1. In this appeal arising from a decree passed for restitution of conjugal rights under the Hindu Marriage Act by a Civil Judge a preliminary objection has been raised on behalf of the respondent that it does not lie in this Court. The respondent valued the suit at Rs. 200/- and obtained a decree. The appellants have valued the appeal from the decree at Rs. 11,000/- and filed the appeal in this Court. Under Section 39 of the Oudh Courts Act an appeal lies to this Court only where the value of the original suit exceeded Rs. 10,000/-. In this case the value of the original sun was only Rs. 200/- and, therefore, an appeal from that would not lie in this Court. The valuation put down by the appellants is of no consequence at all as held by a Full Bench of this Court in Paras Ram v. Janki Bai : AIR1961All395 . It is the valuation of the suit that governs the question of forum of appeal and not the valuation arbitrarily placed on the memorandum of appeal. If the valuation of suit does not exceed Rs. 10,000/- arc appeal from a decree passed in it will lie to the District Judge, otherwise it will lie to the High Court. In the full Bench case no valuation was put down on the plaint at all and it could not be said to be not in excess of Rs. 10,000/- and consequently the appeal lay to the High Court.
In Yudhisthir Singh v. Batauna Devi, 1962 All LJ 432 a suit under the Hindu Marriage Act was valued at Rs. 200/- and an appeal by the plaintiff from its dismissal was held to lie to the District Judge. It does not matter if the appellant is the defendant Forum of the appeal does not depend upon whether the plaintiff is the appellant or the defendant. It gets fixed for both parties from the valuation placed on the suit by the plaintiff. Regardless of whether it is open to the defendant or not to question the valuation put by the plaintiff, he has no right to vary it when he files an appeal from a decree passed in the suit. He is bound to place the same valuation on the appeal as was placed on the suit, Even if he ignores the valuation of the suit and places his own valuation, the forum of appeal will be decided by the valuation of the suit. In Yudhisthir Singh's case 1962 All LJ 432, a Bench of this Court held at page 435 that 'whatever valuation is put on the petition will govern the forum of appeal.' In Bishu Nath Saran Singh v. Mt. Jugraj Kuar, AIR 1933 Oudh 191 the same view was taken.
2. There is no provision in the Suits Valuation Act for valuation of appeals as there is for valuation of suits and the obvious reason is that once a suit is valued, the appeal gets valued in accordance with that valuation. One principle is that the valuation of an appeal can never be higher than that of the suit from which it arises. If the appeal is from dismissal of the suit or from the decree of the entire suit, the valuation of the appeal must be the same as that of the suit. If a part of the suit is decreed or only a part of the decree is appealed from, the valuation of the appeal may be less than that of the suit,but in no circumstance can it exceed that of the suit, for certain suits including a suit under the Hindu Marriage Act the valuation for jurisdiction is the same as the valuation for the court-fee purposes, vide Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act. In the Court Fees Act same court-fee is payable on a memorandum of appeal as on the plaint. It follows from this also that jurisdictional value of an appeal must be the same as that of the suit. We, therefore, upheld the preliminary objection and hold that this Court has no jurisdiction over the appeal.
3. A request was made that we should return the appeal for presentation to a competent Court, but we see no justification to do this. Order VII, Rule 11, C. P. C., applies to plaints and not to memorandum of appeals, me appellants deliberately and perversely enhanced arbitrarily the value of the appeal in order to exclude the Jurisdiction of the District Judge over it and are now estopped from pleading that the memorandum of appeal be returned to them for presentation in the District Judge's Court. According to the valuation mentioned in the memorandum it cannot be presented by them in the court of the District Judge; because it cannot be said that any District Judge has jurisdiction over it. If they want to present it in the court of a District Judge they will have to amend the valuation first Even if Order VII, Rule 11 governs a memo of appeal, it can be returned for presentation to a competent court only if it is entertainable by the other court in its existing form and without its being amended. If in its unamended form it cannot be received by the District Judge, it cannot be returned for presentation in his court and must be rejected. It may be open to the appellant to file another appeal in the District Judge's Court.
4. We dismiss the appeal with costs.