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Padmalochan and anr. Vs. the State of Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 306 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975Raj64; 1974(7)WLN929
ActsRajasthan Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1961 - Sections 21 and 45
AppellantPadmalochan and anr.
RespondentThe State of Rajasthan and ors.
Appellant Advocate M.C. Surana, Adv.
Respondent Advocate D.S. Shishodia, Addl. Govt. Adv.
Cases ReferredIn State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha
Excerpt:
.....for 'interest by way damages'--held, court fee to be pad ad valorem.; what it says that in a suit for money which term included damages or compensation etc. the court fee payable shall be computed on the amount claimed. the parenthetical clause merely expands the concept of money for the purposet of the section.; section 45 of the act is clearly out of office, because this is the residual clause and apply because section 21 of the act applies. - - ' we might notice section 47 as well in this context which lavs down that 'the fee payable in an appeal shall be the same as the fee that would be payable in the court of first instance on the subject-matter of the appeal. new brunswick electric power commission, 1928 ac 492 =(air 1928 pc 287) their lordships of the privy council also..........that a suit for money includes a suit for damages or compensation it is idle to contend that the word 'money' partakes the nature of damages in the section. what it says is that in a suit for money which term include damages or compensation etc. the court-fee payable shall be computed on the amount claimed. the parenthetical clause merely expands the concept of money for the purposes of the section. a reference in this connection can be profitably made to nutter v. aerigton local board. (1878) 4 qbd 375 (ac) at pp. 384, 385. in that case, cotton l. j., said that where the word 'street' has been defined in a british statute it shall 'apply to and includes any highway not being a turnpike road' etc. that is enlarging and not restricting the meaning of 'street'. in state of bombay v......
Judgment:

B.P. Beri, C.J.

1. This is an appeal directed, against the judgment and decree of the Additional District Judge No. 1, Jaipur City, by which the suit of the appellants claiming interest in the sum of Rs. 76,500/- was dismissed.

2. The office hag raised an objection that fixed court-fee in the sum of Rs. 300/- is inadequate, and ad valorem court-fee should have been paid on the amount claimed. We issued a notice to the learned Government Advocate and the Deputy Government Advocate appears in answer to it.

3. Some facts of this dispute might be recaptulated to appraise the scope of the controversy. The State of Rajasthan acquired in the year 1949-50 a parcel of land situate in Bhojpura near Gandhi Nagar area in Jaipur. Its compensation in the sum of Rs. 80,000/- was determined by the Revenue Department on 14-8-1951 and it was in point of fact also sanctioned on that date but the amount was paid to Shri Praduman Ojha father of the plaintiffs by the State on 7-1-1965. The plaintiffs, therefore, claimed, using the plaintiffs' own expression, 'interest by wav of damages' for a period of three years and five months at the rate of 6% per annum amounting to Rupees 64,000/-. They have further claimed interest by way of damages from 7-1-1965 till the filing of the suit amounting to Rs. 12,100/-. making a tidy total of Rupees 76,500/-. The plaintiff paid ad valorem court-fee in the Court of the learned Additional District Judge No. 1, Jaipur City. The State contested the suit. The learned Judge dismissed the suit on grounds with which we are not concerned at present. The plaintiffs have now come up in appeal.

4. The contention of the learned counsel for the appellant is that Section 46 of the Rajasthan Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1961' (hereinafter to be referred to as 'the Act') is inapplicable inasmuch as the fee Payable under that section is on the difference of the amount awarded and the amount paid by wav of compensation under Land Acquisition Act whereas, his suit rests on tile foundation of Section 34 of the Jaipur Land Acquisition Act, 1943. He, therefore, submits that it is Section 45 which applies and he has paid the correct court-fee in the sum of Rs. 300/- as provided by Section 45(v) of the Act.

5. The contention of the learned Additional Government Advocate is that this suit of the appellant is covered by Section 21 of the Act.

6. The controversy, therefore, shrinks into the question whether the present appeal is covered by Section 21 or Section 45 of the Act

7. Section 21 of the Act reads as follows--

'21. Suits for money:-- In a suit for money (including a suit for damages or compensation or arrears of maintenance, of annuities, or of other sums payable periodically), fee shall be computed on the amount claimed.'

8. Section 45 of the Act reads:--

'45. Suits not otherwise provided for;-- In suits not otherwise provided for, fee shall be payable at the following rates, namely:--

Where the amount or value of the subject-matter in dispute--

(i) ............

(ii) ............

(iii) ............

(iv) ............

