Court fees

The West Bengal Court-Fees Act, 1970

INDEX
1. Short title, extent and application.
2. Definitions.
3. Levy of fees in Court of Small Causes, Calcutta.
4. Levy of fee in Courts and public offices.
5. Procedure in case of difference as to necessity of amount of fee.
6. Document inadmissible unless fees collected by stamp purchased in West Bengal.
7. Computation of fees payable in certain suits.
8. Fee on memorandum of appeal against order relating to compensation.
9. Statement of particulars of subject-matter of suits and plaintiffs valuation thereof.
10. Procedure where insufficient court-fee is filed on plaint or memorandum of appeal.
11. Inquiry as to valuation of suits.
12. Investigation to ascertain proper valuation.
13. Power of persons making inquiry under sections 11 and 12.
14. Costs of inquiry as to valuation and refund of excess fee.
15. Procedure in suits for mesne profits or account when amount found due exceeds amount claimed.
16. Decision of questions as to valuation.
17. Recovery of deficit court-fee in certain cases.
18. Refund of fee paid on memorandum of appeal.
19. Refund fee on application for review of judgment.
20. Refund where Court reverses or modifies its former decision on ground of mistake.
21. Multifarious suits.
22. Written examinations of complainants.
23. Exemption of certain documents.
24. Relief where too high a court-fee has been paid.
25. Relief where debts due from a deceased person have been paid out of his estate.
26. Relief in case of several grants.
27. Probates declared valid as to property though not covered by court-fee.
28. Provision for case where too low a court-fee has been paid on probates etc.
29. Administrator to give proper security before letters stamped under section 28.
30. Executors, etc., not paying full court-fee on probates, etc., within six months after discovery of under-payment.
31. Notice of application for probate or letters of administration to be given to Revenue-authority and procedure thereon.
32. Payment of court-fees in respect of probates and letters of administration.
33. Recovery of penalties, etc.
34. Section 42 not to apply to probates or letters of administration.
35. Rules as to costs of processes. Confirmation and publication of rules.
36. Tables of process fees.
37. Number of peons in district and subordinate Courts, Number of peons in Mofussil Small Causes Courts.
38. Number of peons in Revenue Courts.
39. Collection of fees by stamps.
40. Stamps to be impressed or adhesive.
41. Rules for supply, number, renewal and keeping accounts of stamps.
42. Stamping documents inadvertently received.
43. Amended document.
44. Cancellation of stamp.
45. Sale of stamps.
46. Enlargement of time.
47. Power to suspend, reduce or remit fees.
48. Saving of fees to certain officers of High Court.
49. Continuance in force of the existing rules.
50. Repeal and savings.
[26th February, 1970.]
CHAPTER I    
Preliminary

1. Short title, extent and application. – (1) This Act may be called the West Bengal Court-fees Act, 1970.(2) It extends to the whole of the State of West Bengal.

(3) The provisions of this Act shall not apply to fees or stamps relating to documents presented or to be presented before any officer serving under the Central Government.
(4) Where any other law contains provisions relating to the levy of fee in respect of proceedings under such other law, the provisions of this Act relating to the levy of fee in respect of such proceedings shall apply subject to the said provisions of such other law.
2. Definitions. – In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-(1) “appeal” includes a cross-objection;
(2) “Collector” includes any officer not below the rank of a Sub-Deputy Collector appointed by the Collector to perform the functions of a Collector under this Act;
(3) “Court” means any Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court and includes a Tribunal or other authority having jurisdiction under any local or special law to decide questions affecting the rights of parties;
(4) “suit” includes an appeal from a decree except in section 9;
(5) expressions used and not defined in this Act or in the Bengal General Clauses Act, 1899, but defined in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the said Code. 

CHAPTER II 
Fees payable in Courts and in Public Offices

3. Levy of fees in Court of Small Causes, Calcutta. – The fees for the time being chargeable in the Court of Small Causes at Calcutta, and its office shall be collected in the manner hereinafter appearing.

