1. The short question which arises upon this Rule is whether a Provincial Small Cause Court is, under Sub-Clause (c) of Clause (7) of Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code, to be deemed to be subordinate for the purposes of that Section to the Court of the District Judge.
2. Our attention was drawn to three cases in which this question was answered in the negative, the case of Ajodhia Parshad v. Ram Lal 13 Ind. Cas. 284 : 34 A. 197 : 9 A. L. J. 124 : 13 Cr. L. J. 44 decided by the Allahabad High Court and the cases of Ambica Tewari v. Emperor 34 Ind. Cas. 320 : 1 P. L. J. 206 : 17 Cr. L. J. 208 and Sukhdeo Singh v. District Magistrate of Muzoffarpur 38 Ind Cas. 754 : 2 P. L. J. 1 : 18 Cr. L. J. 370 decided by the Patna High Court. The last two cases depend upon the first mentioned case, in which it was held that the words 'Where no appeal lies' in Clause 7 (c) refer to cases, in which no appeal lies, decided by a Court from which appeals ordinarily lie to some other Court and not to Courts from which no appeal lies in any case. There the original proceedings were in a Revenue Court, the Court of an Assistant Collector, but in the course of his judgment, Chamier, J., incidentally observed (pages 201 and 202) Pages of 34 A.---Ed., The result of this construction is possibly that the Legislature has made no provision in Section 195 for an appeal against an order of a Small Cause Court giving or refusing sanction and it may be that the only Court which can interfere with such an order is the High Court. The result may not have been contemplated....' In Ambica's case 34 Ind. Cas. 320 : 1 P. L. J. 206 : 17 Cr. L. J. 208 where the original proceedings were in a Small Cause Court, Chamier, C. J., adhered to this expression of opinion and the Court held that the District Judge had no jurisdiction to entertain an appeal or application under Clause (6) of Section 195.
3. The construction so adopted is founded upon the fact that Sub-Clause (c) must be read, not as a separate clause, but along with the opening words of Clause (7), which runs: 'For the purposes of this Section every Court shall be deemed to be subordinate only to the Court to which appeals from the former Court ordinarily lie,' that is to say:---When these words are read with Sub-Clause (c) undoubtedly a difficulty does arise. Nevertheless, where there are Presidency Towns, the accepted view seems to be that a Presidency Small Cause Court is subordinate to the High Court within the limits of whose original jurisdiction it is situate, Ramdin Bania v. Sew Baksh Singh 6 Ind. Cas. 473 : 37 C. 714 at p. 721 : 14 C. W. N. 806 : 11 Cr. L. J. 357; Jamna Das v. Sabapathy Chetti 12 Ind. Cas. 521 : 36 M. 138 : 10 M. L. T. 278 : (1911) 2 M. W. N. 259 : 21 M. L. J. 1074 : 12 Cr. L. J. 545 and if that be so, it would appear to follow that a Provincial Small Cause Court is similarly subordinate for the purposes of Section 195 to the Court of the District Judge. This view, moreover, is in accordance with the prevailing practice in this Province, where the jurisdiction of the District Judge in such cases has never been doubted of Ram Prosad Malla v. Raghubar Malla 4 Ind. Cas. 6 : 37 C. 13 : 13 C. W. N. 1038 : 10 Cr. L, J. 454. I am not prepared to say that that practice ought now to be disturbed or that the language is incapable of a construction consistent therewith.
4. During the course of the argument it was pointed out that under Section 24 of the Provincial Small Courts Act certain appeals do lie to the District Court. Though this provision may not be sufficient to make the latter Court the Court to which appeals from a Small Cause Court ordinarily lie, it is not perhaps without a bearing on the construction of Section 195 (7) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
5. In the view indicated this Rule must be made absolute. The application in question, which the learned District Judge, following Ambica's case 34 Ind. Cas. 320 : 1 P.L.J. 206 : 17 Cr. L.J. 208., has held that he had no jurisdiction to entertain, will be heard and determined by him as an application under Section 195 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Cede.
Rule made absolute.