J.D. Sharma, J.
1. This is an application in revision by the Chief Inspector of Stamps under Section 6B of the Court-fees Act against an order dated the 10th January, 1957 of the Civil Judge, Gonda, holding the court-fee paid to be sufficient.
2. The plaintiff brought the suit on the allegation that on the death of Rani Manraj Kuar who died in 1946 there were several claimants including the defendants to her estate. The defendants had no money and on the 12th November, 1946 they entered into an agreement with the plaintiff to the effect that the plaintiff would finance the litigation and in the event of the defendants' success he would get one-half of the property.
The defendants were successful in the suit brought by them and in view of the agreement aforesaid the plaintiff was entitled to half the estate. On account of the abolition of the zamindari the plaintiff was entitled to half share in the compensation bonds relating to the estate of Rani Manraj Kuar.
3. The relief claimed by the plaintiff was a declaration that out of Rs. 44,200/-, the compensation amount, he was entitled to get half the compensation amounting to Rs. 22,100/-. The suit was accordingly valued at Rs. 22,100/-.
4. The Inspector of Stamps reported a deficiency in the court-fee. In his opinion the relief claimed by the plaintiff involved a consequential relief for the recovery of Rs. 22,100/-, half the compensation amount, and therefore ad valorem court-fee was payable.
5. The learned Civil Judge held that no consequential relief for the amount of compensation bonds was involved in the relief for declaration and ad valorem court-fee was not payable.
6. The contention on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Stamps is that although the relief claimed by the plaintiff purports to be one for declaration it is in effect and substance a relief for the recovery of Rs. 22,100/-, half the amount of the compensation bonds, and therefore ad valorem court-fee is payable. Stress is laid on the fact that the relief is for declaration of the plaintiff's right to get half the compensation amounting to Rs. 22,100/-, and the valuation of the suit is at that amount.
7. The relief is no doubt inartistically worded, but in substance the relief is for a declaration of the plaintiff's right to half the amount of the compensation bonds, and the plaintiff could not possibly claim any other relief. The compensation bonds are in the custody of the Compensation Officer and not with the defendants. It is also a matter of common knowledge that a compensation bond cannot fetch in the market its face value. The question is whether the plaintiff as a direct consequence of the declaration as claimed in the plaint will be entitled to get the compensation bonds for half the amount. It was pointed out on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Stamps that on account of the grant to the plaintiff of the declaration the Compensation Officer will have no option but to deliver the compensation bonds for half the amount to the plaintiff and that being the direct consequence of the declaration a consequential relief was involved in the relief for declaration as claimed in the plaint.
The direct consequence must arise under and by reason of the decree. In other words, the decree must have its coercive force and that is possible only against a party to the decree. The Compensation Officer may as a result of the declaration in favour of the plaintiff deliver to him the compensation bonds for half the amount, only because he has to dispose of the bonds according to the rights of the persons interested therein, and as such he may abide by the decision of the court, but the decree itself is not binding on him, and therefore it cannot be said that the delivery to the plaintiff of the compensation bonds for half the amount will be a direct consequence of the decree.
Even after the decree the plaintiff will have to follow the same procedure as any other person in getting the bonds from the Compensation Officer. One has to apply and establish one's claim before getting the compensation bonds, and the plaintiff will have to do the same after obtaining a declaration of his right. The position of the Compensation Officer is that of a custodian having no personal interest in the property, and as such a suit for declaration as claimed by the plaintiff does not involve a consequential relief.
The position would have been different if the compensation bonds were in the possession of the defendants. In that case the delivery by the defendants of the compensation bonds for half the amount would have been a, direct consequence of the decree which could be enforced by execution against them. Compensation bonds are no doubt negotiable and also saleable in the market, but that is not material.
Suppose, instead of the compensation bonds promissory notes were in the custody of a third person. A similar declaration would have entitled the plaintiff to get the promissory notes for half the amount but he could recover the amount of the pronotes only by bringing a suit.
8. I am therefore of the view that the relief claimed in the plaint was for declaration only and did not involve a consequential relief and ad valorem court-fee was not payable.
9. The revision has no force and is dismissed. The parties shall bear their own costs.