LYALL GRANT -J.—Gooneralne v. Bishop of Colombo.
Present: Lyall Grant and Drleberg JJ.
GOONEBATNE v. BISHOP OF COLOMBO.
13~>—U. C. Matara, 4,918
Privy Council—Conditional leave—Share of land below value of five thousand rupees—Judgment for plaintiff—Other claims on the same title—Claim or question—PrivyCouncil (Appeals) Ordinance, No. 31 of 1909.
Where the defendant applied for conditional leave to appeal to the Privy Council froma judgment, declaring the plaintiff entitled to the share of a land, below the value ofRs, 6,000, on the ground that defendant's title to the rest of the land might be challengedby other claimants under the same title,—
Held, that the defendant was not entitled to leave to appeal.
^ PPLICATION for leave to appeal to the Privy Council.
N. E. Weerasooria, in support.
H. V. Perera, contra.
August 7, 1931. Lyall Grant J.—
I am of opinion that leave to appeal must be refused. The value ofthe matter in dispute is agreed on by the parties to be much belowBs. 5,000.
The argument that the appeal indirectly involves a question respectingproperty of the value of over Bs. 5,000 cannot I think be sustained.
In the case cited to us, McFarlane v. Leclaire1, the judgment of theCourt below if left undisturbed involved the defendant in liability for a6um exceeding £500.
In i4/lan v. Pratt3, it was laid down that the ordinary rule is that whatis to be looked at is the value of the claim to the respondent.
The argument that other claims in respect ol other shares in the landmay possibly be made against the defendant, that the total value of suchclaims may exceed Bs. 5,000 and that therefore the appeal indirectly»IS Moore P. C. Cases 181* 13 A. C. 780
64DBIEBEBG J.—Oooneratnc o. Bishop of Colombo.
involves a larger claim is one for which no authority has been citedand one to which I am unable to agree. The claims of other plaintiffsin other matters are not affected by this action. They must be tried inseparate actions and the decision in the present case will only be anauthority to be quoted in any such action and any such claim cannot beregarded as res judicata. Further, it is not suggested that anyone isin a position to make such a claim. The present judgment thereforedoes not involve a larger claim than the amount in dispute between theparties.
Apart from the question of the right of the defendant to appeal, wewere asked to use our discretion to allow the appeal in order that twoquestions of law might be settled both of which were represented to beof great importance and in an unsettled state.
The first was the question whether the Judge in,a partition suit wherethe defendant named in the plaint appeared and admitted the plaintiff’stitle, was bound to investigate plaintiff's title. There is a long series,of cases answering this question in the affirmative and I think it may be’taken as well established law.' I do not think the question is sufficientlydoubtful to justify a reference to His Majesty in Council.
The second was a question of registration. In regard to this I do-not think any broad issue was raised. The decision depended to aconsiderable extent on facts peculiar to this case.
On neither of these grounds do I think we should be justified inexercising our discretion to allow an appeal.
The application for leave to appeal i's refused.
The defendant applies for conditional leave to appeal against a judg-ment of this Court declaring the plaintiff entitled to an undivided 1/30'share of a land; the defendant was awarded Rs. 3,600 as compensationfor improvements. The matters in dispute between the parties are-admittedly below Rs. 5,000 in value but it was contended that theappeal involved indirectly a claim or question respecting property ofmore than Rs. 5,000 in value.
It is said that if the defendant’s title to the rest of the land wasiichallenged by other descendants of William Dionysius Tillekeratna andhis wife on a claim similar to that of the plaintiff the defendant wouldbe bound bv this judgment; the aggregate of such claims would beconsiderably over Rs. 5,000 in value. But it is not alleged that there areany such claims or that there are actions by such claimants pending andI do not think we can assume that other claims must necessarily ariseas the result of this judgment.
It cannot be said that any such claims are involved in this appealmerely because of the possibility of their arising as the result of thisjudgment. The word “question” used in connection with the word “claim”'does not extend the scope of the section and apply to a question as toother shares of the defendant in this land which may arise as the resultof this judgment. Nor is it right to say that the defendant is boundby this judgment except to the extent-that, on two matters of law thereis a ruling that would be binding as an authority should the same matterarise for consideration, unless it be reversed by a Full Bench decision.
Tillekewardene t. Obeyesekere.
Mr. Perera contends that some of these possible claims will not necessarilysucceed by reason of the rulings on the two matters of law alone, forquestions of prescription may arise.
To my mind it is not possible to extend this provision to interestsother than those which are necessarily and finally determined by thejudgment.
It is true that the interests to be considered are those of the partyprejudiced by the judgment and these are not necessarily the same asthe interests of the successful party and which were the actual subjectof the contest; an example of this is the case of McFarlane v. Leclairewhere the effect of a judgment was to declare that a transfer of goodsto the appellant was void against the respondents and all other creditorsof the person from whom the appellant derived title. The respondent’sclaim was below the appealable value. It was held that an appeallay, for the appellant would be bound by the judgment in any claimsmade by the other creditors though they were not parties to the action,—that though the judgment was interlocutory in form it was final in itseffect on the rights of the appellant,—and that the value of these possibleclaims could therefore be considered in determining the right of theappellant to appeal.
It is not possible to look beyond the immediate effect of a judgment;it cannot be said in this case that the immediate effect of it is to finallydetermine the rights of other claimants, and the value of these possibleclaims cannot be considered in determining the interests of the defendantwhich are affected by the judgment from which he seeks to relieve himself.This principle was followed in the case of Allan v. Pratt 2.
I agree with my brother Lyall Grant that the question involved isnot one of such great general or public importance that it should besubmitted to His Majesty in Council for decision or that there are other- grounds for doing so.
The application is refused with costs.
GOONERATNE v. BISHOP OF COLOMBO