"The mere fact that the relief as stated in the prayer clause is expressed in a declaratory form does not necessarily show that the suit is for a mere declaration and no more. If the relief so disclosed is a declaration pure and simple and involves no other relief, the suit would fall under Art. 17(iii)."
In that case the plaintiff had sued for a twofold declaration : (i) that the property described in the plaint was a waqf, and (ii) that certain alienations thereof by the mutwali and his brother were null and void and were ineffectual against the waqf property. It was held that the second part of the declaration was tantamount to the setting aside or cancellation of the alienations and therefore the relief claimed could not be treated as a purely declaratory one and inasmuch as it could not be said to follow directly from the declaration sought for in the first part of the relief, the relief claimed in the case could be treated as a declaration with a “consequential relief.” …… It was substantive one in the shape of setting aside of alienations requiring ad valorem court-fee on the value of the subjectmatter of the sale, and even if the relief sought for fell within the purview of Section 7(iv)(c) of the plaintiffs in view of Sections 8 and 9, Suits Valuation Act, having already fixed the value of the relief in the plaint for purposes of jurisdiction were bound to fix the same value for purposes of court-fee. It was also pointed out that in deciding whether a suit is a purely declaratory, the substance and not merely the language or the form of the relief claimed should be considered.............” (emphasis supplied)
“...So there can be statutory arbitration even in the absence of agreement between the parties to refer their dispute to an arbitrator. Therefore, it cannot be said that the present enactment is an antithesis of arbitration because it provides for arbitration even in the absence of any agreement between the parties to refer their dispute to the arbitrator. It is also not a misnomer to call the tribunal constituted under the Act as an Arbitration Tribunal as it has all the requisites to arbitrate in the dispute between the contractor and the State except that there is no agreement to refer the dispute to the Tribunal for arbitration that is by the statute....”
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16. We are of the considered opinion that the view taken in the two Division Bench decisions of this Court in M/s Spedra Engineering Corporation and M/s Bhanu Kumar Jain and Associates (supra), that the 1983 Adhiniyam provides for statutory arbitration is correct in law because it provides for arbitration of disputes by the Arbitration Tribunal even without an arbitration agreement. Accordingly, the provisions of Part-I of the 1996 Act will also apply to arbitration under the 1983 Adhiniyam as if the arbitration was pursuant to an arbitration agreement and as if the provisions of the 1983 Adhiniyam were an arbitration agreement, but if there is any conflict between the provisions of Part-I of the 1996 Act and the provisions of the 1983 Adhiniyam, then the provisions of the 1983 Adhiniyam will prevail as provided in sub-section (4) of Section 2 of the 1996 Act.
24. In our considered opinion, therefore, the State Legislature was competent to make a law in respect of 'arbitration' in Entry 13 of the Concurrent List, even though the Arbitration Act, 1940 made by the Central Legislature was already in the same field because the 1983 Adhiniyam had been reserved for consideration and had received the assent of the President, as provided in clause (2) of Art. 254 of the Constitution. Under the proviso to clause (2) of Art. 254 of the Constitution, Parliament was competent to make the 1996 Act in the same field, but while making the 1996 Act, has expressly saved the provisions of the 1983 Adhiniyam in sub-sections (4) and (5) of Section 2 of the 1996 Act, both in respect of statutory arbitrations and arbitrations pursuant to arbitration agreements in respect of disputes arising out of works contracts between the State Government or a State Government Undertaking and the contractor from the provisions of Part-I of the 1996 Act which are inconsistent with the provisions of the 1983 Adhiniyam. Hence, the provisions of the 1983 Adhiniyam are not repugnant to the provisions of the 1996 Act and are not void and do not stand impliedly repealed by the 1996 Act. The application made under Section 11(6) of the 1996 Act is therefore not maintainable and the writ petition has no merit. The MCC and the writ petition are accordingly dismissed.”
2. Definitions. - (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, -
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(d) “dispute” means claim of ascertained money valued at Rupees 50,000 or more relating to any difference arising out of the execution or nonexecution of a works contract or part thereof;
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(i) “works-contract" means an agreement in writing for a letter of intent or work order issued for the execution of any work relating to construction, repair or maintenance of any building or superstructure, dam, weir, canal, reservoir, tank, lake, road, well, bridge, culvert, factory, workshop, powerhouse, transformer or such other works of the State Government or Public Undertaking or of the Corporations of the State as the State Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf at any of its stages, entered into by the State Government or by any official of the State Government or by Public Undertakings or Corporation or by any Official of the State Government for and on behalf of such Corporation or Public Undertakings and includes an agreement for the supply of goods or material and all other matters relating to the execution of any of the said works and also includes the services so hired for carrying out of the aforesaid works and shall also include all concession agreement, so entered into by the State Government or public undertaking or Corporation, wherein a State support is involved or not.
