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Seth Tara Chand Vs. Collector of Aligarh in Charge of Estate of Raja Kishori Raman Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Property
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939All552
AppellantSeth Tara Chand
RespondentCollector of Aligarh in Charge of Estate of Raja Kishori Raman Singh
Excerpt:
- .....of the local government, framed certain rules under the powers conferred upon it by section 9, suits valuation act. these rules are to be found in chap. 20 of the rules framed by this court for the civil courts. one of these rules, viz., rule 28(3) provides thatsuits in which the plaintiff in the plaint asks for accounts only, not being suits to recover the amount which may be found due to the plaintiff on taking unsettled accounts between him and the defendant, or suits of either of the kinds described in order 20, rule 13, civil p.c.-value--(a) for the purposes of the court-fees act, 1870--as determined by the act;(b) for the purposes of the suits valuation act, 1887--such amount exceeding rs. 100 and not exceeding rs. 500 as the plaintiff may state in the plaint.3. a suit under.....
Judgment:

Iqbal Ahmad, J.

1. This appeal arises-out of a suit filed by the Collector of Aligarh as representing the Court of Wards (in charge of the estate of Raja Kishori Raman Singh Bahadur of Mursan) under Section 33, U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act (Act 27 of 1934). The suit was for accounts and for a declaration as to the amount which was payable by the plaintiff to the defendant Rai Bahadur Seth Tara Chand. It appears that on 20th June 1924 the Raja of Mursan executed a mortgage deed in favour of the defendant for a sum of Rs. 5,11,000. The interest stipulated in the bond was at the rate of Re. 0-9-9 percent, per mensem compoundable with six* monthly rests. Again on 23rd May 1929 the Raja of Mursan executed another mortgage deed in favour of the defendant for a sum of Rs. 1,35,000 and the rate of interest provided in this deed was at the rate of Re. 0-9-4 per cent, per mensem compoundable with six-monthly rests. It is common ground that the interest accruing due on the amounts advanced under the two deeds was paid by the debtor to the creditor from time to time. Some interest however remained due to the creditor. According to the case put forward by the plaintiff in the Court below, the amount due to the defendant on the basis of the two mortgage deeds was Rs. 6,72,988 and accordingly the plaintiff claimed a declaration to this effect. The value of the subject-matter of the suit for purposes of jurisdiction was stated in the plaint to be Rs. 6,72,988. The defendant contested the suit inter alia on the ground that he was entitled to simple interest on the amount due under the two bonds at the rate of 6 1/2 per cent, per annum from 1st January 1930 till the date of the suit and that in calculating the amount due the Court should overlook the stipulation as to payment of compound interest in the two mortgage deeds. As the interest accruing due on the mortgage debt was from time to time paid to the defendant it was to the advantage of the defendant to claim simple interest at the rate specified in Schedule 3 of the Act rather than compound interest in accordance with that Schedule.

2. The Court below repelled this contention of the defendant and passed a decree declaring that a sum of Rs. 7,30,108 was payable by the plaintiff to the defendant on account of the debts advanced under the two mortgage deeds. The defendant being dissatisfied with the decree passed by the Court below has preferred the present appeal. The appeal has been valued at a sum of Rs. 15,000 and the prayer contained in the memorandum of appeal is that the amount declared by the Court below to be due to the defendant be increased by a sum of Rs. 15,000. The first question that arises for consideration in the present appeal is whether an appeal lies against the decree passed by the Court below, and if that decree is appealable, whether the appeal lies to this Court or to the Court of the District Judge. Under Notification No. 7067/30-3 (4) of 17th December 1935, this Court, with the previous sanction of the Local Government, framed certain rules under the powers conferred upon it by Section 9, Suits Valuation Act. These rules are to be found in Chap. 20 of the Rules framed by this Court for the Civil Courts. One of these rules, viz., Rule 28(3) provides that

suits in which the plaintiff in the plaint asks for accounts only, not being suits to recover the amount which may be found due to the plaintiff on taking unsettled accounts between him and the defendant, or suits of either of the kinds described in Order 20, Rule 13, Civil P.C.-

Value--(a) For the purposes of the Court-fees Act, 1870--as determined by the Act;

(b) For the purposes of the Suits Valuation Act, 1887--Such amount exceeding Rs. 100 and not exceeding Rs. 500 as the plaintiff may state in the plaint.

