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Bombay High Court
Thomas G.G. French vs Julia French on 28 August, 1914
Equivalent citations: (1914) 16 BOMLR 754
Author: K Basil Scott
Bench: B Scott, Kt., Davar, Beaman


JUDGMENT

Basil Scott, Kt., C.J.

1. This is a decree passed by the Assistant Judge of Dharwar for dissolution of marriage under the Divorce Act, The Assistant Judge presumed that lie had jurisdiction, believing that the suit had been referred to him for trial by the District Judge under Section 16 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act. We have referred to the District Judge and we find that as a matter of fact the case was not referred by him to the Assistant Judge, but it seems to have been sent to the latter by the Clerk of the Court, as though it were a mere matter of administrative routine, and the question of referring it under Section 16 was never brought before the District Judge at all.

2. We are of opinion, however, that even if it had been referred by the District Judge to the Assistant Judge, the latter would have had no power to deal with the case under Section 16 of the Bombay Civil Courts Act; for though Section 16 empowers the District Judge to refer to the Assistant Judge suits, where the subject matter does not exceed a certain amount or value and applications or references under special Acts, it does not in our opinion, authorise him to refer suits for dissolution of marriage, for we think that such suits cannot be appropriately described as applications under a special Act. They are suits (see Sections 4, 6, 7, 8, & 15 of the Divorce Act) but not suits the subject matter of which is capable of valuation. Being of opinion that Section 16 does not authorise any reference to an Assistant Judge to decide a suit under the Divorce Act, we must decline to confirm the decree.

3. Under Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code aside the decree which has been passed and remand the case to the District Judge for trial.


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