The Chennai City Civil Court Act, 1892

Central Act No. 7 of 1892

An Act to establish an additional Civil Court for the City of [Chennai]. Whereas it is expedient to establish an additional Civil Court for the City of [Chennai]. It is hereby enacted as follows:-

1. Title. – (1) This Act may be called the [Chennai] City Civil Court Act, 1892.
(2) [* * *]

2. Definitions. – In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context,-

(1) “City Courts” means the Court established under the next following section;

(2) “City of [Chennai]” means the area within the local limits for the time being of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Court;

(3) “High Court” means the High Court of Judicature at [Chennai]; and

(4) “Small Causes Court” means the Court of Small Causes of [Chennai].

3. Constitution of the City Court. – The [State Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a Court, to be called the [Chennai] City Civil Court, with jurisdiction to receive, try and dispose of all suits and other proceedings of a civil nature not exceeding two thousand five hundred rupees in value and arising within the City of [Chennai], except suits or proceedings which are cognizable-
(a) by the High Court as a court of Admiralty or Vice-Admiralty or as a Colonial Court of Admiralty, or as a court having testamentary, intestate or matrimonial jurisdiction, or

(b) by the Court for the relief of insolvent debtors, or

(c) by the Small Cause Court.

[3A. Power of State Government to enhance the jurisdiction of the City Court. – Subject to the exceptions specified in section 3, the [State Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, invest the City Court with jurisdiction to receive, try and dispose of all suits and other proceedings of a civil nature arising within the City of [Chennai] and of such value not exceeding of [ten lakhs of rupees] as may be specified in the notification.]

[4. Powers of Judges of City Court. – (1) The City Court shall consist of a Principal Judge and such number of Additional or Assistant Judges as the State Government may from time to time appoint.
[(2) The jurisdiction of an Assistant Judge extends to all suits and proceedings of a civil nature not otherwise exempted from his cognizance, of which the amount or value of the subject matter does not exceed [ten lakh rupees]. The jurisdiction of the Principal Judge and Additional Judge extends to all like suits and proceedings, of which the amount or value of the subject matter exceeds [ten lakh rupees] but does not exceed [twenty-five lakh rupees].
(3) The Principal Judge may, from time to time, make such arrangements as he may think fit for the distribution of the business of the Court among the various Judges thereof.]

5. Judge of Civil Court to be Judge of Small Cause Court. – (1) Every person appointed a Judge of the City Court shall be, by virtue of his office, a Judge of the Small Cause Court with respect to cases cognizable by that Court.
(2) Every such Judge shall be liable to perform any duties of a Judge of the Small Cause Court which the Chief Justice of the High Court may require him to perform.
6. [x x x]

[7. Ministerial Officers. – (1) There shall be appointed to the City Court as many clerks, bailiffs and other Ministerial Officers as the [State] Government may, from time to time, consider necessary.
(2) The clerks, bailiffs and other Ministerial officers so appointed shall exercise such powers and discharge such duties of a ministerial nature as [x x x] the Principal Judge, may, from time to time, direct.]

8. Questions arising in suits, etc., under this Act to be determined according to the law administered by the High Court. – All questions which arise in suits or other proceedings under this Act in the City Court shall be dealt with and determined according to the law for the time being administered by the High Court in the exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction.

9. [Omitted by section 86 of the Tamil Nadu Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1955 (Tamil Nadu Act XIV of 1955), which came into force on the 19th May 1955.]

10. Process-fees. – Fees chargeable for serving of executing processes issued by the City Court, or served of executed under its direction of control, shall be such as the High Court may prescribe with the approval of the [State Government]. [x x x]

11. Appointment of Receivers. – The powers conferred by Chapter XXXVI of the Code of Civil Procedure [Central Act XIV of 1882] on High Courts and District Courts as to the appointment of Receivers, may be exercised by the City Court or any Judge thereof.

12. [Repealed by the Repealing Act, 1938 (Central Act I of 1938)].
13. [Omitted by section 86 of the Tamil Nadu Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1955 (Tamil Nadu Act XIV of 1955); which came into force on the 19th May, 1955.]

14. Allowance for fees paid in City Court in cases removed to High Court. – When, under section 13 of the Letters Patent for the High Court, dated the twenty-eighth day of December 1865, or under section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure [Central Act XIV of 1882], the High Court has removed for trial by itself any suit from the City Court, fees on the scale for the time being in force in the High Court as a Court of ordinary original civil jurisdiction shall be payable in that Court in respect of the suit and proceedings therein:
Provided that, in the levy of any such fees which, according to the practice of the Court, are credited to the Government, credit shall be given to the plaintiff in the suit for any fee which in the City Court he has already paid under the [Court-fees Act, 1870] (Central Act VII of 1870), on the plaint.

