1. This revision petition by the landlord under S. 115 of the CPC is directed against the order dt. 21-8-1981 made by the District Judge Mandya in CRP No. 10/1981 allowing the revision petition on reversing the order dt.15-4-1981 made, by the Munsiff Maddur allowing the petition of the landlord under S. 21(1)(h) of the KRC Act in HR C No-. 1/1978 on his file.
2. The landlord instituted an action for eviction of the tenant in respect of a shop on the ground that he required it bona fide and reasonably for his personal occupation. The learned Munsiff considering the evidence on record came to the conclusion that the petition was entitled to succeed under Cl (h) of the proviso to S. 21(l) of the KRC Act.
3. The tenant aggrieved by the said order went up in revision under S.50 of the KRC Act to the District Judge. The learned District Judge raised the following points as arising for his consideration.
1. Whether the petitioner has established that he bona fide and reasonably requires the 'B' schedule premises for personal use and occupation?
2. Who would be put to greater hardship, if the eviction is either ordered or refused?
3. Whether the order of the learned Munsiff calls for interference?
4. What order?
4. On reassessing the evidence on record, in the light of the arguments addressed before him, the learned District Judge, held that the claim of the landlord was bonafide but he further recorded his finding that he did not establish it as reasonable. He also held that greater hardship would be caused to the respondent by ordering eviction than the hardship that may be caused to the petitioner if eviction is not ordered. In that view he allowed the revision petition on setting aside the order passed by the learned Munsiff.
5. In the course of his order, the learned District Judge has pointed out that the learned Munsiff gave his finding that the claim of the landlord was bona fide but he did not focus his attention on the aspect of reasonableness and he considered that aspect in revision for the first time and came to the conclusion that the claim of the landlord was not reasonable. It is that finding which is challenged before me as one without jurisdiction, in the present revision petition under S. 115 of the CPC.
6. The point, therefore, that arises for my consideration in this revision petition is:
1.Whether the learned District Judge having held that the learned Munsiff did not focus his attention on the aspect of reasonableness could himself deal 'with that aspect without a finding from the learned Munsiff?
Whether it was necessary for him to remit the matter back to the learned Munsiff for considering that aspect of the matter in accordance with law?
7. The learned Counsel appearing for the respondent-tenant strenuously urged before me that the powers given to the learned District Judge under S. 50 are wide enough and they cover consideration of the matter for the first time also by the learned District Judge. As against that the learned Counsel appearing for the revision petitioner submitted that the powers of the District Judge though they are wider than the powers given to the Court under S. 115 of the CPC are not wide enough to convert the proceedings into a first appeal giving concurrent jurisdiction to the revision court with the trial Court.
8. In order to appreciate the contentions raised before me it is necessary to read S. 50 of the KRC Act which speaks of revision. It reads:
'50(l): The High Court may, at any time call for and examine any order passed or proceeding taken by the Court of Civil Judge under this act or any order passed by the Controller under S. 14, 15, 16 or 17 for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or correctness of such order or proceeding and may pass such order in reference thereto as it thinks fit.
50(2): The District Judge may, at any time call for and examine any order passed or proceeding taken by the Court of Munsiff referred to in sub-Clause (iii) of Clause (b) of Section 3 for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the legality or correctness of such order or proceeding and may pass such order in reference thereto as he thinks fit. The order of the District Judge shall be final.'
9. Thus it becomes clear that the District Judge exercising powers under S.50, 2 has powers to call for and examine the proceeding for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the legality or correctness of such order or proceeding and may pass such order in reference thereto as he thinks fit.
10. The simple point that arises for my consideration is:
'If the Munsiff himself has not considered a particular aspect at all, whether the District Judge can consider it for the first time himself instead of sending it back to the Munsiff to consider it?'
11. It is no doubt true that the First Appellate Court has concurrent authority with the trial Court. But the revisional Court however wide its revisional powers cannot be equated with a First Appellate Court. The scope of revision is necessarily limited. It is the supervisory jurisdiction in the proceedings. Therefore, if the trial Court has not given any finding at all, the revision Court cannot substitute its finding without asking the trial court to record its finding in that behalf.
