am therefore of opinion that if a suit is rightly entertained by a Munsif he has the power to pass a decree for the proper relief even where the amount of the; decree exceeds the value of the suit and his pecuniary jurisdiction.

28. Several instances may be cited where the decree of the Munsif may exceed the limit of his pecuniary jurisdiction as to the value of the suit he may entertain. A suit on a mortgage, where the mortgage money does not exceed Rs. 1,000, at the date of suit must be brought in Munsif's Court. He passes a decree for subsequent interest from the date of suit until realization at the bond rate. The amount due on taking accounts may be found to exceed Rs. 1,000. I do not think that it has ever been doubted that the Munsif could pass a final decree for the amount due to the plaintiff on taking such amounts. Again, where a successful party seeks for relief by way of restitution he is prevented from bringing a suit under Section 144 (2) of the Civil Procedure Code. But the costs, interest, damages, compensation and mesne profits allowed under Section 144 (1) may well be conceived to exceed Rs. 1,000, and it can hardly be held that the relief must be restricted to that amount, being the pecuniary limits of the jurisdiction of the Munsif. Such instances may be multiplied.

29. The only difficulty suggested in accepting the view I have stated is with regard to the forum of appeal if the Munsif passes a decree exceeding Rs. 5,000. An appeal from the decree of a Munsif lies in all cases under Section 21 (2) of Act XII of 1887 to the District Judge. But where the value of the original suit exceeds Rs. 5,000 the appeal from a decree of the Subordinate Judge lies to the High Court. The forum of appeal is determined with reference to the value of the suit, and not the amount decreed. It may be that the legislature did not contemplates the circumstances that a decree by a Munsif might exceed Rs. 5,000 in value But I do not think that the i determination of the forum of appeal affects the question before us. For practical purposes this is negligible, as the instances where the Munsif would pass a decree for mesne profits exceeding Rs. 5,000, much in excess of the capitalized value of the property, must be very tare.

30. I have refrained from making any allusion to the fact of plaintiff's claiming mesne profits in his application for an inquiry at a figure in excess of the Munsif's pecuniary jurisdiction. I consider the matter to be entirely irrelevant as the plaintiff is neither required nor bound to state any amount in his application. The figure stated in his application need not be taken into consideration at all in this connection. The application is not a plaint, and the contention of both parties, that the plaint should be returned for presentation to a higher Court, as was held in some of the decided oases, cannot be accepted for the reason that a preliminary decree has already been passed in the case by the Munsiff on the original plaint, and the only thing that remains to be done is to give effect to the preliminary decree by a final decree. There is no provision in the law for the return of a plaint after a preliminary decree has been passed. To direct one suit to be converted into two suits would also cause the mischief which Order 20, Rule 12 of the Code seeks to prevent.

31. On the grounds stated I would answer the question in the affirmative. The second question does not therefore arise.

Duval, J.

32. I agree with the judgment and conclusions of my learned brother Mr. Justice B.B. Ghose and wish only to add a few observations. In the absence of any rules to the contrary--rules which the Bengal Government is competent to make under Section 3 (1) of the Suits Valuation Act-a suit for recovery of khas possession of immovable property must be valued for the purpose of jurisdiction under Section 7 (v), (a) to (c) or Section 7 (xi) (cc) of the Court Fees Act. The valuations may be, and in Bengal usually is, the market value of the property but it is not necessarily so; and in cases falling under Sub-clauses (v) (a) to (c) and (xi) (cc) may be far less. But whatever may be the actual annual income of the property, 'a plaintiff cannot value his suit for jurisdiction at a higher value than is allowable by law, i.e., the value of the land as calculated under Section 7 of the Court Fees Act plus the value of mesne profit occurred up to the date of the institution of the suit. He cannot value subsequent mesne profits in advance as he cannot tell, when he will get his decree or when he will recover possession. The plaintiff must then bring his suit in the Munsif's Court if its valuation does not exceed one thousand rupees. In my opinion once the Court of the Munsif has jurisdiction to entertain a suit it must also have jurisdiction to give all the reliefs in that suit (including mesne pro-tits and interest accruing after decree) which the law allows. Thus, in suit for money, Section 34 of the Code provides that the Court may decree' interest up to the date of realization and I do not think that it has ever been disputed that a Munsif can give a decree for Rs. 1,000 with costs and interest in addition, i.e., his jurisdiction is not limited in passing his decree to Rs. 1,000 only. My learned brother has referred to a similar position in regard to mortgage suits.

33. It appears to me that Order 20, Rule 12 of the Code, taken as a whole and not split up into parts can only be interpreted to mean that the Court which has jurisdiction in the suit has power to give all the reliefs specified in that rule, independent of what in the first instance is its pecuniary jurisdiction for entertaining the suit, and the fact that mesne profits, subsequent to the decree, of over Rs. 1,000 are claimed can make no difference.

34. Nor do I find anything in the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act against this view. That Act limits the jurisdiction (usually) of Munsifs to suits of one value of Rs. 1,000, ail suits above that value being triable by the Subordinate Judges. The District Judges hear ail first appeals from decisions of Munsifs and certain first appeals from the decisions of Subordinate Judges the High Court hearing other first appeals from the latter. But the respective jurisdictions of the High Courts, the District Judges, the Subordinate Judges and the Munsifs are determined not by the value of the decree, but by the value of the suit, and that value to my mind can only to the value of the suit as defined in the Suits Valuation Act read with the Court Fees Act. Both Section 19 and Section 2l of the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Course Act speak only of the value of the suit and not of the value of the decree-a value made up of what the Court finch due out of the claim and what under the Code of Civil Procedure are legal additions thereto, eg., costs, pleaders' fees and other subsequent reliefs such as mesne profits allowed by it.

Curiam, J.

35. As the appeals out of which this reference has arisen are appeals from original orders they are remitted to the Division Court to be disposed of in accordance with the opinion of the majority of this Bench. That Court will also pass orders as to the costs of the hearing before this Bench.


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