Skip to content


Chief Inspector of Stamps Vs. Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 1095 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1967All242
ActsCourt-fees Act, 1870 - Sections 7; Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Cess (Validation) Act, 1961; ;Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane (Purchase Tax) Act, 1961
AppellantChief Inspector of Stamps
RespondentVishnu Pratap Sugar Works
Advocates:Standing Counsel
Excerpt:
.....on ground of competency and other grounds - whether additional court fee payable - held, enactments instrument and additional court fee payable. - - 1472, their lordships of the supreme court gave expression to what is included within the expression 'instrument'.to make this judgment complete it shall be better to first of all reproduce the meaning of this word as contained in stroud's judicial dictionary. but in the context of the general clauses act, it has tobe understood as including reference to a formal legal writing like an order made under a statute or subordinate legislation or any document of a formal character made under constitutional or statutory authority' 12. the material part of the observation is that 'in the context of the general clauses act 'instrument'..........having such value, additional court fee under sub-section (iv-a) of section 7 of the court fees act was payable.5. the first contention has no force. the court fees act by itself makes a provision for a suit for injunction alone. injunction is invariably not granted unless the plaintiff has a right or title and, in suitable cases, is in possession of the property. to put it differently, no injunction can be granted unless courts of law adjudicate upon the right or title of the parties. such adjudication amounts to declaration. consequently, wherever a relief for injunction is granted, the courts shall, by implication, grant a declaration and if the contention raised by the learned standing counsel is accepted, the provisions of sub-section (iv-b) (b) of section 7 of the court.....
Judgment:
ORDER

D.S. Mathur, J.

1. This order shall govern Civil Revisions Nos. 1005 and 1097 of 1964, both bythe Chief Inspector of Stamps, against the order of the Civil Judge of Deoria passed in two suits instituted by the opposite parties, Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works, Pvt. Ltd., Khadda, and Ishwari Khetan Sugar Mills. Pvt. Ltd., Lachhmigunj.

2. The reliefs sought for in the suit instituted by Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works were that the State of Uttar Pradesh, its servants and agents be restrained by a permanent injunction from realising or taking any steps for the realization of the aforementioned sum of Rs. 33,74,754.77 from the plaintiff company as arrears of land revenue or otherwise and, in the alternative the State of Uttar Pradesh be restrained by permanent injunction from realising from the plaintiff company any amount in excess of Rs. 18,000,00 by way of arrears of cane cess and purchase tax for the years 1952 to 1962. The third prayer made, in case none of the above reliefs could be granted was that the Union of India be ordered by injunction to pay the dues of Rs. 33,74,754.77 to the State of Uttar Pradesh. In the suit instituted by Ishwari Khetan Sugar Mills the second prayer was not made. The only reliefs sought for were that the State of Uttar Pradesh, its servants and agents be restrained by an order of the Court from realising or taking any steps for the realization of any amount on account of cane cess and purchase tax from the plaintiff and, in the alternative, the Union of India be ordered to pay the amount of Rs. 6,94,327.24 to the State of Uttar Pradesh.

3. The plaintiffs of the two suits paid court-fee as reliefs for injunction. The Chief Inspector of Stamps raised an objection to the sufficiency of the court-fee and when the objections were repelled, the present revisions under Section 6-B of the Court Fees Act were moved.

4. The points which have been urged before me are that the reliefs for injunction amounted to a declaration with a consequential relief and, consequently, court fee was payable under Sub-section (iv) (a) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act. It was further contended that the Act of Parliament, and also of the State Legislature amounted to an instrument and as adjudging void thereof was involved and the Acts secured money or property having such value, additional court fee under Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act was payable.