4. Levy of fee in Courts and public offices. – (1) No document which is chargeable with fee under this Act shall-

(i) be filed, exhibited or recorded in, or be acted on or furnished by, any Court including the High Court, or

(ii) be filed, exhibited or recorded in any public office or be acted on or furnished by any public officer,

unless in respect of such document there be paid a fee of an amount not less than that indicated as chargeable under this Act:

Provided that, whenever the filing or exhibition in a Criminal Court of a document in respect of which the proper fee has not been paid is, in the opinion of the Court, necessary to prevent a failure of justice, nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prohibit such filing or exhibition:
[Explanation. -] For the purposes of this proviso “documents” means and includes plaints, memorandum of appeal, petitions and papers of any kind required to be filed in connection with any proceedings before a Civil Court including High Court.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or in any other Act, a Court may receive a plaint or memorandum of appeal in respect of which an insufficient fee has been paid subject to the condition that the plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be rejected unless the plaintiff or appellant, as the case may be, pays to the Court within a time to be fixed by the Court such reasonable sum on account of court-fees as the Court may direct.
5. Procedure in case of difference as to necessity of amount of fee. – (1) In case any difference arises between the officer whose duty it is to see that any fee is paid under this Act and any suitor or his pleader, as to the necessity of paying a fee or the amount thereof, the question shall, when the difference arises in the High Court, be referred to the Taxing Officer whose decision thereon shall be final, subject to revision, on an application made within sixty days from the date of the decision, by the suitor or by his pleader, or such officer as may be appointed in this behalf by the State Government, by the Chief Justice or by such Judge of the High Court as the Chief Justice shall appoint either generally or specially in this behalf.
(2) When any such difference arises in the Court of Small Causes at Calcutta, the question shall be referred to the Registrar of the Court of Small Causes at Calcutta whose decision shall be final, subject to revision, on application made within sixty days from the date of the decision, by the party concerned or such officer as may be appointed in this behalf by the State Government, by the Chief Judge or by such Judge of the Court of Small Causes at Calcutta as the Chief Judge shall appoint either generally or specially in this behalf.
(3) The Chief Justice shall declare who shall be the Taxing Officer within the meaning of sub-section (1) of this section.
6. Document inadmissible unless fees collected by stamp purchased in West Bengal. – Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, no document of any of the kinds chargeable under this Act shall be filed, exhibited or recorded in any Court including the High Court, or shall be received, furnished or acted upon by any such Court or by any public officer, unless, in respect of such document, the stamp referred to in section 39 has been purchased from a person authorised or appointed to sell stamps in West Bengal. 

CHAPTER III 
Computation of fees

7. Computation of fees payable in certain suits. – The amount of fee payable under this Act in the suits next hereinafter mentioned shall be computed as follows:-

(i) In suits for money including suits for damages or compensation, or arrears of maintenance, of annuities, or of other sums payable periodically- according to the amount claimed:

[Provided that no fee shall be payable in suits for damages for defamation;]

(ii) In suits for maintenance and annuities or other sums payable periodically – according to the value of the subject-matter of the suit, and such value shall be deemed to be ten times the amount claimed to be payable for one year:

Provided that in suits by widows for maintenance such value shall be deemed to be the amount claimed to be payable for one year;

(iii) In suits for movable property other than money, where the subject-matter has a market value – according to such value at the date of presenting the plaint;

(iv) In suits-

(a) for movable property where the subject-matter has no market value, as for instance, in the case of documents relating to title,

(b) to obtain a declaratory decree or order, where consequential relief is prayed,

(c) to obtain an injunction,

(d) for a right to some benefit (not herein otherwise provided for) to arise out of land, and

(e) for accounts – according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint or memorandum of appeal subject to the provisions of section 11.

In all such suits the plaintiff shall state the amount at which he values the relief sought.

