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THE COURT FEES ACT, 1870

Title : THE COURT FEES ACT, 1870

Year : 1962



Nothing contained in this Act shall render the following documents chargeable with any fee:-

(i) Power-of-attorney to institute or defend a suit when executed  1 [by a member of any of the Armed Forces of the Union] not in civil employment.

2 [* * * * *]

(iii) Written statements called for by the Court after the first hearing of a suit.

3 [*****]

(v) Plaints in suits tried by 4 Village Munsifs in the Presidency of Fort St. George.

(vi) Plaints and processes in suits before District Panchayats in the same Presidency.

(vii) Plaints in suits before Collectors under Madras Regulation 12 of 1816.

(viii) Probate of a will, letters of administration, 5*[and, save as regards debts and securities, a certificate under Bombay Regulation 8 of 1827], where the amount or value of the property in respect of which the probate or letters or certificate shall be granted does not exceed one thousand rupees.

(ix)  Application or petition to a Collector or other officer making a settlement of land-revenue, or to a Board of Revenue, or a Commissioner of Revenue, relating to matters connected with the assessment of land or the ascertainment of rights thereto or interests therein, if presented previous to the final confirmation of such settlement.

(x) Application relating to a supply for irrigation of water belonging to Government.

(xi) Application for leave to extend cultivation, or to relinquish land, when presented to an officer of land-revenue by a person holding, under direct engagement with Government, land of which the revenue is settled, but not permanently.

(xii) Application for service of notice of relinquishment of land or of enhancement of rent.

(xiii)  Written authority to an agent to distrain.

(xiv) First application (other than a petition containing a criminal charge or information) for the summons of a witness or other person to attend either to give evidence or to produce a document or in respect of the production or filing of an exhibit not being an affidavit made for the immediate purpose of being produced in Court.

(xv) Bail-bonds in criminal cases, recognizances to prosecute or give evidence, and recognizances for personal appearance or otherwise.

(xvi) Petition, application, charge or information respecting any offence, when presented, made or laid to or before a police-officer, or to or before the  Heads of Villages or the Village Police in the territories respectively subject to the Governors in Council of Madras and Bombay.

(xvii) Petition by a prisoner, or other person in duress or under restraint of any Court or its officers.

(xviii) Complaint of a public servant (as defined in the Indian Penal Code), a municipal officer, or an officer or servant of a  Railway Company.

(xix)  Application for permission to cut timber in Government forests, or otherwise relating to such forests

(xx)  Application for the payment of money due by Government to the applicant. 1856, or against any municipal tax.

(xxi) Petition of appeal against the chaukidari assessment under6 Act No. 20 of 1856, or against any municipal tax.

(xxii) Applications for compensation under any law for the time being in force relating to  the acquisition of property for public purposes.

(xxii) Applications for compensation under any law for the time being in force relating to  the acquisition of property for public purposes.

(xxiii)  Petitions presented to the Special Commissioner appointed under 7* Bengal Act No. 2 of 1869 (to ascertain, regulate and record certain tenures in Chota Nagpur).

8*[(xxiv)  Petitions under the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, sections 45 and 48

19A - Relief where too high a court-fee has been paid

Where any person on applying for the probate of a will or letters of administration has estimated the property of the deceased to be of greater value than the same has afterwards proved to be, and has consequently paid too high a court- fee thereon, if, within six months after the true value of the property has been ascertained, such person produces the probate or letters to the Chief Controlling Revenue- authority 9*[for the local area] in which the probate or letters has or have been granted,and delivers to such Authority a particular inventory and valuation of the property of the deceased, verified by affidavit or affirmation,and if such Authority is satisfied that a greater fee was paid on the probate or letters than the law required,the sad Authority may-

(a)  Cancel the stamp on the probate or letters, if such stamp has not been already cancelled:

(b) Substitute another stamp for denoting the court- fee which should have been paid thereon; and

(c) Make an allowance for the difference between them as in the case of spoiled stamps, or repay the same in money, at his discretion.

19B - Relief where debts due from a deceased person have been paid out of his estate
 
Whenever it is proved to the satisfaction of such Authority that an executor or administrator has paid debts due from the deceased to such an amount as, being deducted out of the amount or value of the estate, reduces the same to a sum which, if it had been the whole gross amount or value of the estate, would have occasioned a less court-fee to be paid on the probate or letters of administration granted in respect of such estate than has been actually paid thereon under this Act,such Authority may return the difference, provided the same be claimed within three years after the date of such probate or letters.

