1. This matter has been laid before me as Taxing Judge in order that I may pronounce an opinion as to the amount of court fee legally payable by the plaintiffs in the court of first instance, as also on their memorandum of appeal to the lower appellate court and in second appeal to this Court. There is a certain ambiguity about the wording of the plaint, although not, in my opinion, a material one. The suit was one by reversioners to the estate of a deceased Hindu against his widow in possession of the same. The relief sought is in the following words:
It may be held that the plaintiffs have a right, and a perpetual injunction may be issued by the court to the defendant restraining her etc.
2. If stress be laid on the fact that the words are 'it may be held', and not 'it may be declared', then this is a suit to obtain an injunction, classified in Section 7 of the Court Fees Act (No. VII of 1870) under Clause 4(d). On the other hand, in stating the valuation of the suit, the plaintiffs used the following language:
For purposes of jurisdiction the suit is valued at Rs. 3,038-7 and a court fee of Rs. 10 is paid. The relief for issue of injunction is valued at Rs. 10 and a court fee of annas 12 is paid on it.
3. If stress be laid on the wording of the above paragraph, then it must be held that the plaintiffs themselves have treated the suit as one for a declaratory decree in which consequential relief is also prayed. In that case the suit must be classified under Clause 4(c) of Section 7 aforesaid. In either event, the court fee payable must be computed according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint. In arguing the case for the appellants, Dr. Agarwala started with the assumption that, in so far as the suit was one for a declaration, it was subject to a fixed fee of Rs. 10 under Article 17 of the second schedule to the Court Fees Act (No. VII of 1870). He then took up the relief sought by way of injunction as if it had been claimed in a separate suit and contended that the plaintiffs had' a perfect right to value this particular relief as they pleased, and further that In the present instance it was not unreasonable for the plaintiffs to put the value of this relief by way of injunction as low as Rs. 10. He referred in argument to Clause VI of Article 17 in the schedule aforesaid. This provides a fixed fee of Rs. 10 for 'every other suit where It is not possible to estimate at a money value the subject-matter in dispute, and which is not otherwise provided for by this Act.' This is the fundamental fallacy in the argument of the learned Counsel for the appellants. Whichever way the plaint of this suit be looked at, it is one otherwise provided for by the Act. It is either a suit to obtain an injunction, or it is a suit to obtain a declaratory decree in which consequential relief is prayed. The argument for the appellants is so far correct that the plaintiffs in such a suit are entitled to state the value to them of the reliefs claimed and the court fee payable must be calculated according to the amount at which the relief sought is thus valued. These provisions, however, must be read subject to Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act (No. VII of 1887). What the plaintiffs in a suit like the present are not entiled to do is to put a high valuation on the plaint for purposes of jurisdiction, and thus obtain an adjudication on the matter from a court of superior grade, while at the same time asking for a different and much lower valuation for the purposes of court fees. This is precisely the point which was considered by a Bench of this Court in the case of Jageshra v. Durga Prasad Singh (1914) I.L.R. 36 All. 500. It is quite true, as was contended by counsel for one of the parties in the above case, that the intention of the legislature is that parties should first value their suits for purposes of court fees and, when this has been done, the valuation for purposes of court fee will, in all cases falling under the operation of Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act, be the same for purposes of jurisdiction. The present case is beyond question one to which the section above referred to applies. If the plaintiffs had stated that the value of the delimitation and of the accompanying injunction was to them little more than nominal, if for instance they had fixed upon Rs. 100 as the value of the declaration and Rs. 10 as the value to them of the further injunction, or if, treating the suit as one simply for an injunction, this being the substantial relief claimed, they had put a valuation of only Rs. 10 oh the relief sought, I should not be prepared to say that they would, not have been within their rights; but in that event the suit would have been filed in a court of subordinate jurisdiction to that which actually entertained and disposed of it. The plaintiffs committed themselves to the statement that they valued the suit at Rs. 3,038-7, plus a further sum of Rs. 10 as the separate valuation placed upon the relief claimed by way of injunction. Under these circumstances, they are not, in my opinion, entitled to contend that the relief sought in the suit as a whole had been valued by them in the plaint at Rs. 10 only. I uphold and affirm the report of the stamp officer. The plaintiffs appellants must make good the deficiency shown in the said report and I allow them one month's time within which to do so.