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Purshotam Lal Vs. Piyare Lal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtPunjab and Haryana
Decided On
Reported inAIR1948P& H9
AppellantPurshotam Lal
RespondentPiyare Lal and anr.
Excerpt:
.....passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. - it may also be mentioned that any other interpretation would land us in a difficult position, because if it is assessed to land revenue and the other conditions of clauses (a), (b) or (c) are satisfied, there will be no other clause applicable to it under which court-fee could be charged on the market value......as building site etc., court-fee should be paid on the market value and not in accordance with the land revenue, even though the land is assessed to revenue. this view does not appear to me to be correct. the term 'land' is not defined anywhere in the court-fees act. it should, therefore, be interpreted in the ordinary sense, and should cover all kinds of land, regardless of the use to which it is put or may be likely to be put. it may also be mentioned that any other interpretation would land us in a difficult position, because if it is assessed to land revenue and the other conditions of clauses (a), (b) or (c) are satisfied, there will be no other clause applicable to it under which court-fee could be charged on the market value. according to the wording of clause (d) court-fee is.....
Judgment:

Teja Singh, J.

1. As regards the preliminary objection, Mr. Nathu Lal now concedes that by virtue of the addition of Rule 23(a) to Order 41, the appeal is competent.

2. What has now to be determined is whether the court-fee paid by the plaintiff on the plaint was proper. This being a suit for possession court-fee was payable under Section 7, Clause (v), Court fees Act Mr. Asa Ram Aggarwal contends that Sub-clause (d) of Clause (v) applies. The lowers appellate Court, on the other hand, has taken the view that the case comes under Sub-clause (b). These sub clauses read as follows:

(v) In suits for the possession of land, houses and gardens--according to the value of the subject matter; and such value shall be deemed to be--where the subject-matter is land, and

* * * *

(b) Where the land forms an entire estate, or a definite share of an estate, paying annual revenue to Government or forms part of such estate and is recorded as aforesaid;

and such revenue is settled, but not permanently, ten times the revenue so payable:

* * * *

(d) Where the land forms part of an estate paying revenue to Government, but is not a definite share of such estate and is not separately assessed as above mentioned--the market vale of the land:

3. The trial Subordinate judge was of the opinion that the word 'land' mentioned in the section means agricultural land and when the land is not used for agricultural purposes, or when it was so used at one time but has later on changed its character and is meant to be used as building site etc., court-fee should be paid on the market value and not In accordance with the land revenue, even though the land is assessed to revenue. This view does not appear to me to be correct. The term 'land' is not defined anywhere in the Court-fees Act. It should, therefore, be interpreted in the ordinary sense, and should cover all kinds of land, regardless of the use to which it is put or may be likely to be put. It may also be mentioned that any other interpretation would land us in a difficult position, because if it is assessed to land revenue and the other conditions of Clauses (a), (b) or (c) are satisfied, there will be no other clause applicable to it under which court-fee could be charged on the market value. According to the wording of Clause (d) court-fee is payable on the market value where the land forms part of an estate paying revenue to Government, but is not a definite share of such estate and is not separately assessed. So if the land forms a definite share of an estate paying land revenue to Government, or even though it does not form a definite share it is separately assessed to revenue, Clause (d) would have no application and there will be no authority for insisting that court-fee should be paid on the market value. I must here observe that Mr. Aggarwal frankly accepted this interpretation. What he however urged was that Sub-clause (b) of Clause (v) of Section 7 could have no application because the suit land did not form an entire estate, nor did it form a definite share of an estate. He argued that according to the rules and the practice of the Revenue authorities only khatas are separately assessed to revenue and if a field out of a khata, forms the subject-matter of a suit and that field does not constitute a definite share of the khata, court-fee cannot be paid on the land revenue. Mr. Aggarwal may or may not be right so far as the practice of the Revenue authorities is concerned, but his contention in so far as it relates to this case does not carry conviction with me, because the term 'estate' is used in Section 7 in a particular sense which is made clear by the explanation, appended to Clause (v) of Section 7. These are the words of the explanation:

The word 'estate' as used in this paragraph means any land subject to the payment of revenue, for which the proprietor or farmer or raiyat shall have executed 8, separate engagement to Government or which, in the absence of such engagement, shall have been separately assessed with revenue.In the present case we do not know of any engagement between the Government and the owner of the suit land, bat it is, clear from Ex. P. 2 that it is separately assessed to land revenue. Mr. Aggarwal then urged that even if the suit land can be regarded as an estate, it was not an entire estate and since Sub-clause (b) definitely mentions the words 'entire estate', the case is not 'governed thereby. I have already made clear that even when a single field is separately assessed with revenue it can fee regarded as an estate within the meaning of the explanation and there being no other field comprised in that estate, it would constitute 'entire estate'. Apart from this it may be pointed out that Sub-clause (b) is not confined to the case of an entire estate. The last words of the sub-clause deal with lands forming part of an estate and when the part is recorded as assessed to revenue, Sub-clause (b) applies. This being the view of, the lower appellate Court, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs. The record of the case shall be returned to the Court of the trial Subordinate Judge forthwith. The parties' counsel have been directed to cause their respective clients to appear before that Court on 15-12-1947.


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