7. Reference to Tribunal. - (1) Either party to a works contract shall irrespective of the fact whether the agreement contains an arbitration clause or not, refer in writing the dispute to the Tribunal.
7-A. Reference petition. - (1) Every reference petition shall include whole of the claim which the party is entitled to make in respect of the works contract till the filing of the reference petition but no claims arising out of any other works contract shall be joined in such a reference petition.
20. Bar of jurisdiction of Civil Court. - (1) As from the date of the constitution of the Tribunal and notwithstanding anything contained in Arbitration Act, 1940 (No. 10 of 1940) or any other law, for the time being in force, or in any agreement or usage to the contrary, no Civil Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or decide any dispute of which cognizance can be taken by the Tribunal under this Act.
28. In the context of the rival contentions of the parties and the provisions of the relevant enactments, we shall now proceed to deal with the first two questions as are mentioned above. For the sake of convenience, the same are again reproduced as under:
QUESTION NOS. (1) AND (2)
(1) Whether the dispute relating to termination of a contract without claiming any consequential relief is maintainable before the Arbitral Tribunal under the M.P. Madhyastham Adhikaran Adhiniyam, 1983?
(2) Whether, under the guise of challenge to an action of termination of contract, the remedy under the MP Act can be said to be not available, when the real challenge is to the Revenue Recovery Certificate issued by the State for recovery of the loss/damages?
29. The arbitration is a procedure to determine legal rights and obligations of the parties judicially with binding effect, which is enforceable in law. The arbitrators are appointed by the parties to do justice in the sense of arriving at a “fair decision” and not in the sense of “judicial justice”. The arbitrator is not bound by a strict Law of Evidence as contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Section 1 of the Evidence Act contemplates that such Act is not applicable to proceedings before an arbitrator. In fact, a resolution of dispute by an Arbitrator is one of the four alternative dispute resolution mechanism contemplated by Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Such adjudication process is outside the adjudicatory functions of the Court. As per the Halsbury's Law of England, 4th Edition (1973), Vol.2 p. 255, para 502, the “arbitration” is a substitution, by consent of parties, of another tribunal for the tribunals provided by the ordinary processes of law; a domestic tribunal – as contra-distinguished from a regularly organized court proceeding according to the course of law. The relevant extract, reads as under:-
“5. It is familiar learning but requires emphasis that section 1 of the Evidence Act, 1872 in its rigour is not intended to apply to proceedings before an arbitrator. P.B. Mukharji, J. as the learned Chief Justice then was, expressed the above view in Haji Ebrahim Kassam Cochinwall v. Nothern Indian Oil Industries Ltd., A.I.R. 1951 Calcutta 230 and we are of the opinion that this represents the correct statement of law on this aspect. Lord Goddard, C.J. in Mediterranean & Eastern Export Co. Ltd. v. Fortress Fabrics Ltd.,  2 All E.R. 186 observed at pages 188/189 of the report as follows:
31. The Supreme Court in a judgment reported as (2006) 13 SCC 322 (Paramjeet Singh Patheja vs. ICDS Ltd.) examined the difference between the courts and arbitral tribunals and held that the litigation is a legal action in a court of law whereas arbitration is the resolution of a dispute between the two contracting parties by the persons chosen by them to be arbitrators. The Supreme Court held as under:-
“35. That litigation is therefore very different from arbitration is clear. The former is a legal action in a Court of law where judges are appointed by the State; the latter is the resolution of a dispute between two contracting parties by persons chosen by them to be arbitrators. These persons need not even necessarily be qualified trained judges or lawyers. This distinction is very old and was picturesquely expressed by Edmund Davies, J. in these words:
"Many years ago, a top-hatted gentleman used to parade outside these law Courts carrying a placard which bore a stirring injunction 'Arbitrate don't Litigate"
"16. But the fact that the arbitrator under Section 10A is not exactly in the same position as a private arbitrator does not mean he is a tribunal under Article 136. Even if some of the trappings of the Court are present in his case, he lacks the basic, the essential and the fundamental requisite in that behalf because he is not invested with the State's inherent judicial power..... He is not a Tribunal because the State has not invested him with its inherent judicial power and the power of adjudication which he exercises is derived by him from the agreement of the parties.” (Engineering Mazdoor Sabha & Anr. Vs. Hind Cycles Ltd., AIR 1963 SC 874.) " (emphasis supplied)
"4. There was no dispute that the arbitrator appointed under Section 19(1)(b) [of the Defence of India Act, 1939] was not a court. (Collector vs. Gauri Shankar Misra & Ors., AIR 1968 SC 384) "
37. Thus the thrust of submissions made by both the learned senior counsel can be summarized as under: Courts are institutions invested with the judicial power of the State to finally adjudicate upon disputes between litigants and to make formal and binding orders and decrees. Civil Courts pass decrees and orders for payment of money and the terms 'decree and order' are defined in the CPC. Arbitrators are persons chosen by parties to adjudge their disputes. They are not Courts and they do not pass orders or decrees for the payment of money; they make awards.”
