The Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887
Act No. 9 of 1887
[In its application to the State of Maharashtra]
(As modified upto the January 2005)
The Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887
(Act No. 9 of 1887)1
Act 4 of 1914
Act 6 of 1914
Act 10 of 1914
Act 11 of 1915
Act 9 of 1922
Act 1 of 1926
Bom. 6 of 1930 [9.5.1930]5
Bom. 9 of 1932 [10.11.1932]5
Act 9 of 1935
Act 1 of 1938
A.O of 1937
Bom. 16 of 1955 [14.4.1955]5
Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order 1956
Bom.87 of 1958 [15.10.1958]5
Mah. 46 of 1977]6
Mah. 24 of 1984
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to Courts of Small Causes established beyond the Presidency-towns
[24th February, 1887]
WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to Courts of Small Causes established beyond the local limits for the time being of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Courts of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal and at Madras and Bombay;
It is hereby enacted as follows:-
Section 1. Title, extent and commencement,-
(1) This Act may be called the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887,
(2) It extends to the whole of India except 2[the territories which, immediately before the 1st November 1956, were comprised in Part B states]: and
3[Provided that on the commencement of the Provincial Small Cause Courts (Bombay Unification and Amendment) Act, 1958, it shall also extend to the Saurashtra and Hyderabad areas of the State of Bombay.]
(3) It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1887:
4[Provided that, in the Saurashtra and Hyderabad areas of the State of Bombay, it shall come into force on the commencement of the Provincial Small Cause Courts (Bombay Unification and Amendment) Act, 1958.]
Section 2. Repealed,-
(1) [Repealed by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1891 (XII of 1891) s. 2 and Sch.]
(2) [Repealed by the Repealing Act 1 of 1938, s.2 and Sch.]
(3) [Repealed by the Repealing Act 1 of 1938, s.2 and Sch.]
Section 3. Savings,-
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect—
(a) any proceedings before or after decree in any suit instituted before the commencement of this Act; or
(b) the jurisdiction of a Magistrate under any law for the time being in force with respect to debts or other claim of a civil nature, or of Village Munsifs or Village-Panchayats, under the provisions of the Madras Code, or of Village Munsifs under the Dekkhan Agriculturists’ Relief Act, 1879; or
(c) any local law or any special law other than the Code of Civil Procedure.7
Section 4. Definitions,-
In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context, “Court of Small Causes” means a Court of Small Causes constituted under this Act, and includes any person exercising jurisdiction under this Act in any such Court.
1. For powers to confer upon a Subordinate Judge or Munsif in Bengal, the Province of Agra and Assam, the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under this Act, see the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887 (12 of 1887), s.25.
Sections 15, 32, 37, 38, 39 and 40 of the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887 (12 of 1887) apply to Court of Small Causes constituted under this Act, see. Act 12 of 1887, s.40.
The powers of a Court of Small Causes under this Act have been conferred upon the Courts of Sub-divisional Officers of the Khondmals and Angul District by section 13 of Regulations 4 and 5 of 1936, respectively.
2. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order, 1956 for “Part B, States”.
3. Added by Bom. 87 of 1958, s.4(a).
4. Added ibid. s.4(b).
5. This indicates the date of commencement of Act.
6. 19 of Mah. 46 of 1977 reads as under:-
The amendments made by this Act any of the Acts aforesaid shall not have any effect in respect of and apply to any suits, appeals or other proceedings of a civil nature filed and pending before any Court on the date of commencement of this Act, and such proceedings shall be continued and disposed of by that Court, as if this Act had not been passed, and any appeal, revision application or other proceedings of a civil nature in respect of any decree or order passed” by any Court before the date of commencement of this Act shall be filed before and heard and disposed of by the Court competent to entertain such proceedings before such commencement, as if this Act had not been passed.”
7. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908).
CONSTITUTION OF COURTS OF SMALL CAUSES
Section 5. Establishment of Courts of Small Causes,-
(1) The State Government, 8[*****] may, by order in writing, establish a Court of Small Causes at any place within the territories under its administration beyond the local limits for the time being of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of a High Court of Judicature established in a Presidency-town.
(2) The local limits of the Jurisdiction of the Court of Small Causes shall be such as the State Government may define, and the Court may be held at such place or places within those limits as the State Government may appoint.9
10[Section 6. Judge,-
When a Court of Small Causes has been established there shall be appointed by order in writing, a Judge of the Court:
Provided that if the State Government so directs, the same person shall be the Judge of more than one such Court.]
Section 7. Appointment of times of sitting in certain circumstances,-
(1) A Judge who is the Judge of two or more such Courts may, with the sanction of the District Court, fix the times at which he will sit in each of the Courts of which he is Judge.
(2) Notice of the times shall be published in such manner as the High Court from time to time directs.
Section 8 Additional Judge,-
11[(1) If the State Government so directs, there may be appointed, by order in writing, Additional Judges of a Court of Small Causes or of two or more such Courts.]
(2) 12[An additional] Judge shall discharge such of the functions of the Judge of the Court or Courts as the Judge may assign to him, and in the discharge of those functions shall exercise the same powers as the Judge.
(3) The Judge may withdraw from 12[an Additional] Judge any business pending before him.
(4) When the Judge is absent, the 13[Senior] Additional Judge may discharge all or any of the functions of the Judge.
Section 9. Suspension and removal of Judge,-
[Repealed by the A.O.1937]
Section 10. Power to require two Judges to sit as a bench,-
The State Government, after consultation with the High Court, may, by order in writing, direct that two Judges of Courts of Small Causes or a Judge and an Additional Judge of a Court of Small Causes, shall sit together for the trial of such class or classes of suits or applications cognizable by a Court of Small Causes as may be described in the order.
