w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



M/s. Suryalaxmi Cotton Mills Limited v/s Sabhavath Badya & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- P A S COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17111TN2005PTC058104

Company & Directors' Information:- V R A COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15311PB1997PTC020061

Company & Directors' Information:- C A V COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17115TZ1987PTC002014

Company & Directors' Information:- V K S M COTTON MILLS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17111TZ1998PLC008682

Company & Directors' Information:- P K COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17111DL2004PTC130281

Company & Directors' Information:- K P G COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17115TZ1993PTC004509

Company & Directors' Information:- D B V COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17115TZ1982PTC001145

Company & Directors' Information:- S S COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17115PB1997PTC019918

Company & Directors' Information:- J R COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17111TN1996PTC034302

Company & Directors' Information:- D C H COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17111TZ1997PTC008130

Company & Directors' Information:- L D COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17291MH2014PTC256832

Company & Directors' Information:- A D COTTON MILLS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U99999MH1970PTC014837

Company & Directors' Information:- V P K COTTON MILLS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17111TZ2000PTC009530

    Civil Revision Petition No. 96 of 2008

    Decided On, 11 June 2008

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.S. NARAYANA

    For the Petitioner: K. Srinivas, Advocate. For the Respondents: Neeli Narsappa, Advocate.



Judgment Text

1. Heard Sri K.Srinivas, the learned Counsel representing the Revision Petitioner and Sri Neeli Narsappa, the learned Counsel representing the 1st respondent.


2. The Civil Revision Petition is preferred by the 1st respondent/plaintiff in I.A.No.323/2007 in O.S.No.305/2006 on the file of Junior Civil Judge, Kalwakurthi as against an order made therein dated 24-9-2007.


3. This Court ordered notice before admission on 23-1-2008 and granted interim suspension for a limited period which is being extended from time to time. On 15-4-2008 while admitting the Civil Revision Petition, this Court extended the interim suspension already granted until further orders. Thus, the Civil Revision Petition is coming up for Final Hearing today.


4. The application aforesaid was filed by the 1st respondent herein/1st defendant in the suit under Order VII Rule 11(a) and (b) r/w. Section 151 of Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter in short referred to as ?Code? for the purpose of convenience), to reject the plaint in O.S.No.305/2006 on the file of Junior Civil Judge, Kalwakurthy on the ground that the plaintiff relied upon sale deeds dated 27-8-2005, 29-8-2005 for Rs.2,28,000/- and Rs.2,25,000/-, in toto amounting to Rs.4,53,000/-, out of which 1/4th would be Rs.1,13,250/-, which amount is beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Court concerned since the relief prayed for is declaration that the decree in O.S.No.125/2005 is null and void and the consequential relief of cancellation of the same in which the valuation had been given on the strength of the Valuation Certificate issued by the Sub-Registrar which cannot be permitted and hence the said relief to be granted. The learned Junior Civil Judge, Kalwakurthy, after recording respective contentions of the parties ultimately made the following order:


?In the result, the respondent/plaintiff is directed to file an application for amendment of plaint showing the present market value of the suit lands as Rs.4,53,000/- as per sale consideration of Registered Sale deeds dated 27-8-2005 and 29-8-2005 paid by it and show the 1/4th of the value of the suit lands is Rs.1,13,250/- and pay deficit Court fee thereon under Section 37 of A.P.C.F. and S.V. Act and after amendment of plaint and payment of deficit Court fee, the plaint will be returned to the plaintiff for its presentation before the proper Court having pecuniary and territorial jurisdiction. Accordingly, the petition is ordered. No costs?.


The said order is impugned in the present Civil Revision Petition.


