1. This is an appeal against the judgment of the Subordinate Judge of Patna rejecting the plaint on the ground that insufficient court-fee was paid. And the question which comes up now is whether the Judge was right in taking that course. The suit was one which asked that a decree amounting to Rs. 2,794-14-3 should be declared forged, fraudulent, illusory, collusive, inoperative and unfit for execution. It also asks that the family property valued at Rs. 7,000 should be declared to be not liable to be sold in execution of this decree. There was also an alternative prayer, if the whole of the property could not be released, the plaintiff's share might be released. The plaintiff tendered ten times the Government revenue payable on the land worth Rs. 7,000, basing his claim to do that on the provisions of Section 7, Sub-section v of the Court-fees Act. But that Sub-section provides for cases where a suit is brought for possession of land. The present suit is not one brought for possession of land. This is a case where a declaration as also consequential reliefs have been asked for. It comes under the previous Sub-section by which an ad valorem fee is payable.
2. It has been contended that the Court could not question the value put on the reliefs claimed. I think that this cannot be argued where it is shown on the face of the plaint that the value put on the relief is too small. It is the duty of the Court to see that proper value is put on the reliefs claimed.
3. In this case, in my opinion, the real value of the reliefs claimed is Rs. 2,794 odd, which is the amount of the decree the plaintiff asked to have declared fraudulent. This was the decree made against him: from this he desired to escape liability. I do not think that Rs. 7,000, the value of the whole property, could be the value of the reliefs claimed; for even if the entire property were sold, the balance of the sale proceeds after satisfying the decretal amount would be payable to the owners of the property. I think, therefore, that the proper value of the reliefs claimed is the value of the decree.
4. What has happened in this case is that for the purpose of jurisdiction the plaintiff valued his case at Rs. 7,000. Under the Suits Valuation Act, Section 8 court-fee would be payable on that value. He cannot value his case for the purpose of court-fee and for the purpose of jurisdiction at different amounts. The correct value of the suit is the value of the amount of the decree. If that value is put on for the purpose of court-fee, it must also be put on for the purpose of jurisdiction.
5. The result is that this appeal is dismissed with costs.
6. Carnduff J. I agree.