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Kothandarama Reddiar Vs. Chokkammal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 96 of 1949
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Mad458
ActsCourt-fees Act, 1870 - Sections 7(IV-A)
AppellantKothandarama Reddiar
RespondentChokkammal and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR. Desikan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG. Venkataraman, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredKutumba Sastri v. Bala Tripura Sundaramma
Excerpt:
- .....court-fee in the present suit and that it is the value of the property that was secured under the decree sought to be set aside that should govern the valuation of the present suit. 5. the short question for determination in this revision petition is whether it is the value of the claim given in o. s. no. 610 of 1944 or the value of the property given under the decree that should form the basis of the valuation of the plaint in the present suit. i think the contention of mr. desikan, the learned counsel for the petitioner, must prevail. the wording of section 7(iv-a), court-fees act, runs as follows: ''in a suit for cancellation of a decree for money or other property having a money value or other document securing money or other property having such value, according to the value of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Chandra Reddi, J.

1. This civil revision petition raises a question relating to court-fee and jurisdiction, The suit which has given rise to this civil revision petition was instituted by the respondent herein for setting aside the compromise decree passed in O. S. No. 610 of 1944 on 13th December 1945. The short facts of the case leading up to this litigation may be stated.

2. The present respondent 1 filed O.S. No. 15 of 1927 on the file of the District Munsif of Madurantakam for recovering maintenance from the adoptive mother of the present petitioner and obtained a decree therein. In execution of that decree for maintenance the present respondent 1 brought the properties to sale and purchased them herself. Subsequently, the present petitioner filed O. S. No. 610 of 1944 for a declaration that the decree obtained in O. S. No. 15 of 1927 was not binding upon him for the reason that he was not impleaded as a party to that suit. That suit ultimately ended in a compromise decree under which the present respondent 1 was given 3 acres 12 cents of nanja land with absolute rights in full quite of her rights under the decree in O. S. No. 15 of 1927. Now respondent 1, herein has filed O. S. No. 312 of 1946 to set aside that compromise decree and valued the snit for purposes of court-fee and jurisdiction at Rs. 317-14-0 which was the valuation give a by the present petitioner in the plaint O. S. No. 610 of 1944.

3. It was maintained by the present petitioner as defendant 1 in the suit that the value of the suit should be the market value of the property secured under the decree which will be in excess of the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Court of the District Munsif, and not the value of the claim given in the suit, O. S. No. 610 of 1944, The trial Court overruling this objection held that the basis for the valuation of the plaint in the present suit is the value of the claim and not the value of the property which was given to the plaintiff under the decree in O. S. No. 610 of 1944 and directed the plaintiff to pay ad valorem court fee on Rs. 371-14-0. The aggrieved defendant has presented this civil revision petition.

4. Mr. Desikan, the learned counsel for the petitioner, has urged before me, as in the lower Court, that the value of the claim in O. S. No. 610 of 1944 cannot be the basis of the valuation for purposes of court-fee in the present suit and that it is the value of the property that was secured under the decree sought to be set aside that should govern the valuation of the present suit.

5. The short question for determination in this revision petition is whether it is the value of the claim given in O. S. No. 610 of 1944 or the value of the property given under the decree that should form the basis of the valuation of the plaint in the present suit. I think the contention of Mr. Desikan, the learned counsel for the petitioner, must prevail. The wording of Section 7(iv-A), Court-fees Act, runs as follows:

''In a suit for cancellation of a decree for money or other property having a money value or other document securing money or other property having such value, according to the value of the subject-matter of the suit, and such value shall be deemed to be. ....If, the whole decree or other document is sought to be cancelled, the amount or the value of the property for which the decree was passed or the other document executed.'

I am of opinion that the wording of this section does not admit of any other construction than the one which is sought to be placed thereon by Mr. Desikan, the learned counsel for the petitioner. Anyhow I shall refer to some of the decisions which have laid down the proposition now stated by Mr. Dasikan. The following passage from the judgment of the Full Bench in Ramaswami v. Rangachariar, I. L. R. (1940) Mad. 259 : A. I. R. 1940 Mad. 113 is apposite :

'The plaintiff must be held to have impliedly asked for cancellation of the decrees passed against him and must accordingly stamp his plaint ad valorem on the amount of the decrees and not merely on his share fraction, as his liability is for the full amount, though necessarily limited to the extent of his share in the joint family assets.'

In Chidambaram Chettiar v. Nagappa Chettiar : AIR1944Mad478 , it was laid down that in a suit brought for a declaration that a compromise decree passed in a prior suit was not binding on the plaintiff the plaint should be valued on the value of the properties that formed the subject-matter of the decree sought to be set aside under Section 7(iv-A). See also the unreported decision of Happell J. in C. R. P. No. 671 of 1945. The question whether in valuing the property secured under the decree sought to be set aside the basis is the market value of the property or not has been set at rest by the decision of a Full Bench of this Court in Kutumba Sastri v. Bala Tripura Sundaramma : AIR1939Mad462 . It is useful to extract a passage from the judgment of the learned Judges at page 704 :

'The court-fee is to be calculated on the amount of the value of the property and to give the wording of para IV (a) its plain meaning the valuation must be the valuation based on the market value of the property at the date of the plaint.'

The Full Bench overruled the decisions which held that in cases of property secured under the decree sought to be set aside court-fee should be paid under Section 7(v) and not on the market value of the property. Apart from the plaint and the unambiguous wording of the section the decision cited above make it abundantly clear that the plaintiff has to adopt for purposes of court-fee and valuation the market value of the property that formed the subject-matter of O. S. No. 610 of 1944 which she now seeks to cancel. I therefore hold that the order of the lower Court is unsustainable and ought to be set aside. The matter is sent back to the lower Court for directing the plaintiff to give the market value of the property secured under the decree in O. S. No. 610 of 1944.

6. This revision petition is therefore allowed. I make no order as to costs.


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