The Suits Valuation Act 1887 was formulated to prescribe values on certain suits to assist people to determine the jurisdiction of Courts where they can go for necessary aid.
The Suits Valuation Act of 1887 is generally read with the Court Fees Act of 1870. The central government formulated this Act for determining the value of a suit. The value for court fees in certain categories of lawsuits may also be determined by regulations under Section 9 of the Suits Valuation Act.
The Suits Valuation Act maps out a procedure for remedy if a suit has not been properly valued for jurisdictional purposes. The Act states that an Appellate Court cannot entertain an objection if taken in the Court of First Instance before hearing.
Table of Contents
Suits related to land
The provisions regarding the suits related to land have been detailed under Part I of the Suits Valuation Act of 1887.
Part I of the Suits Valuation Act states its extension to all local areas through the publication of the official gazette as directed as per the State Government.
Under the Suits Valuation Act, the State Government establishes rules and regulations defining land value solely for legal purposes. This section aligns with Section 7 paragraph 5, 6, and 10 (d) of the Court Fees Act,1870. The said section affirms all the proceedings in which the land is to be valued, and the value is to be determined as per the jurisdictional purpose. This section also specifies how land value differs according to various locations, types of land, and their interest.
Section 4 of the Suits Valuation Act of 1887 elucidates the valuation of Relief and the exceeding limits regarding the value of the land. Detailing the amount at which the jurisdictional purposes, the Relief regarding a particular suit is valued shall not exceed the value of land that has been determined by the Court Fees Act, 1870, specifically Section 7 para iv and article 17 of schedule II details the determination of the value of land.
Moreover, the State Government is empowered to make rules under Section 3. However, they are required to go through with prior consultation with the High Court as per Section 5.
Part II of the Suits Valuation Act of 1887 discusses suits other than the land described previously. Section 8 of the Act states that in such suits, the court fees are determined proportionately as per the Court Fees Act. The value for determining the court fees and the value for jurisdiction purposes will be the same.
Section 9 of the Suits Valuation Act 1887 helps to determine the value of certain suits with the help of the High Court. The High Court may, with the prior sanction of the State Government, direct that suits of that class should be treated as if their subject matter is of such value as determined by the High Court. This applies to suits of any class other than those mentioned in the Court-fees Act, 1870 (7 of 1870), Section 7, paragraphs v and vi, and paragraph x, clause (d).
Part III of the Suits Valuation Act of 1887 details about all supplemental provisions under jurisdictional purposes of suits and appeals.
Section 11 of the Suits Valuation Act of 1887 lays the procedure for objecting when a situation arises where a suit or an appeal has not been properly valued regarding jurisdictional purposes. Regardless of anything in Section 578 of the Code of Civil Procedure (14 of 1882), an objection that a Court of First Instance or lower Appellate Court which had no jurisdiction concerning the suit or appeal exercised jurisdiction with respect to the suit or appeal shall not be entertained by an Appellate Court unless
(a) The objection is brought before the Court of First Instance at or before the hearing. Here, issues are framed and recorded.
(b) If the Appellate Court is satisfied, based on grounds to be documented in writing, that action or appeal was overvalued or under-valued, which would harm the disposition of the suit on self merits.
Clause 2 of Section 11 explains that if any objection is taken up according to the above clauses, plus the Appellate Court is not satisfied as to the objection, in such a case, the Appellate Court has been empowered to dispose of the appeal clarifying that no defect of jurisdiction is present in the Court of first instance or a lower court.
Furthermore, clause 3 of Section 11 demonstrates the situation in which an objection has been taken up, and the Appellate Court is satisfied regarding the matter brought before it, it has the authority to proceed with the dealing of said appeal under the rules laid down by the Court in matters of appeals. However, it must direct its order to a Court qualified to hear the suit or appeal if it sends the case back (remand), frames and refers issues for trial, or calls for more evidence to be collected. In addition to this clause, every provision relating to an Appellate Court must be applied to a court empowered with such revisional jurisdiction under Section 622 of CPC.
