1. This is an application for revision of the judgment and decree of the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Bombay, directing the applicant to vacate certain premises and pay the costs of the suit. In that suit the plaintiffs were the mortgagees in possession and had terminated the tenancy of the applicant by a notice to quit. The applicant in his defence, inter alia, pleaded that the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit on the ground that the standard rent of the premises occupied by the applicant was less than Rs. 30, and that accordingly a certificate from the Controller of Rents had to be filed under Section 17 of the Bombay Rent (No. 2) Act 1918. This contention was, however, rejected by the Chief Judge. He says:-
The facts are that defendants came to occupy these premises in dispute, in May 1915, and are still residing there, but the premises they occupy are not the identical ones occupied by the tenant in February and March 1915, but different i.e., they use the whole of the second floor, consisting of the roofed and walled terrace, and other parts, which the tenant did not. Those combined premises were let for the first time when defendants agreed with the plaintiffs to pay them rent of Rs. 150 in October 1925. The objection therefore fails and defendants will have to vacate.
2. The question there discussed seems to me to be one of fact, on which the lower Court has come to a finding against the petitioner, and I am not satisfied by the arguments of the learned pleader for the petitioner that any question of law really arises. Even if a question of law does arise, it does not seem to me to fall within any of the three categories of cases, in which this Court has jurisdiction to interfere in revision under Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code. The more fact that the lower Court may have decided wrongly, is not sufficient reason, unless the question is really one of jurisdiction. It would be on a similar footing to an alleged wrong decision that a suit is not barred by limitation or res judicata (cf. Amir Hassan v. Sheo Bakhsh Singh I.L.R. (1885) 11 Cal. 6, Sundar Singh v. Doru Shankar I.L.R. (1898) 20 All. 78 and Amritrav Krishna Deshpande v. Balkrishna Ganesh Amrapurker I.L.R. (1887) 11 Bom. 488. The Section 17 that is relied on does not make this point one of jurisdiction Sub-section (2) of that section merely says that, if the plaintiff fails to comply with the terms of Sub-section (1), the plaint shall be rejected.
3. But, apart from this, it seems to me that the whole contention is misconceived. Sub-section (1), Clause (a), of Section 17 begins: 'In every suit for rent, compensation for use and occupation or ejectment in respect of any premises of which the monthly rent does not exceed thirty rupees the plaintiff shall.' &c.;, &c.; It does not say 'of which the monthly standard rent does not exceed thirty rupees' &c.; There seems to me to be no basis for saying that the word 'rent' here necessarily means 'standard rent.' If that had been the intention, there is no reason why that expression should not have been used, especially as it appears at the end of this very Clause (a), and also in Clause (b) of the same subsection. Similarly, in Section 16 the words, 'premises of which the monthly rent does not exceed thirty rupees' are used as opposed to the mention of standard rent at the end of the section. Therefore, the contention could only be raised, if the monthly rent of the premises in question did not exceed Rs. 30. I can see no reason for holding that the word 'rent' means anything less than the rent claimed in the suit, or, at any rate, the rent which has to be paid under the agreement sued upon. The object of both Sections 16 and 17 appears to be to fix a rough limit for cases, which might be likely to cover 'small premises' as defined in the Act. These are premises, the standard rent of which does not exceed Rs. 20 a month, and the limit of Rs. 30 was probably taken as likely to cover most of such cases. The marginal note to Section 17 is derived from the provisions of the section as enacted in 1918, and now can only apply to Sub-clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of the section. This point was not raised at the hearing before us, but it seems to me one that clearly governs the petition. I would dismiss the application with costs. Rule discharged with costs.
4. I agree.