1. The respondent herein is the owner of the building bearing door No. 11-1-64 situate at Vijayawada. The building consists of six portions let out by the respondent. The petitioner is the tenant of the portion abutting Ghulam Mohiuddin Street and Babu Rajendrapershad Road, since 20 years or more, the monthly rental paid by him being Rs. 150/- The respondent sought eviction of the petitioner from the Rent Controller, Vijayawada, from the demised portion as be intended to run departmental stores in the demised portion and also in the adjoining vacant portion of the building. The petition for eviction having been dismissed, the respondent preferred RCA. 66 of 1978 before the learned Subordinate Judge, Vijayawada. The learned subordinate Judge allowed the appeal and directed eviction of the petitioner from the demised portion holding that the same was bona fide required by the respondent for the purpose pleaded by him. Aggrieved by the said order, the petitioner preferred the above revision petition.
2. Sri Jagannadha Rao, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner, submits that under Section 10 (3) (a) (iii) of the A. P. Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), the petition for eviction filed by the respondent is not maintainable inasmuch as, admittedly, another portion of the non-residential buildings is vacant and that he must be deemed to be in occupation of the same. The scope of Section 10 (3) (a) (iii) of the Act was considered by a Division Bench of this Court in Balaiah v. Lanchaiah, : AIR1965AP435 and speaking on behalf of the Bench Ekbote J., as he then was, observed (Para 13) :-
' ... ... ... ... What the said provision means is this : when a landlord, who is in occupation of a non-residential building in a city, town or village requires another non-residential building of his own in the same city, town or village, as the case may be, from his tenant, for the purpose of the business which he is carrying on - which can mean shifting or expansion of the business which he is carrying on or for commencing a new business - can successfully claim eviction of his tenant if he is able to satisfy the Rent Controller that the non-residential building which he is occupying is not sufficient or suitable for the purpose of expansion of his business which he bonafide proposes to commence, or that the shifting of his business has, in the circumstances of the case, become inevitable. It would be open to him to prove that the non-residential building which he is occupying is not exclusively his own or that he is not entitled to its exclusive possession. Any one of the above mentioned cases falls, in our view, within the ambit of S. 10 (3) (a) (iii).'
A contrary view was expressed earlier by Seshachelapathi J., in Vemana Veerabhadrudu v. Kancherla Ramarao, (1958) 2 Andh WR 575, and Chandrasekhara Sastri J., in Ramaswamy Naidu v. Venkateswarlu, (1961) 1 Andh WR 400. Both the decisions were not referred to by the Division Bench. However, the decision of the Division Bench was later respectfully followed by Anantanarayana Ayyar J., in M. Venkatareddy v. M. Siddam Chetty, (1966) 2 Andh WR 64, and Gangadhara Rao J., in C. Manikya Rao v. D. R.Subbarao, (1976) 1 Andh WR 100. In support of the contention advanced on behalf of the petitioner, reliance is placed upon the decision of a Division Bench of the Madras High Court in L. Chettiar v. K. Subarayan, : AIR1971Mad163 wherein, construing Section 7 (3) (A) (iii) of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 - which is in pari materia with S. 10 (3) (a) (iii) of the Act - it was held that the landlord who was occupying a non-residential building of his own in the occupation of the tenant. In support of the view expressed by their Lordships of the Madras High Court, reliance was also placed upon an earlier decision of another Division Bench of the High Court of Madras in Krishana Chetty v. M. K. and Company, : AIR1950Mad56 and the decision of Subba Rao J., as he then was, in Thanapa v. Govindaswami, : AIR1952Mad553 ,. Sri Jagannadha Rao, learned counsel for the petitioner, submits that the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in Balaiah v. Lachaiah (supra) required reconsideration as the reasoning adopted by the Division Bench in support of the conclusion reached by the Division Bench is neither sound nor warranted by the language employed is S. 10 (3) (a) (iii) of the Act.
3. In C. Manikya Rao v. D. R. Subbarao, (1976-1 Andh WR 100) decided by Gangadhara Rao, J. a similar request was made before him and he declined to refer the said case to another Division Bench.
4. In C. R. P. No. 1561 of 1982, by his order dated 14-7-1982, Rama Rao, J. was persuaded to take the view that the decision in Balaiah v. Lachaiah : AIR1965AP435 would require reconsideration.
5. After giving my anxious consideration to the rival contentions put forward on behalf of the parties, I am not inclined to take the same view as Rama Rao, J. has taken. Sitting single as I am, I am bound by the decision of the Division Bench in Balaiah v. Lachaiah. Further, the scope of S. 10 (3) (a) (iii) of the Act was decided by the Division Bench in the year 1965; nearly 17 years have elapsed. Several litigants must have bonafide acted and entered into several transactions treating the decision of the Division Bench in Balaiah v. Lachaiah : AIR1965AP435 as laying down correct legal position. By doubting the soundness of the decision of the Division Bench in Balaiah v. Lachaiah at this stage, scope will be given to unsettle the rights of the several parties settled earlier. In this view, I am not inclined to refer this case to another Division Bench. As already stated, the finding recorded by the lower appellate authority that, the demised premises is bona fide required by the respondent for carrying on a new business of his own, is a pure finding of fact reached on a critical appraisal of the evidence adduced by both the parties and does not, therefore call for interference.
6. In the result, the revision petition fails and is dismissed. No order as to costs.
7. Time for eviction of the petitioner is six months from today.
8. Revision dismissed.