32. A Constitution Bench in a judgment reported as (1992) 1 SCC 508 (Secretary, Irrigation Department, Government of Orissa and others v. G.C. Roy), while examining the right of an Arbitrator to award pendente lite, held that arbitration is substitution of the forum of Civil Court. The relevant conclusion reads as under:-
“43. (i) *** *** ***
(ii) An arbitrator is an alternative form (sic forum) for resolution of disputes arising between the parties. If so, he must have the power to decide all the disputes or differences arising between the parties. If the arbitrator has no power to award interest pendente lite, the party claiming it would have to approach the court for that purpose, even though he may have obtained satisfaction in respect of other claims from the arbitrator. This would lead to multiplicity of proceedings.
33. In view of the above, we find that the arbitration is resolution of disputes between two contracting parties by the persons chosen by them to be arbitrators and in the case of arbitration under the State Act, by statutory constituted Tribunal. An Arbitrator is to do justice in the sense of arriving at a fair decision and is not bound by strict law of evidence as contained in Indian Evidence Act. However, the Arbitrator while arriving at a fair decision has to keep in mind the law applicable to the contract and to the facts of the matter before it.
36. In another judgment reported as (2014) 14 SCC 502 (Venkataraja and others vs. Vidyane Doureradjaperumal (dead) Through Legal Representatives and others), the plaintiff has filed a suit for declaration without seeking consequential reliefs of eviction of the tenant who were in possession. It was held that mere declaration without consequential relief does not provide the needed relief in the suit; it would be for the plaintiff to seek both the reliefs. The omission thereof mandates the court to refuse the grant of declaratory relief. The relevant extracts of the said decision are reproduced as under:-
“23. The very purpose of the proviso to Section 34 of the 1963 Act, is to avoid the multiplicity of the proceedings, and also the loss of revenue of court fees. When the Specific Relief Act, 1877 was in force, the 9th Report of the Law Commission of India, 1958, had suggested certain amendments in the proviso, according to which, the plaintiff could seek declaratory relief without seeking any consequential relief, if he sought permission of the court to make his subsequent claim in another suit/ proceedings. However, such an amendment was not accepted. There is no provision analogous to such suggestion in the 1963 Act.
"4........ mere declaration without consequential relief does not provide the needed relief in the suit; it would be for the plaintiff to seek both the reliefs. The omission thereof mandates the court to refuse the grant of declaratory relief."
26. In Shakuntla Devi v. Kamla, (2005) 5 SCC 390, this Court while dealing with the issue held: (SCC p. 399, para 21) "21……a declaratory decree simpliciter does not attain finality if it has to be used for obtaining any future decree like possession. In such cases, if suit for possession based on an earlier declaratory decree is filed, it is open to the defendant to establish that the declaratory decree on which the suit is based is not a lawful decree."
27. In view of the above, it is evident that the suit filed by the appellantplaintiffs was not maintainable, as they did not claim consequential relief. Respondents 3 and 10 being admittedly in possession of the suit property, the appellant-plaintiffs had to necessarily claim the consequential relief of possession of the property. Such a plea was taken by the respondentdefendants while filing the written statement. The appellant-plaintiffs did not make any attempt to amend the plaint at this stage, or even at a later stage. The declaration sought by the appellant-plaintiffs was not in the nature of a relief. A worshipper may seek that a decree between the two parties is not binding on the deity, as mere declaration can protect the interest of the deity. The relief sought herein, was for the benefit of the appellant-plaintiffs themselves.”
