Skip to content


The Chief Inspector of Stamps Vs. Ramesh Chandra Ghatak and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 38 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1966All189
ActsCourt Fees Act, 1870 - Sections 7 - Schedule - Article 17; ;Uttar Pradesh Court Fees (Amendment) Act; Religious Endowments Act, 1863 - Sections 14
AppellantThe Chief Inspector of Stamps
RespondentRamesh Chandra Ghatak and ors.
Appellant AdvocateShambhu Prasad, Standing Counsel
Respondent AdvocateB.C. Dey, ;V.P. Tewari, ;A.K. Banarjee and ;S.K. Mookerji, Advs.
DispositionApplication allowed
Excerpt:
.....of trust or neglect of duty and not prayer for accounts - all dealings of trustee covered by relief for accounts - held, relief does not come under section 14 and relief for accounts to be taken and court fees should be paid. - - consequently, if the plaintiffs ask for accounts to be taken from the old trustee, that relief shall be covered by the general clause contained below the five reliefs detailed in section 539. the above decision being in a case under section 539 of the old code of civil procedure, cannot be made applicable to section 14 of the religious endowments act which does not contain any general clause like the one contained in section 539. it shall be found that under section 14 of the religious endowments act only the three reliefs detailed therein can be granted......fees act makes no reference to the right or interest claimed by the plaintiff. it refers to a suit for accounts. when the words are general the clause shall also be applicable to a suit by a person not claiming any personal interest in the properties sought to be accounted for. in other words, therefore, a suit, if for accounts, shall be governed by the above clause and the suit shall have to be valued and court-fee paid thereon as laid down in section 7(v)(b) of the court fees act.6. section 14 of the religious endowments act, 1863, permits any person interested in a religions establishment, or the trust relating thereto, to sue before the civil court the trustee or manager of the religious establishment or the member of the trust committee, for any misfeasance, breach of trust or.....
Judgment:
ORDER

D.S. Mathur, J.

1. This is a revision under Section 6-B(1) of the Court Fees Act by the Chief Inspector of Stamps, U. P., Allahabad, against the order, dated 29-74961 of the Civil Judge of Allahabad, holding that the court-fee paid is sufficient.

2. The present suit was instituted by Ramesh Chandra Ghatak for the following reliefs against Manik Lal Ghatak and others:--

'(a) to pass a decree calling upon the defendants to render a full and complete account of all the properties dedicated by late Moti Lal Ghatak by his will, dated 16-12-1901 and the income from the dedicated properties and also of the sale proceeds of the properties sold including a full and complete account of all the properties and funds belonging to the aforesaid deity which have come from the defendant No. 1 to the defendants Nos. 2 and 3 and to pass a decree against the defendants Nos. 1, 2 and 3 or such of them as may be found liable for such amount as they or such of them may be found liable after account. Court-fees paid Rs. 200.

(b) to remove the defendants from the office of the trustees and appoint a new Trustee or Trustees as the Court may deem fit in his place, court-fees paid Rs. 200;

(c) to award to the plaintiff the costs of the suit;

(d) to grant to the plaintiff such other or further relief that the Court may deem fit and proper.'

3. The plaintiff paid court-fee for the first two reliefs under Art. 17 (vi) of Schedule II of the Court Fees Act, that is, a court-fee of Rs. 400 in all. The Inspector of Stamps raised an objection as to relief (a) that it was a relief for accounts and it was necessary for the plaintiff tovalue the relief and to pay court-fee on such valuation.

4. The learned Civil Judge rejected the objection holding that Clause (b) of Section 7(iv) of the Court Fees Act was inapplicable considering that the plaintiff was not claiming any interest in the property; and that both the reliefs fell under Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act, 1863, and hence court-lee was payable under Article 17 (vi) of Schedule II.

5. Court of law cannot be justified in adding words to an enactment unless necessary to carry out the intention of the legislature. Section 7(iv)(b) of the Court Fees Act makes no reference to the right or interest claimed by the plaintiff. It refers to a suit for accounts. When the words are general the clause shall also be applicable to a suit by a person not claiming any personal interest in the properties sought to be accounted for. In other words, therefore, a suit, if for accounts, shall be governed by the above clause and the suit shall have to be valued and court-fee paid thereon as laid down in Section 7(v)(b) of the Court Fees Act.

6. Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act, 1863, permits any person interested in a religions establishment, or the trust relating thereto, to sue before the civil Court the trustee or manager of the religious establishment or the member of the trust committee, for any misfeasance, breach of trust or neglect of duty, committed by such trustee, manager or member of the committee in respect of the trust vested in, or confided to, them respectively. The words 'misfeasance, breach of trust or neglect of duty' are of great significance and make it clear that Section 14 covers a case of misfeasance, breach of trust or neglect of duty, and not a general prayer for accounts.

