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Custodian of Evacuee Property, New Delhi Vs. Daryodh Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal No. 344 of 1970
Judge
Reported inILR1971Delhi59
ActsCourt Fees Act, 1870; Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 3 and 30; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 149
AppellantCustodian of Evacuee Property, New Delhi
RespondentDaryodh Singh and ors.
Advocates: R.L. Tandon,; H.S. Tyagi and; D.K. Kapur, Advs
Cases ReferredDaryodh Singh v. Union of India
Excerpt:
.....that they were deliberately flouting a well recognised point of law. ; that in the above circumstances, the appellant should be given time to make up the deficiency. - - but that view could not be considered as good law in view of the decision of the privy council in mt. 19.50 to each appeal, it cannot be said that they were deliberately flouting a well recognised view of law......no dispute as to the amount involved in the case. reliance was placed by the learned counsel on bench decision of rajasthan high court in hakim martin de silva v. martin de silva ii and others . this very question had come up for consideration before a full bench of the punjab high court at delhi in daryodh singh v. union of india68 p.l.r. (delhi section 299(2) when the decision of rajasthan high court was also considered by the learned judges. the judgment of the full bench was written by d. k. mahajan j., with whom falshaw c.j. and s. k. kapur j. agreed. it was held that the decision of the learned judges of rajasthan high court could not be supported either in principle or on authority and that if that decision was accepted as correct it would obliterate section 8 of the court fees.....
Judgment:

Hardayal Hardy, J.

(1) The question arising for decision in this appeal is the same as in R.F.A. Nos, 127, 142, 143, 144, 145 and 146 of 1970 in which the appellants are represented by Shri Ramesh Chander while the Union of India is represented in all the appeals by Shri Devinder K. Kapur. The other respondents in all the appeals are not represented by any counsel except in R.F.A. No. 344 of 1970 where Shri Daryodh Singh, respondent No. 1. alone is represented by Shri H. S. Tyagi. Although the question of Court fee in R.F.A. No. 344 of 1970 was raised by Shri H. S. Tyagi, the other appeals in which no such question was raised by the respondents, were also listed for hearing along with R.F.A. No. 344 of 1970, as the question was common to all the appear and if the decision went against the appellant, the same rule will apply to all the appeals.

(2) With the consent of Shri R. L. Tandon who is a counsel for the appellant in R.F.A. No. 344 of 1970, Shri Ramesh Chander, who is a counsel for the appellants in other appeals, was allowed to argue the point on behalf of the appellants while Shri H. S. Tyagi was allowed to argue the point on behalf of respondent No. 1.

(3) All the appeals bear a court fee of Rs. 19.50 each. The Registry had raised an objection to the deficiency of court fee on the ground that the appeal in each case being from a decision of the Addl. District Judge under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act. 1894. each appeal should bear ad valorem court fee on the amount awarded by the lower court. The contention urged on behalf of the appellants in each case is that the relief sought by them is one of declaration to the extent that they alone are entitled to the entire compensation in respect of the land acquired by the Government to the exclusion of all the respondents imp leaded in each appeal and as such the decision of the court below is not an award. The decision is merely an order on which a fixed court fee of Rs. 19.50 is payable under Schedule Ii Article 17(iii) of the Court Fees Act. The appeals were. thereforee, placed before us for deciding the question of court fee only.

(4) The argument of Mr. Ramesh Chander is that what was in dispute in each appeal was the relative shares of the parties in the property in dispute. The appellants merely wanted a declaration to the effect that they alone were the persons interested in the property which had been acquired. The apportionment would follow the declaration as a matter of course. For a relief of declaration of that nature. Section 8 of the Court Fees Act is not applicable for there was no dispute as to the amount involved in the case. Reliance was placed by the learned counsel on Bench decision of Rajasthan High Court in Hakim Martin De Silva v. Martin De Silva Ii and others . This very question had come up for consideration before a Full Bench of the Punjab High Court at Delhi in Daryodh Singh v. Union of India68 P.L.R. (Delhi Section 299(2) when the decision of Rajasthan High Court was also considered by the learned Judges. The judgment of the Full Bench was written by D. K. Mahajan J., with whom Falshaw C.J. and S. K. Kapur J. agreed. It was held that the decision of the learned Judges of Rajasthan High Court could not be supported either in principle or on authority and that if that decision was accepted as correct it would obliterate Section 8 of the Court Fees Act from the statute book.

(5) It appears that while dealing with the question, learned Judges of Rajasthan High Court had endeavored to distinguish the case of Ananda Lal Chakraburly : AIR1932Cal346 (3) in which a view contrary to what was taken by the learned Judges in Rajasthan, had been taken. In the Full Bench case the learned Judges of the Punjab High Court agreed with the view of Sir George Ranki in Ananda Lal Chakraburty(3) and we see no reason to differ from that view. The question before the Full Bench of the Punjab High Court was in an appeal against the decision of the Land Acquisition Judge under Section 30 of the Act.

