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Provincial Small Cause Courts Acts: An Overview
Tribunals of tiny causes are civil courts that handle insignificant, unimportant concerns. Major cities in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are rife with these courts. Only minor civil disputes were heard in these courts.
Objective of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act
The main objective of the act is to codify and alter the legislation governing courts of Small Causes formed outside of the temporary local authority of the Fort William in Bengal, Madras, and Bombay High Courts of Judicature.
Provision related to Establishment of the Court
The establishment of courts for minor causes is covered in Sections 5 to 14 of Chapter I.
In accordance with Section 5 of the Act, the state government is free to set up a court for minor disputes at any time on its soil and under its control. Prior approval from the governor general in council was needed, but a 1914 modification removed this need.
The court created in accordance with Section 5 must have a judge, but it may also have other judges and a registrar.
Judge (Section 6) − A judge will preside over the court for minor disputes. If the state government so authorizes, there is no prohibition against the same individual being appointed as judge of more than one such court.
Additional judges (Section 8) − The state government may name additional judges to the court, and they will carry out the duties that the judge assigns to them. He will have the same authority as a judge when performing his duties.
Registrar (Section 12) − A ministerial official of the court named the registrar may be appointed by the state government. He may be granted jurisdiction by the state government to hear cases with a maximum value of Rs 20. The judge might even order him to testify in other cases. He must carry out the obligations placed on him by the Act and any additional obligations the judge may impose.
Any individual who presides over this court may simultaneously serve as a judge or magistrate in another court. While acting as the judge of this court or an extra judge, he may also hold any other official position.
Provisions under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act
The provisions contained under the act are
|Section 1- Section 4||I||Preliminary|
|Section 5 – Section 14||II||Constitution of courts of small causes|
|Section 15 – Section 16||III||Jurisdiction of courts of small causes|
|Section 17 – Section 27||IV||Practice and procedure|
|Section 28 – Section 37||V||Supplemental provisions|
Jurisdiction under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act
The authority of courts over minor matters is covered in Sections 15 and 16 of Chapter III.
The court of small causes should have the authority to hear civil lawsuits with a maximum value of Rs. 500. However, the different state governments may raise this amount to Rs. 1000.
Powers of the Registrar
In the event that the judge and any extra judges are both not present, the registrar has the authority to accept, return, or deny the plaints while providing a justification. The judge may reject the plaints that the registrar has accepted, and the judge may later decide to accept the plaints that the registrar has refused. The judge may do this either on its own initiative or in response to a request from any party to the lawsuit.
If the defendant concedes the plaintiff's claim before the day set for hearing the case, the registrar may issue a judgment against the defendant in the absence of the judge and any additional judges. The judge may examine and rehear the decree that the registrar issues if he so chooses.
In the absence of the judge and an extra judge, the registrar may issue orders for the implementation of judgments and orders issued by the small causes court. Within 15 days of the registrar's passing the order, the judge may change it or overturn it. The judge may do this either on their own initiative or in response to a request from either side. In the absence of the judge and an extra judge, the registrar has the authority to adjourn the hearings of the lawsuits and set a date for further hearings.
Therefore, it is entirely at the discretion of the different state governments to establish or abolish the Court of Small Causes. Most states have their own laws relating to the creation of courts for minor offenses.
Frequent Asked Question
Q1. What was the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Causes?
Ans. The monetary jurisdiction of the Small Causes does not exceed twenty rupees.
Q2. What was the maximum limit for the monetary jurisdiction of the courts of request?
Ans. 20, 00,000 lie before district courts. Suits over and above Rs. 20,00,000/- lie before High Courts. But in most of the district courts, this values is now unlimited.
Q3. How is jurisdiction decided?
Ans. Usually jurisdiction is determined mainly on the grounds of: monetary value; Geographical boundaries; and, subject matters.
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