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Venkatasubba Reddy Vs. Ramadoss Reddy - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1946Mad456; (1946)1MLJ459
AppellantVenkatasubba Reddy
RespondentRamadoss Reddy
Excerpt:
- .....(the petitioner here) paid a court-fee of rs. 15 under article 17-b of the court-fees act; but the learned district munsiff held that court-fee must be paid under section 7 (iv) (a) on the market value of the properties covered by the compromise decree. the learned district munsiff framed an issue on the question of the court-fee payable and decided it as the third issue in the suit by the order which is now under consideration.2. the first argument advanced by learned counsel for the petitioner is that the learned district munsiff had no jurisdiction to make the order which he did as he had already decided the court-fee payable within the meaning of section 12(1) of the court-fees act so that the decision had become final in the words of that section ' as between the parties to the.....
Judgment:

Happell, J.

1. The question in this civil revision petition relates to the Court-fee payable on O.S. No. 214 of 1945 in the Court of the District Munsiff of Ami. The suit was for a declaration that a compromise decree was not binding on the plaintiff'and for an injunction restraining the defendant from executing the decree. The Plaintiff (the petitioner here) paid a Court-fee of Rs. 15 under Article 17-B of the Court-Fees Act; but the learned District Munsiff held that Court-fee must be paid under Section 7 (iv) (A) on the market value of the properties covered by the compromise decree. The learned District Munsiff framed an issue on the question of the Court-fee payable and decided it as the third issue in the suit by the order which is now under consideration.

2. The first argument advanced by learned Counsel for the petitioner is that the learned District Munsiff had no jurisdiction to make the order which he did as he had already decided the Court-fee payable within the meaning of Section 12(1) of the Court-fees Act so that the decision had become final in the words of that section ' as between the parties to the suit.' Before the learned District Munsiff had passed his order on issue 3 relating to the Court-fee payable in respect of the suit, the suit had been registered. Learned Counsel for the petitioner does not go so far as to argue that the mere fact of registration must be taken as a decision that the Court-fee paid is correct; but he does argue that in the circumstances of this case, as the District Munsiff had heard some argument on the question of the Court-fee to be paid and thereafter the plaint was registered, it should be taken that there was a decision that the Court-fee paid was correct. The mere fact, however, that some argument had been heard will not make the registration of the suit tantamount to a decision that the Court-fee paid was correct. It is clear from what the learned District Munsiff himself has said that he reserved the question of the correctness of the Court-fee paid for decision at a later stage and that he had not applied his mind to and decided the question at the time when the suit was registered. The learned Government Pleader has referred me to two recent unpublished decisions of Byers, J., in C.R.P. No. 1310 of 1945 and Bell, J., in C.R.P. Nos. 562 ond 563 of 1945 in which the question of what will amount to a decision of the question of the Court-fee payable was considered. With respect, I agree with what is said in the two judgments. No doubt when the Court-fee paid has been accepted without objection and the suit has been determined the Court may be deemed to have decided that the Court-fee paid was correct within the meaning of Section 12 of the Court-fees Act even though it has passed no specific order to that effect. But while a case is still pending the acceptance by a ministerial officer of the Court-fee paid or the registration of the case without objection cannot be deemed to be a final decision of the question of the Court-fee to be paid. The only final decision is an order of the Court made after it has applied its mind to the question and it is open to the Court to take up and decide the question of the correct Court-fee payable at any time before the case is determined provided that it has not already made a considered order. In the present case it is quite plain that until the District Munsiff heard arguments on the isue relating to Court-fee he had not applied his mind to the question of the Court-fee that was properly payable. The first contention advanced, therefore, fails.

3. It is also argued that the learned District Munsiff was wrong in directing that Court-fee should be paid on the market value of the lands covered by the compromise decree. It is said that what the plaintiff wants to get rid of is the leasehold interest given to the defendant by the decree, so that Court-fee should be paid not on the market value of the property as a whole but on its leasehold value. From the order of the District Munsiff this point does not seem to have been taken before him. The petitioner, however, will be at liberty to raise it and the question will be left to be decided by the District Munsiff. The petition is dismissed with costs, one set to be shared between the Government Pleader and the respondents.


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