Read Order: Rakesh Kumar Saini v. Charan Singh And Anr 

Monika Rahar 

Chandigarh, May 05, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reiterated that no ad valorem court fee is required to be affixed where the relief claimed in a plaint is for an injunction. 

Also, while addressing the contention of one of the parties, the Bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul also held that Article 54 of the Limitation Act, 1963 was not applicable to the case in hand since it was a suit for permanent injunction and not for specific performance of a contract. 

The instant petition was filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India to impugn the order of the Trial Court whereby an application which was moved by the petitioner (first defendant) for rejection of the plaint filed by the plaintiff-respondent under Order 7 Rule 11 read with Section 151 CPC, was dismissed.

The Counsel for the petitioner inter alia contended that the suit filed by the first respondent-plaintiff for a permanent injunction was not maintainable in view of the provisions of Section 41(h) of the Specific Relief Act. Elaborating on this submission, it was argued that as per the provisions of this Act, there is an equally efficacious relief of specific performance of the agreement to sell dated April 16, 2021, available to the first respondent-plaintiff. 

He further submitted that the first respondent-plaintiff intentionally undervalued the relief claimed so as to avoid paying the ad valorem court fee since the total sale consideration of the agreement to sell was Rs.78,00,000/-. The counsel submitted that on this ground itself that the plaint was insufficiently stamped and thus it should have been rejected by the court below. 

It was also his case that the suit of the plaintiff was also barred by limitation in view of Article 54 of the Limitation Act, 1963. In support, learned counsel has placed reliance upon Atma Ram Vs. Charanjit Singh.

The plaintiff averred in the plaint that in August 2021, the date of execution of the sale deed was extended to April 30, 2022, therefore, the cause of action for filing the suit for specific performance would arise only after April 30, 2022, if the sale deed was not executed by the petitioner in favour of the first respondent. 

The Counsel for the plaintiff contended that since no equally efficacious remedy was available to the first respondent-plaintiff, on the date of institution of the suit in question, the present suit for permanent injunction was thus maintainable. Whether or not the date was actually extended would be a matter to be appreciated during the trial and the same cannot be gone into by this Court at this stage. 

At the very outset, the Court observed that the contention of the counsel for the petitioner with respect to the suit being undervalued and insufficiently stamped inasmuch as ad Valorem court fee was not affixed, was bereft of any merit. 

In light of the above, the Court expounded that it is settled law that no ad valorem court fee is required to be affixed where the relief claimed in a plaint is for an injunction. 

Coming to the last contention of the counsel with respect to Article 54 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the Court held that it is not applicable to the case in hand since it is a suit for permanent injunction and not for specific performance of a contract. 

Even otherwise, the Court asserted that the period of limitation for a suit for specific performance of a contract is three years from the date fixed for the performance of the contract. 

Therefore, the Court held that the suit could not be said to be barred by limitation and hence, the same was dismissed.

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