1. In this case it appears that a suit of a Small Cause Court nature valued at Rs. 140 was instituted in the Court of the Subordinate Judge at Dacca vested with powers under Section 25 of the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act for trial of suits cognizable by Courts of Small Causes up to a value not exceeding Rs. 500. For certain special reasons into which we need not enter the District Judge of Dacca by an order, made under the provisions of Section 24 of the Civil Procedure Code, transferred the suit for trial to the Court of a Munsif at Dacca vested with Small Cause Court powers, but exercising jurisdiction in such cases only up to a value not exceeding Rs. 100. The suit was tried by the Munsif without objection taken by the plaintiff who is the petitioner before up, and it resulted in a decree for a sum of about Rs. 75.
2. The petitioner now comes to this Court and contends that by virtue of the provisions of Section 16 of the Provincial Small Causes Courts Act and by reason of the pecuniary limitation on his Small Cause Court jurisdiction, the Munsif was not competent nor had he any jurisdiction to try the suit in question.
3. The answer to this contention put forward by the opposite party is that by virtue of the provisions of Sub-section (4) of Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the Court of the Munsif must, under the circumstances, be deemed to be a Court of Small Causes within the meaning of Section 16 of the Provincial Small Causes Courts Act. In support of this contention he refers us to the cases reported as Sankarama Aiyar v. Padmanabha Aiyar 17 Ind. Cas 425 : 38 M. 25 : 23 M.L.J. 373 : (1912) M.W.N. 1086; Sukha v. Raghunath Das 37 Ind Cas. 809 : 15 A.L.J. 69 : 39 A. 214. By the petitioner we have been referred to the case reported as Dulal Chandra Deb v. Ram Narain Deb 31 C. 1057 at p. 1062 in which the learned Judges who heard and decided that case intimated that they were inclined to a contrary view. That expression of opinion was not, however, as indeed the learned Judges themselves have pointed out, necessary to the decision of the case before them and must, therefore, be regarded as an expression of opinion and no more. With all deference, we are unable to agree in that opinion and for the reasons given in the case decided by the Madras and Allahabad High Courts to which we have referred we are of opinion that a Court of Small Causes under Section 24 (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure does include Courts vested with Small Cause Court jurisdiction as well as the special Courts constituted under Act IX of 1887. It follows, therefore, that the Court of the Munsif to which the suit in question was transferred must be deemed to be a Court of Small Causes, so at least, as to permit the trial of the said suit by such Court. What procedure the Munsif should have adopted and what finality attaches to his decision it is not necessary for the purpose of this Rule to determine.
4. In the view we take this Rule must be discharged with costs, the hearing fee being assessed at one gold mohur.