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



National Engineering Industries Ltd. v/s Union of India


Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29130WB1946PLC013643

Company & Directors' Information:- D P ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310DL2008PLC176856

Company & Directors' Information:- A K ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U25206DL1997PTC085204

Company & Directors' Information:- G L ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28920MH1981PTC023662

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIA COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN1919PTC000911

Company & Directors' Information:- B V M ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28111DL1972PLC005983

Company & Directors' Information:- UNION ENGINEERING PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74210KA1985PTC006829

Company & Directors' Information:- R R R ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC055069

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1941PTC003461

Company & Directors' Information:- A. V. ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1974PTC007360

Company & Directors' Information:- G D R ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27109UP1971PTC003388

Company & Directors' Information:- L S ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1977PTC008484

Company & Directors' Information:- I B I ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45202PB1974PTC003422

Company & Directors' Information:- A H B ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U35999WB1988PTC044786

Company & Directors' Information:- O K ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC027660

Company & Directors' Information:- K G ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U28910KL1980PTC003156

Company & Directors' Information:- R P ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1973PTC006781

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL UNION INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74140WB1941PTC010704

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL UNION CORPN PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB1940PTC010240

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL INDIA ENGINEERING PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27100MH1946PTC004895

Company & Directors' Information:- S V ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Under Liquidation] CIN = U74210TG1981PTC003174

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1938PTC009457

Company & Directors' Information:- THE NATIONAL ENGINEERING COMPANY (INDIA) LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1935PTC002259

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1943PLC007506

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL INDUSTRIES LTD. [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1949PLC007203

Company & Directors' Information:- NATIONAL UNION LTD [Not available for efiling] CIN = U74999KL1951PLC000818

    Civil Revision Petition No. 60 of 2008

    Decided On, 25 April 2012

    At, High Court of Rajasthan

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PRASHANT KUMAR AGARWAL

    For the Petitioner: R.P. Agarwal, Advocate. For the Respondent: Shabina Khan, V.S. Gurjar, Advocates.



Judgment Text

1. Heard learned counsel for the parties.

2. The decree-holder-petitioner has preferred this civil revision petition under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure against the impugned order dated 4.1.2008 passed by Additional District Judge (Fast Track) No.3, Jaipur City, Jaipur in an execution petition filed by the petitioner whereby the learned executing court has directed the petitioner to pay court fees on the amount of interest for the realisation of which the execution petition has been filed.

3. in this revision petition following important question of law has arisen:

'Whether court fee is payable on the amount of pendente lite and future interest awarded by the Court on the principal amount.'

4. Brief relevant facts for deciding the question so arisen are that the petitioner filed a money sit against the non-petitioner for recovery of principal amount of Rs.31,22,644/- and interest amount of Rs.11,24,151/- as accrued till the date of suit 22.2.1989 i.e. for recovery of total amount of Rs.42,46,795/-. In the suit pendente elite interest and future interest from the date of decree till the date of payment or realisation of the principal amount was also claimed. The suit was decreed by the trial Court vide judgment and decree dated 23.11.2005. The learned trial Court, apart from allowing principal amount and amount of interest as accrued till the date of institution of the suit as claimed by the petitioner, also held that the petitioner in entitled to obtain further interest on the principal amount at the rate fixed by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time from the date of institution of suit till the payment of the principal amount by the non-petitioner to the petitioner. Thus, pendent lite and future interest was also awarded. it is an admitted fact that in the appeal filed by the non-petitioner before this Court, a conditional stay order was passed and in compliance of that order the principal amount along with the amount of interest as accrued till the date of the suit was deposited by the non-petitioner in the trial Court and the same has been disbursed to the petitioner with some condition, but the pendente lite and future interest as awarded by the trial Court has neither been deposited by the trial Court has neither been deposited nor paid to the petitioner. To recover the unpaid amount of interest, the petitioner filed an execution petition before the learned Court below with a prayer that the same may be recovered from the non-petitioner and paid to the petitioner. An office objection was raised that requisite court fees is required to be paid on the amount of interest for the recovery of which the execution petition has been filed. The learned Court below after hearing learned counsel for the petitioner sustained the objection raised by the office and it was directed that the execution petition can proceed future only when require court fee is paid by the petitioner on the amount to be recovered. Feeling aggrieved, the decree-holder-petitioner is before this Court by way of this civil revision petition.

