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Musa Imran Vs. Bhagwan Das and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927All359
AppellantMusa Imran
RespondentBhagwan Das and anr.
Excerpt:
.....court is not satisfied either that the suit was undervalued or the under-valuation has prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit, and has before it the materials necessary for the decision of the appeal, it is authorised by clause (2) of section 11 of the suits valuation act to dispose of the appeal as if there had been no defect of jurisdiction in the court of first instance. in my judgment, the decision of the lower appellate court is perfectly correct and i dismiss the appeal with costs......is no force in either of the contentions advanced on behalf of the appellant. section 11 of the suits valuation act prohibits an appellate court from entertaining an objection, that by reason of the under valuation of a suit, a court not having jurisdiction with respect thereto, unless the objection was taken in the court of first instance at or before the date on which the issues were framed, or the appellate court is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, that the suit was under-valued and that the under-valuation thereof has prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit, on the merits. if the objection as to jurisdiction was taken in the court of first instance before the framing of the issues, and the appellate court is not satisfied either that the suit was.....
Judgment:

Iqbal Ahmad, J.

1. This is a defendant's appeal and arises out of a suit for possession of a certain village that was alleged to have been leased by the defendant to the plaintiffs for a period of nine years on the 3rd of February 1920. The annual rent reserved by the lease was Rs. 400. The suit was valued at Rs. 400 and was filed in the Court of the Munsif. One of the pleas taken in defence was that the village in dispute was worth about Rs. 20,000 and that the suit was not cognizable by the Munsif. This plea was overruled by the learned Munsif and eventually he passed a decree in the plaintiffs' favour. The defendant filed an appeal against the decree of the trial Court in the Court of the District Judge. One of the pleas urged in the lower appellate Court was that the learned Munsif had no jurisdiction to try the suit and as such, the decree passed by him was a nullity.

2. This plea was overruled by the lower appellate Court and the appeal was dismissed. In second appeal before me the decree of the lower appellate Court has been assailed by the learned Counsel for the appellant on two grounds. In the first place he has urged that the lower appellate Court has erred in law in overruling the point of jurisdiction urged before it without assigning any reason for holding that the under valuation of the suit by the plaintiffs-respondents did not prejudicially affect the disposal of the suit on its merits. The second point urged by the learned Counsel is that the value of the subject-matter of the suit being Rs. 20,000 if the suit had bean properly valued, it would have been tried by a Subordinate Judge and an appeal against his decision could lie only in the High Court and as, because of the under-valuation of the suit, the case was tried by a Court inferior in grade to the Court of the Subordinate Judge and the appeal was hoard not by the High Court, but by the District Judge, it was clear that the under-valuation did prejudicially affect the disposal of the suit.

3. In my opinion, there is no force in either of the contentions advanced on behalf of the appellant. Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act prohibits an appellate Court from entertaining an objection, that by reason of the under valuation of a suit, a Court not having jurisdiction with respect thereto, unless the objection was taken in the Court of first instance at or before the date on which the issues were framed, or the appellate Court is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, that the suit was under-valued and that the under-valuation thereof has prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit, on the merits. If the objection as to jurisdiction was taken in the Court of first instance before the framing of the issues, and the appellate Court is not satisfied either that the suit was undervalued or the under-valuation has prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit, and has before it the materials necessary for the decision of the appeal, it is authorised by Clause (2) of Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act to dispose of the appeal as if there had been no defect of jurisdiction in the Court of first instance. The appellate Court is only required to record reasons, if it holds that the suit was over-valued, or under-valued, and that the over-valuation or under-valuation has prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit, but it is not required to record reasons in writing for holding, as the lower appellate Court has done in the present case, that the under-valuation had not prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit.

4. The lower appellate Court having held that the decision of the suit was not affected by the under-valuation it rightly adopted the procedure enjoined by Clause (2) of Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act and, in my opinion, the first ground argued by the learned Counsel is untenable. The second ground urged by the learned Counsel is concluded by authorities. It has been held in Narayani Ammal v. Secretary of State [1917] 41 I.C. 167that

the mere change of forum consequent on the under-valuation cannot of itself be treated as prejudicially affecting it.

5. To the same effect is the decision in N. E: Kelu Achan v. Cheriya Parvathi Nethiyar A.I.R. 1924 Mad. 6. In the last-mentioned case it has also been held that

the disposal of a suit cannot be deemed to have been prejudicially affected on the merits, merely because of a change of the forum of appeal consequent upon the under-valuation.

6. A similar view was taken in the case of Raghava Chariar v. Raghava Chariar : (1910)20MLJ726 .

7. The learned Counsel for the appellant has relied on a decision of the Punjab Chief Court reported as Cheloo v. Kali Dass [1918] 21 P.R. 1918. In that case it was held that

when an inferior Court disposes of a case which should have bean heard by a superior Court, there is ground for thinking that the parties are prejudiced.

8. If it was intended to lay by that decision that the mere fact that a suit that ought to have been tried by a Court of a superior grade was tried by a Court of inferior grade because of an under-valuation is enough to lead to the conclusion that the under-valuation has prejudicially affected the disposal of the suit. I am, with all respect, unable to agree with that decision. Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act contemplates cases which because of an under-valuation have been decided by a Court of an inferior jurisdiction to the one which would have decided the suit, if it had bean rightly valued. If the mere fact of the trial of the suit by an inferior Court was enough to lead to the conclusion that the disposal of the suit has been prejudicially affected, Sub-clause (b) of Clause (1) of Section 11 would not have been worded as it is worded. In my judgment, the decision of the lower appellate Court is perfectly correct and I dismiss the appeal with costs.


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