Section 11. Decision in case heard by a bench,-
(1) If two Judges, or a Judge and an Additional Judge, sitting together under the last foregoing section, differ as to a question of law or usage having the force of law, or in construing a document the construction of which may affect the merits, they shall draw up and refer, for the decision of the High Court, a statement of the facts of the case and of the point on which they differ in opinion, and the provisions of 14Chapter XLVI of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply to the reference.
(2) If they differ on any matter other than a matter specified in sub-section (1), the opinion of the Judge who is senior in respect of date of appointment as Judge of a Court of Small Causes, or, if one of them as an Additional Judge, then the opinion of the Judge sitting with him, shall prevail.
(3) For the purposes of sub-section (2), a Judge permanently appointed shall be deemed to be senior to an officiating Judge.
15[Section 12. Registrar,-
16[(1) There may be appointed to a Court of Small Causes an officer to be called the Registrar of the Court.]
(2) Where a Registrar is appointed, he shall be the chief ministerial officer of the Court.
(3) The State Government may, by order in writing, confer upon a Registrar, within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court, the jurisdiction of a Judge of a Court of Small Causes for the trial of suits of which the value does not exceed 17[one hundred rupees.]
(4) The Registrar shall try such suits cognizable by him as the Judge may, by general or special order, direct.
Section 13. Other ministerial officers,-
[Repealed by the Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937]
Section 14. Duties of ministerial officers,-
19[(1) The clerks, bailiffs, appraisers and other ministerial officers] of a Court of Small Causes shall, in addition to any duties mentioned in this Act, or in any other enactment for the time being in force as duties which are or may be imposed on any of them, discharge such duties of a ministerial nature as the Judge directs.
(2) The High Court may make rules consistent with this Act, and with any other enactment for the time being in force, conferring and imposing on the ministerial officers of a Court of Small Causes such powers and duties as it thinks fit, and regulating the mode in which powers and duties so conferred and imposed are to be exercised and performed.
8. The words “with the previous sanction of the Governor General in Council” rep. by Act 4 of 1914, s.2 and Sch, Part I.
9. For notifications issued under cl.(2) of s.5 see different local R. and O.
10. Substituted by the A.O.1937 for the original section.
11. Substituted by the A.O. 1937 for the original sub-section.
12. Substituted by Act 11 of 1915, s.2 and Sch. I for “the Additional”.
13. Inserted by s.2 and Sch. I, ibid.
14. See now ss. 113 and 115 and the First Schedule, Order XLVI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908).
15. This section has been amended in its application to the Bombay Presidency by the Provincial Small Cause Courts (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1930 (Bom.6 of 1930), s.2.
16. Substituted by the A.O. 1937 for the original sub-section which read “(1) The Local Government may appoint to a Court of Small Causes an officer to be called the Registrar of the Court.”
17. Substituted for the words “fifty” by Bom. 87 of 1958, s.5.
18. Sub-section (5), which read: “A Registrar may be suspended or removed from office by the Local Government”, was Rep. by the Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937.
19. Substituted for the words “the ministerial officers” by Bom.87 of 1958, s.6.
JURISIDCITION OF COURTS OF SMALL CAUSES
Section 15. Cognizance of suits by Courts of Small Causes,-
(1) A Court of Small Causes shall not take cognizance of the suits specified in the second schedule as suits excepted from the cognizance of a Court of Small Causes.
(2) Subject to the exceptions specified in that schedule and to the provisions of any enactment for the time being in force, all suits of a civil nature of which the value does not exceed 20[two thousand rupees] shall be cognizable by a Court of Small Causes.
23[(3) Subject as aforesaid, the State Government may, by order in writing, direct that all suits of a civil nature of which the value does not exceed 22[five thousand rupees] shall be cognizable by a Court of Small Causes mentioned in the orders.22
Section 16. Exclusive jurisdiction of Courts of Small Causes,-
Save as expressly provided by this Act or by any other enactment for the time being in force, a suit cognizable by a Court of Small Causes shall not be tried by any other Court having jurisdiction within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court of Small Causes by which the suit is triable.
20. These words were substituted for the words “five hundred rupees” by Mah. 46 of 1977, s.10(a).
21. Substituted for the words “five hundred rupees” by Mah. 46 of 1977, s.10(b).
22. For notifications issued under this section, see different local R. and O.
23. Section 3 of Bom. 16 of 1955 reads as follows:-
Section 3. Validation of certain suits, proceedings etc.,-
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 15 of the principal Act, all special jurisdiction suits the cognizance of which was taken after the commencement of the Provincial Small Courts (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1950 but before the 25th day of February 1955 by the Small Cause Courts shall be deemed, and always to have been deemed to be taken cognizance of, tried or disposed of, validly and notwithstanding the fact that on the date on which the cognizance of such suits was taken, no order was made by the State Government direct in that such suit shall be taken cognizance of by such Courts. All proceedings held, and judgments, decrees or orders passed, in such suits shall not be deemed to be invalid only on the ground that on the said date the State Government had not made such order.
(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall affect any judgment, decree or order declaring before the 25th day of February, 1955 that such Courts were incompetent to take cognizance of such suits.”
