1. In these two second appeals the defendant brought a first appeal against a preliminary decree for accounts. The plaintiff sued defendant No. 1 as his agent for collecting the rent of a house in Calcutta and for rendition of accounts and the plaintiff valued his suit at Rs. 2.100 or whatever sum was found due and paid court-fee on the amount of Rs. 2,100. The preliminary decree held that defendant No. 1 was liable to render accounts for the period 1920 to July 1928. The defendant appealed on the ground: (1) that he was not liable to render accounts before 1923: and (2) that he had rendered accounts for the period 1923 to 1928 and he asked that the preliminary decree for rendering accounts should be set aside. He valued his appeal at Rs. 100. The Munsarim reported that the appeal should bear the original valuation of Rs. 2,100. The Court ordered on December 6, 1932: 'Admit the appeal subject to the objection as to court-fees.'
2. On November 17, 1934 the Court rejected the appeals on the ground that the defendant-appellant had not made good the deficiency of court-fee in spite of time having been allowed to him and his Pleaders were present and said that they had no instructions. The second appeals have now been brought on the ground that the appellant was entitled to value his appeal at Rs. 100 and there was no deficiency. Learned Counsel for the respondent has referred to a Full Bench ruling of the Madras High Court reported in Srinivasacharlu v. Perindevamma 39 M 725 : 33 Ind. Cas. 602 : AIR 1917 Mad. 698 : 30 MLJ 402(FB). That ruling was no doubt in a similar case where there was a preliminary decree for accounts and it was held that the defendant was bound by the valuation in the plaint. One point is not clear from the ruling as to whether the valuation in the plaint was the valuation of the preliminary decree or a valuation which, as in the present case, expressed the sum which the plaintiff considered due to him. The ruling of the Court was extremely brief and stated that the rule had been followed in a number of cases and the Court was not prepared to differ from that rule. Nothing was said as to how the rule could be based on any principles of law. It seems to me that the valuation in the plaint was intended by the plaintiff to be a valuation of the final decree and not of the preliminary decree. If the defendant appealed against the final decree no doubt the defendant would have to pay court-fee on whatever sum was found due to the plaintiff, but the defendant has only appealed against the preliminary decree and it appears to me that he is entitled to value that preliminary decree at any sum which he considers suitable and by valuing it at Rs. 100 he has not broken any rule of law. For these reasons I allow these two appeals, set aside the order of rejection of the Court below and direct the Court below to admit these appeals and dispose of them according to law. Costs hitherto incurred in the Court below and in this Court will abide the result. A, certificate shall be granted to the appellant, authorizing him to receive back from the Collector the full amount of court fee paid on the memoranda of appeals in this Court under Section 13, Court Fees Act.