5. Sri K. Srinivas, the learned Counsel representing the Revision Petitioner would maintain that when an application of this nature under Order VII Rule 11 had been moved, the only question that should have been decided by the learned Judge is whether on any of the grounds the plaint is liable to be rejected or not and not beyond thereto. The learned Counsel also would maintain that if it is a case concerned with payment of Court fee or want of pecuniary jurisdiction to entertain the suit, the remedy is otherwise to move an appropriate application in this regard and to give opportunity to the Revision Petitioner/plaintiff to contest the same and the method and the procedure adopted by the learned Judge in recording certain findings that valuation given by the plaintiff cannot be accepted and further recording a finding that in the light of the sale deeds since the quantum would exceed the pecuniary limits of the Court concerned and issuing certain further directions for presentation of the plaint before the proper Court, definitely cannot be sustained. The learned Counsel also placed strong reliance on Rule 3 of A.P.Court Fee and Suits Valuation Rules 1987 (hereinafter in short referred to as ?Rules? for the purpose of convenience) and would maintain that inasmuch as prima facie the value had been accepted and the suit had been registered, now an order of this nature cannot be made. The learned Counsel also further would maintain that this is a peculiar order which had been made by the learned Judge without noticing the relevant provisions governing the case on hand i.e., Order VII Rule 11 and Order VII Rule 10 of the Code and also Section 11 of the A.P. Court Fee and Suits Valuation Act 1956 and the Rules framed thereunder, and hence in any view of the matter, the impugned order suffers from illegal exercise of jurisdiction or at any rate the learned Judge exceeded the jurisdiction while recording the findings. Hence, the impugned order is liable to be set aside. The learned Counsel also relied on certain decisions to substantiate his submissions.


6. Per contra, Sri Neeli Narsappa, the learned Counsel representing the 1st respondent would contend that it is no doubt true that the 1st respondent moved an application under Order VII Rule 11(a) and (b) of the Code praying for rejection of the plaint on certain grounds. The Counsel however would maintain that it is not as though the sale deeds had not been produced before the Court by the plaintiff and these sale deeds in fact had been produced even at the first instance and these had been referred to and averred in the plaint. When that being so, relying upon the registered sale deeds for the purpose of valuation cannot be said to be unsustainable and no further evidence need be let in to establish the pecuniary value and hence the findings are sustainable. The learned Counsel also placed strong reliance on certain decisions to substantiate his submissions relating to the valuation of the suits and payment of Court fee in relation thereto. The Counsel also would maintain that merely because a Certificate had been produced at a particular point of time, that does not mean that the same valuation to be accepted. No doubt, the suit was registered on the strength of such Certificate, but however since the registered sale deeds are available, the learned Judge arrived at the correct conclusion after recording reasons and came to the conclusion that only if the valuation in the sale deeds to be taken into consideration, 1/4th of the value of the suit lands would come to Rs.1,13,250/- and hence deficit Court fee to be paid and accordingly issued suitable directions to amend the plaint and pay the deficit Court fee and further observed that the plaint be returned to the plaintiff for presentation before the proper Court having pecuniary and territorial jurisdiction and hence, the order, in substance, is perfectly a well justified order in the peculiar facts and circumstances and further inasmuch as such power can be exercised even suo motu, the same cannot be found fault and at any rate inasmuch as it is a Revision under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, normally such orders made which are just and equitable, not to be interfered with.


7. Heard the Counsel.


8. The relevant operative portion of the order impugned already had been specified supra. The application was filed under Order VII Rule 11(a) and (b) r/w. Section 151 of the Code praying for rejection of the plaint. The main ground is that the Valuation Certificate issued by the Sub-Registrar at the time of registration of the suit cannot be taken as proper basis and inasmuch as the sale deeds relied upon by the self-same plaintiff would reflect different valuation and inasmuch as if such valuation to be taken, the proper Court fee had not been paid and the suit would be beyond the pecuniary limits of the Court concerned, the same to be rejected.