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Section 17. Application of the Code of Civil Procedure,-
(1) 24[The procedure prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, shall, save in so far as is otherwise provided by that Code or by this Act,] be the procedure followed in a Court of Small Causes in all suits cognizable by it and in all proceedings arising out of such suits:
Provided that an applicant for an order to set aside a decree passed ex parte or for a review of judgment shall, at the time of presenting his application, either deposit in the Court the amount due from him under the decree or in pursuance of the judgment, or give 25[such security for the performance of the decree or compliance with the judgment as the Court may, on a previous application made by him in this behalf, have directed].
(2) Where a person has become liable as surety under the proviso to sub-section (1) the security may be realized in manner provided by section 26 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 27.
Section 18. Trial of suits by Registrar,-
(1) Suits cognizable by the Registrar under section 12, sub-sections (3) and (4), shall be tried by him, and decrees passed therein shall be executed by him, in like manner in all respects as the Judge might try the suits, and execute the decrees respectively.
(2) The Judge may transfer to his own file, or to that of the Additional Judge if an Additional Judge has been appointed, any suit or other proceeding pending on the file of the Registrar.
Section 19. Admission, return and rejection of plaints by Registrar,-
(1) When the Judge of a Court of Small Causes is absent, and an Additional Judge has not been appointed or, having been appointed, is also absent, the Registrar may admit a plaint, or return or reject a plaint for any reason for which the Judge might return or reject it.
(2) The Judge may, of his own motion or on the application of a party, return or reject a plaint which has been admitted by the Registrar, or admit a plaint which has been returned or rejected by him:
Provided that, where a party applies for the return or rejection or the admission of a plaint under this sub-section, and his application is not made at the first sitting of the Judge after the day on which the Registrar admitted, or returned or rejected, the plaint, the Judge shall dismiss the application unless the applicant satisfies him that there was sufficient cause for not making the application at that sitting.]28.
Section 20. Passing of decrees by Registrar on confession,-
(1) If, before the date appointed for the hearing of a suit, the defendant or his agent duly authorized in that behalf appears before the Registrar and admits the plaintiff’s claim, the Registrar may, if the Judge is absent and an Additional Judge has not been appointed, or having been appointed, is also absent, pass against the defendant, upon the admission, a decree which shall have the same effect as a decree passed by the Judge.
(2) When a decree has been passed by the Registrar under sub-section (1), the Judge may grant an application for review of Judgment, and re-hear the suit, on the same conditions, on the same grounds and in the same manner as if the decree had been passed by himself.
Section 21. Execution of decrees by Registrar,-
If the Judge is absent, and an Additional Judge has not been appointed or,
having been appointed, is also absent, the Registrar may, subject to any
instructions which he may have received from the Judge or, with respect to
decrees or orders made by an Additional Judge, from the Additional Judge, make
any orders in respect of applications for the execution of decrees and orders
made by the Court of which he is Registrar, or sent to that Court for
execution, which the Judge might make under this
(2). The Judge, in the case of any decree or order with respect to the execution of which the Registrar has made an order under sub-section (1), or the Additional Judge, in the case of any such decree or order which has been made by himself and with respect to which proceedings have not been taken by the Judge under this sub-section, may, of his own motion, or on application made by a party within fifteen days from the date of the order of the Registrar or of the execution of any process issued in pursuance of that order, reverse or modify the order.
(3) The period of fifteen days mentioned in sub-section (2) shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of the 28[Indian Limitation Act, 1877, as though the application of the party were an application for review of judgment.
Section 22. Adjournment of cases by chief ministerial officer,-
When the Judge of a Court of Small Causes is absent and an Additional Judge has not been appointed or having been appointed is also absent, the Registrar or other chief ministerial officer of the Court may exercise from time to time the power which the Court possesses of adjourning the hearing of any suit or other proceeding, and fix a day for the further hearing thereof.
Section 23. Return of plaints in suits involving questions of title,-
(1) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing portion of this Act, when the right of a plaintiff and the relief claimed by him in a Court of Small Causes depend upon the proof or disproof of a title to immovable property or other tile which such a Court cannot finally determine, the Court may at any stage of the proceedings return the plaint to be presented to Court having jurisdiction to determine the title.
(2) When a Court returns a plaint under sub-section (1), it shall comply with the provisions of the second paragraph of 29[Section 57] of the Code of Civil Procedure and make such order with respect to costs as it deems just, and the Court shall, for the purposes of the 30[Indian Limitation Act, 1877], be deemed to have been unable to entertain the suit by reason of a cause of a nature like to that of defect of jurisdiction.
Section 24. Appeal from certain orders of Courts of Small Causes,-
Where an order specified in 31[clause (ff) or clause (h) of sub-section (1) of section 104 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,] is made by a Court of Small Causes, an appeal therefrom shall lie to the District Court 32[on any ground on which an appeal from such order would lie under that section].
Section 25. Revision of decrees and orders of Courts of Small Causes,-
The High Court, for the purpose of satisfying itself that a decree or order made in any case decided by a Court of Small Causes was according to law, may call for the case and pass such order with respect thereto as it thinks fit.
33[Section 25A.] Finality of decrees and orders,-
Save as provided by this Act a decree or order made under the foregoing provisions of this Act by a Court of Small Causes shall be final.
24. Substituted by Act 1 of 1926, s.2, for the original words.
25. Substituted by Act 9 of 1935, s.2 for “security to the satisfaction of the Court for the performance of the decree or compliance with the judgment, as the Court may direct.”
26. Substituted by Act 1 of 1926, s.2, for “253”.
27. Inserted by s.2, ibid.
28. See now the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908).
29. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), Sch. I, Order VII, rule 10.
