1. The sole point for decision in this Civil Revision is whether the valuation of the suit property for the purpose of jurisdiction should be taken to be the same as the valuation fixed for the purpose of Court tee.
2. The plaintiff, brought the suit for recovery of possession and mesne profits in respect of certain plots in the raiyatwari areas of Ganjam district, where each plot is separately assessed to land revenue. Though originally he asked for declaration of title and recovery of possession, subsequently, by an amendment of the plaint, he asked for mere recovery of possession. The question of adequacy of court fee was canvassed before the lower court in the earlier stages of the suit and that Court, by its order, No. 7 dated 5th April 1958, held that the suit came under Section 7(v)(b) of the Court Fees Act, and that the valuation of the property for purposes of court fee should be taken to be ten times the revenue payable on the plots. To this sum he added the sums claimed as mesne profits namely Rs. 750/-. plus Rs. 1280 (Rs. 2030) and directed court fee to be paid on the total sum so arrived at. This order was not challenged by way of revision before the Superior court and has become final.
3. Subsequently the defendant objected to the jurisdiction of the learned Munsif to proceed with the suit saying that the market value of the property was more than Rs. 6000/- inasmuch as the plaintiff himself had purchased it on 14-5-56 for Rs. 6000/-, and as the said sum was above the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Munsif he had no jurisdiction to try the suit.
4. The answer to this question depends on a construction of sections 3 and 6 of the Suits Valuation Act. Section 3 confers power on the State Government to make rules for the purpose of jurisdiction in suits mentioned in Section 7(v) of the Court Fees Act. It is admitted that rules under Section 3 have not yet been made. Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act is as follows:
'On and from the date on which rules under Section 3 take effect in any part of the territories under the administration of the Governor of Fort St George in Council to which the Madras Civil Courts Act 1873 extends, Section 14 of that Act shall be repealed as regards that part of those territories.'
Section 14 of the Madras Civil Courts Act 1873 is as follows:
'Where the subject matter of any suit or proceeding is land, a house or a garden, is value shall, for the purpose of jurisdiction conferred by this Court, be fixed in the manner provided by the Court Fees Act, Section 7'.
Thus the combined effect of Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act and Section 14 of the Madras Civil Courts Act would be that where the subject matter of a suit is land its value for the purpose of jurisdiction shall also be the same as the valuation for the purpose of court fee as fixed in Section 7(v) of the Court Fees Act. But if rules are made by the State Government under Section 3 of the Suits Valuation Act the aforesaid principle laid down in Section 14 of the Madras Civil Courts Act ceases to be operative. Ire the present case, as it was held that the court fee was payable under Section 7(v)(b) of the Court Fees Act and as admittedly no rules have been made by the State Government it would necessarily follow that the valuation for the purpose of court fee would also be deemed to be the valuation for the purpose of jurisdiction.
5. It was contended however that as he Madras Civil Courts Act in its application to the ex-Madras areas of Orissa was replaced by Section 4 of the Orissa Laws Regulation, 1936 (Orissa Regulation No. 1 of 1936), any reference to Section 14 of the Madras Civil Courts Act in Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act must be ignored. This argument is not available because in the Savings Section (Section 14) of the aforesaid Regulation it is expressly mentioned as follows:
'Save as otherwise provided by this Regulation, the repeal by this Regulation of any enactment shall not affect any Act or Regulation in which such enactment has been applied, incorporated or referred to .....'
Thus by virtue of the savings section notwithstanding the repeal of the Madras Civil Courts Act 1873, Section 14 of that Act which has been incorporated in Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act will not be affected.
6. Apart from Section 14 of the Orissa Laws Regulation 1936, this is a well known principle regarding the effect of a repeal, as pointed out in Craies on Statute Law, Fifth Edition, pages 330 and 332 and in Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes, Tenth Edition, page 406. It must accordingly be held that the repeal of the Madras Civil Courts Act, 1873, does not affect the applicability of Section 14 of that Act to South Orissa by virtue of Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act.
(7) It is true that Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act refers to
'any part of the territories under the Administration of the Governor of Fort St. George'.
But Section 7 of the Orissa Laws Regulation, 1936 read with Clause 3(a) of the First schedule to that Regulation says that any reference to the old Presidency of Madras (by whatever form of words) in any of the statutes, should be construed as reference to those areas of the Madras Presidency which became part of the Province of Orissa. Hence, as a matter of construction, we must hold that the territories referred to in Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act, are the ex-Madras areas transferred to the Province of Orissa, namely, Ganjam and Koraput districts.
8. Mr. H.G. Panda for the petitioner invited our attention to a Division Bench decision of this Court reported in ILR (1956) Cut 135: ((S) AIR 1956 Orissa 1.24), T. Bhaskara Rao Naidu y. P. Narayanamma. In that case however the inter pretation of Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act did not arise for consideration. There a lawyer under an erroneous impression thought that where the property in dispute consisted of portions of plots in raiyatwari areas the valuation for the purpose of Court-fee could be calculated under Section 7(v)(a) of the Court-fees Act at ten times the annual revenue payable. He relied on an earlier decision of the Madras High Court reported in AIR 1927 Mad 1002, Subramania Ayyar v. Rama Ayyar and overlooked a later Full Bench decision of ha same High Court reported in AIR 1947 Mad 297 (FB), Kesanna v. Gangappa where it was held that in a suit for possession of part plots the value for the purpose of Court-fee was the market value. Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act did not arise for construction, and the learned Judges were concerned mainly with the question as to whether the error committed by the lawyer in filing the suit in a wrong form was bona fide or not, so as to enable the parties to claim the protection of Section 14 of the Limitation Act. We do not find any observations in that, decision which conflict with the view taken here, regarding the construction of Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act, read with Section 14 of the Madras Civil Courts Act, 1873.
9. In his order the lower Court has observed that the suit might come within Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court-fees Act. This observation should not have been made, because the previous decision of that Court dated 5-4-58 to the effect that the suit came under Section 7(v)(b) of that Act, is conclusive as between the parties so far as that Court is concerned.
10. For these reasons, we are satisfied that the lower Court had jurisdiction to proceed with the suit. The revision is dismissed, but there will be no order for costs.
11. I agree.