1. The petitioner is the plaintiff in S. C. No. 910 of 47-48 on the file of the Judge, Court of Small Causes, Bangalore. The suit was filed by him against the present respondent to recover twenty-four months' rent at the rate of Rs. 13, per mensem. The respondent-defendant admitted that he was a tenant but denied that he had agreed to pay Rs. 13 or that he was liable to pay it. On this, the learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes held that he had no jurisdiction to give relief at the enhanced rate, and gave a decree for the rent at Rs. 9-8-0 only which he considered the defendant had agreed to pay. It is against this that the present revision petition is filed.
2. The main ground that has been taken in this petition is that the Judge of the Court of Small Causes is in error in holding that the jurisdiction of the civil Courts in these matters is ousted by the House Rent Control Order. The learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes seems to be under the impression that all disputes between landlord and tenant in regard to the increase of rent claimed should be decided by the House Rent Controller and that the civil Courts have no jurisdiction. This view does not seem to be correct. I have discussed this point in C.R.P. No. 239/48-49, and I have held that the civil Court's jurisdiction is not ousted. It is not necessary for me to reiterate the grounds on which I have held like that. It is enough to state that there is still scope for civil Courts to exercise their jurisdiction to enforce the enhanced rents. But, in this case, it has to be observed that there is no evidence to show that the defendant agreed to pay the enhanced rent. Though in the plaint nothing is mentioned about the notice issued to him demanding increased rent, yet in the course of the evidence the defendant himself has admitted that he had received a notice from the plaintiff asking for enhanced rent and that he replied to him that he was not liable to pay the enhanced rent. The defendant has produced an acknowledgment Ex. I which goes to show that the defendant issued a reply to the plaintiff. The reply itself is not made available and there is no knowing whether the alleged reply was in connection with this increased rent. The plaintiff has denied that he received any reply. In the absence of such a reply, it has to be assumed that the defendant has not refused to pay the enhanced rent. The implication is that he has agreed to pay the rent at the enhanced rate.
3. The next question that arises for consideration is whether the plaintiff is entitled to claim the enhanced rent as rent or as damages for use and occupation. There is no evidence to show that the house is capable of fetching a rent of Rs. 13. But, however, there is this fact that the tenancy was long prior to 1942 at the original rent of Rs. 9-8-0 as held by the learned Judge of the Court of Small Cause, and the increment claimed is only Rs. 3-8-0, and having regard to the increased cost of living and the increased cost of other articles, it will not be unfair to allow this small increment in he rent.
4. I am, therefore, inclined to think that the judgment and decree of the learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes are to be set aside, and they are accordingly set aside. There will be a decree as prayed for by the plaintiff in the plaint. No costs.
5. Order accordingly.