30. See now the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908).
31. Substituted by Act 9 of 1922, s.5, for “section 588, clause (29) of the Code of Civil Procedure.”
32. Inserted ibid, s.5.
33. Section 27 was renumbered as Section ‘25A’ by Mah. 24 of 1984, s.2.
RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF CERTAIN IMMOVABLE PROPERTY AND CERTAIN LICENCE FEES AND RENT
Section 26. Suits or proceedings between licensors and licensees or landlords and tenants for recovery of possession of immovable property and licence fees or rent, except those to which other Acts apply, to lie in Court of Small Causes,-
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, but subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), the Court of Small Causes shall have jurisdiction to entertain and try all suits and proceedings between a licensor and licensee, or a landlord and tenant, relating to the recovery of possession of any immovable property situated in the area within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court of Small Causes, or relating to the recovery of the licence fee or charges or rent thereof, irrespective of the value of the subject matter of such suits or proceedings.
(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to suits or proceedings for the recovery of possession of any immovable property or of licence fee or charges or rent thereof, to which the provisions of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947, the Bombay Government Premises (Eviction) Act, 1955, the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 or the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Act, 1976, or any other law for the time being in force, apply.
Section 26A. Appeal,-
(1) An appeal shall lie, from a decree or order made by the Court of Small Causes exercising jurisdiction under section 26, to the District Court.
(2) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be made within thirty days from the date of the decree or order, as the case may be:
Provided that, in computing the period of limitation prescribed by this sub-section, the provisions contained in sections 4, 5 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963, shall, so far as may be, apply.
(3) No further appeal shall lie against any decision in appeal under sub-section (1).
(4) The District Court may, for the purpose of satisfying itself that a decree or order made in any case decided by the Court of Small Causes was according to law, call for the case in which such decree or order was made and pass such order with respect thereto as it thinks fit.
Section 26B. Saving of suits involving title,-
Nothing contained in this Chapter shall be deemed to bar a party to a suit, appeal or proceeding mentioned therein in which a question of title to any immovable property arises and is determined, from suing a competent Court to establish his title to such property.
Section 26C. Saving of pending proceedings,-
Nothing anything contained in section 16, all suits and other proceedings cognizable by the Court of Small Causes under this Chapter and pending in the District Court or the Court of any Civil Judge on the date of coming into force of the Provincial Small Causes Courts and Presidency Small Causes Courts (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 1984, shall be continued and disposed of by the District Court or the Court of Civil Judge, as the case may be, as if this Chapter had not been enacted.]
34. This Chapter and Sections were inserted ibid, s.3.
Section 27A. Extent of Chapter IV-A and its application,-
The provisions of this Chapter extend to the areas within the local limits of the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes:
Provided that nothing in this Chapter shall apply—
(1) To a Judge or court, other than a Small Causes Court, invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes;
(2) to any rent due to Government;
(3) to any rent which has been due for more than twelve months before the date of the application made under section 27B;
(4) to any rent which is in arrears for a period less than three months.
Section 27B. Application for distress warrant,-
(1) Any person claiming to be entitled to arrears of rent of any house or premises to which this Chapter extends situated in the local limits of the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes or his duly constituted attorney, may apply to such Court for issuing a warrant under section 27C:
Provided that before making an application such person shall give 15 days notice to tenant making a demand of the said arrears.
(2) The application made under sub-section (1) shall be supported by an affidavit or affirmation in Form A in the Third Schedule.
Section 27C. Issue of distress warrant,-
The Court of Small Causes may thereupon direct the issue of a warrant in Form B in the Third Schedule returnable within six days, addressed to any one of the bailiff’s appointed for the purpose:
Provided that the Court may, on personal examination of the person applying for such warrant, decline to issue the same.
Section 27D. Time for distress,-
Every distress under this Chapter shall be made after sunrise and before sunset, and not any other time.
Section 27E. What places bailiff may force open,-
(1) The bailiff directed to make the distress may force open any stable, out-house or other building and may also enter any dwelling-house the outer door of which may be open and may break open the door of any room in such dwelling-house for the purpose of seizing property liable to be seized under this Chapter.
(2) Where a room in a dwelling-house is in the actual occupancy of a woman, who according to custom, does not appear in public, the bailiff shall give notice to such woman that she is at liberty to withdraw; and, after allowing reasonable time for her to withdraw and giving her reasonable facility for withdrawing, he may enter such room for the purpose of seizing the property, using at the same time every precaution consistent with these provisions, to prevent its clandestine removal.
Section 27F. Property which may be seized,-
In pursuance of a warrant issued under section 27C, the bailiff shall seize the moveable property found in or upon the house or premises mentioned in the warrant and belonging to the person from whom the rent claimed (hereinafter called the debtor) or such part thereof as may, in the bailiff’s judgement, be sufficient to cover the amount of the said rent, together with the costs of the said distress:
Provided that the bailiff shall not seize—
(a) things in actual use; or
(b) the necessary wearing apparel, cooking vessels, beds and bedding of the debtor, his wife and children, and such personal ornaments as, in accordance with religious usage, cannot be parted with by any woman; or
(c) tools of artisans, and, where the debtor is an agriculturist, his implements of husbandry and such cattle and seed-grain as may, in the opinion of the Court, be necessary to enable him to earn his livelihood as such, and such portion of agricultural produce or of any class of agricultural produce as may have been declared to be free liability under the provisions of the next following section; or
(d) books of account; or
(e) goods in the custody of the law.
