HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
PENUMARTHI TATABBAYI ALIAS GHELLAYYA
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(1.)The plaintiff is the appellant. He filed O. S. No. 449 of 1952 on the file
of the District Munsif's Court, Kakinda for recovery of Rs. 1,062-13-3 due on
four promissory notes. As the amount claimed in respect of each of the
promissory notes was less than Rs. 500/-, he paid court-fee on the amount of
each of the promissory notes under Article 2 of Schedule 1 of the Court Fees
Act. The District Munsif granted a decree in his favour but the decree was
reversed in appeal. The plaintiff has consequently filed this Second Appeal.
The plaintiff-appellant has paid court-fee on the memorandum of appeal
as in the trial court on the Small Cause scale under Article 2 Schedule I of the
Act. The office having raised an objection that the court-fee should be paid
under Schedule I Article 1 of the Court Fees Act, the matter was placed
before me and I gave notice to the Government Pleader.
(2.)Sri Venkataramanamurty on behalf of the appellant contended that the
court-fee paid by him is proper. He relied on the terms of section 17 of the Court Fees
Act which enacts that where a suit embraces two or more distinct subjects,
the plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be chargeable with the aggre
gate amount of the fees to which the plaints or memoranda of appeal in suits
embracing separately each of such subjects would be liable under this Act, The
decision in The Secretary of State for India in Council v. Ayyasami Chettiar relied
on by him does not assist him. Venkatasubba Rao J. held that the claim
in regard to Rs. 600/-was governed by Art. 1 of Sch. I, and the claim in
regard to Rs. 400- was governed by Art. 2. The learned Judge did not decide
that the the fee payable on the memorandum of appeal was governed by
Article of Schedule I. Similarly in Parshotam Lal v. Lachman Das, the
Allahabad High Court held that each hundi afforded a separate cause of
action, that the suit embraced thr.ee separate and distinct subjects and that
the memorandum of appeal by the first defendant was chargeable with the
aggregate amount of the court-fee to which the memoranda of appeal in suits
embracing separately each of such subjects would be liable under the Court-Fees Act.
(3.)The question that arises for decision in this case has. therefore, to be
considered on the language of Articles 1 and 2. Article 2 prescribes the Court-fee payable on a plaint presented to a court outside the Presidency Town in
any suit of the nature cognizable by Courts of Small Causes, when the amount
or value of the subject-matter does not exceed Rs. 500/-. There is no reference
to a memorandum of appeal in Article 2 as the decree passed in a suit covered
by Article 2 is not appealable. The Article which deals with memorandum
of appeal is Article 1. It provides for the payment of court-fee in respect of
a plaint, written statement pleading a set off or counter-claim as also
memorandum of appeal presented to any Civil or Revenue Court. So, when
the plaintiff presents a memorandum of appeal, he has to necessarily pay
court-Fee under Article 1. The argument of Sri Venkataramanamurty is that
the cpurt-fee payable on the memorandum of appeal ought to be the same
as that payable on the plaint. Generally it may be so but, in the absence
of the words "memorandum of appeal" in Article 2, 1 am not prepared to
accept his argument. He is bound to pay court-fee on the memorandum of
appeal under Article 1 as prescribed therein.
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