5. It was submitted by learned counsel for the petitioner that there is no provision in the Rajasthan Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1961 (hereinafter to be referred as ‘the Act’) requiring that court fees is liable to be paid on the amount of interest awarded by the Court from the date of institution of suit till the date of decree and from the date of decree to the date of payment of the principal amount and in absence of such legal provision, the court below had no jurisdiction to direct the petitioner to pay the deficient court fee. It was further submitted that in the suit the main relief claimed was for recovery of principal amount and amount of interest accrued on it till date of institution of suit, whereas further interest from the date of institution of suit till the date of payment or realisation was claimed only as a consequential relief and, therefore, no court fee is required to be paid on such an consequential relief. It was also submitted that at the time of passing of the decree on 23.11.2005, no direction was given by the trial Court that court fee is required to be paid on the amount of interest so awarded by it and, therefore, the executing court has no jurisdiction to direct that the court fee is required to be paid on such amount of interest also as it is well settled legal position that the executing court cannot travel beyond the terms of the decree and it is bound to execute the decree as it is. It was further submitted that if in a suit amount of interest is also awarded by the trial Court for a period subsequent to institution of the suit and against such decree, the defendant files an appeal, he is not required to pay court fee on the amount of interest so awarded for the period subsequent to the institution of the suit and, therefore, on the same analogy the decree-holder also cannot be asked to pay court fee on such amount.

In support of his submissions, learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon the case of State of Maharasthra v. Mishri Tarachand Lodha and others, reported in AIR 1964 SC 457.

6. On the other hand, learned counsel for the State of Rajasthan by supporting the impugned order, submitted that the petitioner claimed interest not only upto the date of institution of the suit but also from the date of institution of the suit till payment of principal amount and, therefore, a separate and independent relief was claimed by him upon which also, court fee is required to be separately paid in accordance with the provisions of the Act. It was further submitted that the amount of interest claimed by the petitioner from the date of institution of suit till the date of payment of principal amount cannot be said to be a consequential relief to the main relief on which separate court fees is not required to be paid. According to learned counsel even if the trial Court while passing the decree did not direct the petitioner to pay the deficit court fee on the further amount of interest as awarded by it even then the requisite court fee can be demanded at any stage whenever the occasion arises including at the time of execution of the decree.

7. I have considered the submissions made on behalf of the respective parties and also gone through the material made available for my perusal as well as the relevant legal provisions and the case law.

8. As a question of law of general importance has arisen in this case and both the parties have failed to cite any judgment directly covering and deciding the question involved either way, I deem it appropriate to consider the matter in some detail.

9. Sub-section (1) of Section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that:

'Where and insofar as a decree is for the payment of money, the Court may, in the decree, order interest at such rate as the Court deems reasonable to be paid on the principal sum adjudged, from the date of the suit to the date of the decree, in addition to any interest adjudged on such principal sum for any period prior to the institution of the suit, with further interest at such rate not exceeding six per cent per annum as the Court deems reasonable on such principal sum, from the date of the decree to the date of payment, or to such earlier date as the Court thinks fit:

The Proviso appended to this provision provides that:

'where the liability in relation to the sum so adjudged had arisen out of a commercial transaction, the rate of such further interest may exceed six per cent per annum, but shall not exceed the contractual rate of interest or where there is no contractual rate, the rate at which moneys are lent or advanced by nationalised banks in relation to commercial transactions.'

It is thus clear that under this provision, the Court has been conferred with a jurisdiction to award pendente lite and future interest on the principal sum adjudged by the Court. It is well settled that the award of pendente lite and future interest is in the discretion of the Court and the plaintiff cannot claim such interest as of right. Whether such interest is to be awarded or not depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Similarly the rate of interest to be awarded also depends upon the nature of the transaction on the basis of which the suit has been filed by the plaintiff.

