1. This appeal arises out of proceedings held in the Court of the District Judge of Allahabad on a reference made by the Collector of Allahabad under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. The only question is whether the Pleader's fee has been calculat. ed correctly in the Court below. The appellant contends that the Pleader's fee should have been calculated under Rule 461 of the rules of the 4th of April 1894. The respondent contends that the fee was rightly calculated under Rule 457. Rule 457, so far as it is relevant to the present case, is as follows: 'in suits or in appeals from original or appellate decrees in suits for money, effects or other personal property or for land or other immoveable property of any description when such suits or appeals are decided on the merits lifter contest'' (here follows the scale of fees.) Rule 461 is as follows: 'in appeals from orders and in other cases' (here follows the scale of fees).
2. It is agreed that the decision in the present case was arrived at on the merits after contest. The question is whether the proceedings in the Court below should be regarded as a suit for money or for land. There was certainly no suit for land. There was only a claim for money awarded as compensation for land taken under the Act. There is no definition of the word 'suit' in the rules, but we think that proceedings taken under the Land Acquisition Act cannot be regarded as a suit within the meaning of Rule 457. The proceedings are not started by a plaint, nor are they started by any one who is in the position of a plaintiff. They are started by a reference by the Collector made at the instance of a person who is dissatisfied with the Collector's decision. Throughout the Act, the proceedings in the District Judge's Court are referred to as an inquiry. There is no provision in the Land Acquisition Act like Section 261 of the Indian Succession Act, which provides that contentious proceedings under the Succession Act, shall take the form of a regular suit. The only provision in the Land Acquisition Act, to which the respondent can refer in support of his contention that such proceedings are suits, is Section 54. That section provides that, subject to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure applicable to appeals from original decrees, an appeal shall lie to the High Court from the award or from any part of the award of the Court in any proceedings under this Act. This section does not say that the decision of the Court is a decree. It calls the decision an award and makes the award appealable according to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure applicable to appeals from original decrees. We were referred to the decision of this Court in Sheo Battan Rai v. Mohri 21 A. 354. In that case it was decided that an appeal from an award made by the District Judge under the Land Acquisition Act must be stamped as an appeal from an original decree. That case does not assist the respondent, for it is admitted that there may be a decree in proceedings which cannot he described as a suit. We have come to the conclusion that proceedings in the District Judge's Court under the Land Acquisition Act are not suits for money or suits for land within the meaning of Rule 457 of the rules of the 4th of April 1894. The Pleader's fee should, therefore, have been calculated under Rule 461. We allow the appeal and direct that the decree of the Court below be corrected accordingly. The respondent must pay the appellants' costs.