Posted On by &filed under High Court, Madras High Court.

Madras High Court
C. Singara Mudaliar vs M. Govindasami Chetti And Ors. on 22 November, 1927
Equivalent citations: 108 Ind Cas 413, (1928) 54 MLJ 145
Author: V Rao


Venkatasubba Rao, J.

1. The plaintiff applies for permission to amend his plaint, but the application, in my opinion, cannot be granted. The suit was filed originally in the City Civil Court, Madras, and he applied under Clause 13 of the Letters Patent that it might be removed to, and tried by this Court, in the exercise of its extraordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction. An order, I understand, was accordingly made. The present application has been argued on the footing that the effect of the proposed amendment would be to convert the suit into one which the City Civil Court (the forum originally chosen by the plaintiff) would have no jurisdiction to try. In the circumstances, can the amendment be allowed? In Annie Besant v. Narayaniak (1914) LR 41 IA 314 : ILR 38 M 807 : 27 MLJ(PC) it was held that the powers of the High Court, in dealing with suits transferred under Clause 13 of the Letters Patent, would be the powers which, but for the transfer, might have been exercised by the Court, from which the transfer was made. (See page 820). The test then is, if this amendment was applied for in the City Civil Court, could that Court have granted it? I conceive that no Court will permit a plaint to be so amended as to oust its own jurisdiction to try the suit. The powers of the High Court under Clause 13 being those of the City Civil Court itself, it follows that the amendment cannot be allowed.

2. Another test may be applied. If the plaint in the form, which it would take after the amendment, had been filed in the City Civil Court, then that Court would have had no jurisdiction, and no order under Clause 13 could have been made. It has been held under Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure of 1882 (corresponding to Section 24 of the present Code), that a transfer cannot be made from one Court to another under that provision, unless the suit has in the first instance been brought in a Court having jurisdiction; such an order if made is void. Peary Lall v. Komal Kishore (1880) ILR 6 C 30; Ledgard v. Bull (1886) ILR 9 All. 191 : LR 13 IA 134 (P.C). There is no reason to suppose that a different principle would be applied in the case of applications under Clause 13 of the Letters Patent. It is therefore evident that the plaintiff having in the first instance chosen the City Civil Court as the forum, he cannot now enlarge and alter the scope of his suit, in such a way, as to render that Court incompetent to try it for want of jurisdiction.

3. The application is dismissed, but, in the circumstances, I make no order as to costs.

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