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A Suit Cannot Be Valued Differently By Plaintiff For Purpose Of Jurisdiction & For Payment Of Court Fees: Delhi High Court.

Delhi High Court ordered that plaintiff cannot value suit differently for purpose of jurisdiction & for payment of court fees. This was seen in the case of RAJINDER SINGH BHATIA v. MANJU BHATIA (CS(OS) 172/2021) and the judgement was presided over by the Coram of HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE NEENA BANSAL KRISHNA.

Facts of the Case-         

A suit for Permanent and Mandatory Injunction was filed by Plaintiff and he had valued his suit for Rs.2.5 crores for the purpose of jurisdiction. However, he paid the fixed court fee for Mandatory and Permanent Injunction by fixing the valuation at Rs.500 each. He submitted that the suit has been correctly valued for the purpose of jurisdiction and court fee has been paid correctly and there is not merit in the application.

The suit was decreed in favour of the plaintiff vide order on the basis of the settlement between the parties in terms of an MoU. According to the MoU, the parties to the suit and the sisters had clearly stated that the plaintiff would be 100% owner of the suit property. The defendant had also promised to vacate the subject property. However, the defendant has failed to vacate the property and hence, the plaintiff has filed a suit for Mandatory Injunctions for directing the defendant to remove herself and her belongings from the suit property aside from other reliefs.

Judgement-

The Delhi High Court has observed that a plaintiff cannot adopt a dual policy of valuing the suit at a certain value for the purpose of jurisdiction and payment of court fees. It said, “The plaintiff cannot adopt a dual policy of valuing his suit at a certain value for the purpose of jurisdiction and for the purpose of payment of court fees. Once the suit has been valued at a certain value, the advolerum court fees has to be paid mandatorily on the same valuation,”.

The court further added that though it is in the discretion of the plaintiff to value his suit as per his bona fide belief and discretion, but once the suit has been valued in terms of sec. 8 of the Suit Valuation Act, the court fee shall become payable on the same amount in terms of sec. 7 of the Court Fees Act. “It is no doubt true that the law gives a discretion to the plaintiff to value his suit and such discretion as exercised by the plaintiff in mentioning the valuation of the suit must not be interfered by the Court” it said.

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Judgement review by Utkarsh Sahu.

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