38. Within this Court, on difference of opinion, the matter was considered by a third Judge in a judgment reported as AIR 1967 MP 221 (Baldeo Singh Raghuraj Singh vs. Gopal Singh Raghuraj Singh and others) wherein the question of court fee was being examined. It was held that the Court is required to determine the real form of relief, which is attempted to be shrouded by dexterous use of expressions of declaratory sort when in reality what is sought is a consequential relief. Thus the majority opinion of the Court is as under:-
“37. The case which is generally referred to in this connection is the decision of Sir Lawrence H. Jenkins in Deokali Koer v. Kedar Nath, (1912) ILR 39 Cal 704. In that case the plaintiff sought a declaration that a mortgage decree which was pending execution when the suit was filed had been collusively and fraudulently obtained and it was ineffectual, inoperative and invalid and that for the satisfaction of the said decree the mortgaged property, which was the subject-matter of the earlier decree and the later action in question, could not be sold. She also sought interim injunction. It is in that context of the plaintiff's averments in that case that Sir Lawrence Jenkins made the observations which are as follows:-
"It is a common fashion to attempt an evasion of Court-fees by casting the prayers of the plaint into a declaratory shape. Where the evasion is successful it cannot be touched, but the device does not merit encouragement or favour".
"It is in this Section (apart from particular legislative sanction) that the law as to merely declaratory decrees applicable in the circumstances of this case, is now to be found".
"The Section does not sanction every form of declaration, but only a declaration that the plaintiff is 'entitled to any legal character or to any right as to any property: it is the disregard of this that accounts for the multiform and at times, eccentric declarations which find a place in Indian plaints.” If the Courts were astute - as I think they should be – to see that the plaints presented conformed to the terms of Section 42, the difficulties that are to be found in this class of cases, would no longer arise. Nor would plaintiffs be unduly hampered if the provisions of Section 42 were enforced, for it would be easy to frame a declaration in such terms as would comply with the provisions of the section where the claim was one within its policy."
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43. ….... The later decision of the Full Bench of the same High Court reported in Bishan Sarup v. Musa Mal, AIR 1935 All 817 (FB) considered the question with reference to Sections 39 and 42 of the Specific Relief Act and held that it is not open to the Court to treat the suit as one falling within the purview of Section 39 of the Specific Relief Act if the plaintiff desired it to be construed as one under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act. The plaintiff is at liberty to construe the suit as one under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act and that if on perusal of the plaint the Court considers that the case is one in which further relief should have been asked for, then it is open for it to refuse to grant a declaration. It was further held that where the plaintiff deliberately seeks the relief of declaration and deliberately avoids claiming consequential relief such as the cancellation of an instrument the court fee on the plaint and the memorandum of appeal should be fixed court-fee under Article 17(iii) Schedule II of the Court-Fees Act.
52. It thus seems from the review of these authorities that where the plaintiff sues for a declaration simpliciter without further seeking any consequential or substantial relief, the fact that his claim would be incompetent, because of his failure to seek further and consequential relief which he was able to claim does not affect the question of court-fee and he will be liable to pay court-fee under Article 17(iii) of Schedule II of the Court-Fees Act and not under Section 7(iv)(c). But the declaration asked for by the plaintiff in such a case must not be a mere garb for the real, substantial or consequential relief intended to be claimed. If it be so it is competent for the Court to look to the substance of the relief claimed apart from the form and require him to pay the court-fee which he would be bound to pay in case he had not resorted to a device in concealing the relief he really wanted.”
39. The correctness of the said view was doubted and was examined by another Full Bench of this Court in a judgment reported as AIR 1971 MP 1 (Santoshchandra and others vs. Smt. Gyansundarbai and others). It was held that where it is necessary for a plaintiff to avoid an agreement or a decree or a liability imposed, it is necessary for him to avoid that and unless he seeks the relief of having that decree, agreement, document or liability set aside, he is not entitled to a declaration simpliciter. The Court held as under:-
“9. So far as this contention of the appellants is concerned, it, in our opinion, is amply borne out by a series of decisions of this Court. We may advert to the pronouncement of a Division Bench of the Nagpur High Court, presided over by Sir Gilbert Stone, C. J. and Digby, J. in ILR (1939) Nag 373 = (AIR 1938 Nag 183) (supra), where it was held that in a suit where the declaration prayed for, if given, involves the granting of the consequential relief, such as the cancellation of a document or the avoidance of a decree, the plaintiff will be deemed to have prayed for the consequential relief and the suit will fall under Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court-fees Act, and will not be governed by Article 17(iii) of Schedule II.
