1. The question in this revision petition relates to the court-fee payable on a suit brought by the respondent against the petitioner and so to the question of the Court by which the suit should be tried. The respondent held a usufructuary mortgage in respect of certain property and the suit Was substantially for a declaration that the usufructuary mortgage deed in favour of the petitioner was a sham and nominal transaction and for an injunction restraining the petitioner from interfering with the payment of rents by the tenants to the respondent. The suit was in the first instance presented in the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Vellore; but it was ultimately returned under an order made by the Subordinate Judge, on the ground that the value of the suit for court-fee and jurisdiction was Rs. 3,000, for presentation in the Court of the District Munsiff. The plaint was then presented in the Court of the District Munsiff of Ranipet; and the petitioner there raised a preliminary objection that the suit was under-valued and should have been presented in the Court of the Subordinate Judge. In view of the order of the Subordinate Judge the District Munsiff was doubtful whether he had jurisdiction to go into the question; but he did go into it and on the merits decided that the suit was properly valued and that he had jurisdiction. The respondent has raised a preliminary objection that the petitioner's proper remedy was to file an appeal against the order of the Subordinate Judge, and that it was not open to the petitioner to, go behind his order once the plaint had been represented in the Court of the District Munsiff. No doubt, an appeal is provided under Order 43, rule I (a), from an order under Rule 10 of Order 7, returning a plaint to be presented to the proper Court. In this case, however, the plaint was returned before the suit was numbered in the Subordinate Judge's Court and without notice to the petitioner. It seems to me impossible therefore to say that the order was one adverse to the petitioner against which he could appeal. This point therefore fails, but on the merits I can have no doubt that the decision of the District Munsiff was right.
2. The arguments advanced against the order are that the suit did not fall properly under Section 7 (iv) (c) of the Court-Fees Act, but under Section 7 (iv-A)- and that in any case the proper valuation was a sum greater than Rs. 3,000. It is argued that the suit properly fell under Section 7 (iv-A) because it was in substance a suit for the cancellation of the usufructuary mortgage deed executed in fayour of the petitioner. This contention is clearly untenable since the respondent was not a party to this mortgagee deed. The criticism that the suit should have been valued at a sum greater than Rs. 3,000 can also not be accepted. The proviso to Section 7 (iv) (c) of the Court-Fees Act is to the effect that the valuation of suits coming under Sub-clause (c) in cases where the relief sought is with reference to any immovable property shall not be less than half the value of the immovable property calculated in the manner provided for by paragraph v. The value of the suit for the purpose of the court-fee was therefore half the market value and the figure given by the respondent, Rs. 6,000, is the same as the amount which she advanced in respect of her usufructuary mortgage. No doubt, as argued for the petitioner, it might be expected that the value of the property would be greater than the amount for which it has been mortgaged. No rule, however, has been made under Section 3 by the Madras Government for determining the value of land for the purpose of jurisdiction, and as both the lower courts accepted the valuation of Rs. 6,000 based on the amount for which the land was mortgaged, there can be no reason for interference in revision on the ground that the valuation is too low.
3. The last point taken is that the injunction sought is not a consequential relief so that separate court-fee must be paid in respect of it; and that consequently, as the payment of a separate court-fee for the injunction will make the value of the suit more than Rs. 3,000 the jurisdiction of the District Munsiff's Court is ousted. This contention also fails. The relief sought, namely, an injunction restraining the petitioner from interfering with the payment of rent by the tenants to the respondent, is clearly consequential on the prayer for a declaration that the usufructuary mortgage in favour of the petitioner was a sham and nominal document.
4. The petition is therefore dismissed with costs.