The Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case Mrs. Manjit Kaul Versus Mr. Anil Kumar observed and held that a suit claiming quantified damages for alleged defamation amounts to a ‘money suit’ and hence, ad valorem Court-fees would be payable on the amount claimed.
The bench comprising of Justice Meenakshi I. Mehta observed while dealing with a revision petition filed against the order of the Trial Court directing plaintiff to pay ad-valorem court fee in accordance with her claim for the recovery of Rs.10 lac and for alleging the defamatory language used by the defendant against her.
It was submitted by the plaintiff that at the time of the final decision of the civil suit filed by her against the defendant, she is ready to affix the proper court fee on the plaint but however, the impugned order requiring her at the very initial stage in the suit to affix the ad-valorem court fee on the amount of the damages claimed by her. The bench stated that it is not legally sustainable and deserves to be set-aside.
In the present case, the bench observed that the plaintiff has filled the above-said civil suit against the defendant for seeking a decree for recovery of Rs.10 lac as damages as the damages were claimed on the account of the defamatory language used to tarnish her image and reputation by him. Therefore, the Plaintiff has quantified the amount sought to be recovered from the defendant as damages and it being so, the said civil suit falls within the category of money suits.
It was stated that a reference was made with regards to Section 7 (i) of the Court Fees Act, 1870. The section provides for money including suits for damages or compensation, etc., the amount of the court-fee payable shall be according to the amount claimed.
The Court stated that in these circumstances that it is quite explicit that the plaintiff is required to pay/affix the ad-valorem court fee on the plaint with respect to her claim which is for the recovery of the amount of Rs. 10 lacs from the defendant as damages claimed on defamatory language.
the court concluded that the impugned order does not suffer from any illegality, irregularity, infirmity or perversity so as to warrant any interference by this Court, as a sequel to the foregoing discussion.
The bench dismissed the revision petition being sans any merit is dismissed.