Harish Chandra, J.
1. The question as to the insufficiency of the court-fee paid by the plain tiff respondent in the Court below has been raised by the Stamp Reporter.
2. The suit was by the nearest reversioner for the possession of certain property which had been unlawfully transferred by a widow named Mt. Lakshmi Kunwar. The plaintiff claimed that he was entitled to get the property as the transfers made by the lady as well as the subsequent transfers were unlawful, null and void and ineffectual as against his right to that property : The Stamp Reporter's contention is that a court-fee is payable on the relief for the cancellation or the adjudging void of these documents under Section 7 (ivA), Court-fees Act, in addition to a court-fee payable on the relief for possession. A further court fee was, of course, to be paid on relief (c) which was valued at Rs. 800. The respondent had paid a court fee of Rs. 660 only, although the total amount of court-fee due from him was Rs. 1,242-8-0. The Stamp Reporter accordingly reports that a sum of Rs. 682-8-0 is due from him on the plaint filed by him in the Court below.
3. The matter was previously raised in the Court below by the Chief Inspector of Stamps and the learned Civil Judge found that the amount of court fee paid was sufficient. The Chief Inspector of Stamps did not file a revision against this order of the learned Civil Judges under Section 6B, Court-fees Act. The contention of the respondent is that the Chief Inspector of Stamps not having taken any steps under Section 6B the order passed by the learned Civil Judge has become final and that the matter can no longer be raised again in this Court on the report of the Stamp Reporter. Clause (2) of Section 12, Court-fees Act is, however, couched in very general terms and lays down:
Whenever any such suit comes before a Court of appeal, reference or revision, if such Court considers that the said question (relating to the amount of court-fee paid on a plaint or memorandum of appeal) has been wrongly decided to the detriment of the revenue it shall require the party by whom such fee has been paid to pay, within such time as may be fixed by it, so much additional fee as would have been payable had the question been rightly decided.
There is nothing in this clause to indicate that if the Chief Inspector of Stamps has not taken any steps under Section 6B, the matter becomes final and that it cannot be considered again by a Court of appeal, reference or revision under that section. No doubt the Chief Inspector of Stamps, if he has failed to take any action under Section 6B, would be debarred from raising the question again in-a Court of appeal, reference prevision when the suit comes before such Court at a later stage. But if the Court, suo motu, or otherwise, e.g., on the report of the Stamp Reporter as in the present case, finds that a question relating to the amount of court-fee payable on a plaint or memorandum of appeal has been wrongly decided to the detriment of the revenue, there is no reason why it should not be able to consider it afresh and direct that such additional fee as may be pay-able on such plaint or memorandum of appeal be paid by the party from whom it is due. We are therefore unable to accept this contention of learned Counsel for the respondent.
4. As regards the merits, it would appear from a perusal of Section 7 (iv-A) that whenever a suit involves the cancellation or adjudging void or voidable of a decree for money or other property having a market value, or an instrument securing money or other property having such value, a court-fee has to be paid in accordance with the provisions of that sub-section. It is said that the claim of the respondent was for possession only and that it was not necessary for him to ask for the cancellation or the adjudging void of the transfers mentioned in the plaint. Even if this is true, there can be no doubt that he cannot be granted a decree for the possession of the property in suit unless the said transfers are adjudged void so far as he is concerned and the suit does in fact involve the adjudging void of the instruments in question.
5. We accordingly accept the Stamp Reporter's report, and direct the respondent to make the deficiency within three months. If such additional fee is not paid within the time allowed, information will be given to the Collector as required by Clause (2) of Section 12, Court-fees Act, and he will be asked to recover the deficiency as if it were an error of land revenue.