9. On a careful reading of the order impugned, the learned Judge referred to the decisions in Sub-Registrar, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad and another Vs. M. Damodar Reddy 1997(5) A.L.T. 187 (D.B.), Thanamki Prasad Vs. Guntamadugu Puliamma and others 2005(4) A.L.T. 119 and S.C. Bose & Co. Vs. V.G. Srikanth 2006(4) A.L.T. 589 and also referred to Rule 3 of the Rules specified above and Section 37-A of the A.P. Court Fee and Suits Valuation Act 1956 and recorded reasons for rejecting the ground of absence of cause of action for laying the suit. The learned Judge however proceeded to discuss the contentions advanced by the parties and ultimately came to the conclusion that on the strength of the sale deeds the market value of the suit land to be taken as Rs.4,53,000/- as per the sale consideration in the said registered sale deeds and 1/4th value to be taken as the suit value and came to the conclusion that the suit is beyond the pecuniary limits of the Court concerned and directed payment of deficit Court fee and also further directed to amend the plaint and upon payment of the deficit Court fee observed that the plaint to be returned to the plaintiff for presentation before the proper Court.


10. It may be appropriate to have a look at the language employed in Order VII Rule 11(b) of the Code which reads as hereunder:-


The plaint shall be rejected in the following cases:


(a)??..


(b) where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;


(c) ??


??.


??..


The words ??on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court?? would assume lot of importance. It is needless to say that if the facts on hand to be carefully analysed, this ground under Order VII Rule 11(b) of the Code also cannot be attracted since the ingredients of the said ground as reflected from the language specified above would not be attracted to the facts of the present case.


11. Order VII Rule 10 of the Code reads as hereunder:-


Return of plaint : (1) Subject to the provisions of Rule 10-A, the plaint shall at any stage of the suit be returned to be presented to the Court in which the suit should have been instituted.


Explanation : For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that a court of appeal or revision may direct, after setting aside the decree passed in a suit, the return of the plaint under this sub-rule.


Procedure on returning plaint: (2) On returning a plaint the Judge shall endorse thereon the date of its presentation and return, the name of the party presenting it, and a brief statement of reasons for returning it.


12. Section 11 of A.P. Court Fee and Suits Valuation Act deals with Decision as to proper fee and sub-section (4) of Section 11 reads:


?Any question relating to the value for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of Courts shall be heard and decided before the hearing of the suit as contemplated by Order XVIII in the First Schedule to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908)?.


13. Incidentally, Rule 3 of the Rules also had been relied upon and the said Rule 3 dealing with Determination of market value reads as hereunder:-


?Based on the Basic Registers maintained by the Registration Authority, the market value of the land in suits falling under various sections of the Act shall prima facie be taken to be the value of the immovable property both in Urban and Rural Areas fixed by the Registration and Stamps Department. Keeping in view the value of the land nearby or in the vicinity of the land which is the subject matter of the suit, as recorded in the registers of the Sub-Registrar or the District Registrar concerned, as the case may be, during the course of regular transactions immediately before the plaint is filed.


Provided a party filing a suit shall take a certificate in the Form prescribed containing the value of the said immovable property from the local Registering Officer and file it along with the suit?.


14. The learned Counsel representing the 1st respondent placed strong reliance on K. Upender and others Vs. State of A.P. through Secretary, Revenue Department and others 2003(4) A.L.T. 735 wherein the learned Judge of this Court while dealing with Indian Stamp Act, 1899 and Section 47-A(4) and (5) of A.P. Stamp (Prevention of under Valuation of Instruments) Rules 1975 in general and Rule 5 in particular observed that Rule 5 of the Rules only provides guidelines and as per Section 6 of the Act, as amended by Act VIII of 1998, the market value of the property shall have to be determined based on the likely sale value of the property in the open market at the time of execution. Further, reliance was placed on the decision referred (1) supra wherein a Division Bench of this Court observed that the value mentioned in the Basic Value Register should not be the sole basis. Further reliance was placed on Nelson Fernandes and others Vs. Special Land Acquisition Officer, South Goa 2007(1) Decisions Today(S.C.) 325 wherein the Apex Court while dealing with the factors to be considered while determining the compensation under Land Acquisition Act observed that the market value of the land means the price of the land which a willing seller is reasonably expected to fetch in the open market from a willing purchaser and in other words it is a price of the land in hypothetical market.


