1. This petition raises a very simple question of court-fee. The point for determination is whether a Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies acting under Section 57-A of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act No. VI of 1932 is a Civil Court within the meaning of Article 17(1) of Schedule II of the Court-Fees Act. The suit was one by a claimant to set aside an order by the Deputy Registrar dismissing his claim to some moveables attached valued at Rs. 750. If he acted as a ' Civil Court ' only a court-fee of Rs. 15 is payable. The District Munsiff held that he was not a Civil Court and directed the plaintiff to pay ad valorem court-fee of Rs. 750. The District Munsiff's finding clearly cannot be upheld. He has referred to no authority. In Narayana Venkatachalamiah v. Putika Venkatiah and Ors. : AIR1942Mad24 it was held that, the Registrar was a Court within the meaning of Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act although the question whether he was a Civil Court appears to have been kept specifically open. In Velayuda Mudali and Anr. v. The Co-operative Rural Credit Society (1933) 66 M.L.J. 90 it was held that,
the Registrar of Co-operative Societies acting under Rule 14 of the Rules framed under the Co-operative Societies Act is a Court and proceedings before him are proceedings before a Court for the application of the doctrine of lis pendens.
The Registrar or the Deputy Registrar acting under the Act has judicial functions to perform analogous to those of a Civil Court Section 65(2) of the Co-operative Societies Act empowers the Provincial Government to frame rules, inter alia,
to provide for the investigation of claims and objections that may be preferred against any attachment effected by the Registrar or any officer empowered by him.
It is only necessary to peruse Rules XXII and XXIII of the Rules framed by Government to see that the Registrar in execution proceedings has substantially similar powers and has to follow substantially the same procedure that a Civil Court has to follow under Civil Procedure Code in the domain of attachment and claim applications. Under rule XXII 17 (c) a claimant against whom a claim order is made may institute a suit within six months from the date of the order. It is under this provision that the present suit is filed. There are only three categories of Courts so far as I am aware, (1) Criminal, (2) Civil and (3) Revenue. I have no hesitation in finding that a Registrar acting under Section 57-A and in accordance with the rules framed by Government must be deemed to be a Civil Court for purposes of Article 17(1) of Schedule II of the Court-Fees Act.
2. The court-fee of Rs. 15 paid is correct. The petition is allowed. Costs of this petition will abide the result and be provided for in the lower Court.