(v) In suits for the possession of land, buildings or gardens, not being suits referred to in clause (vi)-

(a) according to the value of the subject-matter, and such value shall be deemed to be fifteen times the net profits which have arisen from the land, building or garden during the year next before the date of presenting the plaint, or if the Court sees reason to think that such profits have been wrongly estimated, fifteen times such amount as the Court may assess as such profits or according to the market-value of the land, building or garden, whichever is lower;

(b) if, in the opinion of the Court, such profits are not readily ascertainable or assessable, or where there are no such profits, according to the market-value of the land, building or garden;

Explanation. – In this paragraph ‘building” includes a house, outhouse, stable, privy, urinal, shed, hut, wall and any other such structure, whether of masonry, bricks, wood, mud, metal or any other material whatsoever;

(vi) In a suit for recovery of possession of immovable property from-

(a) a trespasser, where no declaration of title to property is either prayed for or necessary for disposal of the suit- according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued in the plaint subject to the provisions of section 11;

(b) a licensee upon revocation or termination of his license,-

(i) where a license fee is payable by the licensee in respect of the immovable property to which the suit refers-according to the amount of the license fee of the immovable property payable for the year next before the date of presenting the plaint, or

(ii) where no such license fee is payable by the licensee- according to the amount at which the relief sought is valued on the plaint subject to the provisions of section 11;

(vii) In suits to enforce a right of preemption – according to the market-value of the land, building or garden in respect of which the right is claimed;

Explanation. – In this paragraph ‘building” has the same meaning as in paragraph (v);

(viii) In suits for partition and separate possession of a share of joint family property or of a joint property, or to enforce a right to a share in any property on the ground that it is joint family property or joint property-if the plaintiff has been excluded from possession of the property of which he claims to be a coparcener or co-owner-according to the market-value of the share in respect of which the suit is instituted;

(ix) In suits for the interest of an assignee of land-revenue -fifteen times his net profits as such for the year next before the date of presenting the plaint;

(x) In suits to set aside an attachment of land or of an interest in land or revenue- according to the amount for which the land or interest was attached:

Provided that, where such amount exceeds the value of the land or interest, the amount of fee shall be computed as if the suit were for the possession of such land or interest;

(xi) In suits against a mortgagee for the recovery of the property mortgaged,

and in suits by a mortgagee to foreclose the mortgage, or where the mortgage is made by conditional sale, to have the sale declared absolute-according to the principal money expressed to be secured by the instrument of mortgage;

(xii) In suits for specific performance-

(a) of a contract of sale – according to the amount of the consideration,

(b) of a contract of mortgage – according to the amount agreed to be secured,

(c) of a contract of lease – according to the aggregate amount of the fine or premium (if any) and of the rent agreed to be paid during the first year of the term,

(d) of an award – according to the amount or value of the property in dispute;

(xiii) In the following suits between landlord and tenant-

(a) for the delivery by a tenant of the counterpart of a lease,

(b) to enhance the rent of a tenant having a right of occupancy,

(c) for the delivery by a landlord of a lease,

(d) for the recovery of immovable property from a tenant including a tenant holding over after the determination of a tenancy,

(e) to contest a notice of ejectment,

(f) to recover the occupancy of immovable property from which a tenant has been illegally ejected by the landlord, and

(g) for abatement of rent-

according to the amount of the rent of the immovable property to which the suit refers, payable for the year next before the date of presenting the plaint.

8. Fee on memorandum of appeal against order relating to compensation. – The amount of fee payable under this Act on a memorandum of appeal against an order relating to compensation under any Act for the time being in force for the acquisition of land for public purposes, shall be computed according to the difference between the amount awarded and the amount claimed by the appellant.
9. Statement of particulars of subject-matter of suits and plaintiffs valuation thereof. – In every suit in which an ad valorem court-fee is payable under this Act on the plaint, the plaintiff shall File with the plaint a statement of particulars of the subject-matter of the suit and his own valuation thereof unless such particulars and the valuation are contained in the plaint. The statement shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed by the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette. In every such suit the plaintiff shall also, if the Court so directs, file a duplicate copy of the plaint and of the said statement.
10. Procedure where insufficient court-fee is filed on plaint or memorandum of appeal. – (1) In every suit in which a court-fee is payable under this Act on the plaint or memorandum of appeal the Court shall, on the date fixed for the appearance of the opposite party or as soon as may be thereafter, and in every case before proceeding to deliver judgment, record a finding whether a sufficient court-fee has been paid.
(2) If the Court records a finding that an insufficient court-fee has been paid on the plaint or memorandum of appeal the Court shall- 

(a) stay all further proceedings in the suit until it has determined the proper amount of such court-fee payable and the plaintiff or the appellant, as the case may be, has paid such amount or until the date referred to in clause (b), as the case may be:

Provided that if the plaintiff or appellant gives, within such time as the Court may allow, security, to the satisfaction of the Court, for the payment of any additional amount for which he may be found liable the Court may proceed with the suit,

(b) fix a date before which the plaintiff or appellant shall pay the amount of court-fee due from him, as determined by the Court under clause (a).