15. It may be true that always while deciding the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Court or the question whether proper Court fee had been paid or not, the Certificate issued by the Sub-Registrar to be taken as the sole basis if otherwise the Court is satisfied on other material available that the said valuation is not correct valuation. But the question is what is the procedure to be followed in such a case. Here is a case where an application was filed by the 1st respondent praying for rejection of the plaint on the ground of want of pecuniary jurisdiction to the Court concerned and also on the ground that proper Court fee had not been paid. The object of Order VII Rule 11 of the Code had been well explained by a learned Judge of this Court in a recent decision in Pratibha and another Vs. Vedvathi and another (2007(5) A.L.T. 615). A Division Bench of Madras High Court in Ramanna Vs. Amireddi (AIR 1931 Madras 67) while dealing with Order VII Rule 10 and Order VII Rule 11 of the Code in relation to return of plaint and rejection of plaint observed:


?When the Court finds that on the correct valuation the plaint is not cognizable by it the proper thing to be done is to return the plaint so that it may be presented to the Court having jurisdiction. It will be for the Court having jurisdiction to entertain the plaint, to consider whether proper Court fee has been paid and if not paid, to proceed in accordance with the powers conferred upon it by law for that purpose. If a Court finds that it has no jurisdiction, then to say that it has jurisdiction to ask the plaintiff to amend his valuation with a view to direct him to pay additional Court fee and then return the plaint, would seem to suggest that a Court not having jurisdiction has got jurisdiction to do something which is prima facie the duty and function of the proper Court?.


16. In Ashvinkumar Vs. Krishnachandra 1978 Gujarat L.R. 892 the learned Judge of Gujarat High Court observed at para-3 as hereunder:-


