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Manikam Pillai Vs. N.M. Nagasami Ayyar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in152Ind.Cas.679
AppellantManikam Pillai
RespondentN.M. Nagasami Ayyar and anr.
Cases ReferredRajagopal Naidu v. Ramasubramania Iyer
Excerpt:
court fees act (vii of 1870), section 7(v)(c) schedule ii, article 17-b - suit for recovery of possession of tank bed with prayer for injuaction--proper court-fee--tank bed, whether incapable of valuation. - .....place a money value upon them, because they are not so saleable. the principle for determing the market value of property under the court fees act has been laid down in rajagopal naidu v. ramasubramania iyer : (1923)45mlj274 (fb) in the case of a temple, where it was held that as there can be no market for a temple as such, so there can be no market-value for it. a temple has no market-value as it is inalienable, and a tank-bed has no market-value because it is unsaleable except as accessory to other property. no means exist for ascertaining what, in the event of such a sale, its value would be. accordingly it is impossible to apply the provisions of section 7(v) because the value of the subject-matter is indeterminate. the only coursse is to assess the court-fee under article 17-b, i.....
Judgment:

Curgenven, J.

1. The petitioner is a landholder and he sues the defendants, who occupy a holding under him, to eject them from part of a tank-bed upon wnich he alleged that they had encroached. A preliminary issue has been framed as to the correct court-fee to be paid, and this revision petition has been presented against an order requiring payment of an ad valorem fee under Section 7, Clause (v)(c) of the Court Fees Act, which provides that, where land pays no revenue, the value is to be taken as fifteen times the net profits, or if no net profits have arisen therefrom, as the value of similar land in the neighbourhood. It is contended that the appropriate provision is Article 17-B of Schedule II of the Act, which relates to plaints in suits ' when it is not possible to estimate at a money value the subject-matter in dispute and which is not otherwise provided for by this Act.

2. The contention is supported by two separate arguments. The reliefs asked for were the eviction of the defendants, an injunction restraining them from interfering with possession and a mandatory injunction directing them to remove the mud which, to make the land cultivable, they had thrown upon it. It is suggested in the first place that the substantial relief asked for lies in the injunctions requiring the defendants to restore the tank-bed to the status quo ante and to cease from interfering with it, and not in the prayer for possession which is merely ancillary. But recovery of possession, it cm scarcely be gainsaid, is an essential element of any suit filed to turn out an encroacher, and I do not think that in such a case the plaint can be deemed to fall outside the scope of Section 7, merely because other reliefs are also claimed.

3. The other argument is that Article 17-B of the Second Schedule applies, and not Section 7(v) because the land is incapable of valuation. The learned District Munsif has called upon the plaintiff to state what net profits arose upon the land during the year, preceding suit, and has added that if no net profits so arose, court-fee must be paid with reference to the value of similar land in the neighbourhood. Now it is clear, I think, that since the plaintiff claims the land as tank-bed, it is as tank-bed that it must, if possible, be valued, and not as the cultivated land into which, as he alleges, it has been temporarily and wrongfully converted. But no net profits arise from an isolated area of tank-bed as such. Nor, I think, can it be assessed to a value by comparison with other similar lands, i.e, tank-beds in the neighbourhood. All tank-bed lands are of value only in the degree to which they subserve the requirements of the other, and cultivable lands by contributing to their irrigation. Regarded as separate entities, it is not, I think, possible to place a money value upon them, because they are not so saleable. The principle for determing the market value of property under the Court Fees Act has been laid down in Rajagopal Naidu v. Ramasubramania Iyer : (1923)45MLJ274 (FB) in the case of a temple, where it was held that as there can be no market for a temple as such, so there can be no market-value for it. A temple has no market-value as it is inalienable, and a tank-bed has no market-value because it is unsaleable except as accessory to other property. No means exist for ascertaining what, in the event of such a sale, its value would be. Accordingly it is impossible to apply the provisions of Section 7(v) because the value of the subject-matter is indeterminate. The only coursse is to assess the court-fee under Article 17-B, I allow the petition with costs, set aside the District Munsif's order, and direct him so to assess it.


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