1. This judgment will dispose of seven petitions, four under Article 227 and three under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution. The former are Civil Miscellaneous Applications Nos. 492 to 495 of 1952 and the latter are Civil Writ Applications Nos. 141, 142 and 178 of 1952. The points involved in all of them are the same.
2. In 1950 there was an auction of the lease of sites which had not been built upon and of Built up stalls belonging to the Small Town Committee, Gidderbaha in the district of Fer-ozpore. The lease was executed on 1-5-1950 and was for varying sums from Rs. 500/- p. a. onwards.
3. Applications were made by the lessees for fixation of fair rent under Section 4 of the East Punjab Rent Restriction Act (3 of 1949). The defence of the Small Town Committee was that the transaction between the parties was not a lease but a license, that the Rent Restriction Act did not apply to the Smalt Town Committee, Gidderbaha, that rents were fair and at any rate because of the notifications the Act was not applicable to the property in dispute. The Rent Controller found against the Committee and fixed varying amounts in these various cases.
4. The committee then went in appeal to the appellate authority who was the DistrictJudge of Ferozpore. In the four cases out of which Civil Miscellaneous Application Nos. 492 to 495 of 1952 have arisen he held against the Committee on all points and in the other three cases he held that the Act was not applicable to Gidderbaha Small Town Committee area and dismissed the petition of the tenants.
5. In order to determine the applicability of this Act to these areas reference may be made to two notifications which were made by the Punjab Government under Section 3 of the Rent Restriction Act. The first notification which has been referred to is dated the 26th of April 1948 by which it is submitted all urban areas in the district of Ferozepore were exempted from the applicability of this Act. This notification is as under:
'In exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1947, the Governor of East Punjab is pleased to cancel in so far as it relates to all 'Urban areas' in East Punjab except the 'Urban areas' of Jullundur, Ambala and Ferozepore, the order of the Governor of the Punjab dated 21-2-1947, directing that the provisions of the Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1947, shall not apply to the following premises and lands vesting in any local body administering the 'urban area' in which such premises are situated.'
There was a second notification issuedwhich is No. 4228-LG-(A) 50/-11-8608 and isdated 29-6-1950, and it provides;
'In exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, the Governor of the Punjab is pleased to direct that the provisions of the Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, shall not apply to the following premises and lands in the urban areas of Ferozepore, Jullundur and Ambala owned by the Municipal Committees of Ferozepore, Jullundur and Ambala, respectively: (i) any building or part of a building let separately for being used as a shop or stall, (ii) any land let separately for the purpose of being used principally for business or trade.This notification supersedes any previous direction issued by the Governor of the East Punjab in this behalf.'
As I read the notification of 1948 it means that the urban areas of Jullundur, Ambala and Forozepore remained exempted from this Act. Had it been the intention of the framers of the notification to exempt every urban area within the districts of Jullundur, Ambala' and Ferozepore they would have said so and that is clear from the fact that they have said 'the Governor of East Punjab is pleased to cancel in so far as it relates to all urban areas in East Punjab except the urban areas of Jullundur, Ambala and Ferozepore'. This distinction between 'all urban areas' and 'urban areas' and the non-user of the words 'in the district of does in my opinion support the contention that it was meant to exempt the urban areas of Jullundur, Ambala and Ferozepore and not all urban areas in those districts. This is further clarified by the fact that the notification which was issued on 29th of June 1950 confined the exemption to the premises and lands in the urban areas of Ferozepore, Jullundur andAmbala owned by the Municipal Committees of those three towns.
6. Even if the intention of the first notification was to exempt all urban areas in these three districts the notification of 29-6-1950 confined the exclusion to the properties owned by the Municipal Committees of Ferozepore, Jullundur and Ambala and in any case this notification will make the Rent Restriction Act applicable to the Small Town Committee of Gidderbaha.
7. It was then submitted that the notification was dated 29-6-1950 and the leases were executed on the 1st of May. But that should make no difference except that it may ultimately make a difference, in, regard to the two months previous to the notification, but I express no opinion upon it because I am of the opinion that the first notification does not exempt the Giddarbaha Small Town Committee area from the application of the Rent Restriction Act.
8. It was also submitted that the transaction, between the parties was a licence and not a lease. On this point both the Courts below have found it to be a lease and I do not think under Article 226 or Article 227 of the Constitution. I would be justified in the circumstances of this case for interfering with that finding.
A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in -- 'Subodh Bala v. State of West Bengal'. AIR 1953 Cal 702 (A), have recently defined the scope of Art. 227 and have held that this Article authorizes the High Court to see that the tribunals which do not Jail under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure are 'kept in their proper places and that they exercise their jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of the laws they administer' and if these two conditions are satisfied then there cannot be any interference under Article 227 of the Constitution. Whether any of the cases would fall within Article 227 or not it is not necessary to decide but in the present case all that I have to do is to canalize the tribunals subject to the supervision of this Court and I do not think that any case has been made out for interference on the two points that I have mentioned above.
9. The next point is one of fair rent. Both Courts have determined this and no case has been made out for interference in these proceedings.
10. I would therefore hold that the Rent Restriction Act applies to the Small Town Committee of Gidderbaha, (2) that the transaction is a lease and not a license and (3) the fair rent has been properly determined and would dismiss the petitions brought by the Small Town Committee, that is Civil Miscellaneous Applications Nos. 492 to 495 of 1952 and allow the petitions made against the Small Town Committee, that is Civil Writ Applications Nos. 141, 142 and 178 of 1952. The Small Town Committee will pay the costs of all these proceedings. The costs of the tribunals will be as ordered by them.