Kumaraswami Sastri, J.
1. The first point taken by the petitioners in this civil revision petition is that the lower Court had no jurisdiction to try the suit as it was beyond its pecuniary jurisdiction.
2. The point was taken in the lower Court but the Munsif rejected it, holding that for purposes of valuation the suit fell under Section 7, Clause 5(a), of the Court Fees Act. In Madras, in the absence of rules under Section 3 of the Suits Valuation Act, Section 14 of the Madras Civil Courts Act, which says the value for Court-fees and for jurisdiction is the same, is in force as, under Section 6 of the Suits Valuation Act, Section 14 gets repealed only on the rules under Section 3 taking effect. It is, therefore, necessary to decide under what part of Section 7, Clause 5, this suit falls. It seems to me quite clear that it really falls under Clause (d) and not under Clause (a), See Godavartny Sudaramma v. Godavarthy Mangammo 47 Ind. Cas. 543 : 34 M.L.J. 558 : 8 L.W. 88. It seems come to be, therefore, desirable that there should be a finding on one question what the market value of the suit property is, before disposing of this petition.
3. The other questions raised in the case, including the one raised by the respondents Counsel under Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act will be held over for consideration after the finding is returned. '
4. The District Munsif will return a finding as to the market-value of the suit property. Parties will be allowed to adduce fresh evidence on the point.
5. Eight weeks are allowed for the submission of findings and seven days for filing objections.
1. In compliance with the order contained in the above judgment, the District Munsif of Ranipet submitted the following
I am directed to submit a finding as regards the market-value of the lands comprised in the two suits, Original Suits Nos. 220 and 221 of 1917, now before the High Court. At the re hearing the plaintiffs (respondents) did not adduce any oral evidence but merely filed Exhibit J, which is a copy of the plaint filed by the 1st defendant in the Temporary Sub-Court, Vellore. The defendants (petitioners) examined seven witnesses in addition--Defendants' witnesses Nos. 7 to 13, and filed Exhibits I to XIV.
2. Both the suits were heard together with the consent of parties. There are nine items comprised in Original Suit No. 220 of 1917, and there are eight items in Original Suit No. 221 of 1917. In Original Suit No. 220 of 1917, items Nos. 1 and 2 are dry lands and are 0-3-0 cawmie in extent; items Nos. 3 to 8 are wet, and the wet lands are of a total extent of 3-0-14 cawnies. Item No. 9 consists of tamarind trees, and the plaintiff Subrahmanya Gurukkal claims an undivided moiety therein. In Original Suit No. 221 of 1917, item No. 7 is dry and is 0 4-8 cawmie in extent; item No. 3 like item No. 9 in Original Suit No. 220 of 1917 is a moiety of the; plaintiffs' right to the said tamarind trees; and items Nos. 1 to 6 are wet lands and are of a total extent of 3-2-6 cawnies.
3. The petitioners (defendants) have filed a number of sale-deeds, Exhibits I to VII and X to XIV; Exhibits V to VII are of recent dates, of the year 1918; but the other documents are between the years 1910 to 1917; and they show that a cawnie has been selling at not lees than Rs. 1,000 nearly. The plaintiffs have not produced any sale deed on their side; On the other hand Exhibit IV is a sale deed by plaintiff Subrahmanya Gurukkal himself 5 that is dated 24th February 1916, under which document 0 3-0 cawnie has been sold for Rs. 187-8-0, thus working out a value of Rs. 1,000 a cawnie. Exhibit VIII is a rough sketch prepared by the petitioners (defendants) showing the lands comprised in the suits, and the lands comprised in some of the registered documents exhibited in the case. The lands covered by the sale deeds filed in the case are situate close to the plaint lands.
4. As regards the dry lands, the oral evidence is that they are worth Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 a cawnie; and as regards item No. 9 in Original Suit No. 220 of 1917. and item No. 8 in Original Suit No. 221 of 1917, there are ten tamarind trees included therein; there are three other trees in common, included in item No. 3 in Original Suit No. 220 and item No. 1 in Original Suit No. 221; the latter also will have to be taken into account and valued, and the defendants' witnesses would give their value to be between Rs. 700 and Rs. 800; it is not clear whether all the trees are all big ones, or some are big and some not. On an average the value of each tamarind tree may be fixed at Rs. 30 and the value of these thirteen trees will thus be Rs. 390.
