1. This application raises the question whether a suit should be valued notionally or ad, valorem, the decision of which will also involve the farther question of jurisdiction. The learned District Judge has held that the suit can be valued notionally setting aside the order of the learned District Munsif that the valuation should be according to the market value. The respondent frankly admits that the judgment of the learned Judge can only be supported if it is found that this suit falls under Section 7(iv)(b) of the Court Fees Act. The plaintiff states in his plaint that the family has been divided in status since 1921 and now he sues for a partition by metes and bounds. Is it a suit to enforce the right to share in any property on the ground that it is joint family property? This is by no means an easy question to decide, but I think it is answered authoritatively by Rangiah Chetty v. Subramania Chetty (1910) 21 M.L.J. 21 (F.B.). Krishnaswami Aiyar, J., observes at page 26:
There is a joint family at the date of the suit. The plaintiff’s right to have the property divided is on the ground that the property belongs to the joint family on that date
and at the bottom of page 24
It must be admitted that a suit by a tenafit-in-common in joint possession for the partition of the ‘common property not belonging to a joint lamily cannot fall under this clause.
2. When a coparcenary has been disrupted, it cannot I think be described as a joint family though the property of the family has not been divided by metes and bounds. Therefore in the light of this interpretation the plaint would not fall under Section 7(iv)(b); and reading Section 4 along with Section 8 of the Suits Valuation Act it must be held that the valuation in this case cannot be notional. No argument has been advanced in this Court as regards the cancellation of the sale-deed which the plaintiff prefers to treat as void-a matter on which I need express no opinion. In so far as the ruling of the learned District Judge is not set aside, the District Judge’s order as regards other matters will stand. In the result, therefore, the plaint will have to be returned for presentation to the proper Court.
3. The petitioner will have his costs.