5. The first contention has no force. The Court Fees Act by itself makes a provision for a suit for injunction alone. Injunction is invariably not granted unless the plaintiff has a right or title and, in suitable cases, is in possession of the property. To put it differently, no injunction can be granted unless Courts of law adjudicate upon the right or title of the parties. Such adjudication amounts to declaration. Consequently, wherever a relief for injunction is granted, the Courts shall, by implication, grant a declaration and if the contention raised by the learned Standing Counsel is accepted, the provisions of Sub-section (iv-B) (b) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act shall become superfluous.

6. Generally speaking, therefore, wherever in injunction is sought for court fee is payable under Clause (b) of Sub-section (iv-B) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act. It is in very special circumstances that a relief for injunction may be deemed to amount to a declaration with a consequential relief.

7. In the present suits the relief sought for in the alternative that the Union of India be directed to pay the money to the State of Uttar Pradesh, is a funny one. But considering that the plaintiff is not to benefit by such an order, it will be wrong to say that this sort of injunction amounts to a declaration with a consequential relief In 'fact, Courts of law may refuse to go into the rival claims of the defendants Disputes between the defendants, if any, can be adjudicated upon in another proceeding. In these suits it shall merely be considered whether the amount can be recovered from the plaintiff. If it cannot be recovered from the plaintiff it is immaterial whether it can be realised from the Union of India, defendant.

8. The present are thus not cases in which the relief for injunction can be deemed to amount to a relief for declaration with a consequential relief.

9. The material part of Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act runs as below :

'In suits. . . Involving ..... .adjudgingvoid.. ... an instrument securing money orother property having such value.'

10. The points for consideration are whether an enactment comes within the term 'instrument' as used in the above sub-section; does the enactment secure money or other property having such value? The third point for consideration shall be whether in the eye of law, adjudging void of the enactment is involved.

11. The meaning of the word 'instrument' used in Section 8(1) of the General Clauses Act was considered in Mohan Chowdhury v. Chief Commr.. Union Territory of Tripura : 1964CriLJ132 . After quoting with approval the meaning of this expression as contained in Stroud's Judicial Dictionary of Words and Phrases, III Ed., Vol. II, P. 1472, their Lordships of the Supreme Court gave expression to what is included within the expression 'instrument'. To make this judgment complete it shall be better to first of all reproduce the meaning of this word as contained in Stroud's Judicial Dictionary. The meaning so given is as below.

'An 'instrument' is a writing, and generally imports a document of a formal legal kind. Semble, the word may include an Act of Parliament.. . . . .(II) Conveyancing Act, 1881, (44and 45 Vict. c. 41), Section 2(xiii) 'instrument' includes deed, will, inclosure award and Act of Parliament. . '

The observations of their Lordships on the point are as below :

'The expression is also used to signify a deed inter paries or a charter or a record or other writing of a formal nature. But in the context of the General Clauses Act, it has tobe understood as including reference to a formal legal writing like an order made under a statute or subordinate legislation or any document of a formal character made under constitutional or statutory authority'

12. The material part of the observation is that 'in the context of the General Clauses Act 'instrument' includes any document of a formal character made under constitutional authority' Any law made by the Parliament or by the State Legislature is so made under the law making power conferred by the Constitution of India. Parliament or the State Legislature is an authority created by the Constitution and hence is a constitutional authority. Law made by the Parliament or the State Legislature is also a document of a formal character and shall fall in the category of an 'instrument'

13. Where a term is not defined in the enactment, the Courts of law always fall back upon the General Clauses Act and where the term has not been defined in the General Clauses Act also, it is given its ordinary meaning which shall include the meaning to be given to a similar expression used in the General Clauses Act. Consequently, the meaning of the word 'instrument', as used in the General Clauses Act and laid down in the above Supreme Court decision, can be applied to the word when used in another enactments in which no definition of this expression has been given. In other words, therefore, for purposes of Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act is law made by the Parliament on the State legislature is also an instrument.

