1. This Civil Revision Petition involves a question of court-fee. The plaintiff asked for an injunction restraining the defendants from felling certain trees and shrubs in certain lands. He valued the injunction at Rs. 100 under Section 7(iv)(d) of the Court-Fees Act and paid a court-fee of Rs. 11-3-0. The suit was dismissed and the plaintiff filed an appeal in the District Court, Guntur. He valued the appeal similarly and on objection being taken by the court-fee examiner, the learned District Judge directed the plaintiff to value the suit as one for declaration and consequential relief by way of injunction in respect of the land in which the trees stood. This order is objected to by the plaintiff in this Civil Revision Petition.
2. It seems to me that the point involved is very simple. The relevant provision under the notification of the High Court in R.O.C. No. 911/40-B-1, dated 7th August 1943, is paragraph (2) of the Appendix which is as follows:
In suits for injunction where relieris sought with reference to any immoveable property on the ground that the defendant denies the title of the plaintiff to the property and disturbs or threatens to disturb the plaintiff's possession thereof, the value of the subject-matter of the suit shall not be less than half the value of the property calculated in the manner provided in Section 7, paragraph 5 of the Court-Fees Act, 1870.
In this suit the relief by way of injunction is sought with reference to the trees. No relief is sought in respect of the lands in which the trees are standing. Under Section 3 (14) of the Madras General Clauses Act (1 of 1891) however,
Immoveable property ' shall include land, benefits to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth.
The definition of immoveable property in Section 3(25) of the General Clauses Act (X of 1897) is in identical terms. As things attached to the earth, trees must therefore be regarded as immoveable property within the definition. That would only mean that the plaintiff has got to value his relief by way of injunction at hot less than half the value of the trees calculated in the manner provided in Section 7, paragraph 5 of the Court-Fees Act. By its strict language Section 7, paragraph 5 may seem to be not strictly applicable because it refers to lands, houses and gardens. But since the notification provides that the value of the property should be calculated in the manner provided in Section 7, paragraph 5 of the Court-Fees Act it is permissible to adopt the method for which inter alia there is provision in Section 7, paragraph 5, namely, that of taking the market value of the property. The plaintiff has therefore to. pay court-fee on the plaint and on the memorandum of appeal in the lower appellate Court on half the market value of the trees in respect of which he is seeking an injunction. He will pay such further court-fee as he may have to pay on that basis before the appeal is heard by the lower appellate Court.
3. The civil revision petition is allowed to the extent indicated above. The lower appellate Court will give the plaintiff suitable time after the market value of the trees is ascertained. No order as to costs.