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Kalidas Narsing Vs. Union of India (Uoi) and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Appln. No. 1069 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1959Bom436; (1958)60BOMLR1377; ILR1959Bom537
ActsCourt-fees Act, 1870 - Sections 7
AppellantKalidas Narsing
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi) and anr.
Appellant AdvocateA.D. Desai, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateV.T. Gambhirwala, Addl. Asst. Govt. Pleader
Excerpt:
.....makes the sums following the word 'other' ejusdem generis with maintenance and annuities. all sums payable periodically are not within the ambit of this sub-section. they must be not only sums payable periodically, but there must be some likeness between these sums and maintenance and annuities. all that the court has to consider is whether there is such a similarity, such a connection or such an affinity between the sum payable periodically and maintenance and annuity as to bring the particular sum within the ambit of section 7(ii). therefore, where an employer, after termination of his employee's services, gives him a pension, which is payable to him every month, such an amount would fall within the ambit of section 7(ii) of the act.;prosannadeb raikat v. poornachandra shaha..........the payment of a sum of money which is payable periodically, and if s. 7(ii) stated 'in suits for sums payable periodically' no difficulty would have arisen. but what section 7(ii) states is 'in suits for maintenance and annuities or other sums payable periodically,' and proper effect is to be given to the expression 'other sums' used by the legislature. 'other sums' makes the sums following the word 'other' ejusdem generis with maintenance and annuities. in other words, all sums payable periodically are not within the ambit of this sub-section. they must be not only sums payable periodically, but there must be some likeness between these sums and maintenance and annuities. the question is, can it be said of a pension that it is like a maintenance or annuity. mr. desai has strenuously.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The revision application raises a question of Court-fees. The plaintiff, who is the petitioner, alleged that he was in the service of the Maharaja of Dharampur from 1926 to 1946 and that a resolution is passed by the Maharana on the 24th February 1948 directing that he should be paid a pension of Rs. 160 per month. The Dharampur State paid him pension till integration which was on 10-6-1948, and the State of Bombay also paid him the pension for two months for June and July. Thereafter the State stopped paying him pension and he filed a suit both against the Union of India and the State of Bombay for a declaration that the Union of India or the State of Bombay was liable under the resolution to pay the amount, and for a mandatory injunction calling upon one or the other to pay this amount to him. The case of the plaintiff was that this suit fell under Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court-fees Act and therefore he was entitled to value it at a notional amount. The contention of the State was that this case fell under Section 7(ii) and it should be valued in the manner provided in that sub-section. The learned Judge has upheld the contention of the defendant.

2. In my opinion, it is clear that the case does not fall under Section 7(iv)(c). Though in form it is a declaratory suit, in substance it is a suit to enforce the periodical payment which was awarded to him under the resolution of the Dharampur State. But the difficulty arises when we consider under which Sub-Clause of Section 7 the suit falls. It is clearly not a suit for money, which is the suit dealt with in Section 7(i), because the plaintiff is not claiming any amount of money. It is a suit by which he is enforcing the payment of a sum of money which is payable periodically, and if S. 7(ii) stated 'In suits for sums payable periodically' no difficulty would have arisen. But what Section 7(ii) states is 'In suits for maintenance and annuities or other sums payable periodically,' and proper effect is to be given to the expression 'other sums' used by the Legislature. 'Other sums' makes the sums following the word 'other' ejusdem generis with maintenance and annuities. In other words, all sums payable periodically are not within the ambit of this sub-section. They must be not only sums payable periodically, but there must be some likeness between these sums and maintenance and annuities. The question is, can it be said of a pension that it is like a maintenance or annuity. Mr. Desai has strenuously argued that this pension was not given for maintenance and it is certainly not an annuity. The pension was given in appreciation of services rendered by the plaintiff to the State of Dharampur. Undoubtedly, the amount claimed is not maintenance or annuity. If it was, then it was unnecessary to fall in the subsequent clause 'other sums payable periodically must be sums other than maintenance or annuity, otherwise there was no necessity for the ejusdem generis clause. All that the Court has to consider is whether in such a similarity, such a connection or such an affinity between the sum payable periodically and maintenance and annuity as to bring the particular sum within the ambit of Section 7(ii).

3. In this case there has relationship of employer and employee and the employer after termination of the employee's services gives him a pension, whereas during the continuance of his service he was giving him a salary, and presumably the pension is less than the salary or is certainly not more than the salary. It may be appreciation on the part of the employer, but it is also due to the consideration that an old servant has got to live and as he has ceased to draw a salary he must receive some money which will permit him to make both ends meet. I find it difficult to accept Mr. Desai's contention that in the expression 'pension' there is no element of a suggestion with regard to maintenance. Mr. Desai relied on two decisions. One is Prosannadeb Raikat v. Purna Chandra Shaha : AIR1934Cal674 , and the other is Dhanuk Dhari Tewari v. Mani Sonar, ILR Pat 17: AIR 1927 Pat 123. The facts of those two cases clearly show that the sums that those two Courts were considering had no similarity whatsoever with maintenance or annuities. In the Calcutta case the question was enhancement of rent, in the Patna Case it was a question of increase of assessment, and naturally both the Courts took the view that although rent and assessment may be paid periodically, it has no connection whatever with maintenance or annuity. There is no decision with regard to pension but considering this case on first principles and looking to the scheme of the Act by which Section 7(i) deals with suits for fixed amounts of money and Section 7(ii) deals with sums payable periodically in the nature of maintenance and annuities, I find it difficult to accept Mr. Desai's contention that this is not a case which falls under Section 7(ii). I agree with him that the Court-fees Act must be construed liberally in favour of the subject, but however liberally I may try to construe Section 7(ii), I must think of at least some cases of sums payable periodically which would fall under Section 7(ii) and which would not strictly be sums for maintenance and annuities. If I were to accept Mr. Desai's contention, then no suit for sums payable periodically other than for maintenance and annuities would fall under Section 7(ii) at all. If that were the correct view, then the expression 'other sums payable periodically' used by the Legislature would be entirely redundant.

4. The result is that the revision application fails. Rule discharged. No order as to costs.

5. Rule discharged.


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