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THE PRESIDENCY SMALL CAUSE COURTS ACT, 1882

Title : THE PRESIDENCY SMALL CAUSE COURTS ACT, 1882

Year : 1882



The Small Cause Court shall have no jurisdiction in

(a) Suits concerning the assessment or collection of the revenue; {Substituted by the A.O.1937 for the original clause (b).}

[(b) Suits concerning any act done by or by order of the Central Government {The words "the Crown Representative" were omitted by the A.O, 1950}, or the State Government;]

(c) Suits concerning any act ordered or done by any Judge or judicial officer in the execution of his office, or by any person in pursuance of any judgment or order of any Court or any such Judge or judicial officer;

(d) Suits for the recovery of immovable property;

(e) Suits for the partition of immovable property;

(f) Suits for the foreclosure or redemption of a mortgage of immovable property;

(g) Suits for the determination of any other right to or interest in immovable property;

(h) Suits for the specific performance or rescission of contracts;

(i) Suits to obtain an injunction;

(j) Suits for the cancellation or rectification of instruments;

(k) Suits to enforce a trust;

(I) Suits for a general average loss and suits on policies of insurance on sea-going vessels;

(m) Suits for compensation in respect of collisions on the high seas;

(n) Suits for compensation for the infringement of a patent, copyright or trade-mark;

(o) Suits for a dissolution of partnership or for an account of partnership-transactions;

(p) Suits for an account of property and its due administration under the decree of the Court;

(q) Suits for compensation for libel, slander, malicious prosecution, adultery or breach of promise of marriage;

(r) Suits for the restitution of conjugal rights {The words "for the recovery of a wife" were rep, by Act 10 of 1914, s.3 and Sch.II}, or for a divorce;

(s) Suits for declaratory decrees;

(t) Suits for possession of a hereditary office;

(u) Suits against Sovereign Princes or Ruling Chiefs, or against Ambassadors or Envoys of Foreign States;

(v) Suits on any judgment of a High Court;

(w) Suits the cognizance whereof by the Small Cause Court is barred by any law for the time being in force. {Ins.by Act l of 1895, s.9.}

19A - Return of plaint

Whenever the Court finds that for want of jurisdiction it cannot finally determine the question at issue in the suit, it may at any stage of the proceedings return the plaint to be presented to a Court having jurisdiction to determine the question When the Court so returns a plaint, it shall comply with the provisions of the second paragraph of section 57 of the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882) {See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908) Schedule I, Order VII, rule 10 (2)}and make such order with respect to costs as it may think just, and the Court shall for the purposes of the Indian Limitation Act, 1877 (15 of 1877),{See now the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908)} be deemed to have been unable to entertain the suit by reason of defect of jurisdiction When a plaint so returned is afterwards presented to a High Court, credit shall be given to the plaintiff for the amount of the court-fee paid in the Small Cause Court in respect of the plaint in the levy of any fees which according to the practice of the High Court are credited to the Government.]



When the parties to a suit, which, if the amount or value of the subject-matter thereof did not exceed two thousand rupees, would be cognizable by the Small Cause Court, have entered into an agreement {As to additional fee payable on the filing of such agreement, see s.71, infra}, in writing that the Small Cause Court shall have jurisdiction to try such suit, the Court shall have jurisdiction to try the same, although the amount or value of the subject-matter thereof may exceed two thousand rupees.
Every such agreement shall be filed in the Small Cause Court, and, when so filed, the parties to it shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court, and shall be bound by its decision in such suit.



All suits to which an officer of the Small Cause Court is, as such, a party, except suits in respect of property taken in execution of Court its process, or the proceeds or value thereof {Inserted by Act 1 of 1895, section 10}[and all suits whereof the amount or value of the subject-matter exceeds one thousand rupees] may be instituted in the High Court at the election of the plaintiff as if this Act had not been passed.



If any suit cognizable by the Small Cause Court, other than a suit to which section 21 applies, is instituted in the High Court, and if in such suit the plaintiff obtains, in the case of a suit founded on contract, a decree for any matter of an amount or value less than {Substituted by section 11, ibid., for "two thousand"} [one thousand] rupees, and in the case of any other suit a decree for any matter of an amount or value of less than three hundred rupees, no cost shall be allowed to the plaintiff;and if in any such suit the plaintiff does not obtain a decree, the defendant shall be entitled to his costs {In the application of the Act to Madras, these words have been substituted by certain other words: see Mad.Act 1 of 1945, section 3} [as between attorney and client]. The foregoing rules shall not apply to any suit in which the Judge who tries the same certifies that it was one fit to be brought in the High Court.



[Portions of Civil Procedure Code extending to Court.] Repealed by the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, 1895 (1 of 1895), section 12.



Except in cases of set-off under the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882), section 111{See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), Schedule, Order VIII, rule 6}, no written statement shall be received unless required by the Court.



