K.B. Asthana, J.
1. The only point which arises in this appeal is whether the tender of the arrears of rent by the defendant-tenant to the lawyer who sent the notice of demand on behalf of the plaintiff-landlord, within one month of the receipt of the notice, amounted to valid compliance with the said notice and the defendant-tenant cannot be held to have failed to pay the arrears demanded within the meaning of Section 3 (1) (a) of the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 (hereinafter called the Act).
2. Both the courts below have held on the reading of the contents of the notice that the lawyer not having been authorised to receive the arrears of rent the tender made to him would not amount to a compliance of the demand.
3. I have heard at some length the learned counsel for the parties. It was argued on behalf of the defendant-appellant that the lawyer having been authorised to demand the arrears of rent on behalf of the landlord, it would be implicit in his authority to accord satisfaction to the personfrom whom the demand was made, hence the tender of rent to the lawyer would amount to a tender to the landlord and the notice of demand would stand complied It is submitted that the language of Section 3 (1) (a) casts the responsibility on the landlord to serve a notice of demand. The 'landlord' has been defined by Section 2 (c) of the Act as 'a person to whom rent is payable by the tenant in respect of any accommodation and includes the agent, attorney, heir or assignee of such person'. I think if the definition of landlord under the Act did not include an agent or attorney of the landlord, then a notice of demand sent by a duly instructed lawyer could not be said to be a notice by landlord within the meaning of Section 3 (1) (a) of the Act. It is by force of that definition that the notice by a duly instructed lawyer, who will be the agent or attorney, achieves validity as one sent by the landlord within the meaning of Section 3 (1) (a) of the Act. Once a duly instructed lawyer is a 'landlord' competent to send a notice of demand there is no reason why it should not be held as a matter of law that he is competent to accord satisfaction to the tenant who tenders the amount of arrears to him. There appears to be some force in the argument of the learned counsel for the defendant-appellant, but it was contended by the learned counsel for the paintiff-respondent that in the notice it having been intimated to the defendant-tenant that he must tender the arrears of rent within one month of the receipt of the notice to the landlord, it must be held that the lawyer was not authorised to receive the rent and accord satisfaction to the tenant To my mind, a direction in the notice by the lawyer that the rent be paid to the landlord ought not to be construed as laying down the terms regarding the scope of the authority of the lawyer. Since the rent is always payable to the landlord, a mere mention in the notice that it be paid to the landlord is no more than repeating in the notice what the contract of tenancy expects the tenant to do. A lawyer can be instructed by the landlord to intimate to the tenant to tender the arrears of rent to somebody else and the lawyer then in the notice will intimate to whom the tender is to be made and in such a case if the tenant tenders the rent to landlord and not to the person nominated, then can it be said that the notice remains un-complied? I think not. The destination of the money representing the arrears of rent fixed by the notice would not be conclusive of the authority or the scope of the authority of the lawyer. As I understand the law, when an agent or attorney is authorised to make a demand by notice of any sum of money or chattel from another person and that person in compliance with the notice tenders the requisite sum of money or the requisite chattel to the agent, it would be compliance of the notice of demand. It is not possible for me to agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent that since the notice intimated that the tender be made to the landlord, it would imply that the lawyer who gave the notice, had no authority to accord satisfaction by receiving the arrears of rent tendered by the tenant.
4. Another difficulty which I find in accepting the contention of the learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent is that a notice of demand by a duly authorised lawyer will be competent under Section 3 (1) (a) of the Act only if the lawyer is a 'landlord' within the meaning of that section. On the language of the section, therefore, the payment within one month of the receipt of the notice has to be tendered to the lawyer as he is the landlord within the meaning of that section. If it be said that the lawyer was only authorised to send a notice of demand and serve it upon the tenant but was not authorised to receive the payment, then such a lawyer cannot be said to be 'landlord' within the meaning of Section 3 (1) (a).
5. My attention has been drawn by the learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent to an unreported decision of K. N. Srivastava, J. in Second Appeal No. 1425 of 1964, Haji Bundu v. Haji Bundu, decided on 9-4-1971, in which under similar circumstances the learned Judge held that the recital in the notice clearly showed that no authority was given by the landlord to the lawyer and the latter had no power to accept the rent
6. Since I doubted the correctness of the view taken by my brother K. N. Srivastava, J., I referred the matter to a Division Bench who by its order dated 13-3-1972 held that the observations made, in the case of Haji Bundu alias Buniad Ali v. Haji Bundu, by K. N. Srivastava, J. ought to be treated as a finding given on the facts of this case and they would not have any value as a precedent on a point of law. The Division Bench further observed that it was open to the learned single Judge to have reached his own conclusion on the facts and circumstances of the case.
7. For the reasons given in the preceding paragraph of this judgment, I think on the facts and circumstances of the instant case the tender of arrears of rent to the lawyer of the plaintiff-landlord by the defendant-tenant would be a valid tender and would be in compliance with the notice of demand. The finding of the Court below that the tender of arrears of rent to the lawyer did not amount to compliance of the notice of demand of arrears of rent within the meaning of Section 3 (1) (a) of the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act is erroneous and is set aside. I hold that the notice of demand was complied with in by the defendant-tenant and he was not in default. The suit of the plaintiff-landlord was, therefore, barred by the provisionsof Section 3 of the said Act and was not maintainable.
8. Accordingly, I allow this appeal, set aside the judgment and decree of the Court below and dismiss the plaintiff's suit for eviction of the defendant from the building with costs throughout.