UNION BANK OF INDIA Vs. BHARAT BHUSHAN
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
UNION BANK OF INDIA
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(1.) The interpretation of S.6 of the Court-fees Act, 1977, Bikrimi, and whether the Rules framed under S.2 of the Court-fees Act Samvat 1977 are directory or mandatory in nature and also whether Rr. 1 and 3 of the said Rules are valid or not, are the meaningful questions which require determination in this revision petition.
(2.) The facts are simple and not in dispute. A suit for recovery of Rs. 16450.81 was filed by the petitioner-plaintiff in the Court of Additional District Judge, Jammu. Court-fee stamps valued at Rs. 1256.50/- were affixed on the plaint. The suit was resisted on a number of pleas including the one that "proper" Court fee "stamps" had not been affixed on the plaint and therefore the plaint could not be filed, exhibited or recorded in the Court. Issue No. 1, which is relevant for the purposes of decision of this revision petition was raised and it reads :-
"Whether the proper Court-fee stamps have not been affixed and, therefore, the plaint is inadmissible in evidence ?"
(3.) The defendant respondent urged before the trial court and the same argument was reiterated before this Court, that the Court-fee had not been paid in accordance with the Rules framed under S.27 of the Court-fees Act (hereinafter called "the Act") and on account of that defect the plaint could not be admitted. The learned trial Court, agreed with the contention and reached the conclusion that the plaint was not "properly stamped". For arriving at this conclusion, the learned trial Court found that the plaintiff had paid the Court-fees of Rs. 1256.50/- in the form of impressed stamps of the value of the Rs. 800/- and adhesive stamps at the value of Rs. 456.50/-. The adhesive stamps used in the case, however, did not bear the word "Judicial", as required by R.1 of the Rules and that in breach of the requirement of R.3, impressed stamps of lower denomination had also been used without satisfying the Court that stamps of higher valuation were not available. The court, therefore, found that the plaint had not been affixed with proper Court-fee stamps and in terms of S.6 of the Court-fees Act it could not be treated as properly filed, exhibited or recorded. The correctness of these findings has been assailed in this Court.;
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