13. Thus, all these cases lay down the proposition that where it is necessary for a plaintiff to avoid an agreement or a decree or a liability imposed, it is necessary for him to avoid that and unless he seeks the relief of having that decree, agreement, document or liability set aside, he is not entitled to a declaration simpliciter. In such cases the question of courtfees has to be determined under Section 7(iv)(c) of the Act. But, however, where a plaintiff is not a party to such a decree, agreement, instrument or liability, and he cannot be deemed to be a representative in interest of the person who is bound by that decree, agreement, instrument or liability, he can sue for a declaration simpliciter, provided he is also in possession of the property. The matter may be different if he is not in possession of the property. In that event, the proviso to Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act might be a bar to the tenability of a suit framed for the relief of declaration simpliciter. But, that would be a different aspect. All the same, if the plaintiff is not bound by that decree or agreement or liability and if he is not required to have it set aside, he can claim to pay court-fees under any of the sub-clauses of Article 17. Schedule II of the Court-fees Act.”
40. The principles of law laid down while interpreting Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877 or Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, may be in the context of payment of appropriate court fee, are applicable with full vigour in relation to a reference petition under Section 7-A of the State Act as the reference under sub-section (1) of Section 7-A of the State Act is analogous to the plaint before the Civil Court. Thus, in terms of sub-section (1) of Section 7-A of the State Act, an aggrieved person has to include whole of the claim which an aggrieved person is entitled to make in respect of the works contract including the consequential relief. The sub-section (2) of Section 7-A of the State Act is analogous to the provisions of Order 2 Rule 2 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Sub-section (3) of Section 7-A of the State Act permits the raising of dispute which may arise after filing of reference petition. If the consequential relief is omitted though available then such claim cannot be raised afterwards not only before the Arbitral Tribunal but before any other forum as all claims have to be raised before one forum.
“74. The meaning of 'ascertain'/ascertained given in various dictionaries mentioned hereinabove shows that it is an activity undertaken by which a claim is fixed or made definite. In other words, claim is learnt with certainty or it is made definite or determined. The Stroud's Dictionary makes it clear that where "ascertained" is used in relation to a claim of money to be paid, it has to be ascertained in a particular way. "To be ascertained" were held to be very strong words and were treated to be a condition precedent.
76. Shri Amit Seth submitted that money can be ascertained on the basis of average toll collection for a specified period or on the basis of cash flow chart, financial identical rate of return (FIRR) and yearly cash flow statement (YCFS). We do not see much merit in the said contention. As the applicants have based their claim to operate the project for a specified period, if they succeed in their claim, they will get extra days for operating the project. For example, if a Concessionaire who is operating a toll plaza succeeds, what he will get will be in terms of extension of days and not in terms of money which is ascertainable or ascertained. During extended period of operation of projects, how much will be the vehicular movement and how much toll will be collected cannot be ascertained at this point of time by any process of reasoning. Similarly, while operating a sports complex, how much the Concessionaire will earn cannot be determined/ascertained by any guess work. For this reason, the claim of the applicants is in terms of extension of days to operate the project and they are unable to putforth a claim of ascertained money. However, at this stage, it must be made clear that when a claim is ascertainable and yet the concessionaire has not ascertained the claim in order to wriggle out of definition of "dispute", the matter would be different and in such cases the forum for adjudication would be the Tribunal under the Adhiniyam of 1983. Hence, each case needs to be examined in this regard.” (Emphasis Supplied)
44. The Supreme Court in a judgment reported as (1992) 1 SCC 731 (Sujir Keshav Nayak v. Sujir Ganesh Nayak) was considering a suit for accounting or for dissolution of partnership and accounting filed in courts of limited pecuniary jurisdiction. It was held that the plaintiff must take every care to disclose valuation which is not arbitrary as the plaint is liable to be rejected on objection of the defendant. But in suits of such nature filed before courts of unlimited jurisdiction the valuation disclosed by the plaintiff may be accepted as correct. It was held that in a suit for declaration with consequential relief falling under Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court Fees Act, 1870, the plaintiff is free to make his own estimation of the reliefs sought in the plaint and such valuation both for the purposes of court fee and jurisdiction has to be ordinarily accepted. It is only in cases where it appears to the Court on a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case that the valuation is arbitrary, unreasonable and the plaint has been demonstratively undervalued, the court can examine the valuation and can revise the same. The Court held as under:-