?A reference to the provisions contained on O.7 R.11 of the Code of Civil Procedure of 1908 will show that it is incumbent on the Court to reject a plaint under clause (c) where the suit is properly valued but the plaint is insufficiently stamped. In that case as even on the basis of the valuation made by the plaintiff himself, the plaint is not adequately stamped, the Court cannot proceed further with this suit till the plaint is properly stamped and the Court can take cognizance of the plaint. This must be so because under Section 4 of the Bombay Court Fees Act of 1959 no Court can take official cognizance of a document which is not properly stamped. Such a document cannot be filed, exhibited or recorded or received by any public officer till the document is properly stamped. When, therefore, on the face of it the plaint is not properly stamped, the Court has no option but to reject the plaint. Under Rule 13 of Order 7 it is provided that such a rejection will not preclude a litigant from presenting a fresh plaint in respect of the same cause of action. This stands to reason on principle for the plaint has been rejected or not on account of want of merit in the suit but it has been rejected on the ground that it is not properly stamped and the officers of the Court cannot receive it or act on it till the document is properly stamped. The rejection of the plaint on this ground is not a determination on merits of the dispute and under the circumstances a plaintiff whose plaint has been rejected can file a fresh suit as and when he is in a position of the pay the necessary court fees. When a plaint is rejected on such a ground, there is no question of the plaintiff being required to make good the deficit or the plaintiff being compelled to make good the deficit by recovery proceedings under sub-section (6) of Section 12 of the Court fee Act. When the Court refuses to act on the plaint and rejects it and denies the plaintiff an opportunity of availing of the forum of the Court for seeking redress on the ground that sufficient Court fees are not paid, he cannot be compelled to pay court fees for otherwise the result would be that while his plaint has been rejected and he has been refused an adjudication on merits, he could yet be compelled to pay the Court fees. It must be realized that once a plaint is rejected, there is no jurisdiction in the Court to revive the proceeding having regard to the scheme of Order 7. The only course open is to file a fresh plaint. A grave injustice would result if the Court fees already paid are lost to the plaintiff. He is deprived of the right to seek adjudication from the Court and yet he is compelled to pay the court fees for if the Court fees are compulsorily collected he should be entitled to adjudication on merits. The Court cannot both reject his plaint and refuse to adjudicate and yet recover the Court fees from him after rejecting the plaint unless the Court is in a position to reverse the previous order of rejection of plaint for failure to pay deficit Court fees. The same would be the position when the plaint comes to be rejected under clause (b) of Rule 11 for failure of the plaintiff to revise and correct the valuation upwards as per the direction of the Court upon the Court coming to the conclusion that the relief is undervalued. There is no coercive power in the Court to oblige a litigant to correct the valuation and pay Court fees on the basis of the holding of the Court that the relief is undervalued. A plaintiff may not be in a position to revise the valuation as per the direction of the Court and then he would be visited with the consequence contemplated by Rule 11(b), namely, that his plaint would stand rejected. Since that is the only consequence provided for failure to carry out the direction of the Court to correct the valuation and there is no provision in the Code of Civil Procedure or the Court Fees Act under which a litigant can be compelled to revise the valuation, he cannot be made to pay the resultant Court fees by a coercive process. All that can happen to him would be that if he is unable to comply with the direction of the Court, he would be visited with the consequence contemplated by clause (b) of Rule 11 of Order 7, namely, that his plaint would stand rejected. There can, therefore, be no question of making recovery of deficit Court fees by recourse to a coercive machinery. In fact there would be no deficit since the question of deficit can only arise after the valuation is corrected. It is, therefore, clear that a plaintiff cannot be obliged or compelled to pay court fees and forced to litigate if he is not willing to do so on the ground that he is not in a position or unwilling to pay the Court fees when his plaint comes to be rejected under clause (b) or clause (c) of Rule 11 of Order 7. A litigant cannot be expected to attempt to enter the portals of the Court only provided he is in a position to correctly anticipate the view of the Court at the cost of having to pay additional Court fees which he may either be unable to unprepared to pay regardless of whether he is prepared to litigate in that event. He may well say ?I do not want to avail of the forum of Court and to litigate if my valuation is unacceptable to the Court and in that case I may be permitted to abandon the attempt?. One can enter a shop in the mistaken belief that the article may be within his means and return empty-handed if he finds that the article is in reality as valued by the shop-keeper beyond his means. He cannot be obliged to return empty handed and yet to pay the price of the article. It would be grossly unfair and unjust. So also it would be unjust and unfair to accept the view canvassed by the Revenue which is wholly untenable for the reasons discussed earlier. Of course the matter would stand on a different footing where he obtains a decision or consent decree from the Court for in that event there would be no question of returning from threshold of the ct Room. So far as the present case is concerned, that question does not arise. The learned trial Judge, was, therefore, in error in granting the request of the Inspecting Officer to issue a certificate of recovery?.


17. In M/s.Commercial Aviation and Travel Company and others Vs. Mrs. Vimla Pannalal (AIR 1988 S.C. 1636) the Apex Court at paras 9 and 21 observed :


?In this connection, we may refer to the provision of Order VII, Rule 11(b) of the Civil P.C. which provides, inter alia, that the plaint shall be rejected where the relief claimed is undervalued and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so. It is manifestly clear from the provisions of Order VII R.11(b) that a Court has to come to a finding that the relief claimed has been undervalued, which necessarily means that the Court is able to decide and specify proper and correct valuation of the relief and, after determination of the correct value of the relief, requires the plaintiff to correct his valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court. If the plaintiff does not correct the valuation within the time allowed, the plaint is liable to be rejected. The question is whether in a suit for accounts simplicitor, the Court can come to a finding as to the proper and correct value of the relief until the final determination is made. In our opinion, ordinarily it is not possible for the Court at a preliminary stage to determine the value of the relief in a suit for accounts simplicitor. If the Court is itself unable to say what the correct valuation of the relief is, it cannot require the plaintiff to correct the valuation that has been made by him. Indeed, in a suit for accounts it is also difficult for the Court to come to a finding even as to the approximate correct valuation of the relief. In such a case, the Court has no other alternative than to accept plaintiff?s valuation tentatively.


