Decided on October 05,1955



- (1.)This is an application to revise the order of the District Munsif of Peddapuram directing the petitioner to pay court fee on half the market value of the land with trees.
(2.)The simple question that arises for decision is whether Sec. 7 Cl. (v) (b) or Sec. 7 Cl. (v) (d) of the Court Fees Act applies to the case. It is stated that the ryoti land forming the subject matter of the suit is siutated in the Zamindari of Pittapuram which has been taken over by the Government under the Madras Act XXVI of 1948 on 7-9-1949. Sec. 3 Gl. (a) of Madras Act XXVI of 1948 enacts that with effect on and from the notified date, the Madras Permanent Settlement Regulation, 1802 and the Estates Land Act shall be deemed to have been repealed in their application to the Estates. Cl.(b) provides that the entire estate shall stand transferred to the Government and vest in them free of all encumbrances. Under Sec. 11, every ryot in an Estate shall, with effect on and from the notified date, be entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect of the ryoti land. Section 23 Cl. (a) (ii) provides that in respect of any land held for the purpose of agriculture, the land revenue shall be, where the rent has not been so determined, the rent which would have been payable to the landholder in respect of the fasli year in which the Estate is notified. So, according to the contention of the learned Advocate for the petitioner, Sec. 7 Cl. (v) (b) applies as he is entitled to a ryotwari patta from the Government and the land is not situated on a permanently settled estate.
(3.)Sri K. B. Krishnamurthy on behalf of the respondent invited my attention to the Explanation to Section 7 Cl. (v) which defines an Estate as meaning any land subject to the payment of revenue, for which the ryot shall have executed a separate engagement to Government or which, in the absence of such engagement, shall have been separately assessed with revenue. If a Ryotwari patta has been issued under Sec. 7 Cl. (v) (b) of the Court Fees Act, the Court fee will be calculated on 10 times the revenue so payable. Even if no patta has been issued, there might still be a register maintained under the authority of the Government relating to the assessment of the revenue payable under Sec. 23 (a) (ii) of the Madras Act XXVI of 1948 to attract the definition of estate. A similar question arose for decision before Rajagopalan, J. in Sreranga Goundan v. Narayanan. Following that decision, I hold that the proper course is for the District Munsif to ascertain whether a ryotwari patta has been issued or whether a register is maintained showing the separate assessment levied on this land. If so, the court fee will have to be levied under Sec. 7 Cl. (v) (b) of the Court Fees Act. If the terms under Sec. 7 Cl. (v) (b) do not apply, then the Court fee directed to be paid by the District Munsif under Sec. 7 (5) (d) will have to stand. I set aisde the order of the District Munsif and direct him to make an enquiry in the light of the observations stated supra. There will be no order as to costs. Orders accordingly.

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