HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) ADMITTEDLY the plaintiff has brought the suit for an injunction, and he has also stated that for purposes of injunction, as is necessary under S. 27 [c] of the Kerala Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1959, he has fixed the value at Rs. 150/-and it is on that basis that he has paid the court fee on the plaint.
(2.) THE suit has been admittedly instituted in the court of the Subordinate Judge, and there is no controversy that the plaintiff has given the valuation in the plaint for purpose of jurisdiction at Rs. 5,500,'-Objection was taken regarding the sufficiency of the court fee paid; and the learned Subordinate Judge, by the order under attack, is of the view that the value given by the plaintiff in the plaint for purposes of jurisdiction at Rs. 5,500/-, must be considered under S. 53 of the Act to be the value for purposes of court fee also; and accordingly the plaintiff has been directed to pay additional court fee on the sum of Rs. 5,500/ -.
Mr. Gopalakrishnan Potti, learned counsel for the petitioner no doubt urged that this is a case coming under clause (c) of S. 27 of the Kerala Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1959, and it is open to his client, the plaintiff to compute the amount of court fee in the plaint; and in this case he has chosen to value that relief at Rs. 150/-and therefore he has paid the proper court fee on that basis. This is irrespective of value for purposes of jurisdiction.
It is pointed out by the learned Government Pleader that the provisions that are applicable for that purpose are those contained in s. 53 of the Act; and, inasmuch as there is no special provision regarding as to how exactly a plaintiff is to value the relief for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of the court, provision is made to the effect that the value for the purpose of jurisdiction and value for the purpose of computing the court fee payable under the Act is to be the same. Therefore the learned government Pleader urged that inasmuch as the plaintiff in this case has admittedly chosen the forum of the court of the Subordinate Judge for instituting the suit and has fixed the jurisdiction value at Rs. 5,500/-that must be the value for the purpose of computing the court fee also.
(3.) MR. Gopalakrishnan Potti, learned counsel for the petitioner, no doubt referred me to the provisions contained in S. 53 (2) of the act. In my view, S. 53 (2) has no application to the facts of this case, because it deals with suits where fee is payable under the Act at fixed rate. Instances where the court fee is payable at a fixed rate, notwithstanding the value to be given for purposes of jurisdiction, are to be seen in S. 26, 46, 47, etc. , of the Act. I do not think there is any scope for applying the provisions of S. 53 (2) to the case on hand.
In my view, it is no doubt open to the plaintiff for the purpose of payment of court fee, to state the amount at which he values the relief for claiming the injunction. If that is so, under S. 27 (c) it is enough if he pays court fee on the amount at which the relief sought for is valued in the plaint. Clause (c) of S. 27 itself makes an alternative provision that court fee will have to be payed on Rs. 150/ -whichever is higher; that is, if the value given by the plaintiff is higher than Rs. 150/-the plaintiff will have to pay court fee on the higher valuation given, if not, the minimum valuation for payment of court fee, even though the plaintiff may have valued the relief at less than Rs. 150, -is to be on Rs. 150/-as fixed under S. 27 [c].;
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