But when, by reason of any legal proceeding, the debts due from the deceased have not been ascertained and paid, or his effects have not been recovered and made available, and in consequence thereof the executor or administrator is prevented from claiming the return of such difference within the said term of three years, the said Authority may allow such further time for making the claim as may appear to be reasonable under the circumstances.

19C - Relief in case of several grants

Whenever10*** a grant of probate or letters of administration has been or is made in respect of the whole of the property belonging to an estate, and the full fee chargeable under this Act has been or is paid thereon, no fee shall be chargeable under the same Act when a like grant is made in respect of the whole or any part of the same property belonging to the same estate.

Whenever such a grant has been or is made in respect of any property forming part of an estate, the amount of fees then actually paid under this Act shall be deducted when a like grant is made in respect of property belonging to the same estate. identical with or including the property to which the former grant relates.

19D - Probates declared valid as to trust-property though not covered by court-fee

The probate of the will, or the letters of administration of the effects, of any person deceased heretofore or hereafter granted shall be deemed valid and available by his executors or administrators for recovering, transferring or assigning any moveable or immoveable property whereof or whereto the deceased was possessed or entitled, either wholly or partially as a trustee, notwithstanding the amount or value of such property is not included in the amount or value of the estate in respect of which a court-fee was paid on such probate or letters of administration.

19E - Provision for case where too low a court-fee has been paid on probates, etc.

Where any person on applying for probate or letters of administration has estimated the estate of the deceased to be of less value than the same has afterwards proved to be, and has in consequence paid too low a court- fee thereon, the Chief Controlling Revenue- authority11*[for the local area] in which the probate or letters has or have been granted may, on the value of the estate of the deceased being verified by affidavit or affirmation, cause the probate or letters of administration to be duly stamped on payment of the full court- fee which ought to have been originally paid thereon in respect of such value and of the further penalty, if the probate or letters is or are produced within one year from the date of grant, of five times, or, if it or they is or are produced after one year from such date, of twenty times, such proper court- fee, without any deduction of the court- fee originally paid on such probate or letters:

Provided
that if the application be made within six months after the ascertain of the true value of the estate and the discovery that too low a court- fee was at first paid on the probate or letters, and if the said Authority is satisfied that such fee was paid in consequence of a mistake or of its not being known at the time that some particular part of the estate belonged to the deceased, and without any intention of fraud or to delay the payment of the proper court-fee, the said Authority may remit the said penalty, and cause the probate or letters to be duly stamped on payment only of the sum wanting to make up the fee which should have been at first paid thereon.

19F - Administrator to give proper security before letters stamped under section 19E

In case of letters of administration on which too low a court-fee has been paid at first, the said Authority shall not cause the same to be duly stamped in manner aforesaid until the administrator has given such security to the Court by which the letters of administration have been granted as ought by law to have been given on the granting thereof in case the full value of the estate of the deceased had been then ascertained.

19G - Executors, etc., not paying full court-fee on probates, etc., within six months after discovery of under payment

Where too low a court- fee has been paid on any probate or letters of administration in consequence of any mistake, or of its not being known at the time that some particular part of the estate belonged to the deceased, if any executor or administrator acting under such probate or letters does not, within six months 12*** after the discovery of the mistake or of any effects not known at time to have belonged to the deceased, apply to the said Authority and pay what is wanting to make up the court- fee which ought have been paid at first on such probate or letters, he shall forfeit the sum of one thousand rupees and also a further sum at the rate of ten rupees per cent, on the amount of the sum wanting to make up the proper court- fee. ]

19H -13* Notice of applications for probate or letters of administration to be given to Revenue-authorities; and procedure there on

(1) Where an application for probate or letters of administration is made to any Court other than a High Court, the Court  shall cause notice of the application to be given to the Collector.

(2) Where such an application as aforesaid is made to a High Court, the High Court shall cause notice of the application to be given to the Chief Controlling Revenue-authority 14*[for the local area in a which the High Court is situated].

