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P.C. Sen Vs. Md. Salauddin - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSuit No. 144 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1960Cal443
ActsPresidency Small Cause Act, 1882 - Section 21; ;West Bengal Act, 1958; ;Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887 - Secion 21
AppellantP.C. Sen
RespondentMd. Salauddin
Excerpt:
- .....act xvi of 1958. the amended section reads-:'notwithstanding anything contained in this act or the city civil court act, 1953, all suits to which an officer of the small cause court, is, as such, a party except suits in respect of property taken in execution of its process or the proceeds or value thereof, may be instituted in the calcutta' city civil court at the election of the plaintiff.' sub-section (2) of the city civil court act provides1 as follows :'subject to the provisions of sub-sections (3). and (4) and of section 9, the city civil court shall have jurisdiction and the high court shall not have jurisdiction to try suits and proceedings of a civil nature, not exceeding rs. 10,000/- in value.'under sub-section (4) of that section :'the city civil court shall not have.....
Judgment:

G.K. Mitter, J.

1. This is an application for final judgment in a suit for recovery of rent of a shop room by a Receiver appointed by this Court. The only objection taken is that the Court has no jurisdiction to entertain it as the amount claimed is Rs. I,344/-.

2. It was argued that in view of the deletion of Section 21 of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act and the substitution of a new section in its place the jurisdiction of the High Court is taken away when the claim does not exceed Rs. 2,000/-.

The old Section 21 provides as follows :

'All suits to which an officer of the Small Cause Court is, as such, a party except suits in respect of property taken in execution of its process, or the proceeds or value thereof and all suits whereof the amount or value of the subject-matter exceeds Rs. I,OOO/- may be instituted in the High Court at the election of the plaintiff as if this Act had not been passed.'

3. The above section was amended by Section 5 of West Bengal Act XVI of 1958. The amended section reads-:

'Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the City Civil Court Act, 1953, all suits to which an officer of the Small Cause Court, is, as such, a party except suits in respect of property taken in execution of its process or the proceeds or value thereof, may be instituted in the Calcutta' City Civil Court at the election of the plaintiff.' Sub-section (2) of the City Civil Court Act provides1 as follows :

'Subject to the provisions of Sub-sections (3). and (4) and of Section 9, the City Civil Court shall have jurisdiction and the High Court shall not have jurisdiction to try suits and proceedings of a civil nature, not exceeding Rs. 10,000/- in value.'

Under Sub-section (4) of that section :

'The City Civil Court shall not have jurisdiction to try suits and proceedings of the description specified in the First Schedule.'

Section 5, Sub-section (5) of the City Civil Court Act of 1953 provides as follows :

'All suits and proceedings which are not triable by the City Civil Court shall continue to be triable by the High Court or the Small Cause Court or any other Court, tribunal or authority, as the case may be, as heretobefore.'

Item 17 of the first schedule to the City Civil Court Act reads :

'Suits and proceedings triable by the Small Cause Court.'

Section 21 of the City Civil Court Act provides that the provisions of the Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law, Including in particular the Letters Patent of the High Court,

4. The result therefore, is that an ordinary suit for recovery of money not being the subject-matter of any of the items in the First Schedule to the City Civil Court Act and below Rs. 10,000/- in value but above the limits of the jurisdiction of the Small Cause Court have to be filed in the City Civil Court. Subject to Section 21 of the amended Presidency Small Causa Courts Act the City Civil Court does not have jurisdiction to try a suit whose value does not exceed Rs. 2,000/-.

5. The jurisdiction of the Presidency Small Cause Court is defined in Chapter IV of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act which contains Sections 17 to 22. Section 17 defines the local limits of the jurisdiction of each of these Small Cause Courts.

Section 18 provides that the Small Cause Court shall have jurisdiction to try suits of a civil nature when the amount or value of the subject-matter does not exceed Rs. 2,000/- subject to certain conditions.

Section 19 enumerates cases where the Small Cause Court shall have no jurisdiction.

Section 19-A provides for return of the plaint for presenbnent to the proper Court when a Small Cause Court finds that it cannot determine the question at issue for want of jurisdiction.

Section 20 provides that the Small Cause Court shall have jurisdiction to try a suit notwithstanding that the pecuniary limit of Rs. 2,0007- is exceeded if the parties to the suit have entered into an agreement in writing that a Small Cause Court shall have jurisdiction to try the same.

6. It will, therefore, be noticed that there is DO provision in the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act which limits the jurisdiction of the High Court to try a suit cognizable by a Small Cause Court. All that the old Section 21 laid down was that when the amount or value of the subject-matter did not exceed Rs. 2,000/- a suit might be instituted either in the High Court or in the Small Cause Court at the election of tiie plaintiff. The deletion of this section from the statute book and the introduction of the new section will not therefore have any effect on the Jurisdiction of the High Court to entertain a suit which it is competent to do under any other statute or law. Under Clause 12 of its Letters Patent this High Court has jurisdiction to try and determine suits of every description if in the case of suits for land or other immovable property such land or property shall be situate or in all other cases if the cause of action thereof has arisen either wholly, or, in case the leave of the Court shall have been first obtained, in part, within the local limits of the ordinary original jurisdiction of the High Court or if the defendant at the time of the commencement of this suit shall carry on business or personally work for gain within such limits. The only exception to this is where the suit is one for recovery of debt or payment of damage not exceeding Rs. 100/- in cases falling within me jurisdiction of the Small Cause Court at Calcutta. The result, therefore, is that if the valuation of the suit exceeds Rs. 100/- it can be filed in the High Court. So long therefore as jurisdiction under Clause 12] of the Letters Patent is not altered the High Court will be competent to try a suit exceeding Rs. 100/-in value but below Rs. 2,000/- in value.

7. The City Civil Court Act does not take away the jurisdiction of this Court except to the extent provided therein. The City Civil Court Act by Section 21 overrides the provisions of the Letters Patent of this Court only so far as that Act provides. This means that the provisions of the City Civil Court Act will have effect notwithstanding that the same be in conflict with the Letters Patent of the High Court. This section, to my mind, was enacted ex abundanti cautela as otherwise it might be contended that the Jurisdiction of the High Court under the Letters Patent had not been taken away. The repeal of Section 21 of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act does not affect the Letters Patent in any way. This Court had jurisdiction to try certain suits even apart from Section 21 of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act and in my view, it still retains the said jurisdiction.

8. There does not seem to be any defence to the claim on its merits and I shall therefore, make an order directing the defendant to furnish security for the full amount of the plaintiff's claim of Rs. 1,344/-within three weeks from date, in default of which there will be a final judgment as asked for in terms of prayers (a) and (c). The security must be to the satisfaction of the Registrar of this Court. If security is furnished the written statement is to be filed within a week thereafter. Cross orders for discovery within a fortnight thereafter. Inspection forthwith and the suit to appear in the appropriate prospective list immediately after the long vacation. The Registrar to act on a signed copy of the minutes.


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