1. This revision petition raises a question of court-fee. The petitioner filed a suit in the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Sivaganga for (a) a declaration that the villages mentioned in the schedule were not estates under the Madras Estates Land Act, that the lands, nanjas and punjas in the villages were pannai lands and not ryoti lands under the said Act and that Madras Act 30 of 1947 was not applicable to the said villages, and (b) for an injunction restraining the defendant, that is, the State of Madras, from collecting rents or taking any action under Madras Act 30 of 1947 and preventing the State from the collection of income, profits, rents, cesses etc. from the tenants by the plaintiff.
He valued the reliefs thus: the relief of declaration at Rs. 9500 and he paid a court-fee thereon of Rs. 100 under Article 17-A (1) of Schedule II, Court-fees Act; the relief of injunction at Rs. 252-3-0 and he paid a court-fee of Rs. 29-5-0 under Section 7(4), Court-fees Act.
2. Objection was taken by the Court-fee Examiner that the suit properties had been grossly undervalued and on a proper valuation the plaintiff should have paid a sum of Rs. 500. This was on the basis that Article 17-A (1) of Schedule II, Court-lees Act applied to the case. The learned Subordinate Judge held that the valuation of the suit lands would be over a lakh of rupees and he therefore directed the plaintiff to amend the valuation in the plaint and to pay the deficit court-fee of Rs. 400. The petitioner seeks to revise this order.
3. In my opinion the proper article to be applied to this case is Article 17-B of Schedule II, Court-fees Act. Clearly there is no dispute as to the title of the petitioner to the properties in question. There is no dispute as regards the suit properties between two rival claimants. All that the plaintiff complains is that the defendant, the State, is taking action under Madras Act 30 of 1947 which he says is illegal because the said Act does not apply to the properties in his possession.
A case like this would appropriately fall within Article 17-B which provides for suits where it is not possible to estimate at a money value the subject-matter in dispute. Here the subject-matter is the applicability of Madras Act 30 of 1947 to the properties. Such subject-matter is obviously not capable of valuation. I therefore hold that the court-fee paid by the petitioner already is sufficient. I do so, however, on the ground that Article 17-B of Schedule II, Court-fees Act is the proper article applicable to the case.
4. The Civil Revision Petition is allowed. There will be no order as to costs.