The Suits Valuation Act, 1887

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An Act being the Suits Valuation Act, 1887 (Act no. 7 of 1887), which was enacted long back at the time when British ruling was there in India.  It was assented by the Governor General of Council on 11th day of February, 1887. The purpose and object for which the provisions of the Act were provided, was dealing with for prescribing the mode in which certain suits to be valuated in order to determine the jurisdiction of Courts for trying and disposing of those suits. The provisions of the Act were extended to the entire Indian territories by the Adaption of Laws (no. 2) Order, 1965, however, certain territories were exempted from extension and application of these provision, including the territories which comprised in Part- B States before the 1st day of November, 1956.

The provisions of the Act were divided into three parts and twelve sections therein. The first and second Part containing provisions relating to suits valuation in relation to certain matters. Being so, Part- I of the Act deals makes provisions as to valuation of suits which are connected with land matters. Section 2 therein was originally providing for extension and commencement of this part, where it is said that the provisions therein should extend to Stated Government’s determined areas and also it’s determined date the provisions herein should come into effect. Such determination or directions in relation to extension and commencement, the State Government was required to notify in the Official Gazette. However, by the Maharashtra (Extension and Amendment) Act, 1960 (Mah. Act no. 4 of 1960) the provision was amended and provides that on and after the commencement of that Act of 1960 the provisions of sections 3 to 5 should cease to have any force in the State of Maharashtra, however, the State Government concerned can put the same sections into effect under its discretion. Section 3 of the Act provides for power of the State Government as to making of rules for determining valued of land to determining jurisdiction of the Court to deal with the suits connected thereof and provided under the provisions of Court Fees Act, 1870 (Act no. 7 of 1870). Also so far as the valuation of relief is concerned in relation to certain suits of land, section 4 of the Act says that when such valuation of relief is done, then it should be ensured that the same valuation should not exceed the value of the land in respect of which the valuation of relief is done under aforesaid rule of State Government. The procedure of making of such rules and enforcement thereof is given under section 5 of the Act, providing that the State Government while providing such rules to first have consultation with the concerned High Court and a month’s gap should be there between the making and publishing in the Official Gazette of such rules. Under the aforesaid sections, originally, the Act was providing such authorities to the ‘Provincial Government’ but after the adoption of Act in the Independent India, the authority was transfer and vested with the ‘State Government’. Moreover, the section 6 of the Act was providing that when the rules are made and brought into effect under aforesaid provisions and extended to the territories to which prior there were the provisions of the Madras Civil Courts Act, 1873 extending, now under this provision the section 14 of that Act of 1873 was to be repealed in relation thereto. However, the Maharashtra (Extension and Amendment) Act, 1960 has repealed this provision.

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Further, Part- II of the Act makes provisions as to valuation in respect of other suits. Section 7 provides for enforcement of this part i.e. on 1st day of July 1887. Section 8 is important as it is connected with the determination of court fee valuation and jurisdictional valuation of the suits other than the suits provided under Section 7, paragraphs V, VI, XI and X of the Court Fee Act, 1870. The value should be same as ad valorem under the Act of 1870. Even Section 9 says that the High Court can determine value of certain suits in respect of which it is opined by it that suit was not properly and satisfactorily valued as such the suit was not admissible. However, a prior sanction from the State Government is necessary to the High Court while directing such valuations.

Moreover, the third part of the Act makes supplementary provisions, wherein section 11 provides procedure in respect of any objection as to valuation of suit or appeal for the purpose of jurisdiction. It is specified that the objection that the Court of original Jurisdiction and or lower appellate Court had no jurisdiction due to over-valuation or under- valuation, should not be entertained by the Appellate Court or upper appellate Court as the case may be. However, it can only be entertained if the concerned objection was made before the lower courts or if such over or under valuation of the suits will affect in the opinion of the upper Courts, prejudicially, the disposal of suits or appeal as the case may be.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.