Read Order: BHARAT BHUSHAN GUPTA v. PRATAP NARAIN VERMA & ANR 

Mansimran Kaur

New Delhi, June 17, 2022: While allowing the appeal that emerged from the suit for mandatory and prohibitory injunction as  also recovery of damages for use and occupation of the suit property, as filed by the plaintiff-appellant against the defendants- respondents, the Supreme Court has observed that the High Court  totally omitted to consider Section 7(iv)(d) of the Court Fees Act.

Mentioning the unquestionable principle of law that such a suit for mandatory and prohibitory injunction is not required to be valued at the market value of the property, The Division bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari said, “It remains trite that it is the nature of relief claimed in the plaint which is decisive of the question of suit valuation. As a necessary corollary, the market value does not become decisive of suit valuation merely because an immovable property is the subject-matter of litigation.”


The present appeal arose out of a suit for mandatory and prohibitory injunction as  also recovery of damages for use and occupation of the suit property, as filed by the plaintiff-appellant against the defendants- respondents, wherein, an application filed by the contesting defendant under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908  during the course of plaintiff’s evidence, for rejection of the plaint for want of pecuniary jurisdiction of the Trial Court, was rejected by the Trial Court. However, the High Court took a different view in its impugned order  with reference to the statement made by the plaintiff in his cross-examination pertaining to the value of the suit property  and  ordered return of the plaint for filing the same in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction.

After examining the petition seeking special leave to appeal in this matter, this Court, while issuing notice, stayed the operation of the impugned order of the High Court. Thereafter, the trial of the subject suit proceeded further and ultimately, the suit was decreed on August 31, 2000 and the appeal filed by the contesting defendant was pending. The issue for consideration in the instant case was confined to determine the correctness and validity of the order passed by the High Court with respect to the suit valuation.

The Top Court was of the view that the impugned order passed by the High Court with reference to the statement made by the plaintiff in his cross- examination on the value of the suit property did not stand in conformity with the law and couldnot be sustained.

The Court further took into account Section 7(iv) (d) of the Court Fees Act.  In view of the same the Court noted that the market value of the immovable property involved in the litigation might have its relevance depending on the nature of relief claimed but, ultimately, the valuation of any particular suit has to be decided primarily with reference to the relief/reliefs claimed.

The Apex Court opined that the High Court did not even consider the overall circumstances of the present case where the plaintiff had valued the reliefs of mandatory and prohibitory injunction at the nominal Rs. 250 but, at the same time, had also valued the suit with reference to the claim of damages at Rs. 1 lakh and had paid the Court fees accordingly.  It was apparent on the face of the record that despite unquestionable principle of law that such a suit for mandatory and prohibitory injunction is not required to be valued at the market value of the property, the High Court had relied only upon the market value of the property to hold the valuation of the present suit to be arbitrary. Considering these aspects, the Bench held that such a conclusion of the High Court was not in conformity with law nor with the frame and the nature of the present suit.

Thus, in light of the aforesaid observations, the instant appeal was allowed and the impugned order passed by the High Court was set aside and quashed and the order of the Trial Court was restored. 

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