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    Friday, 8 January 2016

    Scope and Object of Court Fees Act

    1. Introduction
    Nowadays every state relies on certain fiscal enactments to ensure the collection of revenue. One of the main purposes of Court Fees act is to levy fees for services to be rendered by the court. The Act not only prescribes fees but also provides how these are to be ascertained.

    2. Nature of Court Fees Act 1870
    C.F.A is a fiscal enactment and was enforced on 1st April 187.

    Meaning of Fiscal Enactment
    Fiscal enactment is such a law which has for its primary purpose the collection of revenue of Govt.

    3. Court Fees Act is a from of Taxation
    The object of the Act is to lay down rules for the collection of one form of taxation and this is regarded to be the scope of enactment.

    4. Objects of Court fees Act

    No Preamble
    For the determination of purpose and object of an act, the preamble has a greater significance but C.F.A, 1870 is an act without preamble and it is for the court to determine for the enacting clauses what its objects are.

    Following main objects of C.F.A,  1870.

    i. Revenue Collection
    The main object is to secure and collect revenue for the benefit of state.

    ii. Regulate and Ascertainment of Court Fee
    C.F.A is to regulate, levy and recovery of court fee from litigant.

    iii. to check frivolous Litigation
    C.F.A is to regulate, levy and recovery of court fee from litigant.

    iv. Multiplicity of suits
    Due to imposition of certain amount of court fee, it curtails unnecessary litigation and also control the multiplicity of the suits.

    5. Scope of Court Fees Act, 1870.

    i. Federal Enactment
    The C.F.A 1870 is in federal law relating to subject of court fee mentioned in concurrent legislation list of 4th schedule of the constitution of Pakistan 1970.

    ii. Amendments
    U / Art 142 (b) of constitution of 1973, the federal legislature as well as provincial legislature can make amendments in C.F.A 187.

    iii. Prescribes Fees
    The C.F.A prescribes fees in section I and II on the documents.

    iv. Substantive as well as Procedural
    The C.F.A is substantive as lying law and procedural as giving procedure in it for how fees is to be determined.

    v. Condition under which the documents may be received, filed or registered
    This Act not only prescribes fees but provides how these fees are to be determined how questions as to sufficiency and deficiency of fees on documents are to be determines.

    vi. Documents which need not to be Stamped u/s 19 C.F.A
    a. Power of attorney or vakalatnama.
    b. Written statement does not pleads setoff of counter claim
    c. Probate of will
    d. Supply of irrigation water

    vii. Two kinds of Court Fees
    a. Advalurem (According to value mentioned in Schedule I)
    b. Fixed (mentioned in Schedule II)

    6. Interpretation of Court Fees Act

    For setting the objects and to do away with absence of preamble, the alternative available is to relay on the rules of interpretation for fiscal statutes.

    i. Strict Constitution
    A fiscal statue like C.F.A must be strictly construed.

    ii. In Favour of subject
    In case of a doubt, C.F.A should be construed is favour of the state.

    iii. If two construction arise
    If two constructions of C.F.A are equally possible and reasonable, the construction most favourable to the subject must be enforced.

    iv. Precise interpretation
    The words in the Act are to be construed precisely in a manner which bears least heavily on the subject and when the words are clear, effect should be given to them.

    v. Take section as a whole
    The trade mode of interpreting C.F.A which is repeatedly amended is to take the sec as a whole and then give effect to legislative intent.

    8. Conclusion

    To conclude, I can say, that the Curt fees Act is a fiscal statute with a primary object of collecting revenue for the state the object of the Act is to secure payment of court fees prior to litigation and to afford as little scope as possible for litigation over the payment. It is intended not to arm litigant with a weapon of technicality but is secure revenue for the state.
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    Item Reviewed: Scope and Object of Court Fees Act Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Usman Ali
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