1. This is a revision by the plaintiff Samdukhan against an order of the Additional Civil Judge, Jodhpur, directing that the plaintiff's suit being one for a declaration plus consequential relief, he should pay ad valorem court-fee on the plaint.
2. The facts are briefly these. On the 28th August, 1951, the plaintiff gave a tender for certain stone quarries to the mining department for Rs. 19,551/- which turned out to be the highest. His case is that this tender was not accepted within reasonable time and that for the first time on the 13th April, 1952, he was informed that the tender had been accepted. Thereafter the plaintiff demanded to be put in possession of the quarries, and his grievance is that these were never handed over t to him. Be that as it may, he deposited Rs. 7011/-in three instalments in the mining department and on the 2nd August, 1952, the Assistant Director served a notice upon him to put in a sum of Rs. 3910-7- within a week otherwise his lease would be cancelled. The plaintiff did not put in this money and the lease was cancelled and fresh tenders were invited. Thereafter a certificate under the Rajasthan Public Demands Recovery Act (No. V of 1952) was issued for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 3865/- against the plaintiff. This culminated in the present suit by the plaintiff, which he instituted on the 13th October, 1954, in the court of the Civil Judge, Jodhpur, and in which his prayers were two. First, that a declaration be granted in his favour that the State was not entitled to recover any money from him in connection with the lease in question, and, secondly, for a declaration that the certificate issued against him for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 3865/- is void and of no effect. There was a further prayer for costs and for general relief but these may be ignored for the present purpose. The plaintiff filed his suit on a court-fee of Rs. 10/- only. An objection was raised on behalf of the State that the court-fee paid was insufficient and that the plaintiff's suit was not for a mere declaratory relief and that he should be called upon to pay ad valorem court-fee on the amount for which the certificate for recovery was issued. An issue was framed on the point by the trial judge and he held that the present suit was not merely for declaration but was also for consequential relief and that consequently the plaintiff must pay ad valorem court-fee in respect of the amount of the recovery certificate issued by the defendant state. This revision has been preferred' from the above order.
3. The question for determination before me is whether the present suit is one for mere declaration, or it is for declaration and any other kind of relief whether consequential or substantive. If the suit is for a mere declaration, then there can be no question that it was filed on a proper court-fee under Article 17(iii) of the 2nd Schedule or the Court fees Act. IE, however, it is not a suit for a mere declaratory relief, then the position would equally admit of no doubt that the court-fee paid by the plaintiff is insufficient.
4. I have already given the gist of the plaint above. It seems to me that the plaintiff's suit is not merely for a declaration. In fact he has himself asked for a further relief, namely, that the certificate issued against him under the Public Demands Recovery Act be declared to be void and ineffective against him. This prayer has no doubt been cast in a declaratory form but that, in my opinion, is not enough to lead to the conclusion that the suit is for a two-fold declaration only. On the other hand, I am disposed to think that it is a suit for a declaration plus further relief. At the lowest, this further relief might be said to be a consequential relief and in that case the plaintiff should have paid court-fees on his plaint in accordance with the terms of Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court-fees Act. There is, however, a further aspect of the case to which my attention was not drawn by learned counsel on either side but which has, in my opinion, an important bearing on the question before me. I wish to invite attention in this connection to Section 20 of the Rajasthan Public Demands Recovery Act, which provides that a defaulter may bring a suit to have a certificate cancelled or modified and for any further consequential relief to which he may be entitled. Then Sub-section (2) thereof provides certain restrictions as to the maintainability or otherwise of such a suit under certain circumstances with which we are not concerned. This, to my mind, shows that the intention of the legislature is that unless a certificate is cancelled or modified a mere declaration that the amount asked for under the certificate was not due cannot be enough. In this view of the matter I am disposed to hold that a prayer for the avoidance of the certificate is one for a substantive relief and not merely for a consequential relief, and in fact it was not and would not be necessary for the plaintiff to ask for any declaration at all. The main prayer in the words would be the cancellation of the certificate. As such a suit is not specifically provided for, for the purposes of court-fees in the Court-fees Act, I am clearly of opinion that it would be governed by Article 1 of Schedule 1 of that Act, from which it further follows that the plaintiff must pay ad valorem court-fee on the amount or value of the subject-matter in dispute. This is, without doubt, the amount for which the certificate under the Public Demands Recovery Act had been issued. Consequently, I hold that the plaintiff must pay court-fee on that amount,
5. The result is that I dismiss this revision and affirm the order of the court below though fordifferent reasons. As the revision has been decided on a point not raised by learned counsel on either side, I would leave the parties to bear their own costs in this Court. The stay order granted by this Court must stand vacated.