1. The question raised by this ' reference under the Court-fees Act is whether the plaintiffs in a suit instituted in the Court of the First Civil Judge of Meerut have paid sufficient court-fees. The Court of Wards executed two sale deeds of the plaintiff's property when that property was under its superintendence. Plaintiff 1 and the husband and the predecessor-in-interest of. plaintiff 2 also executed the deeds, although it is alleged that they did so because they were deceived. The plaintiffs sued for three reliefs, namely, (1) that the sale deeds should be declared invalid and ineffectual and that the possession of the property should be delivered to them; (2) that a decree for Rs. 30,000 paid in cash to the Court of Wards should be passed in favour of the plaintiffs and (3) that mesne profits should be allowed. It is admitted that the right court-fee was paid on the second and third reliefs. On the first relief the learned Judge held that the court-fee should be calculated in accordance with the provisions of Section 7 (iv) (a), Court-fees Act, that is, as it would be in a suit to obtain a declaratory decree where consequential relief was prayed. It is contended on,behalf of the Government that the first relief is really a combination of two reliefs, namely, one for possession and the other a relief involving the cancellation of or adjudging void or voidable instruments securing property. It is not suggested that a sale deed is not an instrument securing property other than money and the argument on behalf of the Government is that separate court-fees should be paid under Section 7 (iv) (a) on the relief for possession and under Section 7 (iv-A) on the relief which might involve the cancellation of the sale deeds. It seems to me that there is force in this argument. When the plaintiffs claimed that the sale deeds should be declared invalid and ineffectual that was equivalent to saying that they should be declared void because one of the plaintiffs and the predecessor-in-interest of the other one were parties to the deeds; The relief was one which could have been claimed in a separate suit under Section 39, Specific Belief Act. The reliefs to which reference is made in Section 7 (iv) (a) are those which could be obtained in a suit under Section 42, Specific Belief Act. These are two quite different reliefs. Now under Section 17, Court-fees Act, aggregate court-fees are charged in suits in which there are two or more separate and distinct causes of action and the higher fee payable is charged in respect of suits where there is one cause of action but more than one relief is claimed in the alternative. There is no provision in terms for a case where there is one cause of action but there are two or more separate reliefs which are not claimed in alternative but which are claimed in addition to each other. It seems to me in this case that the court-fee must be paid for each relief and the aggregate court-fee must be charged. It has always been so assumed in cases, for instance, of possession and mesne profits. In that view of the matter, the plaintiffs must pay a court-fee both on the relief for possession and on the relief for adjudging the deeds of sale to be void or voidable. In the alternative it may be said that causes of action for a suit under Section 39, Specific Belief Act, and a suit for possession or a suit for a declaration and possession under Section 42, Specific Belief Act, would essentially be different in which case Sub-section (1) of 17 would apply. It is unimportant to consider whether the court-fees on the relief for possession should be charged under Section 7(iv)(a) or Section 7(va) because the method of calculation will be the same. I would, therefore, hold that the report of the Inspector of Stamps was right and that there is a deficiency of Rs. 1170 in court-fees.
2. I agree.
3. We hold that the report of the Inspector of Stamps is right and that there is a deficiency of Rs. 1170 in court-fees.