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Manni Lal Vs. Radhey Gopalji and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1925All602; 87Ind.Cas.190
AppellantManni Lal
RespondentRadhey Gopalji and anr.
Excerpt:
- - i am of opinion that this is clearly a claim for a declaration with consequential relief. 14. i affirm the report of the stamping officer, and allow the parties concerned one month in which to make good the deficiency......more than ten years ago. moreover, i am impressed with the argument based upon section 8 of the suits valuation act, no. vii of 1887. i accept the contention that the valuation for purpose of court-fees is to be determined first and that for purposes of jurisdiction must follow on the same; but the plaintiff in a suit in which consequential relief is prayed cannot at one and the same time obtain, the services of the highest possible tribunal for the determination of his claim and evade the payment of ad valorem court-fees. if for purposes of jurisdiction he sets a high value on the relief by way of declaration and a merely nominal value on the relief by way of injunction, it is doing him no injustice to hold that the 'relief sought,' on which the court fee must be levied, is the sum.....
Judgment:

Piggott, J.

1. The Taxing Officer's report.

2. The suit, from which this appeal has arisen, was brought by the plaintiff No. 3 with and on behalf of plaintiff Nos. 1 and 2 who are idols for the following reliefs:

(a) It may be held that defendant has no power to supervise and manage the properties of plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 and it may be declared that the plaintiff No. 3 is the lawful manager of plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2.

(b) The defendant may be restrained by means of a perpetual injunction from supervising and managing the property of the plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 and from entering the property of the plaintiffs.

(c) The moveables of the plaintiff No. 1 that may be proved, may be recovered.

(d) The costs may be awarded.

(e) Any relief other than relief (a) which it may be deemed just to grant with any addition or alteration may be granted. The plaintiffs will pay on it any court fee that is deemed necessary to be paid.

3. The suit was valued for the purposes of jurisdiction at Rs. 26,500 as a value of the property and the court-fee was paid as follows:

Rs. a.p.Declaration of right, valued at Rs. 25,000. 10-0-0 Issue of perpetual injunction, valuedat Rs. 1,000. 75-0-0Recovery of moveable and cash at Rs. 500. 37-8-0

4. The lower Court passed a decree declaring that the plaintiff No. 3 was the manager and trustee of the estate of the plaintiff No. 2 and perpetually restrained the defendant from managing the property of the plaintiff No. 2 or entering it. It further passed a decree for possession over moveable property of the value of Rs. 3-10. Against this decree the defendant preferred this appeal, valuing at Rs. 4,000 and paying only Rs. 10 as court-fee, praying that the appeal be allowed and the suit be dismissed with costs.

5. The respondent has filed a cross objection with respect to the property of plaintiff No. 1, valuing it at Rs. 630 and paying Rs. 10 for a declaration and Rs. 37-8 for an injunction.

6. As against the parties to the suit and the appeal and cross objection, it is maintained that in the plaint relief (b) prayed for is consequential to the declaration prayed for in relief (a), that, therefore, for the purpose of estimating court-fees, Section 7, Clause 4, para, (c) of the Court-Fees Act is applicable and an ad valorem duty should be paid in both Courts. On this contention there is deficiency of Rs. 792-8 payable by the plaintiffs respondents in the Court below. With regard to their cross-objection, it is maintained that it should have been valued at Rs. 21,000 and that there is this a deficiency of Rs. 747-8 duo from them in this Court. From the defendant-appellant there is a deficiency of Rs. 215 due in this Court.

7. It is understood that the counsel for the appellant has seen the deficiency report submitted by the office and has raised no objection to payment. The counsel for the plaintiffs-respondents, however, has objected that the suit does not fall under Section 7, Clause 4, para. (c) but para. (d) of the Court-Fees Act. He points out that, as is stated in the judgment of the lower Court, the possession of the property by the plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 is not in dispute, and that plaintiff No. 3 is not suing on his personal right and is not claiming any beneficial right in the property, and he relies on the case quoted in Mohendra Sundar Thakurv. Dinobcmdhu Thakur (1914) 19 C.L.J. 15. There the plaintiff asked for a declaration that he was in possession as the sole shebait of certain endowed properties and that the defendants had not been validily appointed as such, and for an injunction to restrain the defendants from interfering with the management of the property. The Court held that the substantial relief claimed was this injunction and proceeded to decide whether the valuation placed on this relief was arbitrary or not. Counsel contends with some force that the case quoted exactly covers the points raised in the present suit namely whether in the first place the relief claimed is consequential or merely an injunction and, secondly, whether if it is held to be an injunction, the Valuation put upon it is arbitrary or not.

