The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that a suit claiming quantified damages for alleged defamation amounts to a 'money suit' and hence, ad valorem Court-fees would be payable on the amount claimed.
The observation was made by Justice Meenakshi I. Mehta while dealing with a revision petition against order of the Trial Court directing plaintiff to pay ad-valorem court fee in accordance with her claim for the recovery of Rs.10 lac for alleged defamatory language used by the defendant against her.
The plaintiff submitted that she is ready to affix the proper court fee on the plaint at the time of final decision of the civil suit filed by her against the defendant and therefore, the impugned order requiring her at the very initial stage in the suit, to affix the ad-valorem court fee on the amount of the damages claimed by her, is not legally sustainable and deserves to be set-aside.
The bench observed,
"Plaintiff filed the above-said civil suit against the defendant for seeking a decree for recovery of Rs.10 lac as damages on account of the defamatory language used by him to tarnish her image and reputation. Thus, the plaintiff has quantified the amount sought to be recovered from the defendant as damages and it being so, the said civil suit falls within the category of money suits."
As a sequel to the foregoing discussion, the court concluded that the impugned order does not suffer from any illegality, irregularity, infirmity or perversity so as to warrant any interference by this Court.
Resultantly, the revision petition being sans any merit is dismissed.
Case Title: Mrs. Manjit Kaul Versus Mr. Anil Kumar
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 155