Fernando v. &i-ftnon Singho
1960Present :Basnayake, C.J., and Sansoni, J.BABONA FERNANDO and 2 others, Appellants, and SIMON SINGHO,
S. C. 234—D. C. OampaTta, 4003jL
Stamp duty on actions—Computation of the value of a legal proceeding—Appeal—Sufficiency of stamps for decree of Supreme Court—Stamp Ordinance, ScheduleA, Part II;
In computing, for the purpose of stamp duty, the value of a legal proceeding,the value of all the matters on which the plaintiff seeks the decision of theCourt must be aggregated. Where the defendant also makes claims the ag-gregate value of wliich is higher than those of the plaintiff, the higher amountis the one on which duty is payable.
Where sufficient stamps for the decree of the Supreme Court have not beendelivered, together with the petition of appeal,. as required by Schedule A(Part II—F) to the Stamp Ordinance, the appeal would be rejected.
PEAL from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Gampaha.
Walter Wimalachandra, with JM. T. JM. Sivardeen, for ' Plain tifis-Appellants.
No appearance for Defendant-Respondent.
BASNAVAJBLE, C.3‘Fernando v. Simon Singho
June 29, 1960, Basnayaxk, C.J.—
This case has been listed by the Registrar for the directions of thisCourt as sufficient stamps for the decree of this Court have not beendelivered, together with the petition of appeal, as required by ScheduleA (Part II-F) to'the Stamp Ordinance (Vol. IV p. 749).
The appellant has delivered stamps to the value of Rs. 12/-. TheRegistrar submits that the correct amount of stamp duty is Rs. 15/-.The action is in resp’ect of an undivided share of a land'. The shareis valued at Rs. 2,000/-. The plaintiffs ask that they be declared entitledto the share they claim, that the defendant be ejected therefrom and fordamages in a sum of Rs. 360/- up to the date of action and thereafter atRs. 120/- per annum.
The question is how is the value of the proceeding to be computedfor the purpose of stamp duty ? Having regard, to the language ofSchedule A Part II which reads “ Containing the Duties oh Daw Pro-ceedings ”, and “ In the Supreme Court ”, “ In the District Courts ”,
“ In the Courts of Requests ”, and “ In the Magistrates’ Courts ” res-pectively, I am of opinion that the value of all the matters on whichthe plaintiff seeks the decision of the Court must be aggregated in orderto determine the value of the proceeding. Where the defendant alsomakes claims the aggregate value of which is higher than thoseof the plaintiff the higher amount is the one on which duty is payable.
Learned Counsel for the appellant who, when this matter first came upfor hearing, obtained time to study the previous decisions of this Courtquite properly submits that the Registrar’s claim that the duty is Rs. 15/-and not Rs. 12/- is in accordance with those decisions. He has quitecorrectly drawn our attention to them.
The first is Silva v. Fernando1. In that case Wendt J. observed—
The Stamp Ordinance, No. 3 of 1890, Schedule B, Part H., pres-cribes stamp duty on actions according to their value, but what it isthat is to be appraised in order to fix this value it does not specify. Inthe absence of such statement, I think we ought to appraise the “ sub-ject-matter”, meaning thereby the thing (whether land, chattel, money,or interest in one of these, or right or status) which the Court in decidingthe action has to determine the ownership of, not merely “relief”in the sense of that which the plaint expressly asks for and the decreeexpressly grants. If, therefore, plaintiff says defendant trespassed onhis land, and removed part of that land, to wit, plumbago worth Rs. 10,and prays for judgment for the Rs. 10, and defendant says the land ishis own, but the Court finds plaintiff is the owner, and gives himjudgment for Rs. 10, in that case the subject-matter dealt with by the-Court is not the Rs. 10 only, but the land in addition ; and if plaintiffhad, xea*son to suppose that defendant’s act was done in assertion of aclaim to the land, he ought to have stamped his plaint according to theaggregate of the values of the land and.of the plumbago.”
1 (1908) 11 N. L. R. 375.
Sidoris v. Ouneris
In the case of Sinapoo v. Theivanai and another1 Poyser S. P. J. stated—
“ I am of opinion that, in the absence of any explanatory wordsin the Stamp ordinance, the words ‘ tip to and including Ps. 500 *must mean the aggregate value of the claim, and if that is so, thecontention of the Attorney-General and respondent must succeed.”
The case of Maitripala v. Koys2 followed Sinapoo v. Theivanai andheld that the value for the purpose of Schedule A Part U containingDuties on Law Proceedings in the Supreme Court in Civil Proceedingsis the aggregate value of the claim. In a recent case which is still un-reported (S. C. No. 687[D. C. Jaffna No. L/423—S, C. Civil Minutes ofSeptember 2, 1959)3 my brother de Silva and I expressed the same view.
As the correct amount of stamp duty has not been delivered togetherwith the petition of appeal we reject the appeal.
Sansont, J.—I agree.
BABONA FERNANDO and 2 others, Appellants and SIMON SINGHO, Respondent