Decided on September 20,1951

MOHD SADIQ Appellant
Jamal Soofi Respondents


- (1.) THIS is plaintiffs first appeal and arises out of a suit instituted by plaintiffs pre -emptors to pre -empt the sale of a house made by the vendors in favour of the vendee defendants for Rs.5000.
(2.) THE plaintiffs case was that they have the right to pre -empt the sale on the basis of contiguity; that the price mentioned in the sale -deed is much more than actually paid by the vendees to the vendors, that in fact Rs. 2,000/ - were paid by the vendees to the vendors. The defendants resisted the suit on the ground that the plaintiffs have no right to pre -empt the sale inasmuch as their house is not contiguous to the property in dispute. It was further alleged that the price mentioned in the sale -deed was actually paid .by the vendees to the vendors.
(3.) THE trial Court found that the plaintiffs had right of prior purchase and further found that the price paid by the vendee was Rs. 3000/ -. The plaintiffs suit was decreed on payment of Rs. 3000/ - to the vendees defendants. Both the plaintiffs and the vendees defendants have come up in appeal to this Court. A preliminary objection was raised on behalf of the vendees respondents that the appeal of the plaintiffs would not lie to this Court but would lie to the District Judge. It is argued that the original value of the property in the plaint would determine the forum of appeal and not the price determined by the trial Court. In support of this contention reliance was placed on two rulings of the Lahore High Court, Malah v. Bishen Singh, AIR 12 1925 Lah 41 and Jagdish Ram v. Mt. Chinto, AIR 23 1936 Lah 133. In AIR 12 1925 Lah 41, it was held that when the value of pre -emption suit for the purpose of jurisdiction calculated at thirty times the land revenue of the land in dispute was less than Rs. 5000/ - but a decree was passed in the suit ordering payment of a sum larger than Rs. 5000/ - an appeal arising from the suit lay under Section 39 1 a of the Punjab Courts Act to the Court of the District Judge and not to the High Court. The same view was taken in AIR 23 1936 Lah 133. These two cases referred to by the counsel for the respondent are not helpful to him inasmuch as they relate to the pre -emption suits in regard to the agricultural land whereas the present suit filed by the plaintiffs is to pre -empt a sale of a house and not agricultural property paying land revenue. In regard to agricultural property paying land revenue the jurisdictional value is to be determined by specific rules whereas there are no rules for determining the price of the house property and it is laid down in Rules and Orders of this Court, Vol. Ill on page 309, Rule 16, that there is no provision in the Suits Valuation Act in regard to classes of suits mentioned below and they do not admit of being disposed of by Rules under Part I nor are they dealt with by directions under Part II of the Regulation and the value of such suits must be left to judicial decision as occasion arises. These suits are suits for houses; suits of pre -emption in respect of houses; suits for removal of attachment of houses, etc. etc. It is, therefore, clear that in regard to pre -emption suits in respect of houses the decision of the Courts determining the price will determine the forum of appeal. According to the trial Court the market price of the house is Rs. 3000 and, therefore the appeal would lie to the High Court and not to the District Judge.;

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