Present: Shaw J.
KOMALE v> PETHA et al.
291—C. R. Anuradhapura, 10,379.
Jurisdiction—^Action filed in Court of Requests—Land Rs. 20 m value—
No intention to evade the jurisdiction of Village Tribunal.
Where an action has been commended, which is on the face ofit within the jurisdiction of the Court of Bequests and not withinthe jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal, the Court of Bequests hasjurisdiction to hear the case, even although thevalue may not exceedthe amount of the jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal, if it is ofopinion that the valuation of the land by the plaintiff was notwith the intention to evade the jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal.
Shaw J.—“It certainly appears somewhat startling that theintention of the plaintiff can affect the jurisdiction of the Court,”
facts appear from the judgment.
V. Perera, for the appellant.
J. Joseph, for the respondents.
( 262 )
May 6,1921. Shaw J.—
In this case the plaintiff brought an action in the Court of Bequestsfor a declaration of title to certain lands mentioned in the plaint.He valued the lands in the plaint at Rs. 26. Upon the case comingon for trial, it appeared that the plaintiff, some nine months beforeaction was brought, purchased the lands for Rs. 20. This wasbrought to the attention of the Commissioner by the defendants’proctor. Thereupon the Commissioner said: “ This brings itwithin the jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal. Parties are referredto the Village Tribunal. Costs divided.” This is an appeal fromhis order. The first thing that I desire to point out is that the valueof the lands is not necessarily the sum of money which the plaintiffgave for it nine months before, or, indeed, at any other time. Peopleoften buy land as well as other property for considerably under itstrue market value. There does not seem to me to be any sufficientevidence before the Commissioner on which he could find that thevalue of the property is not more than Rs. 20, and therefore, thatthe case is within the jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal. Butthere is another point which may render it unnecessary for theCommissioner to go into the question of the value of these lands.It has been held in various cases in this Court that where an actionhas been commenced,which is on the face of it within the jurisdictionof the Court of Requests and not within the jurisdiction of theVillage Tribunal, the Court of Requests has'jurisdiction to hear thecase, even although the value may not exceed the amount of thejurisdiction of the Village Tribunal, if it is of opinion that thevaluation of the land by the plaintiff was not with the intention toevade the jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal. I refer particularlyto the cases of Carolis v. Siyadoris1 and Pieris Appuhamy v. TJkkutoa *There are single Judge cases, and purport to follow the case of LokuBanda v. Yahapda Veda? which is a two-judge decision. It is notdear to me that this case decides any such question as has beenimputed to it. I feel that I ought not to depart from the ruling6that I have mentioned, and there are, I believe, other rulings to thesame effect. It certainly appears somewhat startling that theintention of the plaintiff can affect the jurisdiction of the Court.In view of these decisions, I have no option but to set aside theorder appealed from, and remit the case to the Commissioner ofRequests with instructions to hear the case if he is of opinion thatthe plaintiff did not over-value the lands for the purpose of oustingthe jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal, and in any case, before hedismisses the action, to take evidence on the present value of theland. The appellant is entitled to the oosts of the appeal.
» 2 O.WM. Si. * 1 Wijewardent'o Report* 2$.9 U9ZS) U NJLM. 481.
KOMALE v. PETHA et al