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Maddipati Ramanna Alias Tatabbayi and ors. Vs. Maddipati Subbarayudu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Petn. No. 2695 of 1950
Judge
Reported inAIR1951Mad886a
ActsMadras Civil Courts Act, 1873 - Sections 13 and 14; Court Fees Act - Sections 7; Suits Valuation Act, 1887 - Sections 8; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 151 and 152 - Order 6, Rule 17
AppellantMaddipati Ramanna Alias Tatabbayi and ors.
RespondentMaddipati Subbarayudu and ors.
Appellant AdvocateD. Narasaraju, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateP. Satyanarayanaraju, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredKannayya Chetti v. Venkata Narasayya
Excerpt:
.....- sections 13 and 14 of madras civil courts act, 1873, section 7 of court fees act, section 8 of suits valuation act, 1887 and sections 151 and 152 and order 6 rule 17 of code of civil procedure, 1908 - application under section 152 and order 6 rule 17 for amendment of plaint and memo of appeal sought to be filed in court - where it is found that order of trial court calling upon party to revise plaint valuation is erroneous so long as amended valuation not varied court to proceed on basis that value of suit forms basis of appeal also - just because appellant proposes to canvas correctness of finding on particular issue it cannot be assumed that decision of court on that issue is wrong - in case contention of plaintiff were to be accepted while he could file appeal against decree of..........filed against the decree & therefore the original value fixed by him should be regarded as the suit valuation, or at any rate the original valuation should be restored on payment of the difference of the c. f. in support of this argument he reld. upon two decisions of this ct. in 'jalaldeen marakayar v. vijayasami', 39 mad 447, & in 'vasudeva v. madhava', 16 mad 326. what was laid down in 'jalaldeen marakayar v. vijayasami', 39 mad 447, was that in a suit for redemption of mtge. when the amount of the principal debt was below rs. 5000 & the c. f. was paid by the pltf. on that amount, it was that valuation that decided the forum of the appeal despite the fact that the pltf. paid c. f. on the total amount of the redemption exceeding rs. 5000 in obedience to the orders of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Chandra Reddi, J.

1. This appln. is filed Under Section 152 & Order 6 Rule 17, Civil P. C. for amendment of the plaint & the memo. of appeal sought to be filed in this Ct. in the following circumstances. The petnr. brought a suit in the Ct. of the subordinate Judge, Ellore for partition of the joint family properties between him & the resps. herein & for separate possession of half the share to be allotted to him. The suit as originally filed was valued under Article 17 B of Schedule II, Court Fees Act, & a fixed C. F. of Rs. 100 was paid on the basis of the pltf. being in joint possession of the suit properties along with the defts. The suit properties were valued at Rs. 11603 for the purpose of jurisdiction. On an objection taken as regards the C. P., the trial Ct. decided as a preliminary issue that the suit should not be regarded as one falling under Article 17 B of Schedule 2 but should be valued Under Section 7(5), Court Fees Act, on the ground that the allegations in the plaint did not disclose that the pltf. was in joint possession along with the defts. In that view of the matter the trial Ct. directed the pltf. to value the suit Under Section 7(5) & pay the deficit C. F. on that basis. The matter was taken up by the pltf. to this Ct. in 'C. Rule P. No. 1637 of 1948', & this Ct. by its order dated 26-11-1948 upheld the correctness of the finding of the trial Ct. When the matter went back to the trial Ct., the pltf. applied for amending the plaint valuation so as to reduce it to Rs. 4278 to bring it into conformity with the order of the trial Ct. & he was allowed to do so. The suit was thereafter heard & decided on the merits.

2. The pltf. being aggrieved by the decision of the trial Ct. has sought to file an appeal in this Ct. against it. On an objection taken by the office that the appeal does not lie to this Ct. but to the district Ct., the present petn. is filed to restore the original valuation by way of amendment. At the outset it must be mentioned that when Mr. Narasaraju, the learned counsel for the petnrs. was confronted with the difficulty of applying the provisions of either Section 152 or Order 6, Rule 17, he conceded that the present petn. cannot be governed either by Section 152 or Order 6 Rule 17. Obyiously, the provisions of Section 152 cannot apply to this petn. because that section deals only with amendment of decrees, while Order 6 Rule 17 deals with amendment of pleadings & can have no bearing on the question of amending the valuation now. He had therefore to fall back upon Section 151, Civil P. C. & invoke the inherent jurisdiction of this Ct. to grant him leave to restore the original valuation.

3. The first contention raised by Mr. Narasaraju in support of this petn. is that though the valuation was revised in obedience to the order of the Ct. & C. F. paid on the basis of the revised valuation still it is the original valuation that determines the forum of appeal, & it is the market value of the property that should govern the jurisdictional value & that his client is prepared to pay the 'ad valorem' C. F. on that footing both in the lower Ct. as well as in this Ct. I find it difficult to accept this contention. Under Section 14, Madras Civil Courts Act, in suits for recovery of immoveable property, the value of the suit for purposes of jurisdiction is the same as that adopted for purposes of C. F. provided by Section 7, Court Fees Act. So it cannot be disputed that Under Section 14, Madras Civil Courts Act, we cannot adopt a valuation for purposes of jurisdiction different from that adopted for the purpose of C. P. In this context the following passage in the referring judgment in 'Kannayya Chetti v. Venkatanarasayya', 40 Mad 1, is apposite.

'The mistake lies in supposing that the 'amount or value of the subject matter of the suit' is its real or market value. It is the value fixed according to the mode prescribed by the statute, though, in the absence of any statutory provisions in Section 14 of the Civil Courts Act or the Suits Valuation Act, the real or the market value of the subject matter will have to be ascertained as in the case, for instance, of appeals to His Majesty in Council.'