15. Appeals. – (1) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from any decree or order appealable under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908), in any suit or proceeding [x x x] where the decree or order appealed from was passed by the Principal Judge or an Additional Judge.
[(2) An appeal shall lie to the Principal Judge from any decree or order appealable under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908) passed in any suit or proceeding-
(a) where the amount or value of the subject matter does not exceed five thousand rupees-

(i) by a Judge other than the Principal Judge before the 1st July 1955; or

(ii) by an Assistant Judge on or after the 1st July 1955; or

(b) where such amount or value does not exceed ten thousand rupees, by an Assistant Judge, on or after the date of the commencement of the [Chennai] City Civil Court (Amendment) Act, 1971.]

[(2-A) An appeal shall lie to the Principal Judge from any decree of order appealable under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908), passed in any suit or proceeding by a Judge other than the Principal Judge or an Additional Judge –
(a) before the 1st day of December 1995, where the amount or value of the subject matter does not exceed one lakh of rupees;

(b) on or after the 1st day of December 1995, where the amount or value of the subject matter does riot exceed three lakhs of rupees; and

(c) on or after the 1st day of December 1995, except when the amount or value of the subject matter of the suit exceeds rupees three lakhs in which case appeal shall lie to the High Court.

(2-B) All appeals pending in the High Court on the date of publication of the Chennai City Civil Court (Amendment) Act, 1997 in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette which the amount or value of the subject matter of such appeal exceeds orle lakh of rupees but does not exceed three lakhs of rupees and which would be within the cognizance of the Chennai Civil Court under the provisions of the principal Act, as amended by this Act, shall stand transferred to the Chennai City Civil Court.]
[(2-C) All Appeals pending in the High Court of which the amount or value of the subject matter of such Appeals exceeds three lakh of rupees but does not exceed five lakh of rupees shall stand transferred to the Chennai City Civil Court.]
[(2-D)] An appeal shall lie to the Principal Judge from any decree or order, appealable under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908), if passed in any suit or proceeding by an Assistant Judge on or after the date of the commencement of the Tamil Nadu Civil Courts and Chennai City Civil Court (Amendment) Act, 2003.]
(3) A second appeal shall lie to the High Court from any decree passed by the Principal or an Additional Judge in the exercise of his appellate jurisdiction on all or any of the grounds mentioned in section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908).
(4) Subject in other respects to the provisions of the [Indian Limitation Act, 1908] (Central Act IX of 1908), the period of limitation for an appeal from a decree or order in any of the cases specified in sub-sections (1) and (3) shall be ninety days and in any of the cases specified in sub-section (2) shall be thirty days.
(5) The Principal Judge may, from time to time, transfer for disposal appeals preferred under sub-section (2) to any Additional Judge and may at any time withdraw such transferred appeals and dispose of them himself.

16. Saving of original civil jurisdiction of High Court. – Nothing in this Act contained shall affect the original civil jurisdiction of the High Court:
Provided that –
(1) if any suit or other proceeding is instituted in the High Court which, in the opinion of the Judge who tries the same (whose opinion shall be final), ought to have been instituted in the City Court, no costs shall be allowed to a successful plaintiff and a successful defendant shall be allowed the costs [at the maximum admissible under the Madras High Court Fees Rules for suits set down for final disposal];

(2) in any suit or other proceeding pending at any time in the High Court, any Judge of such Court may, at any stage thereof, make an order transferring the same to the City Court if in his opinion such suit or proceeding is within the jurisdiction of that Court and should be tried therein;

(3) in any suit or other proceeding so transferred, the Court-fees Act, 1870, [Central Act VII of 1870] shall apply, credit being given for any fees levied in the High Court.

17. Seal to be used. – The City Court shall use a seal of such form and dimensions as may be for the time being prescribed by the [State Government].

18. Holidays and vacations. – (1) The [x x x] Principal Judge, shall, at the commencement of each year, draw up a list of holidays and vacations to be observed in the Court, and shall submit the same for the approval of the [State Government].
(2) Such list, when it has received such approval, shall be published in the Official Gazette, and the said holidays and vacations shall be observed accordingly.


The old name of Chennai was Madras