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Lakshmi Ammal Vs. K.M. Madhavakrishnan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 1264 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1978SC1607; (1978)4SCC15; [1979]1SCR68; 1978(10)LC616(SC)
AppellantLakshmi Ammal
RespondentK.M. Madhavakrishnan and ors.
Appellant Advocate K.S. Ramamurthy,; A.T.M. Sampath,; S. Gopalakishnan and;
Respondent Advocate K. Jayaram, ; K. A. Bala Subramaniam and ; K. Ram Kumar, Ad
Prior historyAppeal by Special Leave From the Judgment and Order dated August 11, 1976 of the Madras High Court in CRP 2084 of 1976.
Excerpt:
.....case there is hardly any difficulty in holding that the plaintiff in paragraph 14 of the plaint has clearly alleged that she is in joint possession and is seeking partition and separate possession of her half share in the suit properties as heir of deceased, paramayee......spent by the courts below on a combat between two parties on the question of court fee leaving the real issues to be fought between them to come up leisurely. two things have to be made clear. courts should be anxious to grapple with the real issues and not spend their energies on peripheral ones. secondly, court fee, if it seriously restricts the rights of a person to seek his remedies in courts of justice, should be strictly construed. after all access to justice is the basis of the legal system. in that view, where there is a doubt, reasonable of course, the benefit must go to mm who says that the lesser court fee alone be paid.3. in this particular case there is hardly any difficulty in holding that the plaintiff in paragraph 14 of the plaint has clearly alleged that she is in joint.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. Leave granted.

2. It is unfortunate that long years have been spent by the courts below on a combat between two parties on the question of court fee leaving the real issues to be fought between them to come up leisurely. Two things have to be made clear. Courts should be anxious to grapple with the real issues and not spend their energies on peripheral ones. Secondly, court fee, if it seriously restricts the rights of a person to seek his remedies in courts of justice, should be strictly construed. After all access to justice is the basis of the legal system. In that view, where there is a doubt, reasonable of course, the benefit must go to Mm who says that the lesser court fee alone be paid.

3. In this particular case there is hardly any difficulty in holding that the plaintiff in paragraph 14 of the plaint has clearly alleged that she is in joint possession and is seeking partition and separate possession of her half share in the suit properties as heir of deceased, Paramayee. Obviously, the court fee that is payable is as she has claimed, namely under Section 37(2) which corresponds to Article 17(b) of the Central Act, which is the predecessor legislation on the subject. We allow the appeal and send the case back to the trial court and direct that court to proceed with the suit expeditiously. We make it clear that our decision on the question of court fee does not have any implications on the merits including the validity or otherwise of the Will. No costs.


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