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Sampathkumara Ayyangar and ors. Vs. Perumal Dhasari and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1958)2MLJ412
AppellantSampathkumara Ayyangar and ors.
RespondentPerumal Dhasari and ors.
Excerpt:
- - in fasli 1363 the defendants failed to pay the waram and carried away the produce entirely......in them. according to the plaintiffs defendants 1 to 106 are purakudi tenants cultivating the suit lands on waram basis. in paragraph 15 of the plaint it is stated:in fasli 1363 the defendants failed to pay the waram and carried away the produce entirely. 'subsequently also they behaved in the same way, jointly conspiring and combining together for the purpose. the plaintiffs had, therefore, to take proceedings against them before the conciliation officer of pattukottai under section 13 of the madras act xiv of 1952. all these defendants joined hands and raised the plea that they were all ryots with occupancy rights in the lands. the conciliation officer refused to give relief to the plaintiffs holding there was no proof of the existence of a relationship of landlord and tenant.....
Judgment:

Ramachandra Iyer, J.

1. This Civil Revision Petition is filed against the order of the learned Subordinate Judge of Tanjore in O.S. No. 33 of 1956 directing the plaintiff to pay the deficit Court-fee of Rs. 2,557-8-0. The plaintiff is the petitioner herein. The suit is one for a declaration that the lands described in the Schedule to the plaint are the private lands of the plaintiffs, defendants 107 to 109 having title to some portions thereof, and that defendants 1 to 106 have no permanent rights of occupancy in them. According to the plaintiffs defendants 1 to 106 are purakudi tenants cultivating the suit lands on waram basis. In paragraph 15 of the plaint it is stated:

In fasli 1363 the defendants failed to pay the waram and carried away the produce entirely. 'Subsequently also they behaved in the same way, jointly conspiring and combining together for the purpose. The plaintiffs had, therefore, to take proceedings against them before the Conciliation Officer of Pattukottai under Section 13 of the Madras Act XIV of 1952. All these defendants joined hands and raised the plea that they were all ryots with occupancy rights in the lands. The Conciliation Officer refused to give relief to the plaintiffs holding there was no proof of the existence of a relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties. The Revenue Court also dismissed the appeal preferred thereon by the plaintiffs.

2. Paragraph 17 of the plaint runs as follows:

The denial of the absolute title of the plaintiffs to the suit lands as their private lands and setting up of kudiwaram rights by these defendants have resulted in great prejudice and hardship-to the plaintiffs. Since the defendants have combined together and all of them have conspired jointly and set up rights unfounded and detrimental to the plaintiffs and taking advantage of the orders of the Revenue Court, they would not pay anything to the plaintiffs, plaintiffs have to get their rights to the suit lands as private lands to which they are absolutely entitled as any mirasdar of taraf or ryotwari lands declared and established through the civil Court.

3. Again in paragraph 19 of the plaint it is stated:

Since all these defendants have conspired together and have jointly combined to resist the lawful claims of these plaintiffs and common questions of law and fact arise in this regard and the relief of declaration is based on the same grounds in regard to each one of these defendants and concerns the entire block of lands which are private lands all these defendants have been made parties and joined in this suit.

4. It is clear on a reading of the plaint that the cause of action for the suit under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act is conspiracy and joint denial of the title by the defendants. The plaint was, therefore, valued for purposes 'of Court-fee and jurisdiction at Rs. 5,100 under Section 25 (d) of the Court-Fees Act (XIV of 1955). Objection was taken to the valuation of the suit on the ground that the suit embraces two or more distinct and different causes of action and that separate reliefs are sought based on them and that, therefore, Court-fee should be paid under Section 6(3) of the Act, on the aggregate amount of the fees with which the plaints would be chargeable under the Act if separate suits were instituted in respect of the several causes of action. The case for the Government is that in the present case there are as many distinct and different causes of action as there are defendants and this has found acceptance with the learned Subordinate Judge who held that the suit has to be valued as if it prayed for relief based on distinct causes of action. I cannot agree with this contention. As maybe seen from the several paragraphs of the plaint to which reference has been made, the cause of action is the conspiracy and joint denial of title to the suit properties by the defendants. That cause of action is single and indivisible and it cannot be said that there are separate causes of action against the different defendants. Mr. V. Ramaswami appearing for the Government Pleader, who argued the case with great insistence drew my attention to the decision reported in Lakshmlnarayana Chettiar, In re (1954) M.L.J. 403 . I cannot see how the principle of that decision can really be applicable to the present case. As I have pointed out, in my view, the plaint is based upon a single cause of action, namely a conspiracy and joint denial of title by defendants 1 to 106. Mr. Ramaswami then referred to the fact that each of these defendants had executed different lease-deeds in favour of the plaintiffs and therefore each of them was interested in protecting only his own title to the property in his possession and that he was not interested in the properties of the other tenants. The question as to the proper Court-fee leviable on a plaint has got to be decided on the allegations therein. For one thing the suit is not one for recovery of rent or possession but one for a declaration that the lands detailed in the Schedule to the plaint are the private lands of the plaintiffs and defendants 107 to 109 and that the other defendants I to 106 have no permanent rights of occupancy therein. Defendants 1 to 106 are alleged to have denied the title of the plaintiff to the whole of the suit property and it is not the case for the plaintiff that each tenant denied separately the title of the landlord with respect to that plot of land which was demised to him. Therefore the finding of the lower Court that the plaint comprises different causes of action is not warranted and the order demanding deficit Court-fee on that basis cannot be sustained. It is accordingly set aside. Court-fee paid on the plaint is correct and the suit will proceed to trial as instituted. There will be no order as to costs.


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