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Zulfiqar HussaIn Vs. State of U.P. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 632 of 1980
Judge
Reported inAIR1981All408
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 33, Rule 9
AppellantZulfiqar Hussain
RespondentState of U.P.
Appellant AdvocateG.P. Mathur, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
Excerpt:
civil - recovery suit filed as indigent person - rule 9(b) of order 33 of code of civil procedure,1908 - leave granted by trial court under order 33 - plaintiff acquires means afterwards - subsequently leave is withdrawn - plaintiff not to deposit court fee - till proceeding ends before trial court. - .....mentioned such an order about the payment of court-fee must be passed when the proceedings in the suit come to an end. it appears to be fair conclusion from the context in which the contingency of the plaintiff being dispaupered is mentioned that the order about the payment of court-fee on the happening of that contingency must also relate to the stage when the proceedings had come to an end and not to the pending stage of the suit.'this question was considered from other aspects also and ultimately it was held that till the proceedings come to an end, a plaintiff on being dispaupered cannot be asked to pay the court-fee.4. it way submitted by the learned chief standing counsel that this case isdistinguishable on facts, inasmuch as the plaintiff who had been given permission to sue as.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.R. Rastogi, J.

1. The plaintiff-applicant had filed a suit against the State of Uttar Pradesh, opposite party, for the recovery of certain amount. He was permitted by the trial court to sue as an indigent person. Subsequently an application was given on behalf of the opposite party on 19-3-1980 (198/C) for withdrawal of the permission given to the applicant to sue as indigent person. The ground taken was that during the pendency of the suit the plaintiff applicant had received a sum of about Rupees 34,000/- and was, therefore, in a position to pay the Court-fee. It may be mentioned that the court-fee payable was about Rs. 14,000/-. The plaintiff applicant filed an objection to that application. It was not disputed that the plaintiff had received the aforesaid amount after the filing of the suit but it was averred that out of that amount he paid Rs. 10,000/- to the Bank from which he had borrowed that money for making the security deposit and apart from that he made payments to theBrick-kiln owners for price of bricks and also made payments to the labourers and for transport. Thus, he was not left with any liquid cash with him for paying the court-fee. The trial court has not accepted the case taken by the plaintiff-applicant and has withdrawn the permission given to him to file the suit as indigent person and has directed him to pay the requisite court fee within one month. Aggrieved the plaintiff has filed the present revision under Section 115 C. P. C. to revise this order.

2. A twofold submission was made before me on behalf of the plaintiff-applicant, firstly that the plaintiff-applicant had given an affidavit in support of the objection and that affidavit has not been taken into consideration by the trial court and apart from that at this stage the plaintiff-applicant was not required to give all evidence to prove the various payments which he had made. The second submission was that under Order 33, Rule 11 C. P. C. if permission granted to the plaintiff to sue as an indigent person is withdrawn, the plaintiff cannot be asked to pay the court fee till the proceedings before the trial court have come to an end. The learned Chief Standing Counsel has contended that admittedly the plaintiff-applicant received payments of a total sum of about Rs. 34,000/- and that the payment of court-fee being a prior charge, the plaintiff-applicant had means to pay the court-fee and, therefore, he could not be allowed to continue to sue as an indigent person. It was also contended that on an application made under Order 33, Rule 9 C. P. C. for withdrawal of suit for permission to sue as an indigent person on the ground that the plaintiff had means to pay the court-fee, all that is relevant is as to whether the plaintiff has means or not. It is not relevant to see as to what he has done of those amounts. After considering the respective submissions in this behalf. I am inclined to agree with the learned Chief Standing Counsel. As noted above court-fee payable was about Rs. 14,000/-. In the beginning the plaintiff applicant was given permission to sue as an indigent person. During the pendency of the suit he received payments of about Rs. 34,000/-. In other words he came in possession of means within the meaning of Clause (b) of Rule 9 of Order 33. The word 'means'in this clause signifies some thing acquired by or which has come in the possession of the pauper plaintiff after granting of the petition of leave to sue in forma pauperis and not what was already existing before the application was granted. In the present case, as noted above, the plaintiff did come in possession of the means after he had been given leave to sue in forma pauperis. The question is as to whether disbursement of the money for expenses other than the payment of court-fee is relevant in this behalf. My attention has been invited in this connection to a decision of the Bombay High Court in Rustamii Cawasji v. General Cotton Mills. AIR 1967 Bom 73, in which it has been held that how the pauper plaintiff expended that amount cannot fall for consideration. In that case the plaintiff was the liquidator and during the pendency of the suit he had come in possession of certain sums of money and he spent that money with the leave of the Insolvency Court. On an application given by the plaintiff for dispaupering the plaintiff when the matter came in revision before the Bombay High Court the view taken was that the fact the money had been spent by the official liquidator with the leave of the Insolvency Court was not relevant in this behalf. The view taken was that as the pauper receives a concession in the filing of the suit and the subsequent prosecution of it. The legislature has been careful to provide for all contingencies and had provided that if he is not a pauper he is not entitled to sue as pauper, and the words 'is not a pauper' are applicable to his being not a pauper either during the pendency of the application or at the date when the order is made. I am respectfully inclined to agree with this view. Therefore, inquiry into the alleged payments made by the plaintiff applicant was not relevant.

