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V.S.R. Rajagopala Iyer Vs. V.S.K. Muthuramier - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1926Mad339
AppellantV.S.R. Rajagopala Iyer
RespondentV.S.K. Muthuramier
Cases ReferredIn Mirza Hyder Alli Sahib v. Hussain Raza Sahib
Excerpt:
- - on appeal the district judge held that the plaintiff had a right to value the suit at any figure he liked and the question whether the interest claimed was legitimate or not was one of the issues in the case and should not have been decided for the purpose of considering the question of jurisdiction......alleged to have been contracted to be sold to the plaintiff. relying upon this, the subordinate judge held that the claim for interest at 18 per cent. was not a bona fide claim and that the suit was purposely overvalued for the purpose of giving jurisdiction to the sub-court. on appeal the district judge held that the plaintiff had a right to value the suit at any figure he liked and the question whether the interest claimed was legitimate or not was one of the issues in the case and should not have been decided for the purpose of considering the question of jurisdiction. it is urged by mr. muthuswamy iyer that the plaintiff purposely overvalued the suit in order to give jurisdiction to the sub-court. it looks as if the plaintiff claimed 18 per cent, interest in the plaint in order to.....
Judgment:

Devadoss, J.

1.This is an application to revise the order of the District Judge of Madura, who reversed the order of the Subordinate Judge of Madura directing the plaint to be returned to the plaintiff to be filed in a Court having jurisdiction to try the suit. The plaintiff valued his claim at Rs. 3,078 and filed it in the Subordinate Judge's Court at Madura. The defendant contended that the suit was overvalued and the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain it. In support of his contention he produced a letter of demand written by the plaintiff to the defendant on 21st November 1922 claiming interest at 12 percent, per annum in case the defendant was not willing 'to transfer the 20 shares alleged to have been contracted to be sold to the plaintiff. Relying upon this, the Subordinate Judge held that the claim for interest at 18 per cent. was not a bona fide claim and that the suit was purposely overvalued for the purpose of giving jurisdiction to the Sub-Court. On appeal the District Judge held that the plaintiff had a right to value the suit at any figure he liked and the question whether the interest claimed was legitimate or not was one of the issues in the case and should not have been decided for the purpose of considering the question of jurisdiction. It is urged by Mr. Muthuswamy Iyer that the plaintiff purposely overvalued the suit in order to give jurisdiction to the Sub-Court. It looks as if the plaintiff claimed 18 per cent, interest in the plaint in order to bring the suit within the cognizance of the Subordinate Judge's Court of Madura. But the question is whether the Court, for the purpose of considering whether it has jurisdiction or not, could decide a material issue in the case. In order to find out whether the claim of the plaintiff is bona fide or not, when a plaintiff claims two items of property and the defence is that there is some dispute as regards one item of the property, and the other item has been included in the plaint only to give jurisdiction to a higher Court, would the Court be justified in deciding whether the plaintiff has a title to the other item, and whether the Court would have jurisdiction if the other item was excluded When a plaintiff comes into the Court claiming damages he can put the amount of damages at any figure he likes. The mere fact that the claim is untenable is not a sufficient reason for the Court to say that the claim is an inflated claim and the suit should have been filed in a Court of lower monetary jurisdiction. The observations of the learned Judges in Koti Pujari v. Manjaya [1898] 21 Mad. 271 apply to this case. The learned Judge observed:

These are the very questions connected with the proper valuation of the subject-matter of the suit. Very grave inconvenience and confusion would result if pleas raised by the defence as to the right of the plaintiff to portions of the relief sought by him, and which he would be entitled to on establishing the allegations of the plaint, were allowed to be treated as preliminary questions affecting the valuation of the suit, and which ought to be determined in order to ascertain the Court in which the suit should be brought.

2. The facts in Lakshman Bhatkar v. Babaji Bhatkar [1884] 8 Bom. 31, are distinguishable from the facts in Mirza Hyder Alli Sahib v. Hussain Raza Sahib [1914] 1 L.W. 398. In Lakshman Bhatkar v. Babaji Bhatkar [1884] 8 Bom. 31 it was held that the plaintiff had intentionally valued the claim too high in order to bring the suit within the higher jurisdiction. In Mirza Hyder Alli Sahib v. Hussain Raza Sahib [1914] 1 L.W. 398 a certain relief was asked for which was neither incidental nor necessary to the main relief in the case. Mr. Justice Bakewell held that that relief was purposely put in to oust the jurisdiction of the City Civil Court. In this case it cannot be said that the claim for interest at 18 per cent. is on the face of it a false claim. It may be an untenable claim. It may be that the plaintiff will not be able to substantiate his claim for interest at that figure but that should not weigh with the Court in determining whether the plaint is properly valued or not. I, therefore, consider that the order of the District Judge is correct, and there is no reason to interfere with his order.

3. The petition is dismissed with costs.


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