Posted On by &filed under Calcutta High Court, High Court.

Calcutta High Court
Moosa Soleman Salehji And Ors. vs Secretary Of State on 2 December, 1927
Equivalent citations: AIR 1929 Cal 135, 117 Ind Cas 692


1. This is an application made on behalf of the appellants who filed four appeals against the decision of the District Judge in four land acquisition matters relating to the compensation awarded for acquisition of four plots of land. The appellants are the same and the respondent is the Secretary of State in all the cases. Although the lands were in possession of different tenants, they are no parties to these appeals. The application on behalf of the appellants is that all the four appeals may be consolidated and, in effect, the prayer is that the memoranda of appeals in all these cases should be considered as one memorandum of appeal ; after having done that, to apply Section 17, Court-fees Act, and to allow them to pay Court-fees on the consolidated value of all the four appeals instead of paying Court-fees for each appeal separately, as they are bound to do under ordinary circumstances. In support of the application, the learned vakil for the petitioners referred to the case of Kashi Prosad Singh v. Secretary of State [1902] 29 Cal. 140. The last paragraph of the head note to the report apparently supports the contention of the petitioners : ‘but as the learned Government Pleader has drawn our attention to the reasoning in the judgment if seems to us that the learned Judge did not accept the contention of the counsel on behalf of the appellant petitioners in that case that they should be required to pay Court-fees on the consolidated value of all these appeals At p. 147 the learned Judges make the following observation.

There seems to be no reason in’ principle why we should not in these cases make an order consolidating them, so as to enable the appellants to have any benefit to which they may be entitled under Section 17, coupled with the proviso of Article 1, Schedule 1, to which we have already referred. Section 17 declares that, if there are distinct subjects involved in a plaint or in an appeal, the Court-fee payable was to be calculated on the aggregate amount of the fees to which the plaints or memorandum of appeal in suits embracing separately each of such subjects would be liable under this Act. Mr Donogh on behalf of the appellants contends that the subject matter of these different references are practically one and the same We are not prepared to give effect to that contention The plots are different , they are occupied by different tenants the references were separate, and no application was made in the Court below for consolidation The application to the Subordinate Judge was simply for the purpose of treating the cases as similar in their nature and therefore, we think that we ought not to treat them as all referring to one subject matter So far we are at one with the learned Government Pleader

2. These observations clearly support the contention of the Senior Government pleader in the present case There is no objection to consolidating a number of appeals in the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the Court, if the matter for consideration in a number of appeals is the same and the parties are the same. But it is another matter when it is sought to invoke the and of Section 17, Court fees Act, on the allegation that the memorandum of appeal in each of these four cases should be consolidated into one memorandum of appeal and treated as if it was one memorandum embracing two 0f more distinct subjects That, in our opinion, it is difficult to hold and the learned Judges in the case referred to did not hold it to be so The learned Judges in the concluding portion of the judgment expressed then order in that appeal in the following terms
We, accordingly direct that the appeals be consolidated, and that the appellants do pay Court fees upon the value of the consolidated appeals under Section 17, Court fees Act, subject to the lmitation under Article 1, Sch 1 of the Act, namely, Rs. 3000

3. We are unable to follow why the learned Judges refeired to Section 17, Court-fees Act, in this connexion The question as to the maximum amount of Court-fees payable does not arise in the case before us So fan as the judgment goes, the learned Judges were of opinion that Section 17 could not be invoked in and of the petitioners in such a case as this We are also of opinion that we are unable to treat the memorandum in each of these appeals as one memorandum for a single appeal. The appeals may be consolidated for the purpose of hearing them but Court-fees must be paid separately for each according to the provisions of the Court-fees Act The petitioners have paid the proper Court-fees for two of these appeals , with regard to the other two, the deficit Court fees have not been paid. We allow them time to pay the balance of the Court-fees due on or before Monday, 5th December next. There will be no order as to costs of this hearing.

4. Let the papers be sent down to the office without delay.

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