8. Now whatever may be the relief claimed 'in substance', the words actually used in the prayer (page 4 of the paper book) appear to be capable of only one interpretation. I am of opinion that this is clearly a claim for a declaration with consequential relief. The right to obtain an injunction against the defendant flows from the declaration which the plaintiff seeks of his right to the management. 'If the plaintiff has that right, he is entitled to an injunction in consequence. If he has not that right, he is not entitled to an injunction;' Bahal Kuar v. Narain Singh : AIR1925All184 (Daniels, J.). The fact that in this case it is a question not of possession but of management, does not seem to me to be strictly relevant. If it is pleaded that the plaint might have been worded differently, 1 would draw attention to the remarks of Piggott, J., in a similar case in Rup Narain v. Bishwa Nath A.I.R. 1922 All. 358.

9. But assuming that the relief claimed is consequential, counsel refers to the remarks of Stanley, C.J. in Ghazaffar Husain Khan v. Zawar Husain (1905) 28 All. 112 at P. 117 'As regards the court-fee, in many cases the costs of such a suit as the is fall on the trust estate, arid it seems to me that as the decree in such a suit works no change in the beneficial ownership of the property, it would be a hardship to impose on the trust estate the payment of the ordinary court-fee payable in respect of a hostile suit for recovery of land on title.' As a matter of fact this was not an issue in the case. The above words are merely the expression of an opinion and the learned Judge did not come to any finding on the point.

10. In view, however, of the judgment of Mukerji, J. in Mohendra Sundar v. Dinabandhu (1914) 19 C.L.J. 15 and of the remarks of Piggott, J., and Stanley, C.J., in the judgments referred to, I direct that this order be laid before the Hon'ble Taxing Judge for a decision of the issue whether this suit falls under para. (c) or para. {d) of Clause 4 of Section 7 of The Court-Fees Act, and for orders as to whether, if it falls under para. (c) the full ad valorem court-fee is to be paid.

11. Should the learned Judge decide that the suit falls under para. (c), the second issue framed above need not be considered On the other hand, if the suit is held to fall under para. (d), it is contended that the valuation placed on the relief claimed by means of an injunction both in the lower Court and (in the cross-objection) in this Court is purely arbitrary, and that in the lower Court the valuation should have been that declared for purposes of jurisdiction namely Rs. 25,000 and under the cross-objection, Rs. 25,000 less Rs. 4,000 the valuation of the appellant, i.e., Rs. 21,000.

12. On this question the remarks of Mukerji, J., in the judgment above quoted appear to be applicable since the benefit that is to accrue to the plaintiffs, if plaintiff No. 1 is made sole manager of the property and the defendant is excluded, has not been shown to be above the valuation put upon the relief claimed. But since this issue depends upon the decision of the first issue framed, I am of opinion that it too should be left for the orders of the Hon'ble Taxing Judge.

13. I cannot read the plaint in this suit as anything but a claim for a declaratory decree, with consequential relief, under Section 7(IV)(c) of the Court-Fees Act, No. VII of 1870. This being so, the case is covered by the ruling in Mt. Jageshra v. Durga Prasad Singh (1914) 36 All. 500. I am not prepared to recommend a reconsideration of that decision. I can see the point that, on the wording of the section it is arguable that the expression 'the relief sought' means the 'consequential relief' spoken of in Sub-clause (c). At the same time I do not think we ought now to unsettle the law laid down by a Bench of two Judges more than ten years ago. Moreover, I am impressed with the argument based upon Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act, No. VII of 1887. I accept the contention that the valuation for purpose of Court-fees is to be determined first and that for purposes of jurisdiction must follow on the same; but the plaintiff in a suit in which consequential relief is prayed cannot at one and the same time obtain, the services of the highest possible tribunal for the determination of his claim and evade the payment of ad valorem court-fees. If for purposes of jurisdiction he sets a high value on the relief by way of declaration and a merely nominal value on the relief by way of injunction, it is doing him no injustice to hold that the 'relief sought,' on which the court fee must be levied, is the sum total of the two reliefs. It is beside the point to suggest that different consequences would have followed if the plaintiff in the present case had asked for a declaration only, or for an injunction only : the question under the Court-Fees Act must be determined upon the plaint as framed.

14. I affirm the report of the stamping officer, and allow the parties concerned one month in which to make good the deficiency.


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