1. This Civil Revision Petition is preferred by the tenant challenging the correctness and legality of the order passed by the Trial Court rejecting her petition under Section 43 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act. 1961 (the Act).
2. The jural relationship between the parties is not disputed. The grievance of the tenant in her petition was that she is being physically prevented by the respondent and another tenant of the adjoining premises, from using the latrine and bathroom since 29-9-1981. They have done so with the object of forcing her to vacate the premises which is in her occupation.
3. The respondent-land lord resisted the petition on the ground that the bathroom and latrine is not a part of the premises let out to the tenant. As such, her petition under Section 43 of the Act is not maintainable in law. The Trial Court has considered the question of maintainability as a preliminary issue and held that the petition is not maintainable in law and hence, rejected the same in limine.
4. In arriving at its decision, the Trial Court has relied upon a decision of this Court in Savithramma v. Ramdas, 1973(2) KLJ 231. That was a case, where the complaint of the tenant was that the land lord had forcibly dispossessed him from a portion of the leased premises inter alia comprising of the kitchen, bathroom and the latrine. It is held that dispossession of the part of the leased premises does not amount to withholding any essential supply or service by the landlord in respect of the building leased. However, it is further held therein that the essential supply or service contemplated, under Section 43 of the Act is something other than the building let to the tenant. Essential supply or service does not include within its ambit 'the building' or any portion of the building let.
5. In Ullal Dinkar Rao v. M. Ratna Bai, AIR 1958 Mys. 27 Somnath Iyer, J., has observed thus :-
'What is or is not an amenity, is, it seems to me, a question to be decided on the facts of each case.'
It is further observed :
'It is indisputable that a bathroom undoubtedly enhances the desirability of a house for purposes of residence and contributes to the enjoyment of the occupants. The mere fact that it might also form an indispensable need does not take away from it the character of an amenity.'
6. In Bhaskar Manuel Ugargol v. Henrita Immanuel Pujar, 1977(1) KLJ 439 Jagannatha Shetty J. has observed thus :
'The intention and effect of the provisions of Section 43 of the Act, in my opinion, are beyond controversy although much argument was devoted, before me, to the scope of the words 'essential supply or service.'
The intent of the Legislature, as I see it, is that the tenant should be given immediate relief when he is deprived of his legitimate rights and should not be driven to a long drawn Civil litigation. With that end in view, the Legislature has issued an injunction against the landlord not to cut off or withhold essential supply or service which the tenant is entitled to. Therefore, one must take a sensible and broad view of the words 'essential supply or service' and must have regard to all these matters which are reasonably necessary to make use of the building. Any attempt to narrow down the scope of the words 'essential supply or service' may defeat the very purpose of the legislation.'
7. In this view of the matter. I have no hesitation in holding that a bathroom and a latrine, although it does not form part of the leased premises, is an essential service which cannot be withheld by the land lord, whether infact this service has been withheld in the instant case. has to be determined by the. Trial Court. The Court's approach is therefore wholly erroneous and it cannot be sustained in law.
8. In the result, the Civil Revision Petition is allowed.