Section 27G. Partial exemption of agricultural produce,-
The State Government may, by general or special order published in the Official Gazette, declare that such portion of agricultural produce or of any class of agricultural produce, as may appear to the State Government to be necessary for the purpose of providing until the next harvest for the due cultivation of the land and for the support of the debtor and his family, shall, in the case of all agriculturists or any class of agriculturists, be exempted from liability to seizure in pursuance of a warrant issued under section 27C.
Section 27H. Impounding distress,-
The bailiff may impound or otherwise secure the property so seized in or on the house or premises chargeable with rent.
Section 27I. Inventory, Notice of intended appraisement and sale,-
(1) On seizing any property under section 27F, the bailiff shall make an inventory of such property and shall give a notice in writing in Form C in the Third Schedule to the debtor, or to any other person upon his behalf in or upon the said house or premises.
(2) The bailiff shall, as soon as may be, file in the Court of Small Causes copies of the said inventory made, and notice given, under sub-section (1).
Section 27J. Application to discharge or suspend warrant,-
(1) The debtor or any other person alleging himself to be the owner of any property seized under this Chapter, or the duly constituted attorney of such debtor or other person, may, at any time within fifteen days from such seizure, apply to the Court of Small Causes to discharge or suspend the warrant, or to release a distrained article, and the Court may discharge or suspend such warrant or release such article accordingly upon such terms as it thinks just and may give reasonable time to the debtor to pay the rent due from him:
Provided that where the Court is satisfied that there is sufficient cause for extending the period within which an application may be made under this sub-section, it may extend the period to such extent as it may consider necessary.
(2) Upon an application made under sub-section (1), the courts attending it and attending the issue and execution of the warrant shall be in the discretion of the Court, and shall be paid as it directs.
Section 27K. Claim to goods distrained made by a stranger,-
(1) If any claim is made to, or in respect of, any property seized under this Chapter, or in respect of the proceeds or value thereof, by any person not being the debtor, the Court of Small Causes upon the application of the bailiff who seized the property, may issue a summons calling before the Court the claimant and the person who obtained the warrant.
(2) On issuing a summons under sub-section (1), any suit which may have been brought in any other Civil Court in respect of such claim shall be stayed, and such other Court on proof of the issue of such summons and that the property was so distrained, may order the Plaintiff to pay the costs of all proceedings in such suit after the issue of such summons.
(3) The Court of Small Causes shall adjudicate upon such claim as is referred to in sub-section (2) and make such order between the parties in respect thereof and of the costs of the proceedings as it thinks fit; and such order shall be enforced as it were an order made in a suit brought in such Court.
(4) The procedure in a Court of Small Causes in cases under this section shall conform, as far as may be, to the procedure in an ordinary suit in such Court.
Section 27L. Power to award compensation to debtor or claimant,-
(1) In any case under section 27J or section 27K, the Court of Small Causes may award such compensation by way of damages to the applicant or claimant, as the case may be, as the Court thinks fit and may for that purpose make any inquiry it thinks necessary.
(2) The order of the Court awarding or refusing compensation under sub-section (1) shall bar any suit for the recovery of compensation for any damage caused by the distress.
Section 27M. Power to transfer District Court cases where subject matter in dispute exceeds the pecuniary jurisdiction of Court of Small Causes,-
(1) In any case under section 27J or section 27K, if the value of the subject-matter in dispute exceeds the limits of the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Court of Small Causes, the applicant or claimant may apply to the District Court to transfer the case to itself, and the District Court, on being satisfied that it is expedient that the case should be disposed of by itself, may direct the case to be transferred accordingly, and may thereupon alter or set aside any order passed in the case by the Court of Small Causes and may make such order therein as the District Court thinks fit.
(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be made within seven days from the date of the seizure of the subject-matter in dispute.
(3) In granting applications under sub-section (1), the District Court may impose such terms as to payment of, or giving security for, costs or otherwise as it thinks fit.
(4) The procedure in cases transferred under this section shall conform, as far as may be, to the procedure in suit before the District Court in the exercise of its original Civil jurisdiction; and orders made under this section may be executed as if they were made in the exercise of such jurisdiction. Every such order awarding or refusing compensation shall bar any suit for the recovery of compensation for any damage causes by the distress which gave rise to the case wherein such order was made.
Section 27N. Appraisement and notice of sale,-
(1) In default of any order to the contrary by the Court of Small Causes or by the District Court, the Nazir of the Court appointed for the purpose may, at the expiration of fifteen days from a seizure of property under this Chapter, or, as the case may be, of the extended period under the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 27J, appraise the property so seized, and give the debtor notice in writing in Form D of the Third Schedule.
(2) The Nazir shall file in the Court of Small Causes a copy of every notice given under sub-section (1).
Section 27O. Sale, Application of proceeds,-
In default of any such order to the contrary, the distrained property shall be sold by an officer of the Court on the day mentioned in the notice given under section 27N and the officer aforesaid shall, on realising the proceeds, pay over the amount thereof to the Court; and such amount shall be applied first in payment of the costs of the said distress and then in satisfaction of the debt; and the surplus, if any, shall be returned to the debtor:
Provided that when the property seized is subject to speedy and natural decay, it may, under special order of the Court, be sold at any time after it is seized:
Provided further that the debtor may direct that the sale shall take place in other manner, first giving security for any extra costs thereby occasioned.
Section 27P. Costs of distresses,-
No costs of any distress under this Chapter shall be taken or demanded except those mentioned in Form E of the Third Schedule.