3. Coming to the other question, reliance was placed by the learned counsel for the plaintiff on the decision in Smt. Kalawati v. Chandra Prakash, AIR 1959 All 37. Briefly stated the facts of that case were that one Ganga Prasad instituted a suit in 1944 as a pauper. He prayed for permission to sue as pauper. That permission was granted. Issues were then framed in the case and some time later Ganga Prasad died. His sister.Kalawati, was brought on record as Ms legal representative. She just mentioned in the application that she was also a pauper. The Court proceeded into an inquiry whether she was a pauper and ultimately held that she was not a pauper and required her to pay the requisite court fee. Kalawati then filed a revision before this Court which came up for hearing before a Division Bench. The learned Judges constituting the Bench differed on the question arising in the case and hence the case was referred to a third Judge. The learned third Judge on a consideration of the relevant provisions contained in Rule 9 and 11 of Order 33 took the view that there is no provision in Order 33 with respect to the consequences which follow when the plaintiff is dispaupered under Rule 9. One result may be that the concession which is allowed to the pauper plaintiff under Rule 8 with respect to the court-fee on certain documents ends. Rule 11 authorises the Court to order the plaintiff or any person added as co-plaintiff to the suit to pay the court-fee which would have been paid by the plaintiff if he had not been permitted to sue as pauper. This power can be exercised in four contingencies, firstly when the plaintiff fails in the suit, secondly when the plaintiff is dispaupered, thirdly when the suit is withdrawn and fourthly when the suit is dismissed for certain specified reasons. The learned Judge proceeds to observe (at p. 41):--

'There is nothing in the rule to indicate in specific terms the stage when this order is to be passed. In three out of the four contingencies just mentioned such an order about the payment of court-fee must be passed when the proceedings in the suit come to an end. It appears to be fair conclusion from the context in which the contingency of the plaintiff being dispaupered is mentioned that the order about the payment of court-fee on the happening of that contingency must also relate to the stage when the proceedings had come to an end and not to the pending stage of the suit.'

This question was considered from other aspects also and ultimately it was held that till the proceedings come to an end, a plaintiff on being dispaupered cannot be asked to pay the court-fee.

4. It way submitted by the learned Chief Standing Counsel that this case isdistinguishable on facts, inasmuch as the plaintiff who had been given permission to sue as indigent person died during the pendency of the suit and his legal representative was brought on record while in the present case such a situation did not obtain. In my opinion this does not create any difference. Apart from this the question has been examined, in its legal perspective and from all relevant aspects. This being a decision of the Division Bench is binding on this Court and the learned Chief Standing Counsel could not persuade me to take a contrary view. I do not find any occasion, therefore, to refer the matter for decision to a larger Bench. My attention was invited to a contrary decision of a learned single Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Gatlapati Tulasamma v. Lakshminarasamma, AIR 1972 Andh Pra 52. I do not think that in view of the clear pronouncement of this Court I should follow the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

5. The position, therefore, is that the Plaintiff applicant was rightly dispaupered by the Court below but till the proceedings in the Court below come to an end the plaintiff-applicant cannot be called upon to pay the court's fee.

6. The revision application is, hence, allowed in part and the order of the court below is modified only to this extent that the plaintiff-applicant will not be required to pay the court-fee till the proceedings come to an end before it. There will be no order as to costs.


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