Amendment to Civil Courts Act upheld

The Madras High Court has upheld an amendment to the Chennai City Civil Courts Act enhancing the jurisdiction of the City Civil Court.

The amendment was gazetted on May 27 this year.

In its order on writ petitions by T.T.Ravichandran challenging the amendment, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y.Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam said the main contention of the petitioner was that though the Tamil Nadu City Civil Courts Act and the Chennai City Civil Courts Act were central enactments, there was no delegation of power in Section 3 to the Provincial Government to enhance the jurisdiction of the City Civil Court from time to time.

The insertion of section 3A of the Act by the provincial legislature itself was liable to be struck down.

The Bench said it was not accepting this contention. Section 3 A was a pre-constitutional legislation empowering the State government to invest the City Court with jurisdiction to receive, try and dispose of all suits and other proceedings of a civil nature and the pecuniary jurisdiction may be enhanced as and when it required.

Tested enactment

It was a tested enactment. At this stage, therefore, it could not be allowed to say that Section 3A was liable to be struck down.

“We do not find the impugned amendment Act either to be ultra vires the Constitution or against the legislative competence of the State Legislature, the Bench said and dismissed the writ petitions.

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