Decided on July 29,1953

R.M.SESHADRI Appellant


Subba Rao, J. - (1.) This is a court fee reference by the Master. R. M. Seshadri filed C. S. No. 541 of 1949 on the Original Side of this court for a declaration that the order of the defendant (State of Madras dated 7th August 1947 terminating his service as a member of the Indian Civil Service was 'ultra vires' its powers, illegal and void, and directing it to restore him to an office appropriate to his rank and seniority in the service, and for recovery of arrears of salary of a sum of Rs. 28884-13-0 and damages of a sum of one lakh rupees for terminating his service illegally and arbitrarily. On the plaint he paid a court fee of Rs. 935. The suit was dismissed by Panchapakesa Aiyar J. on 25th March 1952. On 20th August 1952 he preferred an Original Side appeal against the decree and judgment. He valued the memorandum of appeal at a sum of Rs. 1,44,385-13-0 and paid a court fee of Rs. 935 i.e. the same amount he paid on the plaint. Rule 1 of Or. II of the High I Court Pees Rules 1933 as amended by R. O. C. 2219/49-B1 provides that to documents including a memo of appeal, the Registrar shall apply the law for the time being in force relating to court fee etc. (i.e. the Court fees Act) in the manner and to the extent that it is applicable to similar documents filed in original proceedings in a District Court and in appeals from decrees and orders of a District Court. This rule came into force on 27th June 1850. The office insisted that court fee should be paid on the memorandum of appeal under this rule. If this rule applied, the court fee payable would be Rs. 2832-7-0 (Rs. 500 for the relief of declaration and Rs. 2332-7-0 on the other reliefs under Article I, Schedule I of the Court-fees Act). A sum of Rs. 935 having been paid already, he was asked to pay the deficit court fee of Rs. 1897-7-0.
(2.) The plaintiff who argued in person before us raised two contentions : 1. Before ihe Constitution the High Court had no power to prescribe court-fees, and after the Constitution also they are not in a better position as the Legislature specifically conferred exclusive jurisdiction to impose court fees on the Legislature of the State. 2. He is only liable to pay court fee on the memorandum of appeal at the scale obtaining at the time the plaint was filed.
(3.) To ascertain the powers of the High Court in regard to the imposition of court fees it would be necessary to know its powers before the Constitution, those conferred on it under the Constitution and those retained or continued under its tiansitory provisions.;

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