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Section 7 – The Court Fees’ Act, 1870

The Court Fees’ Act, 1870

 

7. Computation of fees payable in certain suits –

 

The amount of fee payable under this Act in the suits next hereinafter mentioned shall be computed as follows :-

 

For money:- In suits for money (including suits for damages or compensation, or arrears of maintenance, of annuities, or of other sums payable periodically) – according to the amount claimed ;

 

For maintenance and annuities:- In suits for maintenance and annuities or other sums payable periodically – according to the value of the subject-matter of the suit, and such value shall be deemed to be ten times the amount claimed to be payable for one year.

 

For other moveable property having a market-value:- In suits for moveable property other than money, where the subject-matter of the suit, and such value shall be deemed to be ten times the amount claimed to be payable for one year ;

 

In suits –

 

For moveable property of no market-value:- for moveable property where the subject-matter has no market-value, as, for instance, in the case of documents relating to title,

 

To enforce a right to share in joint family property:- to enforce the right to share in any property on the ground that it is joint family property,

 

For a declaratory decree and consequential relief:- to obtain a declaratory decree or order, where consequential relief is prayed,

 

For an injunction:- to obtain an injunction.

 

For easements:- for a right to some benefit (not herein otherwise provided for) to arise out of land, and

 

For accounts:- 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 (Note: The words “and the provision of the Code of Civil Procedure, section thirty-one, shall apply as if, for the word claim,” ‘the words relief sought’ were substituted” rep. by Act 12 of 1891, s.2 and Sch.I)

 

For possession of land, houses and gardens ; – In suits for the possession of land, houses and gardens – according to the value of the subject – matter ; and such value shall be deemed to be –

Where the subject-matter is land, and

 

Where the land forms an entire estate, or a definite share of an estate, paying annual revenue to Government, or forms part of such an estate and is recorded in the Collector’s register as separately assessed with such revenue ; and such revenue is permanently settled – ten times the revenue so payable ;

 

Where the land forms an entire estate, or a definite share of an estate, paying annual revenue to Government, or forms part of such estate and is recorded as aforesaid ; and such revenue is settled, but not permanently –

five times the revenue so payable ;

 

Where the land pays no such revenue, or has been partially exempted from such payment, or is charged with any fixed payment in lieu of such revenue, and net profits have arisen from the land during the year next before the date of presenting the plaint – fifteen times such net profits ; but where no such net profits have arisen therefrom – the amount at which the Court shall estimate the land with reference to the value of similar land in the neighbourhood;

 

Where the land forms part of an estate paying revenue to Government, but is not a definite share of such estate and is not separately assessed as above-mentioned – the market-value of the land: proviso as to Bombay Presidency: – Provided that, in the territories subject to the (Note: See paragraph 8 of the A.O. 1937. In view of this provision the expression “Governor of Bombay in Council” has been left unmodified) Governor of Bombay in Council, the value of the land shall be deemed to be—

 

Where the land is held on settlement for a period not exceeding thirty years and pays the full assessment to Government—a sum equal to five times the survey-assessment ;

 

Where the land is held on a permanent settlement, or on a settlement for any period exceeding thirty years, and pays the full assessment to Government—a sum equal to ten times the survey assessment ; and

 

Where the whole or any part of the annual survey-assessment is remitted—sum computed under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of this proviso, as the case may be, in addition to ten times the assessment, or the portion of assessment, so remitted.

 

Explanation. – The word “estate”, as used in this paragraph, means any land subject to the payment of revenue, for which the proprietor or a farmer or ryot shall have executed a separate engagement to Government, or which, in the absence of such engagement, shall have been separately assessed with revenue ;

 

for houses and gardens:- where the subject-matter is a house or garden-according to the market-value of the house or garden;

 

To enforce a right of pre-emption:- In suits to enforce a right of pre-emption-according to the value [computed in accordance with paragraph (v) of this section] of the land, house or garden in respect of which the right is claimed ;

 

For interest of assignee of land-revenue ; In suits for the interest of an assignee of land-revenue fifteen times his net profits as such for the year next before the date of presenting the plaint ;

 

To set aside an attachment ; In suits to set aside an attachment of land or of an interest in land or revenue-according to the amount for which the land or interest was attached :

 

Provided that, where such amount exceeds the value of the land or interest, the amount of fee shall be computed as if the suit were for the possession of such land or interest ;

 