7. Powers of the Civil Court detailed in the subsequent part of Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act lay down the reliefs which can be sought for and granted by the Civil Court. The three reliefs are:--

(a) to direct the specific performance of any act by such trustee, manager, superintendent or member of a committee;

(b) to pass a decree for damages and costs against such trustee, etc.; and

(c) to direct the removal of such trustee, etc.

8. The second relief sought for in the present suit for removal of the trustees shall be covered by Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act and the court-fee paid thereon is sufficient. However, the relief for accounts covers all the dealings of a trustee, and not merely instances of misfeasance, breach of trust or neglect of duty. The decree to be passed shall not be merely for damages and costs, but shall also be for the money still in the hands of the trustee. The first relief sought for and as worded in the plain does not come within the purview of Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act, 1863. and this relief shall have to be taken as for accounts and court-fee paid after giving a proper valuation in accordance with Section 7(iv)(b) of the Court Fees Act.

9. A reference may now be made to the reported decisions which have been brought tomy notice. In Girdhari Lal v. Ram Lal, ILR 21 All 200, it was observed that the mere fact that the plaintiffs in a suit under Section 539 of the old Code of Civil Procedure had asked for an account to be taken from the trustees and that the trustees be compelled to refund monies alleged to have been misappropriated by them, did not take the case out or Art. 17, Clause (vi) of the Second Schedule to the Court Fees Act, and render the plaintiffs liable to pay an ad valorem court-fee on that part of their plaint. Section 539 of the old Code corresponds to Section 92 of the present Code of Civil Procedure, and it was as below:--

'In case of any alleged breach of any express or constructive trusts created for public charitable or religious purposes, or whenever the direction of the Court is deemed necessary for the administration of any such trust, the Advocate-General acting ex officio, or two or more persons having obtained the consent in writing of the Advocate-General, may institute a suit in the High Court or the District Court within the local limits of whose civil jurisdiction the whole or any part of the subject-matter of the trust is situate, to obtain a decree-

(a) appointing new trustees under the trust;

(b) vesting any properly in the trustees under the trust;

(c) declaring the proportions in which its objects are entitled;

(d) authorizing the whole or any part of its property to be let sold, mortgaged or exchanged;

(e) settling a scheme for its management; or granting such further or other relief as the nature of the case may require.

The powers conferred by this section on the Advocate-General may, outside the Presidency-towns, be, with the previous sanction of the Local Government, exercised also by the Collector or by such officer as the Local Government may appoint in this behalf.'

10. Five reliefs which could be granted in a suit under Section 539 are detailed therein; but at the same time there is a general clause giving wide power to the Court to grant any further and other relief as the nature of the case may require. The Court had thus the power not only to grant the reliefs detailed therein but any relief which was necessary in the circumstances of the case. Whenever a trustee is removed and new trustee appointed, it is but necessary that the Court should issue a direction for transferring the assets of the trust to the new trustee. Complete assets cannot be determined unless accounting is done. Consequently, if the plaintiffs ask for accounts to be taken from the old trustee, that relief shall be covered by the general clause contained below the five reliefs detailed in Section 539. The above decision being in a case under Section 539 of the old Code of Civil Procedure, cannot be made applicable to Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act which does not contain any general clause like the one contained in Section 539. It shall be found that under Section 14 of the Religious Endowments Act only the three reliefs detailed therein can be granted.

11. In Mathow Mathews Kathanar v. Kuriakose Easus Kathanar, AIR 1954 Trav-Co178 (FB), the question of .sufficiency of court-fee on the relief for accounts was not raised, probably because this relief had been valued and the court-fee paid thereon. It was while expressing an opinion on the payment of court-fee on the relief to possession that a reference was made to the observations of their Lordships of the Privy Council in Phul Kumari v. Ghanshyam Misra, ILR 35 Gal 202 (PC). That was a case where plaintiff wanted a summary decision of the civil Court to be set aside, and in that connection it was observed that the value of the action must mean 'the value to the plaintiff'. It was nowhere laid down that ad valorem court-fee shall not be payable if the plaintiff was not personally interested in the property or in the matters in controversy. The point for consideration in that case was whether court-fee was payable on the value of the plaintiff's property or the amount of decree in execution of which the property was attached. Naturally, the plaintiff was seeking relief to assert her rights in the property and the value of her action was the value of her property and not the amount of the decree.

12. In a suit for possession Courts of law can the guided by the factor that the plaintiff was not claiming personal right in the property, considering that court-fee is payable on the subject-matter; but the same rule cannot he applied to a suit for accounts all the more when Section 7(iv)(b) of the Court Fees Act has been worded generally and the Courts of law cannot be justified in restricting its scope.

13. The revision is hereby allowed and itis ordered that the first relief was for accountsand court-fee was payable under Section 7(iv)(b) ofthe Court Fees Act on such valuation as theplaintiff may himself fix for such relief. It ismade clear that the question of court-fee canbe reconsidered if the plaintiff obtains amendment of the relief. Costs on parties.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //