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Hira Lal Vs. Ranjit Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 1942 of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1976All480
ActsUttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 - Sections 10(2), 10(3), 21 and 22; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 115
AppellantHira Lal
RespondentRanjit Singh
Appellant AdvocateR.P. Agrawal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.C. Khare and ;Chand Kishor, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....in any case arising out of a suit whose valuation is rs. --the expression 'suit' is nowhere defined, though the code as well as the limitation act clearly contemplates that a civil proceeding may be a suit or an appeal or an application......:--'the word 'suit' ordinarily means, and apart from some context must be taken to mean, a civil proceeding instituted by the presentation of a plaint.'in secretary of state v. kundan singh, (air 1932 lah 374) the court was considering whether an application filed before a court under para, 17, schedule 2, civil p. c. to file an agreement to refer a dispute to arbitration amounted to a suit within the meaning of section 80 of the code and such an application was incompetent against the government for want of a prior notice under section 80 of the code. it was held by the division bench of the lahore high court that even though such an application under the rules was to be registered as a suit yet it was not a suit so as to attract the provisions of section 80 of the code. shadi.....
Judgment:

K.B. Asthana, C.J.

1. This is a revision against an order of the II Additional District Judge, Meerut passed in appeal from an order passed by the Prescribed Authority, Meerut under Section 21 of the U. P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act (No. XIII of 1972), hereinafter to be called the Act.

2. The revisionist before us is atenant in the accommodation in dispute and the opposite party is its landlord. The landlord filed an application under Section 21 of the Act before the Prescribed Authority for an order of eviction of the tenant from the accommodation occupied by him and for release of the accommodation in his favour. This application was resisted by the tenant. The Prescribed Authority allowed the application of the landlord, passed an order releasing the accommodation and ordering eviction of the tenant. The tenant then filed an appeal under Section 22 of the Act before the District Judge. This appeal was dismissed. The tenant then filed this application under Section 115, C. P. Code in the High Court, questioning the validity and the propriety of the orders passed by the District Judge and the Prescribed Authority.

3. A preliminary objection has been raised on behalf of the landlord opposite party to the effect that this application in revision is not maintainable as the proceedings do not arise from a suit within the meaning of that section of the Code and that Section 22 of the Act makes the appellate order of the District Judge final and bars any further appeal or revision. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. We are of the opinion that the preliminary objection should prevail. On behalf of the landlord opposite party his learned counsel has drawn our attention to a decision of a learned single Judge of this Court rendered in Civil Revn. No. 981 of 1975 (Kundan Lal v. Smt. Dilawari Khatoon), decided on 20th January, 1976 (All), in which it has been held that no revision is maintainable in the High Court against an order passed by the District Judge in exercise of his appellate jurisdiction under Section 22 of the Act. On behalf of the tenant-applicant his learned counsel contended that an application under Section 21 of the Act is nothing but a suit andthe law and the rules require it to be filed like a plaint under the Civil Procedure Code, and it is only a substitute for a regular suit, which ordinarily would have been filed by the landlord against the tenant for eviction after terminating the tenancy. It was submitted that Section 21 of the Act is nothing but a provision for the summary disposal of a suit for eviction of the tenant uninhibited by the technical procedure in the regular suit and without satisfying the condition precedent of termination of a tenancy by issue of notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, but in all other respects it would be a proceeding of a civil nature, and where contested the Prescribed Authority will have to frame issues, take evidence and determine the rights of the parties with reference to the grounds mentioned in the Act, which entitled the landlord for an order in his favour of eviction of the tenant. It was also contended on behalf of the applicant-tenant that under Section 22 of the Act the provisions which have been enacted under Sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Act will be attracted to the appeal but not the provisions of Sub-section (3) of Section 10, inasmuch as the doctrine of mutatis mutandis would not be attracted to Sub-section (3) of Section 10. That sub-section on its language would apply only to appeals filed against orders passed under Sections 8 and 9 of the Act.

4. We are unable to appreciate the second argument, mentioned above, that the doctrine of mutatis mutandis will only be attracted to the provisions of Sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Act and to an appeal under Section 22 of the Act but not to the provisions of Sub-section (3) of Section 10 of the Act. The doctrine of mutatis mutandis, as is well settled, means that the provisions of a statute which have been made applicable would apply with the same force and rigor as they were applicable in their own context to a proceeding to which they have been made applicable. We do not find anywhere any limitation in the language of Section 22 which would prevent the application of the provisions of Sub-section (3) of Section 10 of the Act to an appeal under Section 22 of the Act. Section 22 of the Act says that in other respects the provisions of Section 18 shall mutatis mutandis apply in relation to an appeal. Section 18 of the Act in its turn says that to an appeal under that section in other respects the provisions of Section 10 shall apply mutatis mutandis. Itis clear, therefore, that under Section 22 of the Act the provisions of Section 10 will apply to an appeal in all other respects except the filing of the appeal under Section 22 of the Act which is provided for in that section itself. In all other respects the appeal will be governed as an appeal under Section 10 of the Act, that is, the power of the appellate court will be the same as described in Sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Act and the inhibitions of Sub-section (3) of Section 10 will also apply to the result of the appeal, that is to say, no further appeal or revision will lie against the appellate verdict. We are in agreement with the decision of the learned single Judge in the case Kundan Lal v. Smt. Dilawari Khatoon, C. R. No. 981 of 1975, D/- 20-1-1976 (All) referred to above.