14. The meaning of the term 'securing money or other properly having such value' has been the subject of consideration by this Court in numerous cases and I may say this Court has consistently taken one view It was in one single Judge decision alone that it contrary view was expressed. That is the case of Chief Inspector of Stamps v Jash Pal Singh. : AIR1956All168 Further, in Mohd. Habibur Rahman Khan v. Abdul Qadir Karuqi. ILR (1961) 1 All 17 the above single Judge decision was held not to lay down the correct law It will, therefore, be proper to make a reference to only a few Division Bench decisions of this Court.

15. The meaning of the term 'securing property' was considered at length in Udai Pratap Gir v. Shanti Devi, : AIR1956All492 and it has been made clear that where the instrument makes a property secure or safe, as far as the beneficiary is concerned, it is an instrument securing property: it is not necessary that any mortgage or charge is created under the instrument With regard to a deed of will it was observed that it was not an instrument securing properly during the life time of the testator as he had the power to revoke the will or to make another will and consequently, during the life time of the testator the will cannot be said to secure properly for or in favour of anyone The will comes into effect after the death of the testator, and the executor or the legatee immediately becomes entitled to the property which was the subject-matter ofthe will. Consequently it was clearly laid down in para 8 of the Report that, in their opinion the death of the testator made secure to the executor the former's property, and that a testamentary disposition was a form of gift and stood substantially on the same footing as a gift. If was further held that a will was an instrument securing property within the meaning of the Court Fees Act. Similarly, the word 'secure' was not given a restricted meaning in ILR (1961) 1 All 17 (supra) and it was held that a sale deed, and also deed of waqf came within the category of instrument securing properly.

16. However, what is necessary is that the instrument should secure some property, and not that the property would be secured on the existence of some contingency, as in the case of a will on the death of testator. Consequently the enactment shall have to be construed in determining whether a property can be said to have been secured forthwith will cannot be deemed to secure property during the life time of the testator for the simple reason that he can revoke the will. Similarly in the ease of an enactment levying a tax, though payable only after assessment, it cannot be said that the tax levied has been secured forthwith. When the tax is not immediately payable, it cannot be deemed to have been secured forthwith The recovery can be made only after an assessment order under the enactment has been passed. Thus the money is secured by the assessment order though such cider is passed under the enactment. In other words, in such circumstances, the enactment alone does not secure any money. Consequently, the provisions of the enactment shall have to be looked into in determining whether thereunder money has been secured. If not the enactment shall be an instrument but not one securing money

17. The U. P. Sugarcane Cess (Validation) Act, 1961 passed by the Parliament had validated the imposition of cess imposed under the U. P. Sugar Factories Control Act, 1938, U. P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act 1953 and the U. P. Sugarcane Cess Act, 1956, though the assessment of cess could be challenged before the competent authority. The Validation Act was passed by the Parliament after the three Acts passed by the U. P. Legislature were declared invalid by the Supreme Court When the recovery of cess already imposed has been validated and no refund of such cess was due the amount, if in arrears, was immediately payable Similarly, the provisions of U. P. Sugarcane (Purchase Tax) Act, 1961 passed by the U. P. Legislature, make it clear that the purchase tax was payable even though no assessment had been made: however the lax was payable on such dates, at such place and in such instalments as may be prescribed. This shall be apparent on consideration of Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 3 of the U. P. Sugarcane (Purchase Tax) Act, 1961 In the various sub-sections of Section 3 the words 'assessment' or 'officers and authorities for the purposes of assessment' have been used,but there is nothing to show that the purchase tax becomes payable only after the assessment, and not earlier. It shall be found that Section 3 of the U. P. Sugarcane (Purchase Tax) Act, 1961, has not been worded on the lines of Section 143 of the Income-tax Act and hence it cannot be held that on account of the use of the word 'assessment' purchase tax was payable after assessment and not earlier.

18. The rules framed under the U. P. Sugarcane (Purchase Tax) Act, 1961, cannot be regarded as a good guide for the interpretation of the provisions of the Act: but if such rules could be taken into consideration, they shall also lead us to the same inference To put it differently, the cess validated under the law of the Parliament and also the Purchase tax was payable forthwith and, consequently, the two enactments had secured money to the State of Uttar Pradesh.

