1. This Rule arises out of a reference under Section 19 of the Court-Fees Act, 1870.
2. It appears that, after letters of Administration had been granted to the petitioner, a question arose as to the valuation of the properties in respect of which they were granted. The Collector made a valuation, which was not accepted by the petitioner. The Collector thereupon moved the District Judge to hold an inquiry into the true value of the properties under Sub-section (4) of Section 19-H of the Court-Fees Act. The District Judge modified the Collector's valuation, and directed the petitioner to pay Rs. 191 annas 6 pies 6 as costs of the inquiry into the question of valuation. It is contended on behalf of the petitioner that the Court had no power to award costs in a proceeding under Section 19-H of the Court-Fees Act.
3. There does not appear to be any provision in the Act for awarding costs in such a proceeding. Section 19-J provides that any excess fee found to be payable on an inquiry-held under Section 19-H, sub-Section (6) may be recovered from the executor or administrator as if it were an arrear of land revenue by any Collector in any part of British India. There is no provision for the realisation of any costs which may be incurred in connection with an inquiry under Section 19-H, and this indicates that the Act does not contemplate the awarding of costs in such a proceeding. Only the excess fee is to be realised as an arrear of land revenue under the Statute. The costs cannot be so recovered as there is no provision for it and we do not see how the Collector, who is no party to the Probate proceeding, can recover the costs from the executor or administrator as an ordinary suitor, in the absence of any 'provision to that effect in the Statute.
4. Reliance is placed on behalf of the opposite party on Section 53 of the Probate and Administration Act which lays down that the District Judge shall have the like powers and authority in relation to the granting of Probate and Letters of Administration and all matters connected therewith as are by law vested in him in relation to any civil suit or proceeding depending in his Court. But the granting of Probate is not affected by the valuation proceedings under Section 19-H of the Court-Fees Act, as Section 19-I, Sub-section (2), lays down that the grant of Probate or Letters of Administration shall not be delayed by reason of any motion made by the Collector under Section 19-H, Sub-section (4).
5. It is contended, however, that the words 'and all matters connected therewith' include proceedings under Section 19-H of the Court-Fees Act. We do not think that they do. We think that those words have reference to matters such as the revocation of Probate, the production of accounts, and similar other matters. A proceeding under Section 19-H merely decides a revenue dispute between the Collector and the holder of Probate.
6. We are of opinion that the Court has no power to award costs in a proceeding under Section 19-H of the Court-Fees Act. The order of the Court below is accordingly set aside and the Rule is made absolute.
7. We make no order as to costs.