1. This is a revision under Section 50 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and is directed against the decision of the Civil Judge, Bangalore in a petition under S. 43 (i) and (ii) of the Karnataka Rent Control Act for restoration of Electricity, being an essential supply enjoyed by the tenant in the premises consisting of a room situated in O. T. C. Road, Chickpet area of this city. The petitioner is an Advocate, T. V. Govindaraja Iyengar. According to him, he is a tenant of B. R. Ramanna in that room, where he runs his office from the last 30 years. He has been paying Rs. 30/- per month as rent and was enjoying the essential supply of electricity in that room, Sometimes in 1974, the landlord wanted to make some construction and in that connection the electricity was cut off with a promise to be restored after the construction work was completed. Thereafter the landlord did not restore the electric connection for which notice was served by the petitioner-tenant which remained unreplied. Thereafter the present petition under Section 43 (i) and (ii) was filed in the Court of the Civil Judge, Bangalore. The learned trial Judge has rejected that petition and being dissatisfied with the said order the petitioner-tenant has come up to this Court in revision.
2. The evidence that was adduced before ore the learned trial Judge was the notice that was given by the petitioner-tenant to the landlord and petitioner's own statement. As against that evidence, the respondent-landlord gave his own statement. It was admitted on all hands that the petitioner is a tenant in this room from about 30 years and the tenancy started during the lifetime of the father of the respondent. There is no allegation to the effect that the respondent was present at the time of the Settlement of the tenancy. The main question to be decided in this case was, as to whether the contract of tenancy existed which included amenity for electric connection and as to whether the rent of Rs. 30/- per month settled between the parties included the electricity charges. It is evident that the petitioner-tenant was paying a rent of Rs. 30/- per month and was enjoying electricity connection for the entire period of 30 years without paying any extra charge for electricity. The statement of the respondent-landlord is that be was enjoying that facility 'gratis' and that he is at liberty to discontinue the electricity whenever he wants to do so, Against that inference there were several other circumstances and in my opinion the learned trial Judge committed a mistake in drawing the conclusion that electricity was not a part and parcel of the contract of tenancy. The argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner was that mere enjoyment of electricity was sufficient to give him a cause of action under Section 43 of the Act. That may not be correct to say. The supply of electricity had to be a part and parcel of the contract of tenancy. In my opinion if a particular essential supply or service was not a part and parcel of the contract itself, Section 43 of the Act will not be of any assistance. Therefore, it would be necessary to prove, for which precisely the burden was upon the tenant, that the supply of electricity was a part and parcel of the contract of tenancy. The circumstances which existed in favour of the petitioner are, that he enjoyed this amenity from 30 years upon the same payment of rent and that up-till 1974 the supply continued and when the landlord did some construction work he cut off the supply. According to the statement of the respondent-landlord, he never told him to pay separate electricity charges and that he used to receive only Rs. 30/- per month. It was only subsequently when a separate meter was provided, that he asked for enhanced rent, so that he could make a separate charge for electricity supply. Even after the fixation of the new meter, according to the respondent landlord, the supply of electricity continued for sometime. It is obvious, a notice was served upon the respondent-landlord but he did not care to reply that notice. He could have very well stated then and there that the supply of electricity was only gratis and that he could discontinue it at any time he chose to do so. It is also admitted between the parties that a common meter was installed and the landlord used to pay the electricity charges even for consumption of electricity consumed in the disputed premises.
3. The Learned trial Judge has drawn an inference against the tenant because of the separate meter provided for and because of the circumstance that electricity charges were recently increased and thereby inferred that the landlord must not have thought of granting supply of electricity without any payment. Besides the learned trial Judge considered that arrears of rent bad fallen due and that would he a sufficient cause for discontinuance of the electricity. In my opinion all these circumstances never justified for any such inference that the electricity supply was neither a part of the contract nor could it be continued.
4. In this view of the matter I am of opinion that the landlord has withheld the essential supply of electricity without just or sufficient cause. As such the application under Section 43 (i) and (ii) is granted.
5. Accordingly, the revision petition is allowed and the decision of the learned Civil Judge is set aside. The application of the tenant under Section 43 (i) and (ii) of the Act is allowed and the respondent-landlord is directed to restore the electricity within a period of two weeks from the date, of this order, failing which he may be held to be liable for damages. However, no order is made as to costs.
6. Revision allowed.