1. All these petitions relate to suits filed by tenants against the landlord for commutation of grain rents into money rents. The Deputy Collector allowed this commutation and fixed the rate at which it was to be made. The landlord appealed to the District Judge on the ground that the rate fixed was too low and he calculated the value of the relief sought at the difference between the amount fixed by the Deputy Collector and the amount which he alleged to be correct and paid ad valorem fees on the amount. The District Judge has held that this is not correct but that a fee of Rs. 10 should be paid on each appeal under Schedule II of the Court Fees Act, Clause 17(6) holding that it is a suit where it is not possible to estimate the money value of the subject-matter in dispute and which is not otherwise provided for by this Act. Now the petitioner applies to have the order of the District Judge set aside.
2. A preliminary objection is taken by the learned Government Pleader that no revision can be had in a case of this sort, and be relies on two reported cases from the Patna High Court, Chandramani Koer v. Basdeo Narain Singh (1918) 4 Pat. L.J. 57 and Mt. Lachmibate Kumari v. Nana Kumar Singh (1920) 5 Pat. L.J. 400. It has, however, been held in Lachmi Amma v. Janani Jayan Nambiyar (1893) 4 M.L.J. 183 that an order under Section 12 of the Court Fees Act is only final as regards the valuation of the suit and not when it relates to the category into which that suit falls and in consequence of this it has been held in two cases in this Court that a revision petition will lie--Muthu Pillai v. Muthu Pillai 1923 Mad. 270 and Dodda Sankappa v. Sakravva 36 Ind.Cas. 831. These are decisions of single Judges, but in other cases also revision has been granted without any discussion of the question of whether it is proper to do so. There is a definite conflict of opinion and we do not feel called upon now to decide the point in view of our decision on the merits.
3. This suit is in effect a suit for a declaration that the grain rent shall be commuted into money rent at a certain rate and the appeal is to the same effect, namely, that the commutation shall be at a certain rate higher than that fixed by the first Court. It is argued first of all that the case comes under the Court Fees Act. Section 7(i), which relates to suits for money, but in this case there is no claim for money and certainly the landlord is not entitled to a decree for any amount whatever in this suit.
4. It is then suggested that Section 7, Clause (iv)(c) is applicable, that is, a suit to obtain a declaratory decree or order, where consequential relief is prayed. Here there is no consequential relief. It might be argued that in the Original Suit the prayer to enter the amount of rent in the pattah was a consequential relief but that is very doubtful, for the mere fact that the rent is determined ipso facto carried with it the necessity to enter it in the pattah that is issued, and there is no need for a prayer for the grant of pattah. At any rate, in appeal that question is not raised at all and no consequential relief is asked for.
5. Section 7(iv)(e) is also suggested as governing this case, ix., a suit 'for a right to some benefit (not herein otherwise provided for, to arise out of land.' In the margin we find the words 'for easements' and it is quite clear that it must be some such benefit that is contemplated by this Section; it cannot mean pecuniary benefit, because pecuniary benefits are otherwise provided for under other clauses.
6. Finally the argument is put forward that Section 7(xi)(6), namely, to enhance the rent of a tenant having right of occupancy, must be applied. The prior rent in this case was a grain rent. The new rent asked for is a money rent, and it is not suggested that the money rent is any greater than the grain rent, but what is asked for is money rent equivalent to the prior grain rent and in that view it certainly is not a prayer to enhance the prior rent. It is merely a prayer to increase the rate fixed by the lower Court which has never actually been the rent levied prior to suit nor prior to the appeal.
7. These Clauses all being inapplicable, we are left with Schedule II, Article 17(iii), suits for declaration, or Article 17(vi), the provision which has been applied by the District Judge. In both these cases, the fee payable is the same and, whether it comes under one or the other, the fee ordered to be paid by the District Judge is the correct fee.
8. The petitions are therefore, dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. Time for the payment of the proper fee will be extended by one month from this date.