1. This is a plaintiff's appeal under Section 6A, Court-fees Act (Act 7 of 1870). The plaintiff's father Kashi Nath had become an insolvent. The Receiver in insolvency took possession of certain properties as belonging to Kashi Nath and wanted to sell the same. The plaintiff was then a minor and a suit, No. 31 of 1928, was filed on behalf of the plaintiff under the guardianship of his uncle and certain other persons for a declaration that the share of the plaintiff was not saleable by the Receiver in insolvency. The suit was decreed by the trial Court, but on appeal to this Court the appeal was partly successful, and this Court held that the village property now in suit was saleable and dismissed the plaintiff's suit with respect to this property.
2. The plaintiff on attaining majority filed a second suit No. 14 of 1942, on the allegation that his guardian was grossly negligent and prayed for a declaration that a one-sixth share of muafi in Mauza Ganeshra belonging to the plaintiff along with Kashi Nath was not liable to be sold in the insolvency proceedings against Kashi Nath. The plaintiff did not claim any other relief, but added relief (c) to the effect that 'plaintiff be granted any other relief which might be properly granted to him under the circumstances of this case.' The plaintiff filed the suit on a court-fee stamp of only Rs. 15. The Chief Inspector of Stamps made a report that the court-fee was deficient by a sum of Rs. 710 inasmuch as the plaintiff's suit involved adjudging, void or voidable, the decree in Suit No. 31 of 1928 and therefore it came clearly under the amended Section 7, Sub-section (iv-A), Court-fees Act, and inasmuch as the plaintiff was a party to the Suit No. 31 of 1928, the plaintiff was liable to pay ad valorem court-fee. The plaintiff objected to the report of the Chief Inspector of Stamps and claimed that he had paid proper court-fees. The learned Civil Judge of Muttra accepted the report of the Chief Inspector of Stamps and gave the plaintiff 15 days time within which to make good the deficiency. It is against this order that the plaintiff has filed this appeal under Section 6A, Court-fees Act.
3. It has been held in several cases that if a plaintiff deliberately does not choose to ask for a consequential relief which he should have asked and takes the risk of such omission the Court is not entitled to ask him to add a consequential relief and make him pay ad valorem court-fees: see Sri Krishna v. Mahabir Prasad : AIR1933All488 and Bishan Sarup v. Musa Mal : AIR1935All817 . I respectfully agree with the observations in those cases, but, to my mind, those cases do not lay down that plaintiff need not pay court-fees on the consequential relief merely because he has put it in vague words and has not clearly set out what he wants though his intention may be quite obvious from the relief as well as from the rest of the plaint.
4. It is true that the plaintiff merely claimed a declaration, but the plaintiff was aware that the previous decree in Suit No. 31 of 1928 stood in his way and it was therefore that he added the other relief in his plaint in which he said that such other relief might be granted to him which was necessary under the circumstances of this case. It has been held in Kalu Ram v. Babu Lal : AIR1932All485 that the Court should not be entirely guided by the language used by the plaintiff but should look at the substance of the relief claimed and if in the opinion of the Court a substantive relief is claimed which comes under any of the provisions of Section 7, Court-fees Act, court, fees should be charged on the said relief. : AIR1937All411 a Bench of this Court held that in determining whether the plaint was sufficiently stamped it was open to the Court to look into the allegation in the plaint in order to see whether the suit was one for a mere declaration or whether in effect the plaintiff was claiming a further relief though the real nature of the relief was concealed by him. To my mind, there can be no manner of doubt that the plaintiff knew that it was necessary for him to have the previous decree adjudged void or voidable and the plaintiffs therefore claimed the other relief, but carefully avoided wording it clearly and tried to leave it vague. To my mind therefore the decision of the lower appellate Court is correct and this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.