Urban Development Authority & Ors Vs. Movva Ranga Rao & Ors  INSC
590 (22 April 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
JT 1996 (5) 427 1996 SCALE (4)316
O R D
question is: whether the respondent is entitled to a minimum fee of Rs.2,000/-
in each of the reference cases in which the reference Court has certified it to
be the fee payable to the respondent? The respondent appeared as a counsel for
the appellant on land acquisition reference initially as Government Pleader and
after he ceased as such, he filed Vakalatnama on behalf of the appellant and
appeared as private counsel. On the basis of the memorandum of costs supplied
to the respondent, he claimed the amount from the appellant but the appellant
has disputed the liability. On a reference made to the Advocate General of
Andhra Pradesh, the Advocate General has certified that the fee claimed is
correct one and the respondent is entitled to the same. However, the respondent
being not satisfied with it, insisted upon the proper fixation of the fee
payable to him. Since the appellants have not been making payment of the fee to
which the respondent is entitled, the respondent has filed the writ petition in
the High Court. The Division Bench of the High Court in W.A.No.590/94, by
judgment and order dated September
5, 1995 has held that
once the court has fixed the Fee, the appellants are bound to pay the same and
they cannot go behind the fee fixed by the Court.
High Court seems to have proceeded on the premise that under the Advocates'
Fees Rules the Court fixes the fee and that parties are bound by the same by
holding that it is a contractual relation. There is a distinction in payment of
the fee between the private counsel and the State counsel.
as the State counsel are concerned, their fee is regulated by the rules
prescribed by the State Government and thereunder the Government counsel is
entitled to the fee or the fee fixed by the Court. In the latter event, the
Government is bound to pay the fee. As regards the private counsel, the High
Court of A.P. has made the rules, viz., Advocates Fees Rules. The same rules
are in vogue as on date.
8(9) prescribes fee in other cases. It contemplates prescribing the fee in land
acquisition cases envisaging that "in Land Acquisition Cases as between
the Collector and the claimants, the fee shall be 5% on the amount claimed in
excess of the award subject to minimum of Rs.100/- and a maximum of Rs.2,000/-.
As between rival claimants, the fee shall be calculated as for suits under Rule
would, therefore, be clear that in cases where the fees is to be fixed on the
basis of the claim on a reference, the court has to calculate the fee on the
amount claimed in the reference and awarded under Section 26 subject to a
minimum of Rs.100/- at the rate of 5% on the amount claimed by the claimants
and the maximum thereof would be Rs.2,000/-. It would thus be clear that in
every case, necessarily, it would not be Rs.2,000/-. It depends upon the
valuation of the claim awarded under Section 26 and the amount to be calculated
varies between the minimum and the maximum. If the amount claimed is far in
excess of 5% and fee calculated exceeds 2,000/- the court has to limit the fee
to Rs.2,000/- in spite of the amount awarded, it would secure fee of the
advocates exceeding Rs.2,000/-. It does not per se yield to the respondent that
in each case, counsel would be paid Rs.2,000/-. In every case, the maximum of
Rs.2,000/- should not be required to be determined.
Mohan, learned senior counsel for the respondent, undertakes to get all the
decrees and the claims made in the decrees settled and he also assures to sit
with the counsel for the appellant and both would calculate the fee to which in
each of the case the respondent would be entitled to.
are given four weeks' time for making the calculations.
the calculations are worked out, the amount may be notified to the Registry and
the same will be incorporated in the order.
appeal is accordingly disposed of. No costs.