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S. Kishan Singh Vs. L. Bala Mal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtPunjab and Haryana
Decided On
Reported inAIR1949P& H107
AppellantS. Kishan Singh
RespondentL. Bala Mal and anr.
Cases ReferredGajendra Nath Saha Chowdhury v. Sulochana Chaudhurai and Ors. A.I.R.
Excerpt:
.....exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. - 14,560. in his plaint, the plaintiff valued the suit property, for purposes of court-fee as well as jurisdiction, at rs. the plaintiff having failed to do so within the time allowed by the court, his plaint was rejected. the court in that case had dismissed the suit on the failure of the plaintiff to make up the deficiency in court-fee within the time fixed, the suit having been found by the trial court to have been undervalued. 129 a full bench of the high court of allahabad held that notwithstanding an order rejecting a plaint for failure to make up the deficiency in court-fee within time fixed by the court being a decree is appealable under the civil procedure code, no question as to the valuation of..........hardit singh by means of sale-deed dated 6th november 1943 for a sum of rs. 14,560. in his plaint, the plaintiff valued the suit property, for purposes of court-fee as well as jurisdiction, at rs. 460 and wanted a decree for possession to be passed in his favour on payment of the aforesaid sum.2. on an objection being taken by the vendee defendant 2 to the valuation of the suit for purposes of court-fee and of jurisdiction, the learned trial judge held an inquiry into that matter and, after such inquiry, held that the suit property was of the value of rs. 9925 on the date of the institution of the suit and directed the plaintiff to make up deficiency in court-fee. the plaintiff having failed to do so within the time allowed by the court, his plaint was rejected. an appeal by the.....
Judgment:

Achhru Ram, J.

1. This second appeal has arisen out of a suit brought by Kishen Singh appellant against Hardit Singh respondent for possession by pre-emption of an ihata partly built upon situate in Sultanwind in the Tehsil and District of Amritsar on payment of a sum of RS. 4.60. The property in suit,, along with soma other property, was sold by Bala Mai defendant 1 to the aforesaid Hardit Singh by means of sale-deed dated 6th November 1943 for a sum of Rs. 14,560. In his plaint, the plaintiff valued the suit property, for purposes of court-fee as well as jurisdiction, at Rs. 460 and wanted a decree for possession to be passed in his favour on payment of the aforesaid sum.

2. On an objection being taken by the vendee defendant 2 to the valuation of the suit for purposes of court-fee and of jurisdiction, the learned trial Judge held an inquiry into that matter and, after such inquiry, held that the suit property was of the value of RS. 9925 on the date of the institution of the suit and directed the plaintiff to make up deficiency in court-fee. The plaintiff having failed to do so within the time allowed by the Court, his plaint was rejected. An appeal by the plaintiff presented to the learned District Judge was dismissed by him inter alia on the ground that in view of the provisions of Section 12, Court-fees Act, the decision of the trial Court on the question of valuation was not liable to be challenged. The plaintiff feeling aggrieved from this order has come up in second appeal to this Court.

3. Section 12, Court-fees Act reads as follows:

(i) Every question relating to valuation for the purpose of determining the amount of any fee chargeable under this Chapter on a plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be decided by the Court in which such plaint or memorandum, as the case may be, is filed, and such decision shall be final as between the parties to the suit.

(ii) But whenever any such suit comes before a Court of appeal, reference or revision, if such Court considers that the said question has been wrongly decided to the detriment of the revenue, it shall require the party by whom such fee has been paid to pay so much additional fee as would have been payable had the question been rightly decided, and the provisions of Section 10, para, (ii) shall apply.

There has been some conflict of judicial opinion as regards the interpretation to be placed on Clause (i) of the aforesaid section. In Ajoodhya Pershad v. Ganga Pershad 6 Cal. 249 the High Court of Calcutta took the view that the finality declared by Section 12, Court-fees Act was amended by the Code of Civil Procedure in 1882 inasmuch as under that Code, an appeal lay from an order rejecting a plaint as from a decree and that in such an appeal it was open to the aggrieved party to question the correctness of the valuation by the first Court. In Prohash Chandra Sarkar and Ors. v. Raja Bisumbhar Nath Sahi 6 I.C. 18 the same view of the law was taken. The Court in that case had dismissed the suit on the failure of the plaintiff to make up the deficiency in court-fee within the time fixed, the suit having been found by the trial Court to have been undervalued.

4. It was held that an appeal lay from the decree dismissing the suit and that in the appeal the decision of the first Court regarding the valuation of the suit could be questioned, Section 12, Court-fees Act notwithstanding. The High Courts of Allahabad and Patna, the Chief Court of the Punjab and the Court of the Judicial Commissioners of Oudh have, however, taken a contrary view. In Balkaran Rai v. Gobind Nath 12 All. 129 a Full Bench of the High Court of Allahabad held that notwithstanding an order rejecting a plaint for failure to make up the deficiency in court-fee within time fixed by the Court being a decree is appealable under the Civil Procedure Code, no question as to the valuation of the suit in the strict sense of the term can in face of Section 12, Court-fees Act be agitated in the appeal. In ML Chandramoni v. Basdeo Narain A.I.R. (6) 1919 pat. 270 a Bench of the High Court of Patna held that an order rejecting a plaint under Order 7, Rule 11, Civil P.C., is not appeal, able when such order is based on a question of valuation pure and simple although it is appeal, able when it involves a decision of the category or class under which the suit falls even though it amounts to a decree. This judgment was followed in Mani Lal v. Durga Parshad A.I.R. (11) 1924 Pat. 673. In the Punjab, the question first arose in Mt. Sada Kaur v Buta Singh A.I.R. (1) 1914 Lah. 153 but was left undecided. The question again arose in Chuni Lal v. Roshan Lal A.I.R. (6) 1919 Lah. 11. It was a case of an application for revision of an order calling upon the plaintiff to make up the court-fee on his plaint. In dismissing the petition, Chevis, J. made the following observations which seem to be in point:

It is for plaintiff to make up his mind whether he will comply with the Court's order or not. If he does not comply then his plaint will be rejected. Then unless ii is a case of the first Court's order as to the amount of stamp required being final by virtue of Section 12, Court-fees Act, the plaintiff will have a right of appeal.

It follows from this that a right of appeal from an order rejecting the plaint is given only where the case is not governed by Section 12, Court-fees Act i.e., it does not involve merely a question of valuation of the claim but, as pointed out in the Patna case just adverted to, involves the question of the category or class under which the suit falls. There are some observations also in the Full Bench judgment in Mahna Singh and Ors. v. Bahadur Singh A.I.R. (6) 1919 Lah. 323 which maybe read with advantage. In a more recent case, the High Court of Calcutta appears also to be inclined to fall in line with the High Courts of Allahabad and Patna: vide Gajendra Nath Saha Chowdhury v. Sulochana Chaudhurai and Ors. A.I.R. (22) 1935 Cal. 338.

5. For the reasons given above, I am of the opinion that the plaintiff's appeal was rightly dismissed by the learned District Judge. The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed with costs.


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