(v) exceeds Rs. 10,000/- Rupees three hundred.'

We might notice Section 47 as well in this context which lavs down that 'the fee payable in an appeal shall be the same as the fee that would be payable in the Court of first instance on the subject-matter of the appeal.' It will be, therefore, profitable to examine whether Section 21 of the Act applies or not, because if it does not, then alone Section 45 would be attracted, as its plain reading shows that it is the residuary section which comes into operation only when no other section in the Act covers a particular claim. The language of Section 21 of the Act shorn of its parenthetical clause reads;--

'In a suit for money, fee shall be computed in the amount claimed.'

Learned counsel for the appellant seeks inspiration from the parenthetical clause which reads 'including a suit for damages or compensation, or arrears of maintenance.' In Satinder Singh v. Umrao Sinsh. AIR 1961 SC 908 where their Lordships have, after examining the English cases, made the following observations which are pertinent to the present dispute:--

'When a claim for payment of interest is made by a person whose immovable property has been acquired compulsorily he is not making claim for damages properly or technically so called; he is basing his claim on the general rule that if he is deprived of his land he should be put in possession of compensation immediately; if not, in lieu of possession taken by compulsory acquisition interest should be paid to him on the said amount of compensation. In our opinion, therefore, the fact that Section 5(1) deals with compensation both for requisition and acquisition cannot serve to exclude the application of the general rule to which we have just referred.'

The aforesaid observations of their Lordships have for their foundation the decision of Swift & Co. v. Board of Trade, 1925 AC 520 where the House of Lords observed,

'On a contract for the sale and purchase of land it is the practice of the Court of Chancery to require the purchaser to pay interest on his purchase money from the date when he took or might safely have taken, possession of the land.'

Another decision to which their Lord-ships adverted is Birch v. Joy. (1852) 3 HLC 565 wherein Viscount Cave, L. C.. added,

'this practice rests upon the view that the act of taking possession is an implied agreement to Pay interest.'

The said rule Was extended in England to cases of compulsory purchase under the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act. 1845, and when the matter came up in Inglewood Pulp ,and Paper Co. Ltd. v. New Brunswick Electric Power Commission, 1928 AC 492 = (AIR 1928 PC 287) their Lordships of the Privy Council also observed,

'upon the expropriation of land under statutory power, whether for the purpose of private gain or of good to the public at large, the owner is entitled to interest upon the principal sum awarded from the date when possession was taken, unless the statute clearly shows a contrary intention.'

What was an equitable relief in the Chancery Courts in England came to be recognised as statutory relief under Section 23(1) of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 which has been copied word for word in the Jaipur Land Acquisition Act of 1943, excepting that the word 'Collector' has been substituted for 'Nazim' -- a local officer in the Jaipur State. What we are called upon to determine, is that because their Lordships of the Supreme Court have observed that such an interest is not technically and properly damages, is Section 21 therefore excluded Our answer to this question must be in the negative. The word 'including' is often employed in definition clauses of statutes. It is recognised that the word enlarges the compass rather than restricts it. In Section 21 of the Act the term money appears to be widened to include damages and compensation. Because the parenthetical clause in Section 21 of the Act says that a suit for money includes a suit for damages or compensation it is idle to contend that the word 'money' partakes the nature of damages in the section. What it says is that in a suit for money which term include damages or compensation etc. the Court-fee payable shall be computed on the amount claimed. The parenthetical clause merely expands the concept of money for the purposes of the section. A reference in this connection can be profitably made to Nutter v. Aerigton Local Board. (1878) 4 QBD 375 (AC) at pp. 384, 385. In that case, Cotton L. J., said that where the word 'street' has been defined in a British Statute it shall 'apply to and includes any highway not being a turnpike road' etc. That is enlarging and not restricting the meaning of 'street'. In State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha AIR 1960 SC 610 Gajendragadkar, J., observed:--

'It is obvious that the words used in an inclusive definition denotes extension and cannot be treated as restricted in any sense. Where we are dealing with an inclusive definition it would be inappropriate to put a restrictive interpretation upon terms of wider denotation.'

9. In Section 21, the draftsman after having said 'In a suit for money' he wanted to ensure that the expression 'money' would include all those things indicated in the parenthetical clause. It is adding dimensions to the word.

10. In this view of the matter, we hold that Section 45 of the Act is clearly out of office, because this is the residual clause and would not apply because Section 21 of the Act applies. The office objection is upheld.

11. We grant two months time to the learned counsel for the appellant to pay the necessary court-fee.


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