JALAM SINGH Vs. NARAIN KANWAR
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
Referred Judgements :-
KEDARNATH V. SITARAM
DIVISION BENCH OF THIS COURT IN SOHALAL V. TULCHA
DIVISION BENCH OF THIS COURT IN MARIYAM V. GULAM MOHAMMED
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DWARKA PRASAD GUPTA, J. -
(1.)IN these two special appeals an identical question relating to court fees has been raised and as such that matter is disposed of by a common order.
(2.)BOTH appeals arise out of a suit for partition which was partly decreed by the trial court. Both parties filed appeals which were heard by a learned Single Judge of this Court, who by his order dated February 1, 1984 dismissed the plaintiff's appeal and allowed the defendant's appeal, with the result that the plaintiff's suit was dismissed in its, entirety. Now, the plaintiff has filed both the Special Appeals against the aforesaid judgment passed by the learned Single Judge dated February 1, 1984. Court fee of Rs. 10/ - has been affixed on each one of the two appeals and the contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant is that court fee is payable on these appeals iup accordance with the provisions of Article 3(iii)(2)(a) of Schedule II of the Rajasthan Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1961 (Act No. XXIII of 1961) (for short 'the Act' hereinafter).
Mr. R.C. Maheshwari, learned Additional Government Advocate submitted that ad valorem court fee was payable on the appeals in accordance with the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in Sohalal v. Tulcha I.L.R. (1971) 21 Raj. 566, which view has subsequently been affirmed by another Division Bench of this Court in Mariyam v. Gulam Mohammed 1984 R.L.W. 493. Mr. Bhoot appearing for the plaintiff -appellant drew our attention to an order passed by this Court on March 29, 1979 in Devi Singh v. Sushila Devi (D.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 8 of 1979 decided on March 29, 1979) which was subsequently followed by another Division Beach in Sohanlal v. Ishwarlal (D.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 3 of 1981 decided on May 8, 1981) and it was urged that the submission made by him that a fixed court fee of Rs. 10/ - was payable under Article 3(iii)(2)(a) of Schedule II was accepted in the aforesaid decisions. It was urged by the learned Counsel for the appellant that an appeal lay under Section 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance, 1949 (for short 'the Ordinance' here in after) against a 'judgment' of a Single Judge of the High Court and in the case of an appeal against a judgment or order the court fee was payable under Article 3(iii) (2) of Schedule II. If the judgment of the learned Single Judge was passed in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction, then a court fee of Rs. 10/ - was payable and in any other case a court fee of Rs. 100/ -was payable on the memorandum of Special Appeal. It was also submitted by the learned Counsel that the special provision contained in Article 3 of Schedule II would apply to Special Appeals preferred against a judgment of a Single Judge of the High Court in preference to the general provisions contained in Section 47 of the Act. Learned Counsel also referred to the provisions of Section 9 of the Act particularly to the proviso thereof, wherein it has been provided that if the documents fall under two descriptions, one of which is special and another is general, the court fee chargeable shall be the fee appropriate to the special description. However, we are unable to agree with the argument advanced by the learned Counsel so far as Section 9 is concerned in as much as in the present case we are not dealing with a document which may fall within two or more descriptions.
(3.)IN Kedarnath v. Sitaram I.L.R.(1960) X Raj. 1259 it was observed by a Division Bench of this Court that the word 'judgment' as used in Section 18 of the Ordinance does not bear the same meaning which has been assigned to it under Section 2(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure, but it has been used in the sense of the law pronounced by the Court and not in the sense of the reasons which have led to that pronouncement. The same view was taken by another Division Bench of this Court in Sohanlal's case(1) where in Jagat Narain, Chief Justice as he then was, observed as under: The word 'judgment' under Section 18 is a comprehensive one. It may be an appellate judgment of a learned Single Judge in respect of a decree or it may be a judgment in respect of an order having the force of a decree like the order under Section 47 or Section 144 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the appellate judgment of the learned Single Judge is in respect of a decree then Court fee would be payable on the memorandum of special appeal under Article 1, Schedule I. If on the other hand the appellate judgment is in respect of the order which has the force of a decree like the order under Section 47 or Section 144, Code of Civil Procedure then the Memorandum of appeal would be liable to a fixed court fee as prescribed under Article 3 of the Schedule II.
The aforesaid view was affirmed by another Division Bench if this Court in Mariyam's case 1984 R.L.W. 493 wherein the observations quoted above from the decision of Sohanlal's case I.L.R. (1971) 21 Raj. 566 were cited with approval. Thus, a 'judgment' of a learned Single Judge which is made appealable under Section 18 of the Ordinance may be a judgment relating to a decree or may be a judgment relating to an order. In Section 2(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure 'judgment' has been defined as a statement given by the Judge of the grounds of a decree or order. Clause (2) of Section 2 CPC defines a decree as a formal expression of an adjudication which conclusively determines the rights of the parties as regards the court expressing it in respect of all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit. The word 'order' has also been defined in Clause (14) of Section 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure as a formal expression of any decision of a Civil Court which is not a decree. Thus, there is a clear distinction between a decree and an order as defined in the Code of Civil Procedure, as decree is the formal expression of an adjudication in a suit while an order is a formal expression of a decision which is not a decree. A judgment as defined under Section 2(9) CPC may be the basis of a decree, or an order. Then there are certain orders, as for example an order of rejection of a plaint under Order VII Rule II CPC or an order determining a question under Section 144 C.P.C. which are although orders falling within the category of 'orders' but they have been included under Section 2(2) in the definition of a decree, by a deeming provision constituting legal fiction. An adjudication under Section 47 CPC, was also earlier included in the definition of a decree, prior to the Civil Procedure Code Amendment Act, 1976. Thus, to our mind Article 3 of Schedule II refers to an order which is not a decree and thus a judgment in respect of an order, appealable under Section 18 of Ordinance, would fall under Article 3(iii)(2) of Schedule II. The opening words of Article 3 are memorandum of appeal from and order... and not otherwise provided for. 'Thus in order to fall within the purview of Article 3 of Schedule II, the memorandum of appeal must be from an order and must relate to an order which has not been otherwise provided for in the Act. Now, amongst the various categories specified in the Article 3, Clause (iii) deals with an appeal to the High Court from an order and item 2 thereof deals with an appeal from the judgment of a Single Judge of the High Court, when the appeal is from an order of a learned Single Judge of the High Court, as we have already pointed out above, a judgment may relate to an order or may relate to a decree. So what is covered in our opinion under Article 3(iii)(2) is a judgment which relate to an order passed by a learned Single Judge of the High Court and against which an appeal is filed Under Section 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance Thus, it is clear that an appeal from a judgment which relates to a decree cannot fall within the ambit of Article 3(iii) (2) as Article 3 itself embraces within its fold only such appeals as are preferred against orders, including judgments relating to orders but not relating to decrees. It may be emphasised that the word 'judgment' has been used in a comprehensive sense in Section 18 of the Ordinance and includes decrees and orders.
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