Section 27Q. Account of costs and proceeds,-
The Court of Small Causes shall cause to be kept a book in which all sums received as costs upon distresses made under this Chapter, and all sums paid as remuneration to the bailiffs, and all contingent charges incurred in respect of such distresses, shall be duly entered. It shall also cause to be entered in the book all sums realised by sale of the property distrained and paid over to landlords under the provisions of this Chapter.
Section 27R. Bar of distresses except under this Chapter and penalty for making illegal distresses,-
No distress shall be levied for arrears of rent except under the provisions of this Chapter; and any person, except a bailiff, a Nazir or an officer of the Court, levying or attempting to levy any such distress shall, on conviction, be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, in addition to any other liability he may have incurred by his proceedings.]
35. Inserted by Bom. 87 of 1958, s.7.
Section 28. Subordination of Courts of Small Causes,-
(1) A Court of Small Causes shall be subject to the administrative control of the District Court, and to the superintendence of the High Court, and shall–
(a) keep such registers, books and accounts as the High Court from time to time prescribes; and
(b) comply with such requisitions as may be made by the District Court, the High Court or the State Government for records, returns and statements in such form and manner as the authority making the requisition directs.
(2) The relation of the District Court to a Court of Small Causes, with respect to administrative control, shall be the same as that of the District Court to a Civil Court of the lowest grade competent to try an original suit of the value of 36[twenty thousand rupees] in that portion of the territories administered by the State Government in which the Court of Small Causes is established.
Section 29. Seal,-
A Court of Small Causes shall use a seal of such form and dimensions as are prescribed by the State Government.
Section 30. Abolition of Courts of Small Causes,-
The State Government may, by order in writing, 37[abolish a Court of Small Causes.]
Section 31. Saving of power to appoint Judge of Court of Small Causes to other officer,-
(1) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent 38[the appointment of] a person who is a Judge or Additional Judge of a Court of Small Causes to be also a Judge of any other 39[Civil Court or to be a Magistrate of any class or to hold any other public office.]
(2) When a Judge or Additional Judge is so appointed, the ministerial officers of his Court shall, subject to any rules which the State Government may make in this behalf, be deemed to be ministerial officers appointed to aid him in the discharge of the duties of the other office.
Section 32. Application of Act to Courts invested with jurisdiction of Court of Small Causes,-
(1) So much of 40[Chapters III, IV and IV-A1] as relates to–
(a) the nature of the suits cognizable by Courts of Small Causes,
(b) the exclusion of the jurisdiction of other Courts in those suits,
(c) the practice and procedure of Courts of Small Causes,
(d) appeal from certain orders of those Courts and revisions of cases decided by them, and
(e) the finality of their decrees and orders subject to such appeal and revision as are provided by this Act,
applies to Courts invested by or under any enactment for the time being in force with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes so as regards the exercise of that jurisdiction by those Courts.
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) with respect to Courts invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes applies to suits instituted or proceedings commenced in those Courts before the date on which they were invested with that jurisdiction.
Section 33. Application of Act and Code to Court so invested as to two Courts,-
A Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes with respect to the exercise of that jurisdiction, and the same Court with respect to the exercise of its jurisdiction in suits of a civil nature which are not cognizable by a Court of Small Causes, shall, for the purposes of this Act and the 41Code of Civil Procedure, be deemed to be different Courts.
Section 34. Modification of Code as so applied,-
Notwithstanding anything in the last two foregoing sections.—
(a) when, in exercise of the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes, a Court invested with that jurisdiction sends a decree for execution to itself as a Court having jurisdiction in suits of a civil nature which are not cognizable by a Court of Small Causes or,
(b) when a Court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction in suits of a civil nature which are not cognizable by a Court of Small Causes, sends a decree fro execution to itself as a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes,
the documents mentioned in 42section 224 of the 42Code of Civil Procedure shall not be sent with the decree unless in any case the Court, by order in writing, requires them to be sent.
Section 35. Continuance of proceedings of abolished Courts,-
(1) Where a Court of Small Causes, or a Court invested with the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes, has from any cause ceased to have jurisdiction with respect of any case, any proceeding in relation to the case, whether before or after decree, which, if the Court had not ceased to have jurisdiction, might have been had therein, may be had in the Court which, if the suit out of which the proceeding has arisen were about to be instituted, would have jurisdiction to try the suit.
(2) Nothing in this section applies to cases for which special provision is made in the 43Code of Civil Procedure, as extended to Courts of Small Causes, or in any other enactment for the time being in force.
Section 36. Amendment of Indian Limitation Act,-
[****Repealed by the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908)****]
Section 37. Publication of certain orders,-
All orders required by this Act to be made in writing by the State Government shall be published in the Official Gazette.
36. Substituted for the words “ten thousand rupees” by Mah. 46 of 1977, s.11.
37. For instance of a notification abolishing a Court of Small Causes (Broach), see Bombay Govt. Gazette, 1907, Pt. I, p.339.
38. Substituted by the A.O. 1937 for “the Local Government from appointing.”
39.For instances of notifications issued under this power, see P.R & O. Vol.I.
40. These words of figures and letter were substituted for the words and figures “Chapters III and IV” by Mah. 24 of 1984, s.4.
41. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908).
42. See now Order XXI, rule 6, ibid.
43. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908).