(3) If the plaintiff or appellant fails to give the security referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (2) or to pay the amount referred to in clause (b) of that sub-section within the time allowed, or before the date fixed, by the Court, as the case may be, the suit shall be dismissed.

11. Inquiry as to valuation of suits. – If the Court is of opinion that the subject-matter of any suit has been wrongly valued, it may revise the valuation and determine the correct valuation and may hold such inquiry as it thinks fit for such purpose.
12. Investigation to ascertain proper valuation. – (1) For the purpose of an inquiry under section 11 the Court may depute, or issue a commission to, any suitable person to make such local or other investigation as may be necessary and to report thereon to the Court. Such report and any evidence recorded by such person shall be evidence in the inquiry.(2) The Court may, from time to time, direct such party to the suit as it thinks fit to deposit such sum as the Court thinks reasonable as the costs of the inquiry, and if the costs are not deposited within such time as the Court shall fix, may, notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, dismiss the suit if such party is the plaintiff or the appellant and, in any other case, may recover the costs as a public demand.
13. Power of persons making inquiry under sections 11 and 12. – (1) The Court, when making an inquiry under section 12 shall have, respectively, for the purposes of such inquiry or investigation, the powers vested in a Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in respect of the following matters, namely:-

(a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath or affirmation;

(b) compelling the production of documents or material objections; and

(c) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.

(2) An inquiry or investigation referred to in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code.

14. Costs of inquiry as to valuation and refund of excess fee. – (1) If in the result of an inquiry under section 11 the Court finds that the subject-matter of the suit has been undervalued the Court may order the party responsible for the undervaluation to pay all or any part of the costs of the inquiry.(2) If in the result of such inquiry the Court finds that the subject-matter of the suit has not been undervalued the Court may, in its discretion, order that all or any part of such costs shall be paid by the State Government or by any party to the suit at whose instance the inquiry has been undertaken, and if any amount exceeding the proper amount of fee has been paid shall refund the excess amount so paid.
15. Procedure in suits for mesne profits or account when amount found due exceeds amount claimed. – Where, in any suit for mesne profits or for land and mesne profits or for an account, the fee which would have been payable if the suit had comprised the whole of the relief to which the Court finds the plaintiff to be entitled, exceeds the fee actually paid, the Court shall require the plaintiff to pay an additional fee equal to the amount of the excess, and if such additional fee is not paid within such time as the Court may fix, the suit, or if a decree has previously been passed therein, so much of the claim as has not been so decreed, shall be dismissed:Provided that, where the additional fee is payable in respect of a portion of the claim which can be relinquished, that portion only shall be dismissed.
16. Decision of questions as to valuation. – (1) Every question relating to valuation for the purpose of determining the amount of any fee chargeable under this Chapter on a plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be decided by the Court in which such plaint or memorandum, as the case may be, is filed, and such decision shall be final as between the parties to the suit.
(2) But whenever any such suit comes before a Court of Appeal, reference or revision, if such Court considers that the said question has been wrongly decided, to the detriment of the revenue, it shall require the party by whom such fee has been paid to pay so much additional fee as would have been payable had the question been rightly decided,

(a) if the party required to pay is the appellant or petitioner, the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 10 shall, so far as may be, apply;

(b) if the party required to pay is the respondent or the opposite party, the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 10 shall, so far as may be, apply, and, if such party fails to pay the fee required before the date fixed by the Court, the Court shall recover the amount of such fee from him as a public demand.

Explanation. – For the purposes of this section a question relating to the classification of any suit for the purpose of section 7 shall not be deemed to be a question relating to valuation.

