1. The plaintiffs in O. S. No. 41 of 1964 in the file of the Subordinate Judge Cuttack have come up in Revision against thp order of the learned Subordinate Judge dated 30-11-65 rejecting the plaintiff's prayer for amending of the plaint and directing them to pay court fee on the amount of Rs 4,816-00.
2. The plaintiffs Nos. 1 to 4 as marfatdars of the deity plaintiff No. 5 brought the suit alleging that the defendants without having any manner of right to the suit scheduled properties valued at Rs. 4816-00 were threatening to interfere with the plaintiffs' possession over the same and praying that they may be restrained by a permanent injunction from interfering with the plaintiff? possession over the disputed properties The suit was valued at Rs. 100-00 for the purpose of court fee under Section 7(iv)(d) of the Court Fees Act but for the purpose of jurisdiction it was valued at Rs. 4816-00. Accordingly ad valorem court fees on Rs. 100-00 were paid on the plaint. The learned Subordinate Judge after persusing the stamp report in the case directed the plaintiffs by his order dated 23-9-65 to pay court fee on Rs. 4816-00 at which amount the suit was valued for the purpose of jurisdiction. The plaintiffs thereupon filed an application for amendment of the plaint by substituting Rs. 100-00 for Rs. 4816-00 as the value for purpose of jurisdiction also. The learned Subordinate Judge by his order under revision has rejected the prayer.
3. The suit being one to obtain injunction the relevant section applicable for payment of court fees is Section 7(iv)(d) which provides that ad valorem court fee has to be paid on the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint. It is not disputed that the relief sought has to be valued by the plaintiffs and the valuation of the property in respect of which the relief is sought is not material for the purpose. Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act runs as follows:
'Where in suits other than those referred to in the Court-fees Act, 1870, Section 7, paragraphs v, vi, and ix, and paragraph x. Clause (d) court-fees are payable ad valorem under the Court-fees Act, 1870, the value as determinable for the computation of court-fees and the value for purposes of jurisdiction shall be the same.'
Under S 8 therefore whatever value is fixed for court-fee must necessarily become the value for the purpose of jurisdiction. Even in a suit for injunction the plaintiff has to pay court fee on the ad valorem basis But he has the discretion to fix the value for purpose of paying court-fee. Once he fixed the amount for the purpose of paying the court fee, that becomes the valuation for jurisdiction also under Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act. It is not right to say that the valuation fixed for jurisdiction becomes the valuation for purpose of court fee. It is just the reverse: AIR 1959 Mys 167. A. K Loganatham v. Channarayappa. A similar question came up for consideration before the Supreme Court in Sathappa Chettiar v. Ramanathan Chettiar, AIR 1958 SC 245 Their Lordships observed as follows:
'The effect of the provisions of Section 8 is to make the value of the purpose of jurisdiction dependent upon the value as determinable for computation of court-fees. The computation of court-fees in suits falling under Section 7(iv) of the Court-fees Act depends upon the valuation that the plaintiff makes in respect of his claim. Once the plaintiff exercises his option and values his claim for the purpose of court-fees, that determines the value for jurisdiction. The value for court-fees, and the value for jurisdiction must no doubt be the same in such cases; but it is the value for court-fees stated by the plaintiff that is of primary importance. It is from this value that the value for jurisdiction must be determined. The result is that it is the amount at which the plaintiff has valued the relief sought for the purposes of court-fees that determinies the value for jurisdiction in the suit and not vice versa.'
It is, however, contended by the learned Advocate appearing for the opposite parties that it was open to the plaintiffs to value the suit for the purpose of jurisdiction at the same amount at which it was valued for the purpose of court-fee and to file the suit in the court having jurisdiction to entertain the same. But as in this case the suit was valued for the purpose of jurisdiction at Rs. 4816-00 and was instituted in the court of the Subordinate Judge, the valuation cannot now be reduced the effect of which would be to oust the jurisdiction of the court. In support of the contention he relies on a decision of the Madras High Court reported in C. Singara Mudaliar v. M. Govindaswami Chetty, AIR 1928 Mad 400 where it was held that no court would permit a plaint to be so amended as to oust its own jurisdiction, This decision was followed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Edupuganti Raghavendra Rao Memorial High School Committee Gudlavalleru v. P. Atchayya, AIR 1957 Andh Pra 10. In neither of these two cases the question arose regarding the valuation of the suit for the purpose of a court fee and iurisdiction. The facts were different If we are to accept the proposition that in no circumstances the plaint can be allowed to be amended, the effect of which would be to take away the iurisdiction of the court we will be faced with certain absurd results which are likely to follow. Firstly, let us take a case where a suit filed in Subordinate Judge's court is valued at Rs. 5000. If an amendment is sought to reduce the valuation to Rs. 4001 there would be obviously be no objection because a suit valued at Rs 4001 would be still have to be filed in the court of the Subordinate Judge. But if by the amendment it is sought to reduce the valuation to Rs. 4000 that would be a suit within the cognizance of the Munsif and would have to be filed in that court. If the decisions of the Andhra Pradesh and Madras High Courts are to be followed, then the application to amend the valuation to Rs. 4000 has to be rejected Secondly, if these decisions are to be followed, effect cannot be given to the principle embodied in Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act that valuation of the suit for the purpose of jurisdiction would be the same at which the suit is valued for the purpose of court-fee If as in the present case the suit is valued differently for the court-fee and jurisdiction and the mistake is later discovered and the plaintiff wants to amend the valuation as has been done in this case, the effect of which would be to oust the jurisdiction of the Subordinate Judge's Court the amendment would be refused and the plaintiff would be forced to adopt the valuation for the purpose of jurisdiction as the valuation for the purpose of court fee which is just contrary to the principles embodied in Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act, If the learned Judges of the Madras and Andhra Pradesh High Courts intended the rulings laid down in those cases to be of general application and not confined to the particular facts of the cases before them, we would with great respect dissent from that view. In the case reported in AIR 1959 Mys 167, the plaintiff filed the suit for declaration that the order of eviction in a House Rent Control case should not bind him. He also prayed for a permanent Injunction against the defendant from executing the order of delivery of possession. He valued the suit for purpose of court fees at Rs. 200 and paid court fees thereon. For the purpose of jurisdiction he valued the suit at Rs. 10,500. The court below held that the valuation for the purpose of court-fees should be the valuation for purpose of jurisdiction and called upon the plaintiff to pay additional court fee. Against the said order the plaintiff went in revision. Hegde, J. held that the valuation for the purpose of iurisdiction should in that case be also Rs. 200 and observed as follows:
'The lower court is not right in its view that the value fixed for jurisdiction becomes the value for purposes of court-fee. It is just the reverse. Undoubtedly it is open to the plaintiff to put the value at Rupees 10,500 for purposes of court-fee if he wants the suit to be tried by the learned Civil Judge: but then he will have to pay Court-fee on Rs 10,500. If on the other hand he sticks to Rs. 200 as the valuation for the purpose of court-fees, then the plaint will have to be returned for presentation to a proper court.'
The order therefore definitely contemplated that the plaintiff would be returned for presentation to the proper court We respectfully agree with the view expressed by Hegde J in that case.
4. In the result, the order of the learned Subordinate Judge is set aside, the amendment is allowed and the plaint be returned to be filed in a court of competent iurisdiction.
The Civil Revision is allowed with costs Hearing fees of Rs 50.
G.K. Misra, J.
5. I agree.