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Bishwanath Singh Vs. Jannath Pandey and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 82 of 1948
Judge
Reported inAIR1952All643
ActsLegal Practitioners (Fees) Act, 1926 - Sections 4
AppellantBishwanath Singh
RespondentJannath Pandey and ors.
Advocates:Gopaljee Mehrotra, Adv.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
civil - fee of legal practitioner - section 4 of legal practitioner (fees) act, 1926 - engagement of more than one legal practitioner - no settlement of fees - each is entitled to full legal taxable fee under section 4 - not only share of fees. - - i am unable to accept this interpretation of section 4 of the act, the meaning of which in my opinion, clearly is that every legal practitioner, in the absence of a definite contract, is entitled to the full legal taxable fee. in my opinion the fee of a legal practitioner cannot be made dependable upon the vagaries of the client according to which he may continue to engage otherlegal practitioners......in revision against a decree of the court of small causes at jaunpur granted in favour of a legal practitioner in respect of his fees. there was no specific con-tract between the legal practitioner & his client. the taxable fee in the case was rs. 516. the applicant had engaged three legal practitioners to appear & work for him. the plff. brought a suit to recover a sum of rs. 153. he had already been paid rs. 100 before the institution of the suit. the claim for rs. 158 was based on the ground that the plff. was entitled to half the legal fee. the court below has granted him a decree for rs. 72 only.2. it being a case where the fee had not been privately settled between the legal practitioner & the client, the case must be governed by the second portion of section 4, legal.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Seth, J.

1. This is a deft.'s application in revision against a decree of the Court of Small Causes at Jaunpur granted in favour of a legal practitioner in respect of his fees. There was no specific con-tract between the legal practitioner & his client. The taxable fee in the case was Rs. 516. The applicant had engaged three legal practitioners to appear & work for him. The plff. brought a suit to recover a sum of Rs. 153. He had already been paid Rs. 100 before the institution of the suit. The claim for Rs. 158 was based on the ground that the plff. was entitled to half the legal fee. The Court below has granted him a decree for Rs. 72 only.

2. It being a case where the fee had not been privately settled between the legal practitioner & the client, the case must be governed by the second portion of Section 4, Legal Practitioners (Fees) Act (xxi [21] of 1926, which provides as follows :

'...... if no such fee has been settled, a fee computedin accordance with the law for the time being in force in regard to the computation of the costs to be awarded to a party in respect of the lee of his legal practitioner.'

I have already stated that the taxable fee in this case was Rs. 516. It is contended for the deft, that the suit was withdrawn & was not fought to the end, &, therefore, only half the amount of Rs. 516 was taxable. Assuming this contention to be sound, the plff. became entitled to Rs. 258 out of which he had already received a sum of Rs. 100.

3. It is contended by the learned counsel for the applicant that there being three legal practitioners in the case, the plff. became entitled to only one third of the taxable fee. He contends that Section 4 should be interpreted to mean that where no fee has been settled all the legal practitioners appearing in a case for a particular client are together entitled to the taxable fee & that they must share this fee amongst themselves. I am unable to accept this interpretation of Section 4 of the Act, the meaning of which in my opinion, clearly is that every legal practitioner, in the absence of a definite contract, is entitled to the full legal taxable fee. If a litigant is not desirous of paying the full legal fee it is his duty to settle the fee with the legal practitioner before engaging him. To accept the contention of the learned counsel would lead to very undesirable results. For example, a litigant having engaged one legal practitioner at the beginning of the case may continue to engage other legal practitioners subsequently & if the contention of the learned counsel is to be accepted, then on each fresh engagement, the fee payable to the legal practitioners previously engaged will continue to diminish. In my opinion the fee of a legal practitioner cannot be made dependable upon the vagaries of the client according to which he may continue to engage otherlegal practitioners. The plff. opposite-party was therefore entitled to a decree for Rs. 168.

4. The Court below has, however, given him a decree for Rs. 72 only. He has acquiesced in that decree. The deft. has no cause for complaint against that decree.

5. There is thus no force in this application in revision. It is accordingly dismissed, but there shall be no order as to costs as the opposite-party is not represented in this Court.


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