3. A suit under Section 33, Agriculturists' Relief Act, is a suit for account of money lent or advanced to the agriculturist plaintiff in the suit. Such a suit has therefore to be valued in accordance with the provisions of Rule 28(3) framed by this Court that has been quoted above. It follows that the valuation of such a suit for the purposes of the Suits Valuation Act must be between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500 irrespective of the amount that may be due to the defendant from the plaintiff. The suit giving rise to the present appeal was filed after the enforcement of the said rule and accordingly the proper valuation of the suit for the purpose of jurisdiction of the Court was below Rs. 500. The suit was therefore wrongly valued at Rs. 6,72,988 and in view of this wrong valuation the suit, instead of being filed in the Court of the Munsif, was filed in the Court of the Civil Judge of Aligarh. No objection as to the valuation for the purposes of jurisdiction was however taken by the defendant in the Court below with the result that the learned Civil Judge proceeded with the trial and the decision of the suit. In view of the provisions of Section 11(1)(a), Suits Valuation Act (Act 7 of 1887), no objection as to the improper valuation of the suit for jurisdictional purposes can now be taken for the simple reason that no such objection was taken in the Court below. We must therefore proceed on the assumption that the suit was properly valued and the appeal against the decision of the learned Civil Judge, if entertainable, lies to this Court and not to the Court of the District Judge.

4. The question however remains whether the decree passed by the learned Civil Judge is appealable. It is to be noted at the very outset that, though by Section 5(2) and by Section 23, Agriculturists' Relief Act, provision is made for appeals against certain orders passed under the Act, the Act is silent as to appeals against decrees passed under the Act. The orders that have been made appealable are orders passed on applications and not in suits filed under the Act. Section 33 deals with suits and not with applications, and suits, as distinguished from applications, must culminate in decrees. It is provided by Clause (2) of Section 33 that the Court shall, after taking necessary accounts, declare the amount which is payable by the plaintiff to the defendant, and shall on the Application of the defendant pass a decree in favour of the defendant. The declaration contemplated by this clause when made by the Court constitutes the formal expression of adjudication by the Court as regards the [dispute between the parties, and therefore amounts to a decree as defined by Section 2(2), Civil P.C., and the decree must, in the absence of any statutory provision to the contrary, be appealable in accordance with the provisions of Section 96 of the Code which inter alia provides that

have where otherwise expressly provided in the body of this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, an appeal shall lie from every decree passed by any Court exercising original jurisdiction to the Court authorized to hear appeals from the decisions of such Court.

5. There is no provision in the Agriculturists' Relief Act or in any other law barring appeals from decree passed by a Court under Section 33, U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act. Such decrees are therefore appealable decrees. The view that we take is in consonance with the view taken in Mahadeo Prasad v. Bhaiya Lal . The appeal was therefore rightly filed in this Court and has to be decided on its merits. By Clause (2) of Section 33, the Court in settling the account with a view to the ascertainment of the amount payable by the plaintiff to the defendant is enjoined to follow the provisions of Chap. 4 of the Act, which Chapter deals with the question of 'rates of interest.' Section 30 in Chap. 4 provides that no debtor shall be liable to pay interest on a 'loan taken before this Act comes into force at a rate higher than that specified in Schedule 3 for the period from 1st January 1930, till such date as may be fixed by the Local Government in the Gazette in this behalf.' Having regard to this provision it is incumbent on the Court in settling accounts under Section 33 to calculate the interest in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Act. By that Schedule varying rates of interest have been provided for secured and unsecured loans exceeding a particular amount. The case before us falls within Clause (d) of that Schedule which provides for interest on loans exceeding Rs. 20,000. In accordance with that clause the rate of compound interest provided for secured loan is admittedly at the rate of 5i per cent, and the rate of simple interest provided for such loans is at the rate of 6 1/2 per cent. In the present case there was a stipulation for payment of compound interest in the two mortgage bonds. The plaintiff was therefore liable to pay compound interest at the rate of 5i per cent. There is no provision in the Act that justifies an interference by the Court as regards the stipulation as to payment of simple or compound interest. The only relief that can be given to a debtor under Section 30 is as regards the rate of interest. The stipulation between the parties as to payment of compound interest has however to be respected and can be interfered with only to this extent that the interest is to be compounded with yearly rests as provided for by Schedule 3. This was the view taken by a learned Judge of this Court in Bisesar Ram v. Parasnath : AIR1937All207 . The Court below was therefore right in calculating the interest at the rate of 5 1/2 per cent, compoundable with yearly rests. For the reasons given above, we dismiss this appeal with costs.


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