12. The Supreme Court of India has dealt with the revisional power under the Rent Control Act in a comparable provision of the Madras Rent Control Act in Sri Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works v. Rangaswamy Chettiar, : AIR1980SC1253 . Speaking on the aspect, in para-3 of the judgment, the Supreme Court has observed
'..... The dominant idea conveyed by the in-corporation of the words to satisfy itself under S. 25 appears to be that the power conferred on the High Court under Sec. 25 is essentially a power of Superintendence. Therefore despite the wide language employed in Section 25 the High Court quite obviously should not interfere with findings of fact merely because it does not agree with the finding of the subordinate authority. The power conferred on the High Court under Sec. 25 of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control)Act may not be as narrow as the revisional power of the High Court under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure but in the words of Untwalia, J., in Dattonpant Gopalvarao v. Vithalrao Marutirao. : AIR1975SC1111 'it is not wide enough to make the High Court a second court of first appeal'.'
13. That being so, the District Court should have sent back the matter to the trial Court to consider the aspect of reasonableness and give its finding and dispose of the matter in accordance with law.
14. The learned Counsel appearing for the revision-petitioner further argued, relying on the ruling of the Supreme Court in Vishesh Kumar v. Shantiprasad, : 3SCR32 that the High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain a revision under S. 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure against the order passed in revision under S. 50 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act by the learned District Judge.
15. The case under the consideration of the Supreme Court was entirely in different circumstances. By a special local enactment the powers under S. 115 of the CPC were bifurcated between the High Court and the District Court with a view to reduce the pressure of work on the High Court. It is under those circumstances that the Supreme Court has pointed out that a revision does not lie under S. 115 of the CPC to the High Court against the order passed by the District Court, which is for that purpose of concurrent jurisdiction in view of the special legislation. It is made crystal clear in the course of the judgment and especially so in para13 of the judgment. In para-11 of the judgment, the Supreme Court has stated thus:
'....... There was a sharp bifurcation of revisional jurisdiction, and the High Court and District Court now enjoyed mutually exclusive revisional powers. A controversy arose whether a revisional order under Section 115 made by the District Court was final or was itself amenable to the revisional power of the High Court under the same section. The point was considered by a Full Bench of the High Court in Har Prasad Singh v. Ram Swarup : AIR1973All390 , and it was held that no such revision petition was maintainable before the High Court. Further State amendments were made to section 115 without materially disturbing the division of power ......'
Further, the Supreme Court has observed in para-12 of the Judgment thus
'......The situation lasted only briefly, 'for on 1st Aug. 1978 the CPC (Uttar Pradesh Amendment) Act, 1978 substantially restored the status quo ante.'
Having observed thus, the Supreme Court ' has further observed in para-13 thus:
'The controversy whether it is open to the High Court to exercise revisional power in respect of a revisional order under S. 115 of the District Court presents little difficulty. The basis for determining that question flows from the principle incorporated in the bifurcation of the revisional jurisdiction. And legislative history comes to our aid. The consistent object behind the successive amendments was to divide the workload of revision petitions between the High Court and the District Court and decentralise that jurisdiction. That purpose was sought to be achieved by classifying all cases into two mutually exclusive categories depending on the valuation of the suit out of which they arose. In determining whether the Legislature intended a further revision petition to the High Court, regard must be had to the principle that the construction given to a statute should be such as would advance the object of the legislation and suppress the mischief sought to be cured by it. It seems to us that to recognise a revisional power in the High Court over a revisional order passed by the District Judge would plainly defeat the object of the legislative scheme '
It is for that reason that the Supreme Court, in para-15 has held thus:
'We are of opinion on the first question that the High Court is not vested with revisional jurisdiction under S. 115, CPC over a revisional order made by the District Court under that Section.'
16. Thus it is clear that the ruling has no application to the facts of the present case. There is at any time no bifurcation in the powers to be exercised under S. 115 of the CPC in our State. We are dealing with a special provision for revision under S. 50 contained in the Karnataka Rent Control Act. In order to shorten one stage in litigation, the Karnataka Rent Control Act abolished the appeals provided to the District Court under S. 48, in certain cases, namely, cases of eviction under S. 21 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act and provided a revision to the District Court against the order passed by Munsiffs and to the High Court against the orders of Civil Judges.
17. Thus, there is no legislative intendment at all to do away with the revision under S. 115 of the Civil PC which gives a general power of superintendence to the High Court. This Court, by a revision Bench decision, has taken the view that revision under S. 115 of the CPC does lie against the order passed by the District Judge in revision under S. 50 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act. I have no reason to differ and I am bound by it.
18. In the result the revision petition is allowed. The impugned order of the District Judge is hereby set aside and the matter is sent back to the learned Munsiff with a direction that he shall now consider the question of reasonableness of the requirement of the landlord also and then precede to judgment in accordance with expediency.
The parties are directed to be present before the trial Court on 13-8-1984 to take further instructions.
19. Petition allowed.