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Umesh Chandra and ors. Vs. Krishna Murari Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 81 of 1979
Judge
Reported inAIR1980All29
ActsCourt-fees Act, 1870 - Sections 6(4); Uttar Pradesh Court-fees (Amendment) Act
AppellantUmesh Chandra and ors.
RespondentKrishna Murari Lal
Appellant AdvocateS.K. Verma, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateH.S. Joshi, Adv.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
.....restraining the defendant-applicant from interfering with the possession of the plaintiff-opposite party over certain agricultural land, a tube-well existing thereon and some crops standing over the said land. the plaintiff-opposite party sri krishna murari lal filed a suit for a permanent injunction against the applicant restraining him from interfering with his possession over some agricultural lands described in schedule ga in the plaint of the suit, as well as with the tube-well existing therein and the crops standing thereon. the ground of under-valuation was based upon the assertion that over the land in dispute, there existed a tube-well as well as crops in respect of which the plaintiff has claimed a relief, though the plaintiff has not valued these items of property,..........restraining the defendant-applicant from interfering with the possession of the plaintiff-opposite party over certain agricultural land, a tube-well existing thereon and some crops standing over the said land.2. the relevant facts are these. the plaintiff-opposite party sri krishna murari lal filed a suit for a permanent injunction against the applicant restraining him from interfering with his possession over some agricultural lands described in schedule ga in the plaint of the suit, as well as with the tube-well existing therein and the crops standing thereon. along with the above suit, the plaintiff-opposite party also moved an application (4-c) for temporary injunction restraining the defendant-applicant from interfering with the plaintiffs' possession over the aforesaid.....
Judgment:
ORDER

A.N. Varma, J.

1. This is a defendants' application in revision directed against an order passed by a learned III Additional District and Sessions Judge granting a temporary injunction restraining the defendant-applicant from interfering with the possession of the plaintiff-opposite party over certain agricultural land, a tube-well existing thereon and some crops standing over the said land.

2. The relevant facts are these. The plaintiff-opposite party Sri Krishna Murari Lal filed a suit for a permanent injunction against the applicant restraining him from interfering with his possession over some agricultural lands described in schedule Ga in the plaint of the suit, as well as with the tube-well existing therein and the crops standing thereon. Along with the above suit, the plaintiff-opposite party also moved an application (4-C) for temporary injunction restraining the defendant-applicant from interfering with the plaintiffs' possession over the aforesaid properties during the pendency of the suit. This application was contested by the applicant. The learned Munsif rejected the application on the ground that the plaintiff would suffer no irreparable loss. He took the view that though the plaintiff seemed to have a prima facie case, he was not likely to suffer irreparable loss if injunction was not granted to him.

3. Aggrieved, the plaintiff-opposite party filed an appeal. The appeal has been allowed by the learned III Additional District and Sessions Judge granting temoary injunction in the terms mentioned above.

4. Aggrieved by the order passed by the learned III Additional District and Sessions Judge, the defendant-applicant has filed the present revision.

4-A. Before both the courts below an objection appears to have been taken on behalf of the defendant-applicant to the effect that the suit was under-valued and consequently the court-fee paid was also insufficient. The ground of under-valuation was based upon the assertion that over the land in dispute, there existed a tube-well as well as crops in respect of which the plaintiff has claimed a relief, though the plaintiff has not valued these items of property, namely, the tube-well and the crops. The learned Munsif observed that he would not like to touch the question of court-fee at that stage i.e. while disposing of the injunction application. The appellate court, however, arrived at a tentative figure of Rupees 9,980.50 as the valuation of the suit and required the plaintiff-opposite party to pay the court-fee on the said amount. He made a direction in his order that till the plaintiff-opposite party made good the deficiency in court-fee, the injunction granted by him would not be operative.

5. Aggrieved by the aforesaid order passed by the lower appellate court, the defendant has filed the present revision.

6. Learned counsel for the defendant-applicant has submitted two points for my consideration. These are as follows:--

(1) The court below had no jurisdiction to issue an interim injunction without conclusively and finally determining the question of the valuation of the suit on the plaint. He could not legally issue an injunction on a tentative valuation of the suit.

(2) The findings of the lower appellate court on the question of whether the plaintiff-opposite party has a prima facie case and whether the balance of convenience is in his favour are unsustainable,

7. Having heard learned counsel for the parties at some length, I am of opinion that there is no force in either of these two points. I shall take up the first point first. Before the lower appellate court, the plaintiff-opposite party stated that the valuation of the tube-well was Rs. 5,000 and that of the standing crop is Rs. 2,000. Counsel for the defendant-applicant appears to have claimed that the valuation of the tube-well was much more than Rs. 15,000. It is not disputed that so far as valuation of the land is concerned, it being an agricultural land, the plaintiff-opp. party had valued it at thirty times of the land revenue payable in respect thereof. There does not appear to have been any dispute with regard to valuation of the land in question, The only objection of the applicant was that the plaintiff had not valued the tube-well and the crops. The lower appellate court observed that the exact valuation of the tube-well would be decided in the suit itself when the issue relating to the valuation and the court fee would be dealt with. For the purposes of disposing of the injunction application, the learned Additional District Judge accepted the valuation of the tube-well and the crops as admitted by the plaintiff-opposite party and held that prima facie, the valuation of the suit ought to be Rupees 9,980.50 and on that valuation required the plaintiff-opposite party to pay the court-fee. The submission of the defendant-applicant was that the lower appellate court acted with illegality in not giving a concluded finding on the issue of valuation and court-fee, the same having been raised by the defendant-applicant. Relying on the provisions of Sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 6 of the Court-fees Act, learned counsel for the applicant urged that the courts below could not proceed with the suit until they had recorded a concluded finding on the question whether the court-fee paid was sufficient or not. Learned counsel also placed reliance on a decision of this court in . In order to appreciate his submission, it would be useful to reproduce here the provisions of Sub-section (3) and Sub-section (4) of Section 6 of the Court-fees Act:--