17. Recovery of deficit court-fee in certain cases. – (1) The High Court shall, when dealing with an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, make an order for the payment of any deficit court-fee with such interest not exceeding six per centum per annum as the High Court may direct, in all cases where the High Court finds that the subject-matter of the suit or appeal had been undervalued either in the Court of first instance or in the Court of Appeal or in both, irrespective of whether the certificate of fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court is or is not granted.
(2) The fee together with interest thereon found to be payable under sub-section (1) shall be paid by the party ordered to do so and if such party fails to pay the amount required before the date fixed by the High Court, it shall be recoverable from him as a public demand.
18. Refund of fee paid on memorandum of appeal. – If an appeal or plaint, which has been rejected by the lower Court on any of the grounds mentioned in the Code of Civil Procedure, is ordered to be received, or if a suit is remanded in appeal, on any of the grounds mentioned in Order XLI, rule 23 of the same Code for a second decision by the lower Court, the Appellate Court shall grant to the appellant a certificate, authorizing him to receive back from the Collector the full amount of fee paid on the memorandum of appeal:
Provided that if, in the case of a remand in appeal, the order of remand shall not cover the whole of the subject-matter of the suit, the certificate so granted shall not authorize the appellant to receive back more than so much fee as would have been originally payable on the part or parts of such subject-matter in respect whereof the suit has been remanded.
19. Refund fee on application for review of judgment. – Where an application for a review of judgment is presented on or after the ninetieth day from the date of the decree, the Court, unless the delay was caused by the applicant’s laches, may, in its discretion, grant him a certificate authorizing him to receive back from the Collector so much of the fee paid on the application as exceeds the fee which would have been payable had it been presented before such day.
20. Refund where Court reverses or modifies its former decision on ground of mistake. – (1) Where an application for a review of judgment is admitted, and where, on the rehearing, the Court reverses or modifies its former decision on the ground of mistake in law or fact, the applicant shall be entitled to a certificate from the Court authorizing him to receive back from the Collector so much of the fee paid on the application as exceeds the fee payable on any other application to such Court under Schedule II to this Act, No. 1, clause (b) or clause (d).
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) of this section shall entitle the applicant to such certificate where the reversal or modification is due, wholly or in part, to fresh evidence which might have been produced at the original hearing.
21. Multifarious suits. – (1) In any suit in which two or more separate and distinct causes of action are joined and separate and distinct reliefs are sought in respect of each, the plaint or memorandum of appeal shall be chargeable with the aggregate amount of the fees with which the plaints or memoranda of appeal would be chargeable under this Act in separate suits instituted in respect of each such cause of action:
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to affect any power conferred by or under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, to order separate trials.
(2) Where more reliefs than one based on the same cause of action are sought either jointly or in the alternative, the fee shall be paid according to the value of the relief in respect of which the largest fee is payable.
22. Written examinations of complainants. – When the first or only examination of a person who complains of the offence of wrongful confinement, or of wrongful restraint, or of any offence other than an offence for which police officers may arrest without a warrant, and who has not already presented a petition on which a fee has been levied under this Act, is reduced to writing under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the complainant shall pay a fee of one rupee unless the Court thinks fit to remit such payment.
23. Exemption of certain documents. – Nothing contained in this Act shall render the following documents chargeable with any fee:-

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

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

(iii) Probate of a will, letters of administration, where the amount or value of the property in respect of which the probate or letters or certificate shall be granted does not exceed two thousand rupees.

(iv) Application or petition to a Collector or other officer making a settlement of land-revenue, or to the Board 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.

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

(vi) 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.

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

(viii) Written authority to an agent to distrain.

(ix) First application (other than a petition containing a criminal charge or information) for the summons of a witness or other persons 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.

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

(xi) 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 Village or the village police.

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

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

(xiv) Application for permission to cut timber in Government forests or otherwise relating to such forests.

(xv) Application for the payment of money due by Government to the applicant.

(xvi) Petition of appeal against any municipal tax.

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

(xviii) Petitions of appeal by employees of the Government or Court of Wards against orders of dismissal, reduction or suspension; copies of such orders filed with such appeals, and applications for obtaining such copies.

CHAPTER IV 
Probates, letters of administration and certificates of administration

24. 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 Board of Revenue 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 said 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.