?..


?..


In making the above observation, this Court has placed reliance upon its earlier decision in Meenakshisundaram?s case (AIR 1979 S.C. 989) which, as noticed above, related to Section 35(1) of the Tamil Nadu Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act. But one significant fact that is to be noticed in the case is that there is an objective standard of valuation, that is, the rent of the leasehold interest. It may be reiterated that when there is an objective standard of valuation, to put a valuation on the relief ignoring such objective standard, might be a demonstratively arbitrary and unreasonable valuation and the Court would be entitled to interfere in the matter?.


18. In Tara Devi Vs. Thakur Radha Krishna Maharaj (AIR 1987 S.C. 2085), the Apex Court observed at para-4 :


?The instant special leave petition has been filed against the said order. We have heard the learned Counsel and in our considered opinion we do not find any merit in the arguments made on behalf of the petitioner. It is now well-settled by the decisions of this Court in Sathappa Chettiar Vs. Ramanathan Chettiar (AIR 1958 S.C. 245) and Meenakshisundaram Chettiar Vs. Venkatachalam Chettiar (AIR 1979 S.C. 989) that in a suit for declaration with consequential relief falling under Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court-fees Act, 1870, the plaintiff is free to make his own estimation of the reliefs sought in the plaint and such valuation both for the purposes of court-fee and jurisdiction has to be ordinarily accepted. It is only in cases where it appears to the Court on a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case that the valuation is arbitrary, unreasonable and the plaint has been demonstratively undervalued, the Court can examine the valuation and can revise the same. The plaintiff has valued the lease hold interest on the basis of the rent. Such a valuation, as has been rightly held by the Courts below, is reasonable and the same is not demonstratively arbitrary nor there has been any deliberate underestimation of the reliefs. We, therefore, do (not?) find any reason to grant special leave to appeal asked for in the petition as the order passed in the said Revision is unexceptional?.


19. In Meenakshi Sundaram Vs. Venkatachalam (AIR 1979 S.C. 989) the Apex Court at para-7 observed :


?The provision relating to the levy of court-fee for a suit on accounts is found in Section 7(iv)(f) of the Court-fees Act, 1870 which runs as follows:


?7. The amount of fee payable under this Act in the suits next hereinafter shall be computed as follows:


(i) to (iii) x x x x x


(iv) In suits ?


(a)to (e) x x x x x


(f)for accounts ?


according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint or memorandum of appeal.


In all such suits the plaintiff shall state the amount at which he values the relief sought?.


Reading this provision by itself the amount of court-fee payable in suits for account is according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint or memorandum of appeal. The plaintiff is required to state the amount at which he values the relief sought. In suits for accounts it is not possible for the plaintiff to estimate correctly the amount which he may be entitled to for, as in the present case, when the plaintiff asks for accounting regarding the management by a power of attorney agent, he might not know the state of affairs of the defendant?s management and the amount to which he would be entitled to on accounting. But it is necessary that the amount at which he values the relief sought for should be a reasonable estimate. Section 35(1) of the Tamil Nadu Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act, XIV of 1955, is as follows:


?In a suit for accounts, fee shall be computed on the amount sued for as estimated in the plaint?.


Sub-section (2) of Section 35 provides:


?Where the amount payable to the plaintiff as ascertained in the suit is in excess of the amount as estimated in the plaint, no decree directing payment of the amount as so ascertained shall be passed until the difference between the fee actually paid and the fee that would have been payable had the suit comprised the whole of the amount as ascertained, is paid. If the additional fee is not paid within such time as the Court may fix, the decree shall be limited to the amount to which the fee paid extends?.


