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Present : Fisher C.J. and Drieberg J.
SATHASIVA KURUKKAIi SUBEAMANIAMKURUKKAL.30—D. C. Jaffna, J23,069.
Privy Council—Application for leave to appeal—Value of subject-matter—Test of value.
In an' application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council thetest that should be applied in determining the limit of value is.the extent to which the judgment affects. the interests of theparty who is prejudiced by it and who is seeking to relieve himselffrom it by appeal.
WO plaintiffs brought this, action to give effect to the appoint-ment by the .first plaintiff of the second plaintiff as “ his
successor and hereditary officiating priest in the MaviddapiramKandasamy Temple for a period of nine days in each month. "They further asked for a declaration that the plaintiffs were entitled -to the “ customary and usual emoluments and income attachingto the said office of priesthood during the said nine days ' andthey claimed damages at the rate of Rs. 150 a month fromFebruary 13, 1927, till the plaintiffs are restored to the quiet andpeaceful possession of the rights claimed by them. ” The plaintvalued the right claimed by the plaintiffs at Rs. 20,000.
The defendant in his answer denied the rights claime'd by theplaintiffs, particularly the right of the first plaintiff to convey therights in question, and pleaded that by reason of the deed purportingto assign these rights the first plaintiff ‘1 had forfeited his right to
1 (1861) Beven and. Siebel, p. 32, and in D. C. Galle, 22,212, 3. C. Afin., October 1,1867. '
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officiate as priest and the said right has now become vested in thedefendant as proprietor and manager of the said temple.’’ Theanswer valued the right in dispute at Rs. 2,500.
The learned Judge gave judgments in favour of the plaintiffswith damages at the rate of Rs. 400 per annum, which amounthad been agreed upon during the course of the trial. The judgmentwas affirmed by the Supreme Court. On an application by thedefendant for conditional leave to appeal to the Privy Council.
Ilayley, K.C. (with Garvin), in support.—The applicant isentitled as of right to conditional leave to appeal to the PrivyCouncil under rule 1 (a) of schedule I. of Ordinance No. 31 of 1909(Legislative Enactments, Pol. IV., p. 422) because the right isin fact worth more than Rs. 5,000. Respondent averred in theplaint that the right is worth Rs. 20,000. No issue as to the valueof the right was framed at the trial. The case was stamped asa Rs. 20,000 case. On plaintiffs' admission, right is worth overthe Rs. 5,000 required under rule 1 (a) (supra).
Balasingham (with Snbramaniam), contra.—The judgment mustbe looked at as it affects the interests of the party prejudicedby it and who seeks to get rid of it and the value of the right mustbe measured on this principle (see Lord Selborne in Allan v. Pratt, 1Bandara v. Bandara 2). Applicant has not proved to the satisfactionof your Lordships ’ Court that the right is worth Rs. 5,000. Appli-cant cannot now say the'right is worth more than Rs. 2,500, atwhich figure he valued the right in his answer.
October 29, 1929. Fisher C.J.—
This is an application for conditional leave to appeal to thePrivy Council by a defendant in an action against whom judgmentwas given in the District Court, which judgment- was affirmedby this Court. The action was brought by two plaintiffs and theyasked the Court to give effect to the appointment by the firstplaintiff of the second plaintiff as “ his successor and hereditaryofficiating priest in the Maviddapiram Kandasamy Temple fora period of nine days"Jn- each month. They further asked fora declaration that the'plaintiffs were entitled to the “customaryand usual emoluments and incomes attaching to the said office ofpriesthood during the said nine days” and they claimed damagesat the rate of__Rs. 1.50 a month “ from February 13, 1927, tillplaintiffs are restored to the quiet and peaceful possession “ of therights claimed by them. Paragraph 8 of the plaint valued theright of the plaintiffs at Rs. 20,000. The defendant in his answerdenied the rights claimed by the plaintiffs, and particularly therights of the first plaintiff to convey the rights in question to thei Law Bep. 13 A. C. p. 780 at p. 781.2 1 Current L. B. p. 52.
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second plaiutiff, and pleaded that by reason of the deed purporting *
to assign these rights the first plaintiff “ had forfeited his right to Fishes O.J.officiate as priest and the said right has now become vested in the Sathasivadefendant as proprietor and manager of the said temple.” Thelearned Judge gave judgment in favour of the plaintiffs on December maniam3, 1928, with damages at the rate of Rs. 400 per annum, which Kurukkalamount had been -agreed upon during the course of the trial. Therespondent to the application contends that .the applicant is notentitled as of right to appeal to the Privy Council under rule 1 (a)of schedule I, of Ordinance No. 31 of 1909 (Legislative Enactments,
Vol. IV., p. 4.92) on the ground that the matter in dispute is ofthe value of less than Rs. 5,000.The test to be applied in consider-
ing this question is that which is referred to by Lord Selbornein his judgment in Allan v. Pratt,1 and is as follows:—“ The judg-ment is to be looked at as it affects the interests of the party who isprejudiced by it, and who seeks to relieve himself from it by appeal.
If there is to be a limit of value at all that seems evidently the rightprinciple on which to measure it.” (See also Bandara v. Bandara.2)
The applicant, who is the manager and high priest of the temple,claims that the act of the first plaintiff in attempting to assign hisrights to the- second plaintiff resulted in the vesting of the rightsin himself, and the result of a successful appeal, so far as the interestsof the applicant are concerned, would be the vesting of the rightsin him. It cannot be contended that the applicant would beentitled to sell these rights. Indeed it was submitted on his behalfbefore the learned District Judge “ that poojah rights are by theirnature, inalienable being resextra commercimn ”. The value ofthe “interests of the party who is prejudiced ” by the judgmentsought to be appealed against is therefore the value attachingto his alleged right to receive Rs. 400 per annum so long as he holdshis office. It does not seem possible to say that such a right isof the value of Rs. 5,000, and the applicant himself expressly pleadedthat the value of the right in dispute is Rs. 2,500. Under thesecircumstances the point at issue with regard to value can be decidedupon the material in the record and, in my opinion, the applicantis not entitled as of right to appeal. The applicant in his petitionasks the Court in the alternative to hold that this is a question“ which, by reason of its great general or public importance orotherwise, ought to be submitted to His Majesty in Council fordecision.” That point was merely mentioned and was not seriouslyargued, and, in my opinion, this case is not one which calls forthe exercise of our discretion in favour' of the applicant. Theapplication must be refused with costs.
Drieberg J.—I agree.
1 Law Pfv.. 13 A C. p. 7SI.* 1 C'a-rentL. P si- *'