When a period of eight days from the decision of a suit has expired without any application for a new trial or re-hearing of such suit having been made, or when any such application has been made within such period and such application has been refused, or the new trial or re-hearing (as the case may be) has ended, any person, whether a party to the suit or not, desirous of receiving back any document produced by him in the suit and placed on the record, shall, unless the document is impounded under section 143 of the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882),{See now Order XIII, rule 8, ibid} be entitled to receive back the same:

Provided that a document may be returned at any time before any of such events on such terms as the Court may direct: provided also that no document shall be returned which, by force of the decree, has become void or useless.

On the return of a document which has been admitted in evidence, a receipt shall be given, by the party receiving it, in a receipt-book to be kept for the purpose.



In any suit in which the defendant appears and does not admit the claim, and the plaintiff does not obtain a decree for the full amount of his claim, the Small Cause Court may in its discretion order the plaintiff to pay to the defendant, by way of satisfaction for his trouble and attendance, such sum as it thinks fit. When any claim preferred, or objection made, under section 278 of the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882){See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), Schedule I, Order XXI, rule 58} is disallowed, the Small Cause Court may in its discretion order the person preferring or making such claim or objection to pay to the decree-holder, or to the judgment-debtor, or to both by way of satisfaction as aforesaid, such sum or sums as it thinks fit. And when any claim or objection is allowed the Court may award such compensation by way of damages to the claimant or objector as it thinks fit; and the order of the Court awarding or refusing such compensation shall bar any suit in respect of injury caused by the attachment.Any order under this section may, in default of payment of the amount payable thereunder, be enforced by the person in whose favour it is made against the person against whom it is made as if it were a decree of the Court.



Whenever the Small Cause Court issues a warrant for the arrest of a judgment-debtor or the attachment of his property, the decree-holder, or some other person on his behalf, shall accompany the officer of the Court entrusted with the execution of such warrant, and shall point out to such officer the judgment-debtor or the property to be attached, as the case may be.



When the judgment-debtor under any decree of the Small Cause Court is a tenant of immovable property, anything attached to such property, and which he might before the termination of his tenancy lawfully remove without the permission of his landlord, shall, for the purpose of the execution of such decree {Inserted by Act 4 of 1906, section 2} [and for the purpose of deciding all questions arising in the execution of such decree], be deemed to be movable property and may, if sold in such execution, be severed by the purchaser, but shall not be removed by him from the property until he has done to the property whatever the judgment-debtor would have been bound to do to it if he had removed such thing.



Whenever any judgment-debtor, who has been arrested or whose property has been seized in execution of a decree of the Small Cause Court, offers security to the satisfaction of such Court for payment of the amount which he has been ordered to pay and the costs, the Court may order him to be discharged or the property to be released.



Whenever it appears to the Small Cause Court that any judgment-debtor under its decree is unable, from sickness, poverty or other sufficient cause, to pay the amount of the decree, or, if such Court has ordered the same to be paid in installments, the amount of any installment thereof, it may, from time to time, for such time and upon such terms as it thinks fit, suspend the execution of such decree and discharge the debtor, or make such order as it thinks fit.



If the judgment-debtor under any decree of the Small Cause Court has not, within the local limits of its jurisdiction, movable property sufficient to satisfy the decree, the Court may, on the application of the decree-holder, send the decree for execution-

(a) In the case of execution against immovable property situate within such local limits-

{Substituted by Act 7 of 1892, section 12, for "to the High Court"} [to the Madras City Civil Court or the High Court of Judicature at Fort William or Bombay, as the case may be];

(b) In all other cases-

(c)  To any Civil Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction such judgment-debtor, or any movable or immovable property of such judgment-debtor, may be found. Procedure when decree transferred.-

The procedure prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882) {See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908)} for the execution of decrees by Courts other than those which made them shall be the procedure followed in such cases.



Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882) {See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908)} as applied by this Act, any minor may institute a suit for any sum of money not exceeding five hundred rupees, which may be due to him under section 70 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9 of 1872), for wages or piecework or for work as a servant, in the same manner as if he were of full age.



Any non-judicial or quasi-judicial act which the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882) {See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908)} as applied by this Act requires to be done by a Judge, and any act which may be done by a Commissioner appointed to examine and adjust accounts under section 394 of that Code as so applied, may be done by the Registrar of the Small Cause Court or by such other officer of that Court as that Court may, from time to time, appoint in this behalf. The High Court may, from time to time, by rule, declare what shall be deemed to be non-judicial and quasi-judicial acts within the meaning of this section.



The suits cognizable by the Registrar under section 14 shall be heard and determined by him in like manner in all respects as a Judge of the Court might hear and determine the same.-

Provided that, subject to the control of the Chief Judge, any Judge of the Court may, whenever he thinks fit, transfer to his own file any suit on the file of the Registrar.



The Registrar may receive applications for the execution of decrees of any value passed by the Court, and may commit and discharge judgment-debtors, and make any order in respect thereof which a Judge of the Court might make under this Act.



Every decree and order made by the Registrar in any suit or proceeding shall be subject to the same provisions in regard to new trial as if made by a Judge of the Court. {Substituted by Act 1 of 1895 section 13, for the original Chapter VI.}

Last updated on July, 2016

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