5. We think the conclusion on which we have arrived above, will be conclusive of the matter. However, since an argument was also made before us that Section 115 of the C. P. Code permitted a revision against the order of the District Judge, we would like to express our opinion on that question also.

6. We think that the amendment of the Civil Procedure Code by Civil Laws Amendment Act (No. XIX of 1973) clearly manifests an intention that a revision will lie to the High Court in any case arising out of a suit whose valuation is Rs. 20,000/- or above. The revisional jurisdiction of the High Court has thus been narrowed down by Amendment Act No. XIX of 1973 as compared to what it was before. The High Court under Section 115 of the Code cannot exercise its revisional jurisdiction in a case which does not arise out of a suit. Now, what is a suit within the meaning of Section 115 of the C. P. Code We think that the Sub-mission of learned counsel for the tenant-applicant being of a general nature as to what proceeding can be said to be a suit will be no solution. It is true that the word 'suit' has never been defined by any law. Even the Civil Procedure Code does not contain any definition of the word 'suit'. But the Code lays down in meticulous detail the mechanism of the filing of a suit, the adjudication of the rights of the parties and the grant of relief culminating in a decree. It also confers some powers on the Court to pass orders affording interim relief to the parties or imposing restrictions on the parties during the pendency of the suit. The word 'suit' in Section 115 of the Code, therefore, to ourmind, will be that proceeding which could be described as a suit, the description being gathered not by any definition but from the whole scheme provided by the Code. It is obvious that an application under Section 21 of the Act will not be a suit, as contemplated under the Code. The proceedings do not start by presentation, of any plaint. The Prescribed Authority before whom an application is filed has no such powers as a Civil Court has during the pendency of the suit viz., the passing of interim orders of the nature of temporary injunctions, appointment of receivers, calling for records, etc. If we accept the contention of the learned counsel for the tenant-applicant that a proceeding before the Prescribed Authority under Section 21 of the Act is a suit and the Prescribed Authority is a Civil Court, as contemplated under the Code, then the Prescribed Authority will be competent to pass all kinds of interlocutory orders which a Civil Court under the Code can pass during the pendency of a suit. In Hansraj Gupta v. Dehra Dun-Mussoorie Electric Tramway Co. the Court observed :--

'The word 'suit' ordinarily means, and apart from some context must be taken to mean, a civil proceeding instituted by the presentation of a plaint.'

In Secretary of State v. Kundan Singh, (AIR 1932 Lah 374) the Court was considering whether an application filed before a Court under para, 17, Schedule 2, Civil P. C. to file an agreement to refer a dispute to arbitration amounted to a suit within the meaning of Section 80 of the Code and such an application was incompetent against the Government for want of a prior notice under Section 80 of the Code. It was held by the Division Bench of the Lahore High Court that even though such an application under the rules was to be registered as a suit yet it was not a suit so as to attract the provisions of Section 80 of the Code. Shadi Lal, C. J., observed:--

'The expression 'suit' is nowhere defined, though the Code as well as the Limitation Act clearly contemplates that a civil proceeding may be a suit or an appeal or an application. It is however enacted by Section 26 of the Code that 'every suit shall be instituted by the presentation of a plaint or in such other manner as may be prescribed.

How, no other manner of instituting a suit has so far been prescribed; and it may therefore be stated as a generalproposition that unless there is any special provision to the contrary, a proceeding that does not commence with a plaint cannot be held to be a suit.'

We can draw some assistance from a decision of the Supreme Court in Nalinakhya Bysack v. Shyam Sunder Haldar : [1953]4SCR533 . Before the Supreme Court a question arose whether a proceeding commenced by an application under Chap VII of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act for recovery of possession of immoveable property by a landlord can be said to be a suit culminating in a decree. In that context the learned Judges of the Supreme Court observed:--

'Under the Code of Civil Procedure the expression 'decree' means the formal expression of an adjudication which determines the rights of the parties with regard to the matter in controversy in the suit which last word prima facie means a civil proceeding initiated by a plaint.'

In the case before us also a landlord under Section 21 of the Act merely seeks recovery of possession of immoveable property and is permitted to do so by filing an application and not by presentation of a plaint. Further, the Prescribed Authority is not a civil Court as contemplated under the Code. Even assuming for a moment that the application is required to be verified as a plaint under the Code but it is not presented before a civil court. It is, therefore, difficult to agree with the contention put forward on behalf of the tenant-applicant that a proceeding under Section 21 of the Act is a suit within the meaning of the Code and would be revisable by this Court under Section 115 of the Code. There is yet another difficulty. No provision of law or rule has been shown to us that a landlord presenting an application under Section 21 of the Act is required to put the valuation of the property of which he seeks possession. That would create an inherent difficulty for applying Section 115 of the C. P. Code since the amendment of 1973 makes it a necessary condition for the exercise of the jurisdiction that the suit must involve claim to some property which is of the valuation of Rs. 20,000/- or above. This also goes to show that what is contemplated as suit under Section 115 of the Code is a proceeding which commences on the presentation of a plaint and to which the Court Fees Act, the Suits Valuation Act and the Limitation Act as such apply.

7. For the reasons given above, we accept the preliminary objection and dismiss this revision as incompetent. In the circumstances of the case, however, we make no order as to costs.


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