'(3) If a question Of deficiency in court-fees in respect of any plaint or memorandum of appeal is raised by an officer mentioned in Section 24A the court shall, before proceeding further with the suit or appeal, record a finding whether the court-fee paid is sufficient or not. If the court finds that the court-fee paid is insufficient it shall call upon the plaintiff or the appellant as the case may be, to make good the deficiency within such time as it may fix, and in the case of default shall reject the plaint or memorandum of appeal;

Provided that the court may, for sufficient reasons to be recorded, proceed with the suit or appeal if the plaintiff or the appellant, as the case may be, gives security to the satisfaction of the court for payment of the deficiency in court-fee within such further time as the court may allow. In no case, however, shall judgment be delivered unless the deficiency in court-fee has been made good, and if the deficiency is not made good within such time as the court may from time to time allow, the court may dismiss the suit or appeal.

(4) Whenever a question of the appropriate amount of court-fee payable is raised otherwise than under Sub-section (3), the court shall decide such question before proceeding with any other issue.' The difference in the language and con-tent's of Sub-section (3) and Sub-section (4) is striking. In Sub-section (3), it has been laid down that if an objection with regard to the court-fees in respect of any plaint is raised by an officer mentioned in Section 24-A of the Court-fees Act, the Court, shall, before proceeding further with the suit, record a finding whether the court-fee paid is sufficient or not. While Sub-section (4) of the aforesaid section says that when a question of appropriate amount of court-fee payable is raised otherwise than under Sub-section (3) the court shall decide such question before proceeding with any other issue. It will, therefore, be noticed that under Sub-section (3), the court is prohibited from proceeding with the suit, while under Sub-section (4), the court is directed to decide such question before proceeding with any other issue. In my view, therefore, when the objection as regards court-fee is raised by an officer, the court is totally prohibited from proceeding with the suit, but when the objection is raised by a person other than such an officer, the court is mandated to decide the issue of court fee before deciding other issues. In the present case, admittedly no objection was raised by an officer mentioned in Section 24-A of the Court-fees Act. The plaint was reported to be properly valued bearing appropriate court fee stamps. The objection was raised in the present case only by the defendant-applicant. Sub-section (3), was therefore, not applicable. In the case reported in AIR 1952 All 279, the objection was raised by the Stamp Reporter and this court held that till the issue of court fee was decided the court had no jurisdiction to entertain an application for appointment of the receiver because in the view of the learned Judges that would amount to proceeding with the suit. The learned Judges were considering the provisions of Sub-section (3) and not of Sub-section (4) of the aforesaid section of the Court-fees Act, That decision will, therefore, have no bearing on the present case. In my view, the learned Additional District judge committed no error of jurisdiction in arriving at a tentative figure. He had to satisfy himself that prime facie the suit was properly valued for the purpose of disposing of the injunction application, he had to satisfy himself whether prime facie the suit was properly valued. In my view he was not required to come to a concluded finding on the question of valuation of the suit the objection as regards the valuation and the court fees having been taken by the defendant-applicant, and not by an officer under Sub-section (3) of Section 6 of the Court-fees Act. If one were to accept the contention of the learned counsel for the applicant, the very purpose of obtaining temporary injunction or relief such as appointment of receiver etc. could be easily defeated by defendant by raising a plea of valuation thereby stalling the entire proceedings and insisting on a decision of this issue before the consideration of the applications for interim injunction. I am clearly of the view that where the objection is raised by defendant and not by an officer mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section 6 of the Court-fees Act, it is permissible for a court dealing with an injunction application to satisfy himself prima facie whether the suit is properly valued or not. There is, therefore, no substance in the first submission made on behalf of the applicant,

8. On the second submission, the argument of the learned counsel for the applicant was that the court below has acted with illegality in acting upon a photostat copy of the will in recording a finding on the question whether the plaintiff-opposite party has a prima facie case. In my view, there is no substance in this contention either. In the first place, the plaintiff-opposite party has filed an affidavit in this court asserting on personal knowledge that the original will itself had been filed before the learned Munsif and the same had been put in a sealed cover and had formed part of the record. The photostat copy was filed only for a ready reference. For the purpose of disposing of the injunction application, in my view, the court below cannot be said to have exceeded its jurisdiction in relying on the photostat copy in these circumstances. Moreover, no objection appears to have been taken before the court below to the learned Judge's looking into the photostat copy. However, the finding of the learned Judge is not based only on the photostat copy of the will but on facts and circumstances such as the mutation of the names of the plaintiff-opposite party over the agricultural plots in the revenue records and the mutation of the name of the defendant-applicant over other properties to the exclusion of the plaintiff-opposite party belonging to Siya Ram. The finding of the lower appellate court on the question whether there was a prima facie case is not vitiated by any error of law, much less an error of jurisdiction.

9. As regards the question of balance of convenience also, the finding of the learned Additional District Judge is based upon legitimate considerations. The discretion exercised by the learned Additional District Judge cannot be said to be arbitrary or non-judicial. The lower appellate court did have jurisdiction to grant temporary injunction and the learned counsel for the applicant was unable to point out any error of jurisdiction in the order passed by the learned Additional District Judge. There is therefore, no substance in the second point either urged on behalf of the defendant-applicant. The court below has issued the injuction upon valid and proper considerations. It has not committed any error of jurisdiction. On the facts and circumstances of the case, I am satisfied that the lower appellate court was justified in issuing the injunction. No interference is called for with the order passed by the lower appellate court in any view of the matter.

10. In the result, the Revision fails and is dismissed with costs.


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