1. This is a matter which has been brought to the notice of this Bench by the Stamp Reporter. The appeal is by the defendant and the plaintiff is respondent. The report states that the plaintiff-respondent paid on his plaint in the Court below a ten rupee declaratory court-fee stamp whereas the court-fee should have been ad valorem on Rs. 17,000 amounting to a court-fee of Rs. 685. The plaint was one under the U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act and stated that the plaintiff had borrowed Rs. 27,000 from the defendant on 21st September 1929 and had made certain repayments on different dates amounting to Rs. 15,795 and the relief asked for was:
(a) It may be declared as to what amount is due by the plaintiffs under the document dated 20th September 1929, registered on 21st September 1929, for Rs. 27,000 executed by the plaintiffs in favour of the defendants.
2. Now this is clearly a suit for accounts. It is provided in the, Court-fees Act (Act 7 of 1870) Section 7(iv)(f) that
The amount of fee payable under this Act in suits next hereinafter mentioned shall be computed as follows...in suits...for accounts according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint or memorandum of appeal.
3. There is no doubt that this is a suit for accounts. It is true that it is not that class of suit for account in which the plaintiff claims that a sum of money is due to him. It is a case where the claim is that a sum of money is due from the plaintiff to the defendant. But the Court-fees Act does not draw a distinction between these cases of suits for accounts. The criterion applied to all suits for accounts by the Court-fees Act is very simple, that is, the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint or memorandum of appeal. Now in the plaint the valuation is given in para. 7:
For purposes of jurisdiction of the Court the subject-matter of the suit has been valued at Rs. 17,000.
4. There is no statement that for the purpose of the Court-fees Act a lesser value is put forward. It is clear that the figure of Rs. 17,000 is arrived at by taking the original amount of Rs. 27,000 borrowed on 21st September 1929 and deducting the payments made on different dates, and the balance of the principal with interest amounts to Rs. 17,000 according to the plaintiff's calculations. This figure of Rs. 17,000 therefore is the amount at which the relief sought is valued. This question of valuation for Section 33, Agriculturists' Relief Act has been the subject of a decision of a Bench of this Court in regard to the Court-fees Act, Pahlad Singh v. Niadar Singh : AIR1938All467 , and it was there laid down that the amount at which the relief was valued in the plaint or memorandum of appeal must be taken for the Court-fees Act, and an ad valorem court-fee must be paid on it and not a declaratory court-fee. Learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent referred to the case in Mt. Anis Begam v. Shyam Sundar : AIR1937All792 . That ruling does not deal with the question of court-fees but with the question of jurisdiction and the Suits Valuation Act. A reference was made in that ruling to the General Rules (Civil) for Courts subordinate to the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Chap. 20, amended Rule 28. This rule is headed: 'The Suits Valuation Act, 1887 (7 of 1887)' and the rule begins by stating that the rule is framed under Section 9, Suits Valuation Act, for the purpose of jurisdiction. In Sub-rule (3) which was quoted in part in the ruling in question it is provided as follows:
Suits in which the plaintiff in the plaint asks for accounts only, not being suits to recover the amount which may be found due to the plaintiff on taking unsettled accounts between him and the defendant, or suits of either of the kinds described in Order 20, Rule 13, Civil P.C.
Value (a). For the purpose of the Court-fees Act, 1870 as determined by that Act;
(b) For the purposes of the Suits Valuation Act, 1887, such amount exceeding Rs. 100, and not exceeding Rs. 500 as the plaintiff may state in the plaint.
5. It is clear therefore that this Rule 28 and Sub-rule (3) did not purport to affect the Court-fees Act of 1870, and the rule only purported to affect the valuation for the Suits Valuation Act for the purpose of jurisdiction. The ruling therefore cannot be applied as learned Counsel desires to apply it to the present question. As to the valuation for the Court-fees Act no authority is shown by learned Counsel for his proposition. It is true that there has been an amendment by the local Legislature in regard to this question of court-fees on applications under Section 33, U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act, but it is admitted by learned Counsel that this amendment has been passed after the plaint in question which was dated 29th February 1936, and the amendment does not purport to be retrospective. We therefore hold that the report is correct and that the court-fee on the plaint should have been Rs. 685 and that there is a deficiency of Rs. 675. We allow the plaintiff-respondent three months to make good the deficiency. If the plaintiff-respondent neglects to make good the deficiency then he will not be heard as a respondent in this Court.