(3) The Collector within the local limits of whose revenue-jurisdiction the property of the deceased of any part thereof is, may at any time inspect or cause to be inspected, and take or cause to be taken copies of, the record of any case in which application for probate or letters of administration has been made; and if, on such inspection or otherwise, he is of opinion that the petitioner has underestimated the value of the property of the deceased, the Collector may, if he thinks fit, require the attendance of the petitioner (either in person or by agent) and take evidence and inquire into the matter in such manner as he may think fit, and, if he is still of opinion that the value of the property has been under-estimated, may require the petitioner to amend the valuation.

(4) If the petitioner does not amend the valuation to the satisfaction of the Collector, the Collector may move the Court before which the application for probate or letters of administration was made, to hold an inquiry into the true value of the property:
Provided that no such motion shall be made after the expiration of six months from the date of the exhibition of the inventory required by section 277 of the 15*[Indian Succession Act, 1865, or, as the case may be, by section 98 of the Probate and Administration Act, 1881.

(5) The Court, when so moved as aforesaid, shall hold, or cause to be held, an inquiry accordingly, and shall record a finding as to the true value, as near as may be, at which the property of the deceased should have been estimated. The Collector shall be deemed to be a party to the inquiry.

(6) For the purposes of any such inquiry, the Court or person authorized by the Court to hold the inquiry may examine the petitioner for probate or letters of administration on oath (whether in person or by commission), and may take such further evidence as may be produced to prove the true value of the property. The person authorized as aforesaid to hold the inquiry shall return to the Court the evidence taken by him and report the result of the inquiry, and such report and the evidence taken by him and report the result of the inquiry, and such report and the evidence so taken shall be evidence in the proceeding, and the Court may record a finding in accordance with the report, unless it is satisfied that it is erroneous.

(7) The finding of the Court recorded under sub-section (5) shall be final, but shall not bar the entertainment and disposal by the Chief Controlling Revenue-authority of any application under section 19E.

(8) The State Government may make rules for the guidance of Collectors in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3).

19I - Payment of court-fees in respect of probates and letters of administration

(1) No order entitling the petitioner to the grant of probate or letters of administration shall be made upon an application for such grant until the petitioner has filed in the Court a valuation of the property in the form set forth in the Third Schedule, and the Court is satisfied that the fee mentioned in No. 11 of the First Schedule has been paid on such valuation.

(2) The grant of probate or letters of administration shall not be delayed by reason of any motion made by the Collector under section 19H, sub-section (4).

19J - Recovery of penalties etc.

(1) Any excess fee found to be payable on an inquiry held under section 19H, sub- section (6), and any penalty or forfeiture under section 19G may, on the certificate of the Chief Controlling Revenue- authority, be recovered from the executor or administrator as if it were an arrear of land- revenue by any Collector16***.

(2) The Chief Controlling Revenue- authority may remit the whole or any part of any such penalty or forfeiture as aforesaid, or any part of any penalty under section 19E or of any court- fee under section 19E in excess of the full court- fee which ought to have been paid.

19K - Sections 6 and 28 not to apply to probates or letters of administration

Nothing in section 6 or section 28 shall apply to probates or letters of administration.

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1. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "by an officer, warrant-officer, non-commissioned officer or private of Her Majesty's Army".

2. Clause (ii) rep. by Act 12 of 1891, Section 2 and Schedule I.

3. Clause (iv) rep. by Act 13 of 1889, Section 2 and Schedule

4. See the Madras Village Courts Act, 1889 (Madras Act 1 of 1889).

5. Substituted by Act 7 of 1889, Section 13(2), for "and certificate mentioned in the First Schedule to this Act annexed, No. 12"

6. The Bengal Chaukidari Act, 1856.

7. The Chota Nagpur Tenures Act, 1869.

8. Substituted by Act 15 of 1872, Section 2, for the original clause.

9. Substituted by Act 10 of 1901, Section. 3(1), for "of the Province"

10. The word "such" rep. by Act 12 of 1891, Section 2 and Schedule I.

11. Substituted by Act 10 of 1901, Section 3(1), for "of the Province".

12 . The words and figures "after the first day of April, 1875, or" omitted by Act 12 of 1891, Section 2 and Schedule I.

13. Inserted by Act 11 of 1899, Section 2 Original Section 19H, Inserted by Act 13 of 1875, Section 6, rep. by Act 8 of 1890, Section 2 and Schedule

14. Substituted by Act 10 of 1901, Section. 3(2), for "of the Province".

15. See now the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (39 of 1925).

16. The words "in any part of British India "omitted by the A.O. 1948.

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Last updated on July, 2016

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