THE FIRST SCHEDULE
(Repealed by the Amending Act, 1891 (12 of 1891), s.2 and Sch.I
44THE SECOND SCHEDULE
SUITS EXCEPTED FROM THE COGNIZANCE OF A COURT OF SMALL CAUSES
(See section 15)
45[(1) A suit concerning any act done or purporting to be done by or by order of the Central Government, the Crown Representative or the State Government;]
(2) a suit concerning an act purporting to be done by any person in pursuance of a judgment or order of a Court or of a judicial officer acting in the execution of his office;
(3) a suit concerning an act or order purporting to be done or made by any other officer of the Government in his official capacity, or by a Court of Wards, or by an officer of a Court of Wards in the execution of his office;
(5) a suit for the partition of immovable property;
(6) a suit by a mortgagee of immovable property for the foreclosure of the mortgage or for the sale of the property, or by a mortgagor of immovable property for the redemption of the mortgage;
(7) a suit for the assessment, enhancement, abatement or apportionment of the rent of immovable property;
(9) a suit concerning the liability of land to be assessed to land-revenue;
(10) a suit to restrain waste;
(11) a suit for the determination or enforcement of any other right to or interest in immovable property;
(12) a suit for the possession of an hereditary office or of an interest in such an office, including a suit to establish an exclusive or periodically recurring right to discharge the functions of an office;
(13) a suit to enforce payment of the allowance or fees respectively called malikana and hakk, or of cesses or other dues when the cesses or dues are payable to a person by reason of his interest in immovable property or in an hereditary office or in a shrine or other religious institution 47[but not including any such suit where the right is based on a contract reduced to writing;]
(14) a suit to recover from a person to whom compensation has been paid under the 48Land Acquisition Act, 1870, the whole or any part of the compensation;
(15) a suit for the specific performance or rescission of a contract;
(16) a suit for the rectification or cancellation of an instrument;
(17) a suit to obtain an injunction;
(18) a suit 49[to enforce a trust] including suit to make good out of the general estate of a deceased trustee the loss occasioned by a breach of trust, and a suit by a co-trustee to enforce against the estate of a deceased trustee a claim for contribution;
(19) a suit for a declaratory decree, not being a suit instituted under 50section 283 or section 332 of the Code of Civil Procedure;
(20) a suit instituted under 50section 283 or section 332 of the Code of Civil Procedure 51[in respect of any immovable property];
(21) a suit to set aside an attachment 52[of any immovable property] by a Court or a revenue authority, or a sale, mortgage, lease or other transfer 53[of any such property] by a Court or a revenue authority or by a guardian;
(22) a suit for property which the plaintiff has conveyed while insane;
(23) a suit to alter or set aside a decision, decree or order of a Court or a person acting in a judicial capacity;
(24) a suit to contest an award;
(27) a suit under the 56[Indian Succession Act, 1865, section 320 or section 321, or under the Probate and Administration Act, 1881, section 139 or section 140, to compel a refund by a person to whom an executor or administrator has paid a legacy or distributed assets;
(28) a suit for a legacy or for the whole or a share of a residue bequeathed by a testator, or for the whole or a share of the property of an intestate;
(29) a suit—
(a) for a dissolution of partnership or for the winding up of the business of a partnership after its dissolution;
(b) for an account of partnership transactions; or
(c) for a balance of partnership account, unless the balance has been struck by the parties or their agents;
(30) a suit for an account of property and for its due administration under decree;
(31) any other suit for an account, including a suit by a mortgagor, after the mortgage has been satisfied, to recover surplus collections received by the mortgagee, 57[but not including a suit for mesne profits;]
(32) a suit for a general average loss or for salvage;
(33) a suit for compensation in respect of collision between ships;
(34) a suit on a policy of insurance or for the recovery of any premium paid under any such policy;
(35) a suit for compensation—
(a) for loss occasioned by the death of a person caused by actionable wrong;
(b) for wrongful arrest, restraint or confinement;
(c) for malicious prosecution;
(d) for libel;
(e) for slander;
(f) for adultery or seduction;
(g) for breach of contract of betrothal or promise of marriage;
(h) for including a person to break a contract made with the plaintiff;
(i) for obstruction of an easement or diversion of a watercourse;
58[(ii) for an act which is, or, save for the provisions of Chapter IV of the Indian Penal Code, would be, an offence punishable under Chapter XVII of the said Code;]
59[(j) for illegal, improper or excessive distress, attachment or search, or for trespass committed in or damage caused by, the illegal or improper execution of any distress, search or legal process;]
(k) for improper arrest under 60Chapter XXXIV of the 60Code of Civil Procedure or in respect of the issue of an injunction wrongfully obtained under 60Chapter XXXV of that Code; or
(l) for injury to the person in any case not specified in the foregoing sub-clauses of this clause;
(36) a suit by a Muhammadan for exigible (mu’ajjal) or deferred (mu’wajjal) dower;
(37) a suit for the restitution of conjugal rights, 61[*******] for the custody of a minor, or for a divorce;
(38) a suit relating to maintenance 62[but not including any such suit where the right is based on a contract reduced to writing;]
(39) a suit for arrears of land revenue, village expenses or other sums payable to the representative of a village community or to his heir or other successors-in-title;
(40) a suit for profits payable by the representative of a village community or by his heir or other successor-in-title after payment of land-revenue, village expenses and other sums;
(41) a suit for contribution by a sharer in joint property in respect of a payment made by him of money due from a co-sharer, or by a manager of joint property, or a member of an undivided family in respect of payment made by him on account of the property or family;
(42) a suit by one of several joint mortgagors of immovable property for contribution in respect of money paid by him for the redemption of the mortgaged property;
(43) a suit against the Government to recover money paid under protest in satisfaction of a claim made by a revenue authority on account of an arrears of land-revenue or of a demand recoverable as an arrear of land-revenue;
63[(43A) a suit to recover property obtained by an act which is, or, save for the provisions of Chapter IV of the Indian Penal Code, would be, an offence punishable under Chapter XVII of the said Code;]
(44) a suit the cognizance whereof by a Court of Small Causes is barred by enactment for the time being in force.