“3. .............. For this it is necessary to examine the scheme disclosed in the Civil Procedure Code relating to filing of suit. Section 15 of the Civil Procedure Code (hereinafter referred to as 'C.P.C.') provides that any suit shall be instituted in the court of the lowest grade competent to try it. What is a court of lowest grade and for what nature of suit has been determined and regulated by State enactments. Competency refers to jurisdiction territorial or pecuniary, of limited or unlimited limits. In courts of limited pecuniary jurisdiction valuation assumes great importance. A plaintiff may over or under-value the suit for purposes of avoiding a court of a particular grade. In the former the plaint may be returned under Order 7 Rule 10 for presentation in proper court but in latter it is liable to be rejected. Since under-valuation goes to the root of maintainability of the suit a defendant is entitled to raise the objection irrespective of the nature of the suit. That is why this Court in Abdul Hamid Shamsi v. Abdul Majid And Ors., (1988) 2 SCC 575. while upholding the right of the plaintiff to value the suit for accounting according to his own estimate held that he "has not been given the absolute right or option to place any valuation whatever in such relief." But that was a case of limited pecuniary jurisdiction in which the defendant could object as arbitrary under-valuation could result in rejection of the plaint.
In Meenakshisundaram Chettiar v. Venkatachalam Chettiar, (1980) 1 SCC 616, it was observed that even though in suit for accounting the loss of revenue is ensured by statutory provision yet a plaintiff has a duty to give a fair estimate of the amount for which he sues. Reason for it obviously was insistence on being honest and just when approaching a court of law. The observation was made because of the duty cast on court by Order 7 Rule 11 of C.P.C. But there is no indication if the suit was filed in a court of limited pecuniary jurisdiction. It can thus be resolved that in suits for accounting or for dissolution of partnership and accounting filed in courts of limited pecuniary jurisdiction the plaintiff must take every care to disclose valuation which is not arbitrary as the plaint is liable to be rejected on objection of the defendant. But in suits of such nature filed before courts of unlimited jurisdiction the valuation disclosed by the plaintiff may be accepted as correct. This, however, does not mean that the courts power to examine the correctness of valuation is taken away. If on perusal of plaint the court is prima facie satisfied that the plaintiff has not been fair and valued the suit or relief arbitrarily it is not precluded from directing the plaintiff to value it properly and pay court fee on it. In Tara Devi v. Thakur Radha Krishna Maharaj, (1987) 4 SCC 69 this Court observed: (SCC p. 71 para 4) "It is now well settled by the decisions of this Court in Sathappa Chettiar v. Ramanathan Chettiar, AIR 1958 SC 245 and Meenakshisundaram Chettiar v. Venkatachalam Chettiar that in a suit for declaration with consequential relief falling under Section 7(iv)(c) of the Court Fees Act, 1870, the plaintiff is free to make his own estimation of the reliefs sought in the plaint and such valuation both for the purposes of court fee and jurisdiction has to be ordinarily accepted. It is only in cases where it appears to the court on a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case that the valuation is arbitrary, unreasonable and the plaint has been demonstratively undervalued, the court can examine the valuation and can revise the same."
“2. Our attention has been drawn to the definition of “dispute” under Section 2(d) of the Madhya Pradesh Madhyastham Adhikaran Adhiniyam, 1983 (“1983 Act”) which is as follows: “ 'dispute' means claim of ascertained money valued at Rupees 50,000 or more relating to any difference arising out of the execution or non-execution of a works contract or part thereof.”
3. We consider it appropriate to clarify that the expression “ascertained money” as used in Section 2(d) of the 1983 Act will include not only the amount already ascertained but the amount which may be ascertained during the proceedings on the basis of claims/counter claims of the parties.”
Therefore, in addition to the consequential relief which an aggrieved person has to claim in a reference under Section 7-A of the State Act even the expression “ascertained money” includes the amount which may be ascertained during the proceedings on the basis of the claims/counter claims of the parties. The said order concludes that ascertained amount is not only the claim raised but also the amount determined.