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Dhanabaggiammal Vs. Mari Ammal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1932Mad671
AppellantDhanabaggiammal
RespondentMari Ammal and ors.
Cases ReferredVasireddi Veerainma v. Butchayya A.I.R.
Excerpt:
- .....to the jurisdiction of the district munsif to entertain the plaint on the ground that the market value of the properties alienated by defendant 1 would be more than rs. 3,000. the district munsif upheld the defendant's and found that the market value would be about rs. 6,000 and accordingly he directed the plaint to be returned to the plaintiff for presentation to the proper court. the plaintiff's appeal to the district court was dismissed by the learned district judge, who substantially agreed with the reasonings of the district munsif. the plaintiff has accordingly filed the present revision petition.2. on the plaintiff-petitioner's behalf it was contended by her learned advocate before me that the valuation in such cases should be the valuation of the interest claimed by the.....
Judgment:

Anantakrishna Ayyar, J.

1. This civil revision petition has been filed by the plaintiff in O.S. No. 330 of 1928 on the file of the District Munsif of Chingleput. In substance the reliefs claimed in the plaint were for three declarations in respect of three alienations made by defendant 1 the widow of the last male holder, the Plaintiff, being the daughter of the last male-holder by a pre-deceased wife of his. The plaintiff valued the reliefs claimed in the plaint at Rs. 3,000 and filed the suit in the District Mumsif's Court. She paid a court-fee of Rs. 45 in respect of the three alienations, Rs. 15 being paid in respect of each alienation. An objection was taken by the defendants to the jurisdiction of the District Munsif to entertain the plaint on the ground that the market value of the properties alienated by defendant 1 would be more than Rs. 3,000. The District Munsif upheld the defendant's and found that the market value would be about Rs. 6,000 and accordingly he directed the plaint to be returned to the plaintiff for presentation to the proper Court. The plaintiff's appeal to the District Court was dismissed by the learned District Judge, who substantially agreed with the reasonings of the District Munsif. The plaintiff has accordingly filed the present revision petition.

2. On the plaintiff-petitioner's behalf it was contended by her learned advocate before me that the valuation in such cases should be the valuation of the interest claimed by the plaintiff in the suit properties and that the lower Courts were wrong in taking into account the market value of the properties covered by the alienations. It may be stated at once that the question raised is not that court-fee should be paid on the ad valorem scale on the value of the properties that may be ultimately fixed. A decision as to the valuation may become necessary only to find out whether Rs. 15 would be the court-fee payable in respect of each declaration, or whether if would be Rs. 100 or Rs. 500 having regard to the real valuation as mentioned in Clause 17(a), Schedule 2,' Court-fees Act. The lower appellate Court has relied on a decision of a Bench of this Court reported in Vasireddi Veeramma v. Butchayya A.I.R. 1927 Mad. 563. That case related to a suit for declaration about the validity of an adoption. The learned Judges held that in such a case it is not the notional value imposed by the Court-fees Act and the Suits Valuation Act that has to be taken into account for determining the jurisdiction of the Court, but the real market value of the property. The learned Judges refer to the decision of the Privy Council in Rachappa Subba Rao v. Shiddappa Venkata Rao A.I.R. 1927 Mad. 563, and a decision of this Court in Rattayya v. Brahmayya A.I.R. 1925 Mad. 1223. In the second case it is there pointed out that as a result of rules not having boon framed under the Suits Valuation Act, a suit for declaration concerning immovable property may have to be brought in a Court of higher jurisdiction when the valuation is more then Rs. 3,000 when calculated with reference to the market value of the properties but that a suit for possession of the same properties would be maintainable . in a Court of lower jurisdiction having regard to the valuation of such a suit for possession, being calculated at 10, 15 or 20 times the revenue assessed on the properties. After noticing the anomaly the learned Judges proceed to state that in the absence of rules framed by the proper authority, or any other indications in the Act, the market value of the properties has to be taken as the value of: the suit for the purposes of jurisdiction in such cases.

3. The learned advocate for the petitioner however strongly relied upon two decisions of this Court Kattiya P'illai v. Ramaswamia Pillai A.I.R. 1929 Mad. 396 and Rayarappan Nambiyar v. Chathukutti Nambiyar A.I.R. 1924 Mad. 621, and argued that it is only the interest of the plaintiff that has to be valued and not the market value of the properties. Kattiya Pillai v. Ramaswamia Pillai A.I.R. 1929 Mad. 396 was a case where the plaintiff claimed a present right to certain properties, and the question for decision was whether he would be entitled to a larger share which would be the case if a particular will was held to be genuine and valid, or whether he would be entitled only to a smaller share, which would be the case if some other will of the last proprietor be held to be genuine and valid. The decision in Rattayya v. Brahmayya A.I.R. 1925 Mad. 1223 does not really carry the matter further as the learned Judge in substance only followed the decision in Vasireddi Veeramma v. Butchayya A.I.R. 1927 Mad. 563. I am prepared to assume that there is some force in the argument raised by the learned advocate for the petitioner that in cases where the plaintiff claims a vested right in certain properties the value of the vested right must be taken to determine the jurisdiction, but it is not necessary for me to decide that point in the present case, because reading the plaint in the present case, it is clear that that is not the case of the plaintiff. In para. 4 of the plaint the plaintiff specifically states that Kuppamal--the deceased daughter of the testator by defendant 1--had only ' a life estate ' in the properties (not a vested interest, as was assumed in the argument) and prays for relief even on that basis. Such a plaint has to be valued in the way mentioned in Vasireddi Veerainma v. Butchayya A.I.R. 1927 Mad. 563.

4. Having regard therefore to the allegations made in the plaint in the case before me, I think that the learned District Judge was right in the view that he took of the case, viz., that the jurisdiction of the Court in this particular ease would depend upon the market value of the properties alienated by defendant 1. In that view it is clear that the District Munsif had no jurisdiction to entertain the plaint, and the order returning the plaint for presentation to the proper Court was rightly upheld by the lower appellate Court. I dismiss the revision petition with costs.


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