Sri Lanka Law Reports
(1980) 2 $. L. R.
COURT OF APPEAL*
•SOZA, J., AND L. H. PE ALWIS, J.
C. A. APPLICATION NO. 807/80.
OCTOBER 22, 1980.
Primary Courts Procedure Act No. 44 of 1979, sections 66, 67, 72—Breachof the peace threatened or likely—Objection that failure to considersuch requirement deprived court of jurisdiction—Opportunity to leadevidence—When necessary—Discretion of court—Requirement thatobjection to jurisdiction be taken at earliest opportunity—JudicatureA,ct, No. 2 of 1978, section 39.
The petitioner moved to have an order made in the Primary Courtunder Part VII of the Primary Courts Procedure Act, No. 44 of 1979,revised. It was submitted on his behalf that:
'(•a)' the court; had failed to clothe itself with jurisdiction in that it hadnot considered whether on the police report a breach of the peace wasthreatened or likely ; and
the learned judge of the Primary Court had failed to give thepetitioner an opportunity to led evidence although such an applicationwas made.
. By virtue. of the provisions of section 39 of the Judicature Actit was incumbent on any party who objects to jurisdiction to do so atthe very first opportunity. In this case the court inspected the site indispute on; the invitation of parties and the order was made afterhearing submissions. The petitioner was therefore not entitled tocomplain on the ground of jurisdiction. The court had plenary juris-diction anJd unless the objection was raised the court must be deemedto have jurisdiction.
;Cii.): Sections 72 of Act, No; 44 of 1979 leaves the question of permittingevidence to be led to the discretion of court and the scheme of theseprovisions is to prevent long drawn out inquiries. The court had ins-pected the land .and .heard the parties and no prejudice had been caused.ACbrctoigly there was no necessity to grant the petitioner’s applicationto;lead evidence.
APPEAL from the Primary Court, Velanai.
S. No.varaim.am, for the petitioner.
S. C. Dickens, for the 1st respondent.
October 22, 1980.
This is an application for revision of the order of the Judge of thePrimary Court, Velanai made under the provisions of the PrimaryCourts Procedure Act, No. 44 of 1979. Two main points have beenargued, namely, that the Primary Court had failed to advert itsattention to whether on the police report a breach of the peacewas threatened or likely. Accordingly, it is submitted that thecourt had failed to clothe itself with the necessary jurisdiction.
Paramasofhy v. Nagalingain
In this connection it is only necessary to refer to section 39 ofthe Judicature Act, No. 2 of 1978. By virtue of the provisionsof this section it is incumbent on any party who raises an objec-tion to jurisdiction to do so at the very first opportunity. In thiscase the parties have invited the court to inspect the site indispute and the order was made after hearing the submissions.Having participated in the proceedings it does not lie in themouth of the petitioner to complain that the learned Judge ofthe Primary Court has not clothed himself with the necessaryjurisdiction to hear this case by forming an opinion in regardto the likelihood whether a breach of the peace was threatenedor likely. The court had plenary jurisdiction to hear this matterand therefore unless objection was raised the court must bedeemed to have jurisdiction. Hence the first objection fails.
In regard to the second question that there was no properinquiry, our attention has been drawn to section 67 and section 72of the Primary Courts Procedure Act, No. 44 of 1979. Section 67stipulates that inquiry should be held in a summary manner andconcluded within three months of the commencement of theinquiry. This stipulation shows what the legislature has intended,the inquiry should be held summarily and concluded speedily.Learned counsel for the petitioner complains that the . Judge, pfthe Primary Court had failed to give him an opportunity to leadevidence although such an application was made. Section 72 ofthe Primary Courts Procedure Act, No. 44 of 1979, leaves the ques-tion of permitting evidence to be led to the discretion of thecourt. The entire scheme of the new provisions is to prevent longdrawn out inquiries where evidence is led on both sides, In thepresent case the court had inspected the land and heard theparties and no prejudice has been caused. There was no com-pelling need for evidence. Section 72(b) and (c) are so drawn upas to leave to the discretion of the court the question of permittingwritten or oral submissions. These are not imperative provisionsrequiring the court to call for evidence to be led. In our viewthere was no necessity to grant the application of the petitionerto lead evidence. We see no ground on which we can interferewith the order of the learned Judge.
The application is dismissed with costs.
n. DE ALWIS, J.—I agree.