Reference may also be made to 'Srirama Sarma v. Venkatapayya', : AIR1948Mad334 , where it was laid down that in a suit for partition and possession the value calculated for purposes of C. P. Under Section 7(v)(b), Court Fees Act, is also the jurisdictional value.

4. Under Section 13, Madras Civil Courts Act, an appeal can lie only to the District Ct. against the decree of the Subordinate Judge when the subject matter of the suit does not exceed Rs. 5000. So the appeal sought to be filed cannot be received in this Ct. unless it is shown that its value exceeds Rs. 5000.

5. The next question to be consd. is whether in this case the value exceeds Rs. 5000. It is not disputed that the valuation of the suit as finally amended by the pltf. is below Rs. 5000. That the forum of appeal is determined with reference to the valuation of the suit does not admit of any doubt. It is not also seriously argued by Mr. Narasaraju that the value of the subject matter of the suit is not the value as it was finally fixed. No doubt ordinarily the value of the subject matter of the suit is its value at the institution of the suit. But when that value is revised it is the revised valuation that should be treated to be the value of the suit. So for the purpose of deciding the forum of the appeal, we have to take into consideration only the valuation as finally adopted in the plaint & not what was originally mentioned. In 'In re Sriramulu Chetti', 1945 1 MLJ 162, it was held by Happell, J. that the value of the suit is the value mentioned by the pltf. in his plaint until that valuation is amended.

6. However Mr. Narasaraju urges that while ordinarily the final valuation would be accepted as the correct basis for deciding the forum of the appeal, the original value should still be treated as the value of the suit for purposes of the appeal in a case where the amended valuation was adopted by a party in obedience to the orders of a Ct. & the correctness of which is sought to be challenged in an appeal filed against the decree. According to him, even though the finding of the trial Ct. on the question of C. P. was confirmed by this Ct. in revn., it is open to him to reagitate that matter in the appeal that is finally filed against the decree & therefore the original value fixed by him should be regarded as the suit valuation, or at any rate the original valuation should be restored on payment of the difference of the C. F. In support of this argument he reld. upon two decisions of this Ct. in 'Jalaldeen Marakayar v. Vijayasami', 39 Mad 447, & in 'Vasudeva v. Madhava', 16 Mad 326. What was laid down in 'Jalaldeen Marakayar v. Vijayasami', 39 Mad 447, was that in a suit for redemption of mtge. when the amount of the principal debt was below Rs. 5000 & the C. F. was paid by the pltf. on that amount, it was that valuation that decided the forum of the appeal despite the fact that the pltf. paid C. F. on the total amount of the redemption exceeding Rs. 5000 in obedience to the orders of the subordinate Judge which was found to be erroneous. In 'Vasudeva v. Madhava', 16 Mad 326, the Dist. Munsif returned the plaint in a redemption suit on the ground that the value of the whole property to be redeemed exceeded his pecuniary jurisdiction although the pltf. therein claimed only a one-fourth share therein which was far below the pecuniary limits of the Dist. Munsif. The pltf. accepted the valuation & presented the plaint in the Ct. of the subordinate Judge paying the deficit C. P. When ultimately an appeal was filed by him to the H. C. against the decree of the subordinate Judge, this Ct. held that the appeal lay none-the-less to the Dist. Ct. as the real value of the subject matter of the suit was far below Rs. 5000 & the order of the Munsif returning the plaint on the ground of want of pecuniary jurisdiction was erroneous.

7. I do not think these two decisions are of much assistance in this case. Whatever might be the case, where it is ultimately found that an order of a trial Ct. calling upon a party to revise the plaint valuation is erroneous & the revised valuation is not correct, so long as the amended valuation is not varied, we must proceed on the basis that, that is the value of the suit & forms the basis of the appeal also. The mere fact that the petnr. has taken some grounds attacking the finding as regards the category of suits under the Court Fees Apt to which the suit belongs, will not be a ground for proceeding on the hypothesis that the order of the Ct. on that point is erroneous & that it is the value as originally mentioned in the plaint that governs the forum of the appeal. Merely because the applt. proposes to canvas the correctness of the finding on a particular issue, it cannot be assumed that the decision of the Ct. on that issue is wrong, & permit the applt. to choose his forum for the appeal. If the contention of the pltf. were to be accepted, while he could file an appeal against the decree of the trial Ct. in the H. C., the deft, if he had failed in the suit & had to file an appeal he could do so only in the Dist. Ct. Could it be said that as against the same judgment while one party could file an appeal to the Dist. Ct., the other party could file the appeal in the H. C. merely because he chooses to take some ground attacking the finding on a particular issue. The result of allowing the pltf. to amend the valuation now will be to shift the jurisdiction from one Ct. to another at the option of the pltf. as pointed out in 'Kannayya Chetti v. Venkata Narasayya', 40 Mad 1. For all these reasons it looks to me that the petnr. cannot be allowed either to treat the original value as the valuation of the suit for filing this appeal or to restore that valuation by way of an amendment. There are therefore no grounds to allow the amendment sought by the petnr. I am of opinion that the appeal cannot be entertained in this Ct. & it has to be filed only in the Dist. Ct. In this view of the matter it is not necessary for me to consider the contention raised on behalf of the resp. based on Section 12, Court Fees Act. In these circumstances, this petn. is dismissed, but I make no order as to costs.

8. The Memo. of Appeal will be returned tothe petnr. for presenting it to the proper Ct.


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