25. Relief where debts due from a deceased person have been paid out of his estate. – (1) 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.

(2) But when, by reason of any legal proceeding, the debts due from the deceased 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.
26. Relief in case of several grants. – (1) Whenever 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.
(2) 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.
27. Probates declared valid as to 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 movable or immovable 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.
28. 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 Board of Revenue 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 the 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 ascertainment 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 belonging 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.
29. Administrator to give proper security before letters stamped under section 28. – 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 has been then ascertained.
30. 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 after the discovery of the mistake or of any effects not known at the 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 to 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 per cent, on the amount of the sum wanting to make up the proper court-fee.
31. Notice of application for probate or letters of administration to be given to Revenue-authority and procedure thereon. – (1) Where an application for probate or letters of administration is made to any Court other than the 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 the High Court, -the High Court shall cause notice of the application to be given to the Board of Revenue for the local area in which the High Court is situated.(3) The Collector within the local limits of whose Revenue-jurisdiction the property of the deceased or 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 under-estimated 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 317 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.(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 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 Board of Revenue of any application under section 28.(8) The State Government may make rules for the guidance of Collectors in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3).
32. 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 Schedule III, and the Court is satisfied that the fee mentioned in No. 10 of Schedule I 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 sub-section (4) of section 31.
33. Recovery of penalties, etc. – (1) Any excess fee found to be payable on an inquiry held under sub-section (6) of section 31, and any penalty or forfeiture under section 30, may, on the certificate of the Board of Revenue, be recovered from the executor or administrator as if it were an arrear of land-revenue by any Collector.(2) The Board of Revenue may remit the whole or any part of any such penalty or forfeiture as aforesaid, or any part of any penalty under section 28 or of any court-fee under section 28 in excess of the full court-fee which ought to have been paid.
34. Section 42 not to apply to probates or letters of administration. – Nothing in section 42 shall apply to probates or letters of administration. 

CHAPTER V
Process-fees

35. Rules as to costs of processes. Confirmation and publication of rules. – (1) The High Court shall, as soon as may be, make rules as to the following matters:-

(i) the fees chargeable for serving and executing processes issued by such Court in its appellant jurisdiction, and by the other Civil and Revenue Courts established within the local limits of such jurisdiction;

(ii) the fees chargeable for serving and executing processes issued by the Criminal Courts established within such limits in the case of offences other than offences for which police officers may arrest without a warrant; and

(iii) the remuneration of the peons and all other persons employed by leave of a Court in the service or execution of processes.

(2) The High Court may from time to time alter and add to the rules so made.(3) All such rules, alterations and additions shall after being confirmed by the State Government be published in the Official Gazette, and shall thereupon have the force of law.

36. Tables of process fees. – A table in the English and Vernacular languages, showing the fees chargeable for such service and execution, shall be exposed to view in a conspicuous part of each Court.
37. Number of peons in district and subordinate Courts, Number of peons in Mofussil Small Causes Courts. – Subject to rules to be made by the High Court and approved by the State Government, every District Judge and every Magistrate of a District shall fix, and may from time to time alter, the number of peons necessary to be employed for the service and execution of processes issued out of his Court and each of the Courts subordinate thereto.Explanation. – For the purposes of this section, every Court of Small Causes established under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887, shall be deemed to be subordinate to the Court of the District Judge.
38. Number of peons in Revenue Courts. – Subject to rules to be framed by the Board of Revenue and approved by the State Government, every officer performing the functions of a Collector of a district shall fix, and may from time to time alter, the number of peons necessary to be employed for the service and execution of processes issued out of his Court or the Courts subordinate to him. 

CHAPTER VI 
Of the mode of levying fees

39. Collection of fees by stamps. – All fees referred to in section 3 and chargeble under this Act shall be collected by stamps.