10. Section 6 of the Act provides that in any suit in which separate and distinct reliefs are sought based on the same cause of action, the plaint shall be chargeable with a free on the aggregate value of the reliefs, whereas the proviso appended to this provision provides that if a relief is sought only as ancillary to the main relief, the plaint shall be chargeable only on the value of the main relief.

It is thus clear that in any suit in which more than one relief is sought but if they are separate and distinct although based on the same cause of action, the Court fee is required to be paid on the aggregate value of all the reliefs so sought, but at the same time if a relief so sought is only ancillary or consequential to the main relief, no court fee is required to be paid on such ancillary or consequential relief. Whether the relief so sought is ancillary and consequential to the main relief or it is a separate and distinct relief, it will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.

11. Sub-section (1) of section 11 of the Act provides that:

'In every suit instituted in any Court, the Court shall before ordering the plaint to be registered, decided on the materials and allegations contained in plaint and on the materials contained in the statement, if any, filed under Section 10, the proper fee payable thereon, the decision being however subject to review, further review and correction in the manner specified in the succeeding sub-sections.'

This provision makes it clear that if at the time of institution of a suit, the Court decides that the court fee paid is sufficient, but subsequently at any time it is disclosed to it or it is found by the Court that the court fee, already paid, is not sufficient the Court can review the question of payment of court fee and direct for the payment of deficit court fee. Merely because previously it was decided by the Court that the court fee already paid is not sufficient, cannot prevent the Court to demand further court fee if it comes to a conclusion that the court fee already paid is not sufficient and ore court fee is required to be paid in accordance with law.

12. Section 20 of the Act provides that:

'The court fee payable under the act shall be determined or computed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter IV, Chapter VI, Chapter VIII and Schedules I and II of the Act.'

13. Section 21 of the Act provides that:

'In a suit for money (including a suit for damages or compensation or arrears of maintenance of annuities, or of other sums payable periodically), fee shall be computed on the amount claimed.'

This provision makes it clear that in a suit for money, the court fee is required to be paid on the amount claimed by the plaintiff in the plaint. In the present matter, it is to be decided whether the amount of interest claimed from the date of institution of the suit till the date of decree i.e. pendente lite interest and the interest claimed from the date of the decree to the date of payment i.e. future rent can be said to be the amount claimed by the plaintiff within the meaning of Section 21 of the Act.

14. Article 1 of Schedule I appended to the Act provides the rate at which the court fee is required to be paid on a plaint or written statement (pleading a set-off or counter-claim) or memorandum of appeal presented to any Court in a suit for recovery of money. According to this provision the court fee is required to be paid at the specified rate as provided in this Article on the amount or value of the subject-matter in dispute.

15. Section 47 of the Act provides that for the payment of court fee on appeals and according to this provision the court fee payable in an appeal shall be the same as the court fee that would be payable in this Court of first instance on the subject-matter of the appeal.

Explanation No.3 appended to this provision provides that in claims which included the award of interest subsequent to the institution of the suit, the interest accrued during the pendency of the suit till the date of decree shall be deemed to be part of the subject-matter of the appeal except where such interest is relinquished.

It is clear from the explanation that if a suit is decreed by the trial Court and interest is also awarded by it for a period subsequent to the institution of the suit, the interest so awarded by the Court shall be deemed to be part of the subject-matter of appeal and if the decree including the amount of interest awarded for the period subsequent to the institution of the suit is challenged by the appellant by way of appeal before a Appellate Court, court fee is also required to be paid on the amount of interest so awarded by the Court except where such interest is relinquished i.e. the appellant does not challenge the award of interest for the period subsequent to the institution of the suit.

16. A conjoint reading of all these relevant legal provisions clearly indicates that court fee is also required to be paid on the amount of interest awarded by the Court for a period subsequent to the institution of the suit i.e. pendente lite interest and also the future interest. It is true that in a suit in which the pendente lite and future interest is claimed by the plaintiff, no court fee is required to be paid on the amount of interest so claimed at the time of institution of the suit, but the reason for it is that at that stage of the proceedings it is not certain whether interest for such a period would be awarded by the Court or not, as according to Section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure it is in the discretion of the Court to award or not to award, interest for such a period and, at that stage of the proceedings it is also not certain at what rate the interest would be awarded by the court and thus the amount is not ascertainable. But as soon as a suit is decreed and the Court also awards pendente lite and future interest, such amount of interest becomes ascertainable and court fee also becomes ascertainable. It in a suit the question of pendente lite and future interest has been decided, it becomes ascertainable. The amount of such interest as awarded by the Court can be determined in execution. Court fee is payable on sums which can be ascertained with certainty, but not on those which cannot be so ascertained.