While Section 35(1) permits the plaintiff to pay the court-fee on the amount estimated by him, sub-section (2) safeguards against the loss of revenue as it requires that no decree for any amount in excess of the amount as estimated in the plaint shall be passed unless the difference between the fee actually paid and the fees that would have been payable had the suit comprised the whole of the amount as ascertained, is paid. But here again it is necessary that the plaintiff should give a fair estimate of the amount for which he sues. Order 7, Rule 11, of the Civil Procedure Code, requires the court to return the plaint if the relief claimed is undervalued. Order 7 Rule 11 runs thus:


The plaint shall be rejected in the following cases:


(a) x x x x


(b) where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;


(c) & (d) x x x x


This section casts a duty on the Court to reject the plaint when the relief claimed is undervalued. If on the materials available before it the Court is satisfied that the value of relief as estimated by the plaintiff in a suit for accounts

Please Login To View The Full Judgment!

is undervalued the plaint is liable to be rejected. It is therefore necessary that the plaintiff should take care that the valuation is adequate and reasonable taking into account the circumstances of the case. In coming to the conclusion that the suit is undervalued the court will have to take into account that in a suit for accounts the plaintiff is not obliged to state the exact amount which would result after the taking of the accounts. If he cannot estimate the exact amount he can put a tentative valuation upon the suit for accounts which is adequate and reasonable. The plaintiff cannot arbitrarily and deliberately undervalue the relief. A Full Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in a decision in Chillakuru Chenchuram eddy Vs. Kanupuru Chenchurami Reddy (I.L.R. (1969) A.P. 1042), after elaborate consideration of the case law on the subject has rightly observed that there must be a genuine effort on the part of the plaintiff to estimate his relief and that the estimate should not be a deliberate under-estimation?. 20. Here is a case where an application for rejection of plaint had been made. As already observed supra, the language of Order VII Rule 11(a) of the Code is not attracted. Equally, if the other ground i.e., Order VII Rule 11(b) of the Code to be carefully analysed, the ingredients are not satisfied. The Court can reject the plaint only when the conditions specified under any of the Clauses of Order VII Rule 11 of the Code are satisfied and not otherwise. It is needless to say that the averments made in the plaint alone would be germane in deciding an application made under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code. This was the view expressed by the Apex Court in Ram Prakash Gupta Vs. Rajiv Kumar Gupta and others (2007(7) S.C.J. 421). In relation to the object and the principles to be followed or the conditions to be satisfied while deciding the application for rejection of plaint, the undernoted decisions also may be conveniently referred to: Prem Latha Nahata and another Vs. Chandi Prasad Sikaria (2007(3) S.C.J. 465), Gadiyaram Padmavathi and others (2007(3) A.L.T. 730 (D.B.), Pratibha and another Vs. Vedavathi and another (2007(5) A.L.T. 215), Ananta Gas Suppliers and others Vs. Union Bank of India (2007(3) A.L.T. 327), Addanki Adilakshmamma Vs. District Collector, Ongole (2007(3) A.L.T. 245 (D.B.)) and Venture Global Engineering Company, U.S.A. 2007(3) A.L.T. 471 (D.B.)?. 21. On a careful analysis of the object, scope and ambit of both Order VII Rule 11 and Order VII Rule 10 of the Code as well, this Court is of the considered opinion that the impugned order made by the learned Judge, in the facts and circumstances of the case, is one made exceeding the jurisdiction. It is made clear that this Court is not expressing any opinion touching the merits and demerits of the matter relating to either pecuniary jurisdiction or relating to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the Court fee which had been paid on the plaint. Hence, liberty is given to the 1st respondent to move appropriate application if the 1st respondent is so advised in this regard. With the above liberty, the impugned order is hereby set aside and the Civil Revision Petition is allowed. No order as to costs.
O R