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Small Causes Courts

Section 7 and 8 of Civil Procedure Code , 1908 deals with Small Causes Courts. These Courts are purely a creation of Britishers. These are civil courts per se and deals with those civil matters which are trivial in nature. Their pecuniary jurisdiction is very small. The need of Small Causes Courts in present day is to separate those civil matters which are petty or with very small pecuniary jurisdiction from others to ensure speedy disposal of cases.

History Of Small Causes Courts:

East India Company was majorly a trading company , so inevitably upon its arrival there was a surge in the economic transactions and ultimately growth in civil matters cases. Thus , for the ease of doing justice small causes courts were established by them .

Small causes courts are of two types:
  1. Presidency Small Causes Courts
    These courts were started under Presidency Small Cause ACT, 1882 as a pilot project and covered only the then three presidencies i.e. Bombay , Madras, Calcutta. After seeing its success another act was made which covered Provinces.
  2. Provincial Small Causes Courts
    After seeing the five year long success of Presidency Small Causes ACT, 1882 another act was made which covered Provinces. This act was called Provincial Small Causes ACT, 1887.
**In toto, there was no difference between the two acts except for its territorial jurisdiction and the year of creation.

Relevance Of Small Causes Courts In Present Day  vis-�-vis Civil Procedure Code 1908
Civil procedure code, 1908 provides for these courts. Section 7 of the code deals with Provincial small causes courts and section 8 of the code deals with Presidency small causes courts. Though code contains provisions for these courts but it is only for the purpose of declaring that where the code shall apply and where it shall not apply.

Section 7 provides that Civil Procedure Code of 1908 shall apply to the provincial small causes courts except in the matters of:
  • Suits which are debarred from being taken cognizance of by small causes court, their execution and the execution of immovable property.
  • Section 9 , 91 and 92( of public nuisance), 94 and 95 ( so far as they related to attachment of immovable property or appointment of its receiver, injunctions ) , section 96-112( appeals) and 115(revision proceedings )
Section 8 dealing with Presidency Small Causes Courts provide that the Code shall not apply to its proceding except in the matters of:
  • Section 24( power of transfer of cases ), 38-41(execution ), those dealing with commissions [ 75 (a) (b) (c) , 76 -77 ]
The difference the applicability of code in both of these similar courts is that while the Presidency Small Cause ACT, 1882 is very comprehensive containing everything from structure of court to procedure to be followed and nothing has been left to the imagination, the Provincial Small Cause ACT, 1887 is not comprehensive and contain various lacunae. Thus, primarily for smooth functioning of the courts, CPC apply to provincial Small causes courts and not to Presidency small causes courts.

In present day, small causes courts play a very vital role as it helps with ease of procedure and brings down the burden of the courts in some way if not in substantial way.

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