17. When a person aggrieved by a decree in which the trial Court has awarded interest for a period subsequent to the institution of the suit files an appeal and also challenges the award of interest so awarded is required by Section 47 read with Explanation 3 appended to it to pay court fee on such amount, there is no reason to hold that the person in whose favour the interest has been awarded is not liable to pay court fee on that amount. I am of the view that if in a suit for money, the plaintiff claims pendent lite as well as future interest on the principal sum, such interest is also 'an amount claimed' in the suit within the meaning of Section 21 and also subject-matter in dispute between the parties within the meaning of Article 1 of Schedule I of the Act. In the light of Section 11 of the Act court fee on such amount can be demanded by the Court at any stage subsequent to the decree including at the time of execution of the decree. As already said at the time of institution of the suit, the court fee cannot be demanded such amount of interest by the reason that at that stage of the proceedings the amount is not ascertainable. Once the pendente lite and future interest is awarded by the Court on a specified rate, the amount immediately becomes ascertainable for which court fee can be demanded. So far as the question of pendente lite and future interest is an ancillary or consequential relief to the main relief is concerned, that contention cannot be held to be legally sustainable. When being based on the same cause of action, the claim of interest on the principal sum upto the date of institution of suit is considered to be a separate and distinct relief for the purpose of payment of court fee and court fee is payable on it in the same manner as on the principal sum, there is no reason to give a different treatment to the pendente lite and future interest for the purpose of payment of court fee and treat it as ancillary or consequential relief.

18. A learned Single Bench of this High Court in the case of Krishna Kumar Bagla v. State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, Branch Tuk Circle, Udaipur & Ors. reported in RLR 1998 (2) 43 : (1999 AIHC 2950) has held that:

'According to Section 47 and Explanation 3 of it court fee payable on appeal by defendant against a decree which includes interest accrued during the pendency of suit is required to be paid also on the amount of interest accrued during the pendency of suit if it is included in subject matter of appeal and is challenged by him.'

So far as the case law relied upon by the learned counsel for the petitioner is concerned, it being based on different set of facts is of no help to the petitioner in the present case. The facts of that case indicate that the provisions of Bombay Court Fees Act were under consideration of Hon’ble Supre

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me Court and in the light of provisions of Article 1 of Schedule I of the Bombay Court Fees Act, it was held that amount of interest decreed for period subsequent to institution of suit cannot be said to be the subject-matter in dispute and the appellant is not required to pay court fee on amount of such interest. It is pertinent to note that there is no provision in the Bombay Court Fees act one like Section 47 of the Act which provides that in the appeal same court fee is required to be paid as is payable in the Court of first instance and the Explanation 3 further clarifies that the interest awarded subsequent to the institution of the suit shall be considered to be subject-matter of the appeal and on such amount also court fee is required to be paid unless it is relinquished. Therefore, the principle of law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court cannot be applied in the present case. 19. Although, well settled principles of interpretation of fiscal statutes (including the law relating to payment of court fee) are that such statutes are to be construed strictly the subject should not be made liable to pay enhanced court fee unless such requirement is warranted by the clear provision of the relevant statute; and where there is doubt in the mind of court, an interpretation favourable to the subject should be preferred, but after considering the relevant provisions of the Act and as a result of aforesaid discussion, I am of considered view that the interpretation so arrived cannot be said to be against these principles. 20. As a result of all this discussion my answer to the question posed at the beginning of this order is that court fee is also payable on the amount of pendente lite and future interest awarded on the principal amount. 21. Consequently, the revision petition fails and the impugned order dated 4.1.2008 passed by the Additional District Judge (Fast Track No.3), Jaipur City, Jaipur is upheld and affirmed.
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