1. These three Civil Revision Petitions are directed against the common order passed by the Learned Subordinate Judge. Nellore in C. M. A. Nos. 5, 6 and 7 of 1970, setting aside the common order passed by the Rent Controller staying the Rent Control Petitions, till the disposal of O. S. No. 99 of 1967 on the file of the Subordinate Judge's Court. Nellore.
2. The material facts, giving rise to these petitions, are as follows: The petitioners in all these C. R. Ps. are tenants and the respondents, who are common to all there C. R. Ps. are the landlords, Respondents purchased the suit building by means of a registered sale deed dated 6-9-1968 for Rs. 47,500/- from Pateti Radhayya and Paritala Kanakamma. Petitioners are in occupation of three different portions of the said building as tenants. petitioner's were informed of the sale in favour of the respondents and the petitioners continued to pay the rents to the respondents. after execution of the sale deed in their favour in respect of the said building.
3. Respondents filed rent control petitions against the petitioners for their eviction on the ground that the respondents bona fide required the building for carrying on their existing and expanding business.
4. Petitioners filed counters admitting that they were tenants. They further stated that they were paying rents without prejudice to their contentions and that the respondents had no title to the suit property as their vendors Pateti Radhayya and Paritala Kanakamma had no title to convey. The sale deed dated 6-9-1968 in favour of the respondents was only a sham, nominal and collusive deed, devoid of consideration and got up with the oblique purpose of evicting the tenant ( . . . . . )
5. When the Rent Control Petitions came up for inquiry the petitioners filed 1. A. Nos. 982 and 986 of 1969. Under Sections 10 and 151. civil P. C. requesting the Rent Controller to stay the inquiry in all those Rent Control petitions.; The averments in those petitions were: that the vendors. who sold the building to the respondents, had no title to convey the same in favour of the respondents, that the suit building was one of joint family properties belonging to Pateti Radhaya, one of the vendors, and his brother Pateti Subbarao, a and that Pateti Subbarao filed O. s. 99 of 1967 in Nellore for partition and separate possession of his 1/5th share in all the joint family properties, including the suit building. In the said suit Pateti Subbarao sought to implead the petitioners as parties and also sought and injunction restraining the petitioners from paying rents to the respondents. Since the respondents title to the suit building was in dispute in the Rent Control petitions as well as in the partition suit before the Subordinate Judge it was proper to stay the Rent Control proceedings.
6. To those petitions the respondents filed a counter. They denied that the properties mentioned in O. S. 99/67 or the building from which the petitioners are sought to be evicted, were the joint family properties of Pateti Radhavya and his brother. The properties were purchased by Pateti Radhayya and Paritala Kanakamma from their vendors by means of a registered sale deed dated 12-12-1947 and from Pateti Radhdyya and Paritala Kanakamma the respondents purchased the said building by a registered sale-deed after paying consideration of Rs. 47,500/-. The joint family of Pateti Subbarao was already divided in 1944. The suit building was the self acquired property of Pateti Radhayya and Paritala Kanakamma. Paritala Kanakamma, who had a half share in the suit building was not made a party to the suit O. S. 99 of 1967. Even assuming that Pateti Subbarao succeeded in the partition suit, which he had filed in the Court of the Subordinate Judge. Nellore, he would be entitled to 1/10th and not 1/5th in the suit building. It is neither just nor fit to grant stay of rent control proceedings.
7. No evidence was led by the petitioners in support of their petitions. The Rent Controller ordered stay of proceedings before him during the pendency of the original suit in the Court of Subordinate Judge. Nellore. Aggrieved by that common order passed by the Rent Controller, granting stay in all the three rent control cases, the respondents who are landlords, filed appeals to the Subordinate Judge. Nellore. The learned Subset aside the common order passed by the Rent Controller and directed the Rent Controller to proceed to consider the rent control petitions on merits.
8. The learned counsel Sri A. Gangadhara Rao, appearing for the revision petitioners relied upon a decision of this court in G. Satyanarayana v. S. Satyanarayana Murty, (1967) 2 Andh WR 479, and contended that the leaned Subordinate Judge erred in law in holding that the provisions of Civil P. C. were not applicable to Rent Control Proceedings.
9. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioners conceded before me that Rent Controller is not a court. Section 10, Civil P. C. provides that: -------
'No Court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit between the same parties or between parties under whom they or any or them claim litigating under the same title where such suit is pending in the same or any other court in India having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed, or in any court beyond the limits of India established or continue by the Central Government and having like jurisdiction, or before the Supreme court.'
10. On a plan reading of the section, it is manifest that Section 10 is attracted only when the previously instituted proceedings and the subsequently instituted proceedings are suits. If one is suit and the other not. Section 10, Civil P. c. is not attracted.
11. Since the Rent Controller is not a court, as conceded to by the learned counsel appearing for the revision petitioners, the proceedings before him cannot be said to be suits. (See Md. Ismail v. Sakina Begum, Air 1953 Hyd 55). Section 10, Civil P. c. only applies to suits and not to proceedings. The petitioners are not even parties to the original suit filed by Pateti Subbarao,. Merely because the plaintiff in that suit sought to implead these petitioners as parties it cannot be said that they were already parties to file the petitions under Section 10, Civil P. C. for stay for the rent control proceedings.
12. Moreover for the application of Section 10, civil. P. C. both the courts in which the suits are pending, must be of concurrent jurisdiction. That is to say, the court in which the previously instituted suit is pending must have jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed in the subsequent suit. The Rent Controller in this case does not possess the jurisdiction to pass a partition decree or to order separate possession in the original suit. Unless the suits are pending in courts of concurrent jurisdiction Section 10. Civil ( . . . . . )
13. The plaintiff in O. S. 99 of 1967 is not entitled to the entire suit building, which is the subject-mater in the Rent Control proceedings. The question of eviction of the petitioners is not in issue before the Subordinate Judge in O. S. 99 of 1967. The petitioners contention that the sale deed dated 6-9-1968, through which the respondents acquired title to the suit building, was a sham, nominal and a collusive document, devoid of consideration and merely got up for the oblique purpose of evicting the petitioners from the building, is not a question which arises in the partition suit. Therefore, the subject-matter in the Rent Control proceedings sand the original suit O. S. 99 of 1967 is not the same. I, therefore, entirely agree with the learned Subordinate Judge in the view expressed by him that Section 10, Civil P. c. has no application to the present case.
14. No doubt , apart from Sec. 10, stay of suit can be granted under inherent powers exercisable by a court under Section 151 Civil P. c. As already stated above, the rent Controller is not a Court. He can exercise inherent powers only, which are necessary for ordering eviction of the tenants, or for determination of those issues, which are necessary for ordering eviction of tenants.
15. Inherent powers cannot be invoked in a case where a particular procedure has been laid down to meet a particular contingency. Under S. 10 (6) of the Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act, if the tenants deny the title of the landlord, or claim permanent tenancy, then the Rent Controller has to determine the bona fides of that plea raised by the tenants. If he is of the opinion that the denial of landlord's title by the tenants is bona fide, then he shall dismiss the eviction petition filed by the landlord. If on the other had he is not satisfied about the bona fides of the denial of title raised by the tenants. then he shall order the tenants to put the landlord in possession of the building. When a particular procedure is laid down in the Rent Control Act itself in case of denial of title provisions of Civil P. C. i. e. Section 10 or 151, Civil P. C. are not applicable. The provisions of section 10(6) of the Rent control Act are also mandatory. The Rent Controller has no option to proceed in any other manner except in the manner stated in Section 10 (6) in case of denial of landlord's title by tenants.
16. The petitioners did not claim that they are the owners of the said building or that they had acquired the rights of permanent tenancy in it. Admittedly they have been paying rents to the respondents after they had purchased the building. Under the Transfer of Provision ( . . . . . ) estopped from denying the title of the landlord. How far such a denial is bona fide in this case will have to be considered by the Rent Controller I do not therefore express any opinion on that point.
17. Lastly the balance of convenience is absolutely against the petitioners and in favour of the respondents. The Rent Control proceedings are summary proceedings, which are intended to b disposed of expeditiously. It is well known that partition suits take a long time for their disposal. and it would be unjust for their disposal and t would be unjust to stay the rent control proceedings till the disposal of the partition suits. The Rent Control hopelessly erred in the matter in ordering stay of the proceedings before him. There is no merit in these revision petitions. They are, therefore, dismissed.
18. Petitions dismissed.