R.P. Khosla, J.
1. This petition is by landlord who had remained unsuccessful in evicting his tenant.
2. Piara Lal tenanted the premises, a shop situated in Batala City belonging to the present petitioner Bua Dass, the landlord, on 19th July 1949. On 1st October, 1953, Bua Dass brought a petition for ejectment of Piara Lal on the basis of non-payment of rent. The same, however, did not proceed on the tenant's paying in the amount to rent due. On 3rd April, 1954, Bua Dass again maintained a petition for eviction of the respondent, this time on the ground of his requiring the premises for reconstruction.
This petition, however, was not pressed. The present petition, the third of the variety, was filed on 6th August, 1955. Among others one of the grounds raised was that the premises were bona fide required by the landlord for rebuilding and reconstructing the second storey. Rent Controller, by his order dated the 16th April 1956, finding that the premises were not bona fide required for reconstruction, non-suited the landlord. The Appellate Authority affirmed the findings of the Rent Controller on this aspect by order dated the 3rd December, 1956.
3. The only point that requires determination and had been argued before me by the learned counsel for the parties was whether the premises were bona fide required by the landlord for rebuilding. Mr. Bahri pressing the point on behalf of the petitioner brought to my notice the observations of Kapur J. in Ram Chander v. Kidar Nath 1954-56 Pun LR 18: (AIR 1954 Punj 135) (A), to the effect that it is not the state of the building which is the test of re-erection, but it is the desire of the landlord to rebuild that is to be considered when giving relief to the landlord in this respect. This view, however, did not find favour with Bhandari C. J., in Mangtoo Ham v. Girdhari Lal, Civil Revn. No. 346 of 1954 (Punj) (B). The learned Chief Justice while considering this aspect and the relevant provisions observed:
'The language of Clause (b) reproduced above make it quite clear that a landlord can ask for the ejectment of a tenant if he satisfies the Court that he bona fide requires the premises for purposes of re-erection of the building or for its replacement by another building or for the erection of another buildings. In AIR 1954 Punj 135. (A) it was held tbat it is not the state of the building which is the test of re-erection, but it is the desire of the landlord to rebuild. I must confess with all respect that I am unable to concur in this view. When the statute states in unambiguous language that the Controller is to be satisfied tbat the claim of the landlord is bona fide, it is obviously the duty of the Courts to see whether the claim put forward by the landlord is or is not bona fide.'
With all respects I would prefer to follow the dictum in Mangtoo Ram v. Cirdhari Lal (B) principally because it construes and follows the letter and spirit of the relevant provisions of the statute. It is thus obvious that it is not the desire of the landlord to rebuild but his bona fide need for reconstruction that is the determining factor, the Judge of which had to be the Court. The tribunals below have concurrently found that there was no proof in the instant case of any bona fide need of the landlord for reconstruction or rebuilding the premises.
The tribunals below have particularly been impressed by the fact that in the second application I for eviction maintained by the landlord on 3rd of April 1954, rebuilding had been made a ground but not pressed, for, as already stated, the said petition got dismissed for non-prosecution. If there was a genuine and bona fide need for rebuilding of the premises, the landlord undoubtedly not only would have pressed the petition dated the 3rd April, 1954, but taken such other steps tbat would have clearly indicated his intention to rebuild.
4. For all tbese considerations, I am of the view that tribunals below were right in their conclusions as this respects and the order must be upheld.
5. In the result this petition must fail and Isdismissed. In view of the circumstances of thiscase, there will be no order as to costs.