Decided on October 25,2017

Felix Varghese Appellant
Jaya Sivaraman Respondents


A.M.BABU,J. - (1.) Is the petitioner in a rent control petition liable to pay any additional court - fees under S.76(1) of the Kerala Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act (for short, the Act)? If liable, can it be levied from him in his appeal preferred against the order of the Rent Control Court in a rent control petition filed before the issuance of the notification under S.76(1) of the Act? These are the questions we are called upon to decide in the two original petitions at hand.
(2.) Petitioners are the landlords. They filed separate petitions against their two tenants to get the fair rent of the tenanted premises fixed. The Rent Control Court dismissed both the petitions. The petitioners filed appeals. But the same were not numbered. The office of the Appellate Authority noted a defect. The defect was that the additional court - fees of Rs.100/- leviable under S.76(1) of the Act was not paid. The petitioners took the stand that they were not liable to pay the additional court - fees. The reason stated was that the rent control petitions were filed before the notification under S.76(1) of the Act was issued. The matter was heard by the Appellate Authority. The Court below passed detailed orders. The learned Judge said that his being a Civil Court it was not for him to nullify the Government order on the ground that it was not applicable to cases filed before the amendment to S.76(1) of the Act. The petitioners were found liable to pay the additional court - fees in the appeals. They were given 15 days' time to cure the defect. The said orders are challenged in the original petitions.
(3.) Heard Sri. Alex M. Scaria, the learned counsel for the petitioners. The tenants did not enter appearance. The 2nd respondent in each original petition is the State of Kerala. Heard the learned Government Pleader Sri. K. M. Hashir.;

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