19. It is true that Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act has been worded generally and lays down that additional court fee under the sub-section shall be payable wherever adjudging void of an instrument is involved. An instrument can be void on the ground of lack of jurisdiction or competence or on other grounds like fraud. If a too technical view is taken, it can be said that even if the instrument is without jurisdiction and is a nullity additional court fee under this sub-section shall be payable in the same manner as the ease of an instrument sought to be declared void on other grounds. This Court has however not taken a too technical view and has made a difference between 'instruments without jurisdiction and hence a nullity' and 'instruments which though not without jurisdiction are void' Where the instrument is without jurisdiction, the courts record a finding on the competence of the executant and on no other point. Where the party is not competent to execute the instrument the courts of law do not go through the document and hence it can be said, as has been the consistent view of this Court, that the consideration of the instrument is not involved nor is the cancellation or adjudging void of the instrument involved.

20. Courts of law merely lay down what the intention of the legislature is and give interpretation to the enactment to give effect to the intention of the legislature Where the legislature is of opinion that its intention while making the law was different, it can easily amend the law. Consequently, where in spite of the decisions of this Court, the law has not been amended, the old decisions can be applied with still greater force all the more, in fiscal (sic) ters.

21. None of the earlier decisions, in my opinion, require reconsideration and the consistent view of this Court can be given effect to in the instant cases also. In Chief Inspector of Stamps v. Gopalji Maharaj : AIR1950All231 the sale deed was executed by the waqif after the execution of a waqf deed. In a suit based on the waqf deed it wag held that the cancellation or adjudging voidof the sale deed was not involved. This was based on the reasoning that if the waqf deed was valid and enforceable, the waqif could not later transfer the waqf property to any one and hence the plaintiff's right and title depended on the validity of the waqf deed and not of the sale deed. The maximum that can be said is that the competency of the waqif to execute sale deed was in issue. This point by itself was held not sufficient to direct the plaintiff to pay additional court fee under Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act.

22. The Chief Inspector of Stamps v. Deputy Commr.. Incharge Court of Wards Shahpur Estate, Gonda 1947 Oudh WN CC 281: (AIR 1948 Oudh 86) is a case where alienation made by a Hindu widow was challenged by a reversioner. It was held that reversioner could treat a Hindu widow's alienation a nullily and ignore it: and that in his suit for possession after the widow's death, a relief for cancellation of a deed of alienation by the widow was not necessary and bonce cancellation thereof was not involved. It was, however, laid down that where the relief sought for could not be granted without necessarily setting aside a decree or an instrument this section would apply. This was also a case where the competency of the transferor making a transfer to be effective beyond her life lime was in issue.

23. Kishan Lal v. A S. Higher Secondary School. Jahanagirahad : AIR1963All330 . is also a case where a declaration with regard to the alienation made by a widow bad been sought for.

24. It can, therefore, be laid down that where the cancellation or adjudging void of an instrument is sought for on the ground of competency, lack of jurisdiction or title, the point in issue is the question of jurisdiction or title and judgment can be given without going into the validity of the instrument, and hence in such a case no additional Court-fee under Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act is chargeable But where the instrument is sought to be cancelled or adjudged void on other grounds, this subsection comes into operation and the additional court fee shall be payable.

25. In the instant case the validly of the enactment was challenged not only on the ground of competency but also on other grounds. Consequently, the additional court fee under Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act was payable.

26. Both the revisions are hereby allowed and it is declared that on the basis of the plaints, as presented, additional court fee under Sub-section (iv-A) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act was payable. The trial Court is directed to proceed with the hearing of the suits only after the deficit court fee has been made good The question of court fee can naturally be reconsidered if the plaintiffs apply for and have the plaint amended Costs easy.


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