1. This is a defendant's application in revision. The plaintiffs filed a suit for ejectment. They alleged that one Jagannath was a tenant-at-will of the land in dispute. He had died and the tenancy had been determined on account of his death. The defendants were his executors and were in possession of the land. The plaintiff wanted that they should be ejected and also claimed mesne profits from them. The plaintiffs valued the relief for possession under Section 7(xi)(cc) of the Court-fees Act.
2. The defendants contested the suit and pleaded inter alia that the suit was undervalued and the court-fee paid was insufficient. They contended that the suit was a simple suit for possession against persons who were not admitted to be tenants. The plaintiffs were therefore bound to value the suit at the market value of the property under Section 7(v) of the Court-fees Act. If they valued the suit at that figure it would be found that the court-fee paid was insufficient and the suit was not triable by the Court in which it had been filed.
3. The Munsif who was dealing with the suit did not accept the contention of the defendants and held that the plaintiffs had correctly valued the suit under Section 7(xi)(cc) of the Court-fees Act. The court-fee paid by them was, therefore, sufficient, the suit had been properly valued and the Court had jurisdiction to try the suit.
4. Against this order the present application in revision has been filed and it is contended by the learned counsel that the view taken by the learned Munsif is not correct in law.
5. A preliminary objection was raised that no revision lies as the order sought to be revised does not amount to a case decided within the meaning of Section 115, C. P. C. After hearing the learned counsel for both the parties I have come to the conclusion that the preliminary objection is well-founded and must be allowed to prevail. In this view it is not necessary to consider the contentions of the learned counsel for the applicant on merits.
6. The main point which the learned Munsif has decided is that the court-fee paid by the plaintiffs on the plaint is sufficient. The learned counsel for the applicant has not been able to cite any case of this Court in which it has been held that such a decision amounts to a case decided within the meaning of the term as used in Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. On the other hand, a Full Bench of this Court in the case of Gupta & Co. v. Kripa Ram Brothers : AIR1934All620 , held that where the Court had decided that the court-fee paid by a plaintiff was insufficient and had directed him to pay an additional court-fee, there was no case decided and in revision was entertainable.
7. In a recent case, Abdul Ghani v. Vishunath : AIR1957All337 , a Bench of this Court laid down that:
'The question what was the valuation of the property in suit and what was the court-fee payable on the valuation was a question that arose in the suit itself and was not a separate case. Any decision given on the question could not be said to be deciding a case separately from the suit itself and therefore would not be liable to be revised under Section 115, C. P. C.'
8. It follows from these decisions that when a question of court-fee is decided and it is held that the court-fee paid by the plaintiff is sufficient or insufficient no case is decided by the Court and the order is not revisable.
9. The learned counsel for the applicant referred to the case of Ahnadi Begum v. Kulsum Nisa : AIR1952All644 . That case is by no means an authority for the proposition that an order determining the sufficiency or insufficiency of court-fee is revisable. On the contrary it was held in that case that no revision lies under Section 115, C. P. C. against an order determining the issue of valuation and court-fee and ordering the plaintiff to pay an additional court-fee. The case of Gupta & Co. v. Kripa Ram Brothers, (A), was referred to and it was observed that the basis of the decision had to a certain extent been shaken by the amendment of the Court-fees Act giving the plaintiff a right of appeal against a decision recorded against him. That was, however, put forward only as an additional ground for holding that a revision application was not maintainable.
10. It was, however, urged by the learned counsel for the applicant that in this case the learned Munsif had indirectly decided that the suit was triable by him. He had thus decided a question of jurisdiction. Had he decided the question of valuation correctly, he would have found that if the suit had been properly valued it would not have been triable by him. By his incorrect decision on the question of valuation, therefore, he arrived at an incorrect decision on the question of jurisdiction, That, according to the learned counsel, made his order revisable, This contention cannot be held to be correct. It appears to be the consistent view of this Court that if the trial Court holds that it has jurisdiction to proceed with the case that order does not amount to a case decided and is not revisable. In Manna Lal v. Ram Gopal : AIR1950All205 , it was laid down that
'The decision of the lower Court on the preliminary issue of jurisdiction does not amount to a case decided within the meaning of Section 115, C. P. C. and hence, no revision lies against the decision.'
11. In the case of Malkhan v. Mehar Chand : AIR1955All307 , the defendant had raised an issue of jurisdiction. A preliminary issue was framed on the point and the Court held that it had jurisdiction. The order was sought to be revised but a preliminary objection was raised that no revision lay because no case had been decided and the preliminary objection was upheld. The result is that even if it be held that in deciding the question of court-fee and valuation the learned Munsif has indirectly decided the question of jurisdiction and has held that he has jurisdiction to entertain the suit his decision can at the most be held to be a decision on a preliminary issue which arose in thesuit itself, and cannot on that account be held to be revisable under Section 115, C. P. C.
12. In no view of the case, therefore, can thisapplication in revision be held to be maintainable.It must therefore, be rejected and it is accordinglyrejected with costs.