(6) The question as to whether the appellant was the only person entitled to the payment of compensation money to the exclusion of the other respondents or whether he was entitled only to a portion of the amount which was in excess of what had been awarded to him by the said Judge, did not raise any difficulty as the dispute as to apportionment would be a dispute relating, to compensation and being a dispute under the Land Acquisition Act where the land has been acquired for a public purpose, an appeal under Section 54 of the Act against an order apportioning compensation, is covered by Section 8 of the Court Fees Act, and the court fee has to be computed according to the difference between the amount awarded to the appellant and the amount claimed by the appellant. If no money was awarded to the appellant and his claim was that he should have been awarded the entire amount of compensation. the court-fee payable on an appeal filed by him would be on the entire amount. If on the other hand, a portion of the compensation money was awarded to him and he claimed more. the court fee payable by him should be the difference between the amount awarded to him and the amount claimed by him. In all such cases the dispute is in relation to apportionment of compensation.

(7) On behalf of the appellant in each case. reliance was placed on a decision of the Privy Council in T. B. Ramchandra Ruo & others (A.I.R. 1922 P.C. 80(4). That case has been rightly distinguished by the Full Bench of the Punjab of the Punjab High Court and we have nothing more to add to what has been said in that judgment.

(8) It appears to us that the High Courts in this country have consistently taken the view that a decision under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act is a decree and as such the aggrieved party has a right of appeal. In a judgment of Mysore High Court in Hunumanthappa and another v. Korisetty Sivalingappa A.I.R. 1960 Mys K. S. Hegde J. (as he then was) sitting with Mr. Justice Ahmed Ali Khan referred to a large number of cases in which the same view was taken. The High Court of Madras in a Full Bench decision : Rajagopala Chettiar v. Hindu Religious Endowment Board, Madras : AIR1934Mad103 had taken a different view. But that view could not be considered as good law in view of the decision of the Privy Council in Mt. Bhagwati v. Ramkali A later Full Bench decision of Madras High Court in Chikkanna Chettiar v. V. S. Perumal Chettiar (A.I.R. 1940 Madras 474) (8), which was a case arising under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act, took a different view and it was held that the Subordinate Judge who is appointed under Section 3(d) to decide a dispute with regard to the allocation of compensation money does constitute a civil court. Hence an appeal lies from the decision of the Subordinate Judge appointed by the Provincial Government under Section 3(d) to decide a dispute referred by the Collector under Section 30 of the Act. If the appeal is thereforee from decree, even if the decision of the Privy Council in Ramachandra Rao's case (4) where the question regarding appointment is not treated as an award, the payment of court fee will have to be as if it is against a decree, under Article I of Schedule I and will be ad valorem court fee on the amount in appeal.

(9) In view of the cases noted above the appeal in each of the cases before us has not been properly stamped and the deficiency has to be made up.

(10) The next question which has been strongly argued before us by Mr. H. S. Tyagi, learned counsel for the respondent in R.F.A. No. 344 of 1970, is whether time should be given to the appellants to make up the deficiency. A large number of cases have been cited before us to show that in a case where the appellant's counsel was previously informed about the deficiency in court fee and he declined to do the needful, permission should not be granted to make up the deficiency. It was also stated that where the question of law had previously been decided and a Full Bench decision of the Punjab High Court to which a reference has already been made by us was there, it was the duty of the appellant in each case to have made up the deficiency at an earlier stage or, in any case, an application for enlargement of time under Section 149 Civil Procedure Code should have been filed. No such application in any of these cases has however, been filed.

(11) The question of granting permission to make up the deficiency is one of discretion which obviously has to be exercised on judicial lines. In the present cases, the appellants had before them a Division Bench decision of Rajasthan High Court in Hakim Martin De Silva.(1) They also had a decision of the Privy Council in T. B. Ramchandra Rao case. (4) In the Rajasthan case a view contrary to that taken by the Full Bench of the Punjab High Court in Daryodh Singh v. Union of India(2) had been taken. The decision of the Privy Council in T. B. Ramchandra Rao's(4) case also lent some sort of support to that very view. If the counsel for the appellants thereforee rightly believed that the contrary view was possible and, thereforee, applied court fee stamp of Rs. 19.50 to each appeal, it cannot be said that they were deliberately flouting a well recognised view of law. It is a different matter that after the matter has been argued at some length and we have taken a view which is in consonance with the Full Bench decision of the Punjab High Court that the appellants should be given time to make up the deficiency. It will be noticed that so far as Union of India is concerned Mr. Devinder K. Kapur, learned counsel for the said respondent has not taken that objection at all and it is only in R.F.A. No. 344 of 1970 that such an objection has been taken by Mr. H. S. Tyagi, counsel for respondent No. 1.

(12) In all these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the appellants should be given time to make up the defficiency. They are given two months' time from today's date within which they should make up the deficiency. The costs in these appeals will abide the event.


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