Importance of Valuation of Suits
- Valuation of Suits is crucial in civil litigation, as it ensures the case is heard in the appropriate Court and facilitates a quick and effective legal process. Courts have jurisdictional limitations based on financial restrictions, and lesser-valued cases may be filed in lower courts, whereas higher-valued cases may be filed in higher courts.
- Valuation of Suits aids in determining the court fees, which are based on the value of the disputed issue. Proper valuation helps determine the exact amount of court fees a plaintiff must pay when filing the suit. Accurate valuation of suits is essential for calculating court costs, as it ensures fair participation in the legal system and maintains integrity. Consistency between value and court costs supports a litigant’s resolve to seek justice.
- Valuation of Suits assists in the admissibility of suits. Admissibility is a filter that separates cases that do not satisfy certain requirements. Valuation is critical in determining if a suit passes this test and is subject to judicial review. This relationship between valuation and admissibility highlights the complex nature of civil litigation, highlighting the delicate balance between judicial effectiveness and preserving plaintiffs’ rights.
Relevant Case Laws
Vasanthi v. N. Ramani Kanthammal:
In the case of J. Vasanthi & Ors. v. N Ramani Kanthammal (D) Rep. by LRs. & Ors [Civil Appeal No. 3396 of 2017], a three-judge bench ruled that proper valuation of a suit property shall not be determined solely on evidence, as it is a matter for the benefit of both revenue and the State. The Act of Valuation of Suits empowers the defendant to raise the plea of jurisdiction on a different yardstick, preventing a contesting party from obstructing the trial of an action.
Suhrid Singh alias Sardool Singh v. Randhir Singh and Ors:
The judgment of Suhrid Singh and Sardool Singh v. Randhir Singh and Ors talks about the deed’s cancellation. The Court held that the executant of the deed is required to pay an ad-valorem court fee based on the consideration specified in the sale deed if he wants to revoke the transaction. According to Article 17(iii) of the Second Schedule of the Act, if a non-executant is in Possession and files a lawsuit to have the deed declared void and not binding on him or his share, they must pay a fixed court fee of ‘19.50’.
However, suppose the non-executant is not in Possession, and they request both a finding that the sale deed is unlawful and the resultant Relief of Possession. In such a case, he or she must pay an ad-valorem court fee as specified in Section 7(iv)(c) of the Act.
The Suits Valuation Act has been formulated to help lawmen and laymen determine the jurisdiction of courts and where they can file their suits. They also assist them in finding the correct authority where a particular monetary amount of suit will be filed.
The Suits Valuation Act also aids individuals in determining the court fees when the rightful authority has been determined. Apart from the above, the Suits Valuation Act also lays down the rules and regulations defining land value for legal purposes. Along with this, it outlines the valuation of Relief and exceeding limits for land value, ensuring Relief cannot exceed the Court Fees Act’s determination.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the Suits Valuation Act of 1887 followed everywhere in the same manner?
The Suits Valuation Act of 1887 was followed in the territory of India. However, every state government has the authority to formulate certain rules depending on the jurisdictional value of the land in their respective states.
What is the importance of the Suits Valuation Act of 1887?
The Suits Valuation Act of 1887 has been composed to determine the value of the suit and the proper jurisdiction of the same. Moreover, this Act also aids in determining court fees.
How does The Suits Valuation Act determine the value of a suit?
To determine the value of a suit, the actual/original value of the land is taken up for consideration, which helps to map out the jurisdiction in which the suit is to be filed.
How are court fees determined?
Under the Suits Valuation Act of 1887, the court fees for a suit are determined after considering the amount of Relief that the complainant sought in their complaint or plaint.
What is the procedure if a suit is not valued properly?
In such cases, Part III of the Suits Valuation Act provides provisions and procedures for incorrect suit valuation. Herein, the Court will fix a date for the party to modify the valuation following the Court's ruling, and if there is any deficit, the same has to be paid.