(ix) To redeem; In suits against a mortgage for the recovery of the property mortgaged, to foreclose ; and in suits by a mortgage to foreclose the mortgage, or, where the mortgage is made by conditional sale, to have the sale declared absolute – according to the principal money expressed to be secured by the instrument of mortgage ;

 

(x) for specific performance ; – In suits for specific performance — Of a contract of sale-according to the amount of the consideration;

 

Of a contract of mortgage—according to the amount agreed to be secured;

 

Of a contract of lease-according to the aggregate amount of the fine or premium (if any) and of the rent agreed to be paid during the first year of the term;

 

Of an award—according to the amount or value of the property in dispute ;

(xi) between landlord and tenant.—In the following suits between landlord and tenant ;-

 

For the delivery by a tenant of the counterpart of lease,

 

To enhance the rent of a tenant having a right of occupancy,

 

For the delivery by a landlord of a lease,

 

(Note: Ins. by Act 6 of 1905, s.2(1)) For the recovery of immovable property from a tenant, including a tenant holding over after the determination of a tenancy]

 

To contest a notice of ejectment.

 

To recover the occupancy of [(Note: Subs. by s.2(2), ibid, for “land”) immovable property] from which a tenant has been illegally ejected by d the landlord, and

 

For abatement of rent — According to the amount of the rent of the [immovable property] to which the suit refers, payable for the year next before the date of presenting the plaint.

 

COMMENTS

 

In general the court fee has to be decided on the basis of the subject matter of the suit and the appeal arising therefrom. It shall not be substantially affected by the claim as set out in the relief by the plaintiff. In Re. Thriupathiammal AIR 1956 Mad 179.

 

It has been held that the question of court fee must be decided having regard to the averments made in the plaint itself and the contentions raised in the written statement or the final decision on merits cannot affect the same. Sathappa Chettiar vs Ramanathan Chettiar.

 

It has been held that when the plaintiff paid advalorem court fee in a suit for recovery of a specific calculated amount as damages on account of leakage of cooking gas cylinder leading to accident the valuation was correct. Bhagwant Sarup vs Himalary Gas Co. – AIR 1985 HP 41

 

It has been held that in a suit for partition the share claimed by the plaintiff would determine the court fee and not he property as a whole. Rakesh Chandra Das vs Khan Bahadur Abdul Majid Choudhary AIR 1982 Gauhati 82.

 

It has been held that valuation as set up the plaintiff in the plaint of the suit is conclusive and final. Kesho Mahton vs Ayodhya Mahton – AIR 1983 PAT 67.

 

It has been held that section 7 (iv) (f) is applicable to a suit for dissolution of partnership at will and rendition of accounts in as much as it is a suit for accounts and value for jurisdiction and court fee is the same advalorem court fee to be paid under section 7. Madan Mohan Sharma vs Uttam Singh Bagga – AIR 1985 J &K 87.

 

The Code of Civil Procedure empowers the court to make up deficiency of court fees and under Order VII Rule 11 it is provided 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 has bee held in such cases where the valuation made by the plaintiff in respect of the suit property is unreasonable and arbitrary the court can exercise its powers vested in it under Order VII Rule 11 CPC, Mana Das vs Kisto Das – AIR 1983 Patna 272.

 

The Delhi High Court has held that if plaintiff files a suit for declarations and injunctions and the reliefs claimed therein are wholly independent of each other then the suit is not governed by Section 7(iv) (c). S.C. Malik vs Surender Nath Puri – 1991 Rajdhani Law Reporter (NOTE) 85.

 

It has been held that the words “Subject Matter” used in the Section include relief or reliefs. Managing Director. Hafiz vs Mustt Noorjahan – AIR 1989 GAU 13.

 

It has been held that in a single suit for recovery filed by a Bank against the defendant borrower pertaining to separate accounts in its different branches court fee has to be paid on each of the accounts separately. Bank of India vs Vinod Kumar Bhalla – AIR 1988 Delhi 79.

 

It has been held that Paragraph (iv) of Section 7 of the Court Fees Act gives a right to the plaintiff in any of the suits mentioned in the clauses of that paragraph to place any valuation that he likes on the reliefs he seeks, subject, however to any rules made under Section 9 of the Suit Valuation Act and the court has no power to interfere with the plaintiff’s valuation. Shiela Devi vs Kishan Lal Katra – ILR (1974) 2 Delhi (FB) 491 Commercial Aviation & Travel Co. vs Vinal Pannalal – AIR 1988 SC 1636.

 

 

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The Court Fees’ Act, 1870

 

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