40. Stamps to be impressed or adhesive. – The stamps used to denote any fees chargeable under this Act shall be impressed or adhesive, or partly impressed and partly adhesive, as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette from time to time, direct.
41. Rules for supply, number, renewal and keeping accounts of stamps. – (1) The State Government may, from time to time, make rules for regulating-

(a) the supply of stamps to be used under this Act;

(b) the number of stamps to be used for denoting any fee chargeable under this Act;

(c) the renewal of damaged or spoiled stamps; and

(d) the keeping of accounts of all stamps used under this Act:

Provided that in the case of stamps used in the High Court, such rules shall be made with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of that Court.(2) All such rules shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall thereupon have the force of law.

42. Stamping documents inadvertently received. – (1) No document which ought to bear a stamp under this Act shall be of any validity, unless and until it is properly stamped.
(2) But, if any such document is through mistake or inadvertence received, filed or used in any Court or office without being properly stamped, the presiding Judge or the head of the office, as the case may be, or, in the case of the High Court, any Judge of such Court, may, if he thinks fit, order that such document be stamped as he may direct; and on such document being stamped accordingly, the same and every proceeding relative thereto shall be as valid as if it had been properly stamped in the first instance.
43. Amended document. – Where any such document is amended in order merely to correct a mistake and to make it conform to the original intention of the parties, it shall not be necessary to impose a fresh stamp.
44. Cancellation of stamp. – (1) No document requiring a stamp under this Act shall be filed or acted upon in any proceeding in any Court or office until the stamp has been cancelled.
(2) Such officer as the Court or the head of the office may from time to time appoint shall, on receiving any such document, forthwith effect such cancellation by punching out the figure-head so to leave the amount designated on the stamp untouched, and the part removed by punching shall be burnt or otherwise destroyed. 

CHAPTER VII 
Miscellaneous

45. Sale of stamps. – (1) The State Government may, from time to time, make rules for regulating the sale of, and the particulars to be entered at the time of sale on, stamps to be used under this Act, the persons by whom alone such sale is to be conducted, and the duties and remuneration of such persons.(2) All such rules shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall thereupon have the force of law.(3) Any person appointed to sell stamps who disobeys any rule made under this section, and any person not so appointed who sells or offers for sale any stamps, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

46. Enlargement of time. – Where any period is fixed or granted by the Court for the doing of any act prescribed or allowed by this Act, the Court may, in its discretion, from time to time, enlarge such period, even though the period originally fixed or granted may have expired.
47. Power to suspend, reduce or remit fees. – (1) The State Government may, from time to time, subject to such conditions or restrictions as it may think fit to impose, by notification in the Official Gazette, suspend the payment of or reduce or remit, in the whole of West Bengal or in any part thereof, all or any of the fees mentioned in Schedules I and II to this Act and may in like manner cancel or vary such order.(2) The State Government may, from time to time by rules, prescribe the manner in which any fee the payment of which is suspended under subsection (1) may be realised and for this purpose direct that such fee may be recovered as a public demand.
48. Saving of fees to certain officers of High Court. – Nothing in Chapters II and VI of this Act applies to the Commission payable to the Accountant-General of the High Court or to the fees which any officer of the High Court is allowed to receive in addition to a fixed salary.
49. Continuance in force of the existing rules. – Until rules are framed under sections 9, 35, 41, 45 and sub-section (2) of section 47 and until notifications are issued under sub-section (1) of section 47, the rules and notifications in force on the date of commencement of the Act in respect of matters referred to in those sections shall, in so far as they are not inconsistent with this Act, continue.
50. Repeal and savings. – (1) The Court-fees Act, 1870, in its application to the State of West Bengal and in relation to the fees and stamps other than fees and stamps relating to documents presented or to be presented before an officer serving under the Central Government is hereby repealed.(2) All suits and proceedings instituted before the commencement of the West Bengal Court-fees Ordinance, 1969, and all proceedings by way of appeal, revision or otherwise arising therefrom whether instituted before or after such commencement shall, notwithstanding the repeal of the Court-fees Act, 1870, be governed by the provisions of the said Act and the rules made thereunder.(3) The West Bengal Court-fees Ordinance, 1969, is hereby repealed.(4) Anything done or any action taken under the West Bengal Court-fees Ordinance, 1969, shall be deemed to have been validly done or taken under this Act as if this Act had commenced on the 10th day of January, 1970. 

Schedule I.

Ad Valorem Fees Click hot-anim

Suit Valuation Act