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Court fee not required to be determined on basis of evidence.


This appeal, by special leave, is at the instance of the appellants calling in question the legal property of the judgment and order dated 16th March, 2016 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras, Bench at Madurai in C.R.P. (MD) No. 847 of 2015 (PD), whereby the High Court has affirmed the order passed by the Principal District Judge, Dindigul in I.A. No. 94 of 2014 in Original Suit No. 20 of 2014 rejecting the prayer of the applicant/defendant for dismissal of the Original Suit of the ground of payment of inadequate court fee by placing reliance on a wrong provision of the Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suit Valuation Act, 1955 (for brevity, “the Act”).

Being of this view, the High Court dismissed the civil revision and directed the plaintiff to pay Court fee with further stipulation that unless paid, plaint would stand rejected.

On the basis of the aforesaid analysis, the Court opined that the view expressed by the Trial Court and the high Court was not justified in holding that the Court fee is required to be paid on the sale consideration mentioned in the sale deeds.

Hon’ble Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagoudar, JJ., have held that on a perusal of the decision in Rathnavarmaraja (supra), we find the controversy had arisen with regard to proper valuation and the stand of the defendant was that the Court fee had not been properly paid and in that context, the Court has held what as we have reproduced hereinabove. The issue being different, the said decision is distinguishable. We may reiterate that proper valuation of the suit property stands on a different footing than applicability of a particular provision of an Act under which Court fee is payable and in such a situation, it is not correct to say that it has to be determined on the basis of evidence and it is matter for the benefit of the revenue and the State and not to arm a contesting party with a weapon of defence to obstruct the trial of an action. It is because the Act empowers the defendant to raise the plea of jurisdiction on a different yardstick.

In the ultimate anlaysis, we arrive at the conclusion that the appeal is to be allowed, the impugned orders passed by the Trial Court and the High Court, being unsustainable are to be set aside.

J Vasanthi v.N Ramani Kanthammal, 2017 (177) AIC 7 (SC).


Welfare of child is of paramount importance in custody of child


Hon’ble Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagoudar, JJ., have held that the invocation of first strike principle as a decisive factor, in our opinion, would undermine and whittle down the wholesome principle of the duty of the Court having jurisdiction to consider the best interests and welfare of the child, which is of paramount importance. If the court is convinced in that regard, the fact that there is already an order passed by a foreign Court in existence may not be so significant as it must yield to the welfare of the child. That is only one of the factors to be taken into consideration. The interests and welfare of the child are of paramount consideration. The of comity of Courts as observed in Dhanwati Joshi’s case (supra), in relation to non-convention countries is that the Court in the country to which the child is removed will consider the question on merits bearing the welfare of the child as of paramount importance and consider the order of the foreign Court as only a factor to be taken into consideration. While considering that aspect, the Court may reckon the fact that the child was abducted from his or her country of habitual residence but the Court’s overriding consideration must be the child’s welfare.

Nithya Anand Raghavan v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2017 (177) AIC 134 (SC).


Arbitrator has power to grant interest on damages.


Hon’ble J.S. Kehar, C.J.I., D.Y. Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, JJ., have held that the contract in the present case contains no bar or prohibition against the award of interests. However, it has been submitted on behalf of the Board that the claimant was paid a sum of Rs. 9,16,825/- towards escalation, which was the amount contemplated under Clause 2.3.1 of the Contract. However, as we have noted, this provision in the contract was correctly held by the arbitrator to apply only during the scheduled term of the contract and not in respect of the extended period. The respondent in its initial demands dated 7 March, 1986 and 23 April, 1986 made claims on account of price escalation and submitted a consolidated bill on 9 June, 1986. On 20 April, 1987 the claimant addressed a legal notice, claiming a sum of Rs. 10,73,416/- together with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum. In the circumstances upon the issuance of the above notice, the claimant was clearly entitled to claim interests with effect from 20 April, 1987. The High Court was hence in error in setting aside the award of interest.

In our view, having regard to what is stated above, claimant is entitled to interest on the sum awarded form 20 April, 1987 to 31 December, 1997 and thereafter from the date of the decree of the Trial Court until payment or realization. The rate of interest is, however, modified to 12 per cent per annum, in respect of both the above periods.

Assam State Electricity Board v. Buildworth Pvt. Ltd., 2017 (177) AIC 184 (SC).


Complaint under section 498-A, I.P.C. to be investigated only by a designated I.O.


Hon’ble A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit, JJ., have held that and gave directions:

(i) (a) In every district one or more Family Welfare Committees be constituted by the District Legal Services Authorities ;

(ii) Complaints under section 498-A and other connected offences may be investigated only by a designated Investigation Officer of the area. Such designations may be made within one month from today. Such designated officer may be required to undergo training for such duration (not less than one week) as may be considered appropriate. The training may be completed within four months from today;

(iii) In cases where a settlement is reached, it will be open to the District and Sessions Judge or any other senior Judicial Officer nominated by him in the district to dispose of the proceedings including closing of the criminal case if dispute primarily relates to matrimonial discord and other directions.

Rajesh Sharma v. State of UP, 2017 (177) AIC 224 (SC).

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