Decided on November 23,1954



- (1.) This Civl Revision Petition is filed as against the findings of the Subordinate Judge, Guntur in O. S. No. of 1952 holding that the terms of S. 7 Cl. (xi) (cc) of the Court Fees Act do not apply and that the Court Fee should be paid as in a suit for possession under S. 7 Cl. (v), Court Fees Act. The suit was filed by the petitioner herein for recovery of possession of a site in Guntru town. According to the allegations in the plaint, the suit site was leased by the father of defendants 6 to 8 and the husband of defendant 9 in favour of one Koteeswara Rao the husband of defendant 1 and the father of defendant 2 to 4.During the currency of the lease in favour of Kotteeswara Rao a lease was executed in favour of Tadikonda Lakshmikantha Rao, by Sri Ayodhya Balamukhunda Doss Bavaji the father of defendants 6 to 8 and the husband of defendant 9, providing that the lease should take effect on the expiry of the earlier lease, and Lakshmikanta Rao assigned his leashold interest in favour of the plaintiff by a registered deed of assignment dated 20.7.1946. The heirs of the original lessee did not hand over possession to the heirs of the lessor, and consequently, the suit had to be instituted by the assignee from the new lessee as against the heirs of the original lessee who were holding over. Defendants 10 to 12 were impleaded as parties on the ground that they had instituted a suit O. S. No. 85 of 1950, on the file of the Additional Subordinate Judges Court, Guntur, for recovery of possession from defendants 1 to 9. In para. 10, the plaintiff stated that he was seeking to enforce his rights as lessee and "in so doing is in the same position as his lessor recovering possession from the tenant." Court fee was paid in respect of the relief for recovery of vacant possession of the leased site under S. 7 Cl. (xi) (cc).
(2.) Defendants 1 to 4 and 10 contended that the plaintiff was not entitled to value the suit as one between a landlord and a tenant and that the terms of S. 7 (xi) (cc) did not apply. They contended that as the plaintiff sought to recover vacant possession of the suit site, the terms of S. 7 (v) apply. The Subordinate Judge followed the decision in -- "Ganesh Gopal v. Moreshwar Narayan, AIR 1951 Bom 352 (A), in preference to a direct decision of the Madras High Court reported in -- Ghulam Dastagir Saheb v. Marudai Pillai, AIR 1948 Mad 409 (B), and held that S. 7 Cl. (xi) (cc), Court-fees Act did not apply to the facts of the case
(3.) The short question for determination is as to whether the interpretation of Bell J., in regard to S. 7, cl. (xi) (cc) is correct or not. Section 7, cl. (xi) (cc) is in the following terms : "In the following suits between landlord and tenants ................ ................ ................*********** (cc) for the recovery of immovable property from a tenant, including a tenant holding over after the determination of a tenancy ................ ................ ................ according to the amount of rent of the immovable property to which the suit refers, payable for the year next before the date of presenting the plaint."It is clear from the terms set out that the suit must be between a landlord and his tenant or a landlord and a tenant holding over after the determination of the tenancy. Clauses (a) to (c) and (d) to (f) deal only with suits between the landlord and the tenant. In interpreting the terms of the Act, extraneous consideration such as hardship to the parties or that the supposed intention of legislature was different, are out of place. The terms of the Act have to be understood within their natural and ordinary sense. It is for the Legislature to step in and amend the Act, if the intention is not clearly brought out or if a literal application of the terms of the Act involves hardships.;

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