SOERTSZ A.CJ.—Pelpola v. Goonesinghe.
1939Present: Soertsz A.C.J.
PELPOLA v. GOONESINGHE.
500—M. C. Colombo, 3.
Costs—Objection to voter’s qualification—Order for costs—Basis of tcucation—Colombo Municipal Council (Constitution) Ordinance, No. 60 of 1935.s. 25.
Where costs are awarded under section 25 of the Municipal Council(Constitution) Ordinance, No. 6 of 1935, it is desirable that the Courtawarding costs should either fix the amount or indicate some principlefor their assessment.
The fees actually paid to Counsel in the Municipal Court and in appealshould be allowed.
HIS was an application for revision of a bill of costs in the MunicipalCourt of Colombo.
N. Nadarajah (with him S. Mahadeva), for petitioner.
C. V. Ranawake (with him D. D. Athulathmudali), for respondent.
'' “Cur. adv. vult.
May 16, 1939. Soertsz A.C.J.—
This is a matter arising out of the taxation of the costs allowed by thisCourt to an objector who successfully objected to the qualification of therespondent, both in the Municipal Court and in this Court.
The order was that the respondent do pay to the petitioner the costsof the inquiry and of the appeal.
There is no special provision of law dealing with the taxation of costsin a matter of this kind, nor did the order of this Court fix costs orindicate any principle for their assessment. In this connection,. I wouldventure to say that this is a matter for the attention of the Legislature,and that in the meantime, it is desirable that orders for costs in thesecases should either fix a definite sum, or should, at least, indicate someprinciple for their assessment. In this instance, the petitioner presentedto the Registrar a bill for Rs! 1,132,01. The Registrar disallowed itemsaggregating Rs. 803.53 and taxed the bill at Rs. 328.48. He treated thecase as if it arose in the Court of Requests. This was quite an arbitrarymethod. The petitioner contends that it should have been treated asa case falling within the highest District Court class, an equallyarbitrary view.
Parties, through Counsel appearing for them at the argument beforeme, desired that I should examine the bill and fix such a sum for costs asI consider fair. Here again an element of arbitrariness is introduced,but there does not seem to be any other way out of the difficulty, and inview of the request made by Counsel, I address myself to this task.
In my opinion, the amounts shown to have been actually paid toCounsel in the Municipal Court and on appeal should have been allowedin their entirety. The certificates of the Counsel appearing in bothCourts are affixed to the bill and show, that a sum of Rs. 220.50 and
ABRAHAMS CJ.—Sivasampu v. Carolis Appu.
Rs. 388.50 were paid to Counsel in the Municipal and Appeal Courtsrespectively. The Registrar has nilled Rs. 147 in one case and Rs. 304.50in the other. Matters of this kind which involve the civic rights andduties of persons are of great importance to the parties concernedand also to the city,,and I do not think it can be said that parties areacting extrava'gantly if they desire to be well represented by Counsel onoccasions when those rights and duties are in question. There wasnothing to debar them from being so represented. It would have beendifferent – if the Legislature had fixed the costs recoverable. In such acontingency, if parties chose to incur heavier costs than those allowed bylaw, the-excess expenditure was their affair. I, therefore, add Rs. 451.50to the sum allowed by the Registrar.
I am also of opinion that the sum of Rs. 6.20 on account of stampsand for certified copies should not have been nilled. I add that sum too.That makes Rs. 457.70 which must be added to the sum of Rs. 328.48.
therefore, fix the costs payable in both Courts at Rs. 786.18, andmake no order for costs of this application.
PELPOLA v. GOONESINGHE