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Kuppu Govindan Chettiar Vs. Uttukottai Co-operative Society by Its Liquidator - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in169Ind.Cas.698
AppellantKuppu Govindan Chettiar
RespondentUttukottai Co-operative Society by Its Liquidator
Cases ReferredSassoon and Co. v. Ramdutt Ramtossen Das
Excerpt:
court fees act (vii of 1870 as amended in madras), section 7 (iv-a), schedule ii, article 17-a (iii) - 'decree' in section 7 (iv-a), meaning of--suit for declaration that order of liquidator under cooperative societies act was null and void--court-fee payable--co-operative societies act (ii of 1912), section 42 (b). - .....is to be adopted. i am, therefore, of the opinion that section 7 (iv-a) would not apply to the case and that the court-fee paid is proper. i accordingly set aside the order of the learned district judge and allow the revision petition.4. civil revision petition no. 693 of 1936. following my judgment in civil revision petition no. 692 of' 1936, i set aside the order of the learned district judge and allow the revision petition.
Judgment:

Venkatramana Rao, J.

1. The question raised in this revision petition relates to the amount of the court-fee leviable on a plaint which prays for a declaration that an order of a liquidator of a Co-operative Society determining the amount of contribution payable by the plaintiff under Section 42 (6) of the Co-operative Societies Act is null and void. The case of the plaintiff is that he ceased to be a member in or about June 1930, that more than two years after he ceased to be a member an order for contribution was made against him on November 25, 1933, directing him to pay a large sum, namely, Rs. 8,000 and that the liquidator had no jurisdiction to pass such an order and he therefore prayed for a decree that such an order is 'illegal, void and of no effect and unenforceable against the plaintiff.' He paid a court-fee of Rs. 100 under Article 17-A (iii) of Set. II to the Madras Court Fees Amending Act. The learned District Judge held that the plaintiff should have valued the claim under Section 7 (iv-A) of the said Amending Act. This order of the learned Judge is canvassed as being unsound by Mr. V. Ramasawmy Ayyar for the plaintiff. The question is, is the order of the liquidator a decree for money within the meaning of the said Section 7 (iv-A)? The term decree therein connotes a final order of a Court, whether civil or revenue in a suit and an order passed by an officer or a body which is not a Court but is invested with judicial powers in pursuance of which a liability is fixed on a person to pay a sum of money will not come within its purview. The Co-operative Societies Act, itself draws a distinction between an order and a decree. Section 42 (5) of the Act says that orders made under the said section, when made by a liquidator, shall be enforced by any Civil Court in the same manner as a decree of such Court. In construing an analogous provision Section 15 of the Indian Arbitration Act which provides that an award shall be enforceable as it were a decree of Court, Viscount Cave observed thus:

Section 15 does not enact that an award when filed is to be deemed a decree of the Court but only that is to be enforceable as it were a decree.

2. Sassoon and Co. v. Ramdutt Ramtossen Das 50 C.I. : 70 Ind. Cas. 777 : A.I.R. 1922 P.C. 374 : 37 C.L.J. 336 : 44 M.L.J. 758 : 27 C.W.N. 660 : (1923) M.W.N. 372; 18 L.W. 537; 49 I.A. 366 and refused to apply the bar of Section 47, Civil Procedure Code, to a suit to have an award declared null and void.

3. Thus, applying the said principle, from the Co-operative Societies Act, itself it is abundantly clear that the order of the liquidator under Section 42 (b) cannot be a decree for money within the meaning of Section 7 (iv-A), not having been passed by any Court in a suit. A subject cannot be taxed unless he comes within the letter of the law and in case of reasonable doubt, a construction most beneficial to the subject is to be adopted. I am, therefore, of the opinion that Section 7 (iv-A) would not apply to the case and that the court-fee paid is proper. I accordingly set aside the order of the learned District Judge and allow the revision petition.

4. Civil Revision Petition No. 693 of 1936. Following my judgment in Civil Revision Petition No. 692 of' 1936, I set aside the order of the learned District Judge and allow the revision petition.


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