Shahmivi, J. -
(1.) This judgment shall dispose of civil Heviaion Petitions Nos. 82 & 83 of 2004 against the orders of the Dist. J. Jammu, affirming the direction of the Munsiff, Jammu, by which the two plaints in the two cases were ordered to be returned to the plffs. for presentation to the proper Court on the ground that the Court of the Munsiff had no jurisdiction to try the suits. The facts out of which these revision applications have arisen are briefly as follows :
(2.) Two suits for joint possession on the basis of the right of prior purchase were instituted by the plffs.-applicants against the defts.-opposite party, consisting of vendors & vendees of two portions of land, 33 Kanals & 14 Marias & 22 Kanals & 14 Marias, out; of Khewat No. 22/23 assessed to land revenue of Rs. 65-9-3 measuring 169 Kanals & 2 Marias situate in village Paloura, Tehsil Jammu, for Rs. 10,000 & Rs. 6,000 vide sale deeds dated 12th Jeth & nth Jeth 2001 respectively. The plffs. pre-emptors valued the subject matter of each of their Buitsfor purposes of court-fee at 8 times the proportionate land revenue assessable on the fractional share sought, calculated in reference to the amount of land revenue payable on the whole Khewat namely, Rs. 65-9-3 & for purposes of jurisdiction at 50 times such proportionate land revenue. The defts. took an objection that the valuation in the plaints for purposes of jurisdiction was not correctly given & that the suits should be valued according to the market value of the property sold. The learned Munsiff decided that both the suits fell under Clause (c) of Rule 1 & not under Clause (a) of Rule 1 read with Rule 2 of the Rules made under Sections 3 & 9, Suits Valuation Act. In concluding part of his order he observed that even if the suits were to come under Clause (a) of Rule 1, 50 times revenue payable on the Khewat would amount to more than Rs. 1,000 & even thus he would have no jurisdiction to try these suits. On appeal the learned Dist. J. upheld the decision of the learned Munsiff in both the cases, As the wording of Clauses (a) & (c) of Rule 1 of the Rules made under Sections 3 & 9, Suits Valuation Act, bears close resemblance to that of Clauses (b) & (d) of Sub-section (v) of Section 7, Court-fees Act, & as these clauses of Rule 1 of the Rules under the Suits Valuation Act are dependant upon the aforesaid clauses of Section 7 (v), Court fees Act, the learned Dist. J. discussed at length the question whether these suits fell under Section 7 (v) (b) or Section 7 (v) (d), Court-fees Act, & came to the conclusion that the valuation of these suits for purposes of court-fee must be under Clause (d) of Section 7(v), Court-fees Act, & not under Clause (b) thereof & for purposes of jurisdiction the cases clearly fell under Clause (c) of Rule 1 of the Rules made under the Suits Valuation Act, & not under Clause (a) thereof.
(3.) Elaborate arguments have been addressed to us by the learned counsel on either side on the point whether these cases fall within Clause (b) or Clause (d) of Section 7 (v), Court-fees Act. A large number of rulings of the different High Courts--including those of this Court--has been cited before us. These included, Reference under Court-fees Act, 1870, Section 5 : 16 ALL. 493, Chandhdn v. Bishan Singh, 33 ALL. 630 ; Mt. Haliman v. Mt. Mediya, A.I.R (20) 1933 ALL. 414 ; Randhir Singh v. Randhir Singh, A.I.R. (24) 1937 ALL. 206; Fata v. Khan Bahadur, 46 P. R. 1908 : Kuljas Rai v. Palasingh, A.I.R. (32) 1945 Lah. 15; Subramania Ayyar v. Rama Ayer, A.I.R. (14) 1927 Mad. 1002 ; Purshotam Lal v. Piyare Lal, A.I.R. (35) 1948 E. P. 9; 6 J. & K. L. R. 61; 4 J. & K. L. R. 325 and 3 J. & K. L. R. 73. Clauses (b) & (d) of Section 7 (v), Court-fees Act, run as follows :
"(b) whore the land forms an entire estate, or a definite share of an estate paying annual revenue to Govt. or forma part of such estate & is recorded as separately assessed with such, revenue, eight times the revenue payable,"
"(d) where the land forms part of an estate paying revenue to Government, but is not a definite share of such estate & is uou separately assessed the market-value of the land." These clauses have got to be read along with a rule made by His Highness under Section 35, Court-fees Act, & published at p. us of the Rules & Orders for the Guidance of Courts subordinate to the High Courfc of Judicature, Special Laws, Vol. III. It reads as follows :
"(11) to direct that when a part of an estate paying annual revenue to the Govt. under a settlement which is not permanent is recorded in the Collector's register as separately assessed with such revenue, the value of the subject-matter of a suit for the possession of, or to enforce a right of pre-emption in respect of a fractional share of that part shall, for the purposes of the computation of the amount of the fee chargeable in the suit, be deemed not to exceed 8 times euch portion of the s-evenue .separately assessed on that part, as may be rateably payable in respect of the share.";