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Heemanshu Traders Vs. Delhi Electricals - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous Appeal Nos. 71 and 830 of 1974, 88 and 150 of 1975
Judge
Reported inILR1975Delhi653; 1976RLR225
ActsLimitation Act, 1963 - Sections 5; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 149; Court fees Act, 1870 - Sections 28
AppellantHeemanshu Traders
RespondentDelhi Electricals
Advocates: G.R. Chopra and; R. Dayal, Advs
Cases ReferredNarain Das v. Kundan Sugar Mills
Excerpt:
.....with deficient court-fee to make good the deficiency and the making good of such deficiency cures the defect in the memorandum not from the time when it is made from the time when it was first presented in court'.assuming, thereforee, that rule 9 of chapter 2-a of the high court rules and orders, vol. v is mandatory, all that it means is that this is a rule which has got to be observed and cannot be ignored but it does not prevent the court from condoning the lapse if a good case is made out for the same......with any rule in this respect would render the memorandum of appeal liable to rejection. (8) an appeal filed without the deposit of requisite printing charges, even if the rule be mandatory, cannot be treated on a worse footing than an appeal filed with deficient court-fee on its memorandum. section 4 of the court fees act provides that in cases covered by this section no document of any of the kinds specified in the first or second schedule of that act as chargeable with fees shall be filed, exhibited or recorded in, or received by the court unless in respect of such documents there be a fees of the amount not less than that indicated by the schedules. the effect of the provision would be that if an insufficiently stamped memorandum of appeal is filed with the appeal the court would.....
Judgment:

S.N. Shankar, J.

(1) This order will dispose of C. Ms. 710/74, 830/74and 38/75 and 150/75 in Fao (OS) 42/74. This appeal has been filed against the judgment and decree of the learned single Judge in a patent action transferred to the High Court under proviso to Section 29 of the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911. The judgment was announced on July 22, 1974. After taking into account the time spent in obtaining certified copies, the last date of limitation for filing this appeal was September 24, 1974. The appeal was filed a day earlier i.e. on September 23, 1974. The decree-sheet bore a court-fee stamp of Rs. 2.75 only as against the requisite fee of Rs. 5.25. The office made an endorsement that the decree-sheet was not properly stamped. Papers were collected by the learned counsel for the appellant on September 28, 1974 and the appeal was re-filed on October 4, 1974, but inadvertently the deficient court-fee was affixed not on the decree-sheet but on the certified copy of the judgment. The Office again repeated the objection. The appeal was then re-filed with an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act (C.M. 710/74) praying for condensation of delay. On October 10, 1974 the Office then pointed out that the appeal was also not accompanied by a deposit-receipt of Rs. 100.00 on account of printing charges as required by rule 9 of Chapter 2-A of the High Court Rules and Orders, Vol. V. At the request of the learned counsel for the appellant the case was put up before the court on October 14, 1974. The admission Bench issued notice of C.M. 710/74 only. On December 23, 1974 the appellant made an application under Section 149 of the Code of Civil Procedure for exemption from depositing the printing charges. This application, it is alleged was misplaced. The learned counsel for the appellant, thereforee, filed another application on Jan. 15, 1975 (C. M. 88/75). It was prayed in this application that the appellant be allowed to produce cyclostyled or typed records and it may be ordered that the deposit of Rs. 100.00 was not necessary. In the meantime, it is admitted, the sum of Rs. 100.00 was also deposited in court.

(2) After receipt of the notice of C. M. 710/74 the respondent filed an application under Order 41, rule 3 and 10(1) Civil Procedure Code. (C. M. 830/74) and prayed that the appeal be rejected or dismissed as having nut been filed in compliance with rule 9 of Chapter 2-A of the High Court Rules and Orders, Vol. V and being not accompanied by a sufficiently stamped copy of the decree.

(3) On February 15, 1975 the appellant put in yet another application (C. M. 150/75) under Section 5 of the Limitation Act and Section 149 of the Code of Civil Procedure, again, explaining the circumstances in which the appeal was filed and praying for condensation of the defaults of the appellant and for the appeal being admitted.

(4) It is unfortunate that the record has been burdened with a number of applications repeating the same submissions and praying substantially for the same relief. The questions that arise for decision of all these applications are : ( 1 ) whether the appellant can be permitted to affix the deficient court-fee stamp on the decree-sheet which was initially not properly stamped and whether there is any good cause for doing so and (2) whether this appeal is in competent and deserves to be dismissed/rejected because the appellant prior to the filing of the appeal failed to deposit Rs. 100.00 on account of printing charges as required by rule 9 of Chapter 2-A of the High Court Rules and Orders, Vol. V.

