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Somasundaram Chetti Vs. Chidambaram Chetti - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in159Ind.Cas.636
AppellantSomasundaram Chetti
RespondentChidambaram Chetti
Cases ReferredRajagopal Naidu v. Ramasubramania Ayyar
Excerpt:
court fees act (vii of 1870), section 7(v) - suit by trustee to recover property--matam dedicated to charity and inalienable--mode of valuation--matam, whether a house. - .....the said order.2. it is contended before me by mr. ramaswami ayyar for the plaintiff that the suit property is not a house within the meaning of section 7, clause (v), of the court fees act, and that it is charity property in which the plaintiff has no beneficial interest and inalienable and that there is no market value for it. i do not agree with the said contention. on the allegations in the plaint that the suit matam was intended and used as a shelter for pious nattukottai chetties, and therefore designed and used as a human habitation, it would clearly be a house within the meaning of section 7(v). i do not see how any question of beneficial interest or alienability has anything to do with the question of court-fee. this case is, in my opinion, really covered by the decision in.....
Judgment:

Venkatramana Rao, J.

1. The plaintiff seeks to recover possession of the plaint site and building alleging that the said building was built by his ancestors for the purpose of affording shelter to pious men amongst Nattukottai Chetties as well as for keeping certain things which are usually taken on the occasion of the procession of a local God, that he is the hereditary trustee, and that defendant is in wrongful possession of the said property. The defendant claims title to the property in his own right though he admits that the building was intended by his ancestors for being used by sadhus and that he is the trustee. The plaintiff valued the plaint site and matam under Section 7, Clause (v) of the Court Fees Act, at Rs. 1,000. The defendant objected to the valuation on the ground that the property was worth Rs. 7,000. An issue, was raised whether the suit was beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Munsif's Court. The learned District Munsif appointed a Commissioner to value the property and he fixed the valuation at Rs. 4,425 and returned the plaint for presentation to the proper Court. On appeal the Subordinate Judge confirmed the said order.

2. It is contended before me by Mr. Ramaswami Ayyar for the plaintiff that the suit property is not a house within the meaning of Section 7, Clause (v), of the Court Fees Act, and that it is charity property in which the plaintiff has no beneficial interest and inalienable and that there is no market value for it. I do not agree with the said contention. On the allegations in the plaint that the suit matam was intended and used as a shelter for pious Nattukottai Chetties, and therefore designed and used as a human habitation, it would clearly be a house within the meaning of Section 7(v). I do not see how any question of beneficial interest or alienability has anything to do with the question of court-fee. This case is, in my opinion, really covered by the decision in In re Syed Muhammad Gouse : AIR1925Mad804 where a suit was filed for declaration that plaintiff as the sajjadanashin of two durgas was entitled to possession thereof and of the properties attached to them from a rival trustee. His Lordship, Madhavan Nair, J. held that the case fell under Section 7, Clause (v) of the Court Fees Act. His Lordship observed therein, 'I am unable to see how the question as to whether the plaintiff has or has not any beneficial interest in the properties that he sues for can make any difference as regards the court-fee payable by him.' I entirely agree with the observation. Mr. Ramaswami Ayyar relied on Rajagopal Naidu v. Ramasubramania Ayyar 46 M. 782 : 74 Ind. Cas. 198 : A.I.R. 1924 Mad. 19 : (1923) M.W.N. 550 : 45 M.L.J. 274 : 18 L.W. 326 : 33 M.L.T. 21 . It has no application to the facts of this particular case. The subject-matter with which Rajagopal Naidu v. Ramasubramania Ayyar 46 M. 782 : 74 Ind. Cas. 198 : A.I.R. 1924 Mad. 19 : (1923) M.W.N. 550 : 45 M.L.J. 274 : 18 L.W. 326 : 33 M.L.T. 21 , dealt was a temple, and therefore res extra commercium and it has no market value. The order of the lower Court is right. The revision petition fails and is dismissed with costs.


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