5. To turn to the oral evidence, defendants' 7th witness, Manikka Udayan, is a vendee under Exhibit I, and he proves his sale. Under Exhibit I, 3/4th of a cawnie was purchased at Rs. 759. The son-in-law of defendants' 8th witness is the vendee under Exhibit II, and he swears that the plaint lands are superior in quality, and the land Rajagambheeram' is irrigated by a river channel. Defendants' 9th witness, Krishnappa Udayan, is a purchaser under Exhibit III, and the price he has paid works out at Rs. 1,422 a cawnis. The witness further swears that each cawnie of dry land would be worth Rs. 300 or Rs. 400. Defendants' 10th witness is the Revenue Inspector of Kamakur firka, and defendants' 11th witness has been the monigar of' Kamakur for the past 19 years. Defendants' 10th witness proves Exhibit VIII, and would swear that the plaint wet lands in both the suits would be worth Rs. 7,000, and the dry lands would be worth Rs. 400 a cawnie, and he estimates the ten tamarind trees at Rs. 80 a tree. Defendants' 10th witness, Srinivasa Mudali, further swears that in Kamakur, where the plaint lands are situate, it is difficult to purchase a cawnie for less than Rs. 1,000 and that the price ranges from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,300 a cawnie, but the witness has been in Kamakur only for the past two years and his knowledge of the value of the lands, he says, is based upon an inspection of the title-deeds of the parties, which the ryots would produce before him when they request for transfer of patta in their names. The monigar Krishnappa Udayan, defendants' 11th witness, pays an assessment of Rs. 100 and has got landed property in Kamakur. There is no reason suggested by plaintiffs why his evidence should not be given its full weight and accepted; he has attested the sales Exhibits II, VI and X. His evidence is that the wet lands are worth Rs. 1,200 and Rs. 1,500 if irrigated by a river channel, and the dry lands are worth Rs. 400 a cawnie. Defendants' 12th witness is another ryot of Kamakar paying also an assessment of Rs. 100. It is to him, we find, plaintiff sold under Exhibit IV. It was suggested in the course of cross examination of defendants' witnesses Nos. 7 to 9, that owing to competition, and for other considerations, a heavy price was paid for the sales Exhibits I to III, bat we found that plaintiff himself sold under Exhibit IV 0-3-0 cawnie for Rs. 187-8 0, and Exhibits X to XIV are of the years 1910,1911,1913 and 1914; and they all show that lands have been sold for not less than Rs. 1,000 a cawnie, and defendants' witnesses Nos 11 and 12, two respectable ryots of Kamakur, swear that generally there is no keen competition for the purchase of lands in the village.
6. The plaintiffs, Subrahmanya Gurukkal and Sasha Gurukkal, do not enter into the witness-box, and adduce no evidence in rebuttal of the oral and documentary evidence adduced for the defendants (petitioners). The plaintiffs would content themselves with producing, as already observed, a copy of Exhibit J. Exhibit J is a copy of plaint filed by the present 1st defendant through the Manager of the Court of Wards on 31st August 1918, i.e., after the present civil revision petitions were filed in the High Court. That suit was filed by 1st defendant for a declaration that he is the trustee of the Temple at Kamakar, and the lands in question are the property of the temple, and for an injunction to restrain the plaintiffs in the present suits, Original Suits Nos. 220 and 221 of 1917, from taking possession of he plaint lands by virtue of the decree passed by this Court therein, and dated 1st November 1917. In the schedule of properties attached to the said plaint, the value of the lands in question including the tamarind tope is given as Rs. 2,500. The defendants say that the valuation is a mistake, and is due to oversight. That plaint was prepared by a Vakil at Vellore, and has been signed both by the Manager of the Court of Wards and by the Vakil. From a perusal of Exhibit J and the plaints and decrees in the two suits Original Suits Nos. 220 and 221 of 1917, we find that the valuation in Exhibit J, as sworn to by the defendants' 13th witness, has been taken, item for item, from the decrees in those oases. Defendants' 13th witness is a clerk under the Vakil who filed the plaint in Original Suit No. 45 of 1918, and he explains the mistake by stating that his Vakil, after the body of the plaint was drafted and approved by him, asked him (the clerk) to copy out the schedule of properties from out of the decrees in Original Suits Nos. 220 and 221 of 1917, and he accordingly literally copied the valuation as given therein, and the valuation thus was due to a mistake and does not correctly represent the actual market-value of the lands. In the circumstances, the explanation furnished by defendants' 13th witness seems not improbable, and I accept the same. Exhibit I cannot thus be construed as favouring the plaintiffs.