44. This Schedule has been amended in its application to the Bombay Presidency by s.2 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1930 (Bom. 6 of 1930); and s. 2 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1932 (Bom. 9 of 1932).
45. Substituted by the A.O.1937 for the original paragraph.
46. Clauses 4 and 8 were deleted by Mah.24 of 1984, s.5(a) and 5(b).
47. These words were added by Mah.24 of 1984, s.5(c).
48. See now Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894).
49. Substituted by Bom. 6 of 1930, s.3(2).
50. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), Sch. I, Order XXI, rules 63 and 100, respectively.
51. Added by Bom. 6 of 1930, s.3(3).
52. Added by Bom. 6 of 1930, s.3(4).
53. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order, 1956, for “a Part A State or a Part C State”.
54. Clause (25) was deleted by Mah. 24 of 1984, s.5(d).
55. Clause (26) was deleted by Mah. 24 of 1984, s.5(e).
56. See now the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (39 of 1925), ss.360 and 361.
57. Substituted by Bom. 6 of 1930, s.3(5).
58. Inserted by Act 6 of 1914, s.2(1).
59. Substituted by Act 6 of 1914, s.2(2) for the original item (j).
60. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), Sch.I, Orders XXXVIII and XXXIX respectively, and s.95.
61. The words “for the recovery of a wife” were rep. Act 10 of 1914, s.3 and Sch.II.
62. These words were added by Mah. 24 of 1984, s.5(f).
63. This clause was inserted by Act 6 of 1914, s.3.
64[THE THIRD SCHEDULE]
(See section 27B)
In the Court of Small Causes of________________________
A.B., of__________________________ in the town of________________ maketh oath (or affirms) and saith that C.D________ of_____________________ is justly indebted to___________________________ in the sum of Rs._______________ for arrears of rent of the house and premises No.______________ situated at_____________________ in the town of/village________________ due for__________ months, to writ from______________ to______________, at the rate of Rs.__________________________ per mensem.
Sworn (or affirmed) before me the______ day of___________ ,_____
Judge of the Court of Small Causes,
64. Inserted by Bom. 87 of 1958, s.8.
(See section 27C)
In the Court of Small Causes of_____________________
FORM OF WARRANT
I hereby direct you to distrain the moveable property of C.D., on the house and premises situated at No._____________________, in the town/village of______________________ for the sum of_______________ Rupees, and the costs of the distress, according to the provisions of Chapter IV-A of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887.
Dated_____ day of________, ______
(Signed and sealed)
(See section 27I)
In the Court of Small Causes of____________
FORM OF INVENTORY AND NOTICE
(State particulars of property seized.)
Take notice that I have this day seized the moveable property contained in the above inventory for the sum of________ Rupees, being the amount of_____________ month’s rent due to A.B., at________ last, and that unless you pay the amount thereof, together with the costs of this distress, within fifteen days from the date hereof, or obtain an order from the Court of Small Causes to the contrary, the same will be appraised and sold pursuant to the provisions of Chapter IV-A of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887.
Dated_____ day of________, ______
(See section 27N)
In the Court of Small Causes of__________________
Take notice that I have appraised the moveable property seized on the day of_____________________, under the provisions of Chapter IV-A of the Provincial Small Causes Courts Act, 1887, of which seizure and property a notice and inventory were duly served upon you (or upon____________________ on your behalf, as the case may be) under date the______________ and that the said property will be sold on the___________ (two clear days at least after the date of the notice) at__________________ pursuant to the provisions of the said Act.
Dated the______________ day of____________, _______.
Nazir and Appraiser
(See section 27P)
In the Court of Small Causes of_____________
SCALE OF FEES TO BE LEVIED IN DISTRAINTS FOR HOUSE RENT
|Sums sued for||Affidavit and warrant to distrain||Order to seal||Commission||Total|
|Rs. Rs.||Rs. Np.||Rs. Np.||Rs. Np.||Rs. Np.|
|1 and under 5||0.25||0.50||0.50||1.25|
|5 and under 10||0.50||0.50||1.00||2.00|
|10 and under 15||0.50||0.50||1.50||2.50|
|15 and under 20||0.50||1.00||2.00||3.50|
|20 and under 25||0.75||1.00||2.50||4.25|
|25 and under 30||1.00||1.00||3.00||5.00|
|30 and under 35||1.00||1.00||3.50||5.50|
|35 and under 40||1.00||1.50||4.00||6.50|
|40 and under 45||1.25||2.00||4.50||7.75|
|45 and under 50||1.50||2.00||5.00||8.50|
|50 and under 60||2.00||2.00||6.00||10.00|
|60 and under 80||2.50||2.50||6.50||11.50|
|80 to 100||3.00||3.00||7.00||13.00|
|Upwards of 100||3.00||3.00||7 per centum||——|
The above scale includes all expenses, except in suits where the tenant disputes the landlord’ claim, and witnesses have to be summoned, in which case each summons must be paid for at twenty-five naye paise each for sums under rupees 40 and seventy-five naye paise each for sums above that amount, and also where peons are kept in charge of property distrained such fee not exceeding seventy-five naye paise per day as may be fixed by the Registrar of the Small Cause Court must be paid per man.]