Read Order: Banwari Lal v. Mool Chand and Others 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, April 12, 2022: While dealing with a revision petition assailing the order of the Trial Court dismissing the plaintiff’s application for refund of the court fees after the suit was decreed on a compromise entered into between the parties, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has reiterated that in such cases where a decree is passed on the ground of a compromise, an application for refund of court fees could be allowed as Section 89 CPC is also interpreted and extended to compromises entered into between the parties outside the Court. 

In this case, the suit of the plaintiff was decreed in terms of the compromise entered into between the parties. Thus, the plaintiff filed an application for a refund of the Court fee. However, the trial Court vide impugned order dated December 13, 2021, dismissed the said application holding that since the suit was not withdrawn but was decreed in terms of the compromise, hence no refund of court fees could be ordered. 

The Counsel for the petitioner, while citing decisions of the High Court itself, contended that even in a case in which a compromise was effected and the suit was decreed in terms of the compromise, an application for refund of court fees could be allowed as the provisions of Section 89 CPC would apply and the benefit of Section 16 of the Court Fee Act, 1870 would be available to the plaintiff. 

After considering the facts and the submissions of the Counsel, the Bench of Justice Alka Sarin noted that undisputedly, in the present case, the matter was settled between the parties and the suit was decreed in terms of the compromise. The observation of the Trial Court to the effect that the prayer for the refund of the court fee would not be sustainable since the suit was not withdrawn, was found by the Court to be wholly misplaced.

Thus, in this light, the Court opined that Section 89 CPC is interpreted and extended to compromises entered into between the parties outside the Court also. In the present case, the Court added that the settlement took place and the suit was decreed in terms of the said settlement.

Thus, in view of the above, the impugned order dated December 13, 2021, passed by the Additional Civil Judge, Sr. Division, Kosli was set aside. The petitioner was held entitled to the refund of court fees. 

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