7. Thus taking the several registered documents filed in the case, and all the circumstances into consideration, I should fix the market-value of each cawnie of wet land at Rs. 1,000 a cawnie, dry lands at Rs. 300 a cawnie, and the tamarind trees at Rs. 30 a tree. Calculating at the above rate, the market-value of items Nos. 1 and 2 in Original Suit No. 220 of 1917 comas to Rs. 56-4-0, items Nos. 3 to 8 to Rs. 3,054 11-0; and the value of a moiety of ten tamarind trees item No. 9 'and a moiety of three tamarind trees in item No. 3 comes to Rs. 195. In all it come to Rs. 3,305-15-0. In Original Suit No. 221 of 1917, items Nos. 1 to 6 are wet lands and the total extent is 3-2-6 cawnies; their value comes to Rs. 3,148-7-0 item No. 7 is dry land and its value at Rs. 300 a cawnie comes to Rs. 84-6-0, The value of item 8 tope--a moiety of the trees therein, and of a moiety of the three trees in item No. 1 comes to Rs. 195. Thus the market-value of items Nos. 1 to 8 in Original Suit No. 221 of 1917 comes to Rs. 3,427-130. My finding will thus be that the market value of the lands in Original Suit No. 220 of 1917 is R3. 3,305-15-0, and of the lands comprised in Original Suit No. 221 of 1917 is Rs. 3,427-13-0. The connected records are herewith re submitted.
1. This petition came on for final hearing after the return of the finding of the lower Court upon the issue referred by this Court for trial.
2. Dr. Swaminathan, for the Petitioners.--The lower Court has fairly and correctly decided the case on the merits. Under Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act a mere wrong valuation ousting its jurisdiction is not a good ground for upsetting the decree.
3. Mr. L.A. Govindaraghava Aiyar, for the Respondents.--Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act does not apply. The section applies only where, having an option as to valuation, the plaintiff gives an incorrect valuation. Here a wrong principle has been followed and there is only one mode of valuation. See Ghulam Akbar Khan v. Bakhat Bibi 29 Ind. Cas. 796 : 116 P.L.R. 1915 : 229 P.W.R. 1915.
1. The finding of the lower Court is that the property is worth Rs. 3,305 15-0 and Rs. 3,427-13-0. No objections have been filed. The suit is, therefore, clearly beyond the jurisdiction of the District Munsif.
2. It is argued by Dr. Swaminathan that under Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act the Court ought not to interfere unless it is of opinion that in addition to the suit being beyond the pecuniary limits of the jurisdiction of the lower Court there has been prejudice on the merits 'and that in the present case the District Munsif has gone fully into the question and decided the case rightly. Mr. Govindaraghava Aiyar contends that Section 11 can only apply to oases where the plaintiff having an option as to valuation given an in-correct valuation, and not to cases where the principle of valuation is incorrect and a wrong principle has been followed in cases where there is only one method by which the suit is to be valued. He refers to Ghulam Akbar Khan v. Bakhat Bibi 29 Ind. Cas. 796 : 116 P.L.R. 1915 : 229 P.W.R. 1915
3. I do not think there is anything in Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act which suggests the difference sought to be made by Mr. Govindaraghava Aiyar. The words are general and the section refers to overvaluation and under-valuation. It does not matter how the same arises. The very object of Section 11 is to prevent the operation of the general rule that neither consent nor waiver can confer jurisdiction on Courts which have under law only a limited pecuniary jurisdiction in oases where there has been no prejudice on the merits. In Govinda Menon v. Karunakara Menon 24 M.P 43 it was held that in cases of overvaluation or under-valuation the Appellate Court should not interfere unless the disposal of the suit has been prejudicially affected.
4. As regards the question of prejudice I am of opinion that the lower Court ought to have determined the question as to how far Original Suit No. 214 of 1917 on the file of the Ranipet Court rendered the present suit res judicata as regards the question of the date of dispossession and how far the present suit is barred by Order II. The affidavit of the defendants' Vakil in the lower Court, which has not been contradicted, shows that these points were raised in the course of the argument and noted by the Judge who, however, makes no reference to it in his judgment. I think the petitioner has been prejudiced by the Munsif not having dealt with all the questions raised which fairly arose out of the pleadings. The portion of the decree declaring plaintiffs' title to the land is clearly wrong as the suit was under Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act.
5. I set aside the decree of the District Munsif and direct him to return the plaint for presentation to the proper Court. Costs will abide and follow the result.