(5) First QUESTION: Shri Rameshwar Dayal frankly conceded and rightly that in view of the provisions of Section 28 of the Court-fees Act and Section 149 of the Code of Civil Procedure it was competent for this Court to permit the appellant to put the deficient court-fee stamp on the certified copy of the order-(see Shri Mulk Raj Soni vs. Hindustan Lever Ltd. etc: R. S. A. 27-D/66 decided on November 9, 1971 (1) where the same view is taken). The learned counsel, however, contended that no case for the same is made out. We do not agree. Reference to the file shows that in addition to the court fee stamp of Rs. 2.75 the appellant had also purchased a further court-fee stamp of the same amount on September 23, 1974. This is borne out by the endorsements of the dates on the court-fee stamps affixed on the decree-sheet and the judgment. In C. M. 150/75, which is supported by an affidavit of Shri G. R. Chopra, learned counsel for the appellant, the appellant's case is that at the time of refiling the appeal these additional stamps were inadvertently affixed by the counsel on the certified copy of the judgment instead of the certified copy of the decree. While filing the appeal it is explained in C.M. 710/74, which again is supported by affidavit, the junior counsel in the case who was completely new to the profession affixed the Court-fee stamps of Rs. 2.75 only on the certified copy of the decree. We have no reason to disbelieve these affidavits. No lack of bona fides can be imputed to the appellant in these circumstances and no good reason has been pointed out as to why this court should not exercise its discretion in his favor to permit him to pay the deficient court-fee on the decree-sheet. Section 28 of the Court Fees Act provides that 'on such document being stamped accordingly, the same and every proceeding relative hereto shall be as valid as if it had been properly stamped in the first instance'.

(6) The appellant is, thereforee, permitted to affix the deficient court-fee stamp on the certified copy of the decree and this appeal in that event will be treated as validly filed. Necessary to be done within a week.

(7) Second QUESTION: Shri Rameshwar Dayal contended that provisions of rule 9 in Chapter 2-A of the High Court Rules and Orders, Vol. V, are mandatory in nature and every appeal where record has to be printed the appellant is bound, with its appeal, to attach a receipt of Rs. 100.00 which should be deposited by him in accordance with this rule to cover the cost of the printing of the record. He laid stress on the last sentence of the rule which provides that 'no first appeal from a decree shall be received unless it is accompanied by such receipt'. In support of this contention he relied on the full Bench decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Mahant Bikram Dass Chela Mahant Lachhman Dass Mahant, Arnritsar v. The Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab, Chandigarh and others : (1974) 76 PLR 451, (2) where on page 465 teh Bench observed that rules of procedure having been framed by the High Court in exercise of its rule-making power under sections 122 and 129 of the Code of Civil procedure or clause 27 of the Letters Patent, the same had the force of law and non-compliance with any rule in this respect would render the memorandum of appeal liable to rejection.

(8) An appeal filed without the deposit of requisite printing charges, even if the rule be mandatory, cannot be treated on a worse footing than an appeal filed with deficient court-fee on its memorandum. Section 4 of the Court Fees Act provides that in cases covered by this section no document of any of the kinds specified in the first or second schedule of that Act as chargeable with fees shall be filed, exhibited or recorded in, or received by the court unless in respect of such documents there be a fees of the amount not less than that indicated by the schedules. The effect of the provision would be that if an insufficiently stamped memorandum of appeal is filed with the appeal the court would not be entitled to take that into consideration at all. But that is not the situation. In Mannan Lal v. Mst. Chhotka Bibi: : [1971]1SCR253 Supreme Court dealt with this aspect and held that the rigour of Section 4 of the Court Fees Act stood mitigated by Section 149 of the Code of Civil procedure. On page 1379 of the report, the Court, after noticing the provisions of Section 149 Civil Procedure Code said :-

'THE above section thereforee mitigates the rigour of Section 4 of the Court Fees Act and it is for the Court in its discretion to allow a person who has filed a memorandum of appeal with deficient court-fee to make good the deficiency and the making good of such deficiency cures the defect in the memorandum not from the time when it is made from the time when it was first presented in Court'.

Assuming, thereforee, that rule 9 of Chapter 2-A of the High Court Rules and Orders, Vol. V is mandatory, all that it means is that this is a rule which has got to be observed and cannot be ignored but it does not prevent the court from condoning the lapse if a good case is made out for the same. This Court in C. M. 497/72 and C. M. 3/73 in Rfa (OS) 9/72, Narain Das v. Kundan Sugar Mills decided on March 15, 1973 (4) has taken the same view.

(9) The appellant in the instant case in C.M. 150/75 has set out the reasons on account of which learned counsel for the petitioner was under a bona fide impression that the deposit under rule 9 had not to be made. Even uptil today an objection is being raised by the learned counsel for the respondent that present appeal is not competent as a regular first appeal under section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure because the Patents and Designs Act does not provide for an appeal from the order passed by the Court under this Act and Section 10 of the Delhi High Court Act also cannot be invoked by the appellant. In this situation it cannot be said that the learned counsel for the appellant had no reasonable ground to entertain a genuine belief that the record in this appeal had not to be printed.

(10) We are, thereforee, of the view that there is sufficient cause in this case for the non-deposit Rs. 100.00 (Subsequently deposited) on account of printing charges when the appeal was filed. As a result of the above discussion C. Ms. 710/74, 88/75 and 150/75 are accepted and C.M. 830/74 filed by the respondent is dismissed. Appeal now to be listed for admission.


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