Decided on November 02,1965

Ram Chandra Laddha Appellant
Smt. Teja Bai Respondents


DAYAL, J. - (1.)THIS is a plaintiffs appeal under S. 6-A of the Court-Fees Act. The plaintiff filed a suit for recovery of a number of properties on the allegation that he was the next reversioner and that different defendants were in possession of the properties by virtue of allegations by the widow and that after the death of the widow he was entitled to the properties. The valuation was given and on the total valuation of the properties court-fee was paid. The defendants in their written statement pleaded that the suit had been undervalued and the court-fee paid was not sufficient. The point was therefore taken up as a preliminary issue before going into other facts.
(2.)THE court below after hearing the parties came to the conclusion that against each of the defendants there was a separate cause of action and the plaintiff had therefore combined different causes of action in one suit and court-fees had therefore to be paid valuing each of the property in favour of a different defendant separately. On the question of actual value of each property, on the one hand, there was the report of the Commissioner (issued by the court). On the other hand, the plaintiff produced Sri A.P. Vaish, Retired Engineer, who had seen the Kanpur properties and who gave his report and valuation of each of the properties, but Mr. Vaish did not give any report with regard to the two houses in Lucknow which had been included in the Commissioners report regarding its valuation. On the question of actual valuation of the properties, the court below did not accept the statement of Sri Vaish produced by the plaintiff but accepted the Commissioners report and accordingly directed that treating the valuation as given by the Commissioner, the court-fee should be calculated on the market value of each property as reported by the Commissioner.
The plaintiff in this appeal has contested both these points. On the question of law his contention is that the cause of action in favour of the plaintiff is one and the same against all the defendants which are on the death of the limited owner the widow, and mat the Court was wrong in treating causes of action to be distinct against different defendants. He has also contended that the statement of Sri Vaish was more reliable than the report of the Commissioner and the court below was wrong in rejecting the statement of Mr. Vaish.

(3.)WE will now deal with both these points separately. On the question of law, it has to be noted that the matter has to be decided on an interpretation of S. 17 of the Court Fees Act as amended in this State. This section provides that if in a suit in which two or more separate and distinct causes of action are joined, the plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be chargeable with the aggregate amount of the fees with which the plaints or memoranda of appeal would be chargeable under this Act if separate suits were instituted in respect of each such causes of action. The point to be seen is, therefore, whether there arc separate and distinct causes of action joined in one suit in the present plaint and if that is so court-fee is chargeable on each of such causes of action which would have been payable if separate suits had been filed. In the plaint after stating the history regarding the ownership of the property and alleging that on the death of Srimati Kesar Bai in 1946. the plaintiff inherited the property as the next reversioner. in Para. 11 the defendant had alleged that defendants 2 to 22 are in possession of the property in suit as detailed in Schedules A and B without any right, title or interest. They claimed to be transferee from Srimati Kesar Bai or Laxmi Narain, defendant No. 1, who wrongly alleged himself to be the adopted son of Kesar Bai, the deceased widow of Ram Gopal. The plaint then goes on to say that Kesar Bai had a limited interest and could not transfer the property beyond her lifetime and that there was no legal necessity and so on, which we think is not a matter relevant for the decision of this issue. Different defendants filed different written statements and claimed right according to circumstances alleged by them which we need not consider as it is well settled that question of court-fee has to be decided on the allegation of the plaint. We may, however, observe that even in the plaint there may be allegation which may not be necessary for obtaining a decree in favour of the plaintiff and even these allegations should be ignored in order to find out what is the cause of action on which the suit is based.

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