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Provincial Small Cause Courts, Act, 1887

ACT No. : — IX of 1887

 

24th February, 1887

 

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to Courts of Small Causes.

 

 WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to Courts of Small Causes, It is hereby enacted as follows, :‑

  

CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY

 

1.         Title, extent and commencement. : — (1) This Act may be called the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887.

 

            (2)        It extends to [all the Provinces and the Capital of the Federation]; and

 

            (3)        It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1887.

 

 2.        [Repeal] Repealed partly by the Amending Act, 1891 (XII of 1891) and partly by the Repealing Act, 1938 (I of 1938).

 3.         Saving. : — 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 debits or other claims of a civil .nature, 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 .

   

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.

  

 

CHAPTER‑II

 

CONSTITUTION OF COURTS OF SMALL CAUSES

 

5.         Establishment of Courts of Small Causes. : — (1) The Provincial Government]  may, by order in writing, establish a Court of Small Causes at any place within the territories under its administration

 

(2) The local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court of Small Causes shall be such as the [Provincial Government] may define, and the Court may be held at such place or places within those limits as the Provincial Government may appoint.

  

[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 Provincial Government so direct, the same person shall be the judge of more than one such Court]

  

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.

  

8.         Additional Judges. : — [(1) If the Provincial Government so direct, there may be appointed, by order in writing, Additional Judges of a Court of Small Causes or of two or more such Courts.]

 

(2)        [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 Judges may withdraw from [an Additional] Judge any business pending before him.

 

(4)        When the judge is absent, the [senior] Additional Judge may discharge all or any of the functions of the Judge.

  

9.         [Suspension and removal of Judges] Repealed by the A. : — O. : — 1937.

  

10.       Power to require two judges to sit as a bench. : — The [Provincial 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.

 

 11.       Decisions 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 “Chapter 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 is 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.

 

12.       Registrar. : — (1) “[There may be appointed to a Court or 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 [Provincial 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 twenty rupees.

 

(4)        The Registrar shall try such suits cognizable by him as the Judge may, by general or special order, direct.

  

13.       [Other ministerial officers.] Repealed by the A. : — O. : — 1937.

  

14.       Duties of ministerial officers. : — (1) The 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.

 

 

 

CHAPTER‑III

 

JURISDICTION OF COURTS OF SMALL CAUSES

 

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 five hundred rupees shall be cognizable by a Court of Small Causes.

 

(3) Subject as aforesaid, the [Provincial Government] may, by order in writing, direct that all suits of a civil nature of which the value does not exceed one thousand rupees shall be cognizable by a Court of Small Causes mentioned in the order.

  

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.

  

 

 

CHAPTER‑IV

 

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

 

17.       Application of the Code of Civil Procedure. : — (1) [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 judgement 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 judgement, or give 13[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