1. This is a rule directed against a decree passed by the Senior Subordinate Judge, Delhi, dated 12-9-1951 affirming the decree of the trial Court in regard to part and varying the decree in regard to the standard rent.
2. On 22-3-1950 Mohammad Arab brought a suit against Abdul Wahid for ejectment and for recovery of arrears of rent amounting to Rs. 245/-. He pleaded that he was a farmer of rent of the ground-floor of house owned by Seth Ham Lal and that Abdul Wahid was his tenant and he claimed ejectment on the ground of non-payment of rent. The defence was that the plaintiff was not the landlord nor the defendant a sub-tenant of the plaintiff, that he was a tenant of the original owner Seth Ram Lal, that the rent claimed was too high and the standard rent was Rs. 10/- and that the notice for ejectment was invalid. Both the Courts have held that the plaintiff is not the landlord and, therefore, he is not entitled to eject the defendant. They also held that the notice was invalid; the trial Court held that the standard rent should be Rs. 30/- but the appellate Court varied it and held the standard rent to be Rs. 12/-. A revision was brought in this Court.
3. The revision was filed on 7-1-1952 which is five days more than sixty days which is the period prescribed for filing of these applications. This case was heard by me at Delhi at great length and Mr. Harbans Lal Sarin, who. had originally filed the application, made a request that he also be heard in support of the application. I have heard him and I do not think it necessary to hear the respondent. In Delhi objection was taken that the revision was barred by limitation as according to rules made under Section 14, Delhi Rent Restriction Act, the period prescribed is sixty days. The reply of the petitioner to this was that there is no provision in Section 14, Rent Restriction Act, for prescribing a period of limitation. Section 14(2) of the Act is as follows:
'14(2) With the concurrence of the Chief Commissioner, the High Court may make rules to determine the classes of Courts which shall have power to hear and decide original cases, appeals and applications for revision and to deal with execution proceedings under this Act and the procedure to be followed by them.'
The petitioner submits that the words 'and the procedure to be followed' have no application to limitation. With this argument I am unable to agree. It has been held that law of limitation is a law of procedure. In Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes at page 232 reference is made to -- 'Cornill v. Hudson', (1858) 27 LJQB 8, and -- 'Pardo v. Bingham', (1870) 39 LJ Ch 170, and it is stated: 'In both of the above cases the construction, though fatal to the enforcement of a vested right, by shortening the time for enforcing itj did not in terms take away any such right, and in both it seems to fall within the general principle that the presumption against a retrospective construction has no application to enactments which affect only the procedure and practice of the Courts.' In -- 'Manoel Francico Lopez v. Godolphin James Burslem', (1843) 4 Moo PC 300, it was held by their Lordships that the law of limitation is a matter of procedure. Similarly, in -- 'Ruckmabove v. Lulloobhoy Mottichund', 5 Moo Ind App 234, (PC) it was held that the law of prescription, or limitation, is a law relating to procedure, having reference only to the 'lex. fori'. At p. 265, Sir John Jervis said;
'In truth, it has become almost an axiom in jurisprudence, that a law of prescription, or law of limitation, which is meant by that denomination, is a law relating to procedure having reference only to the 'lex fori'.'
4. If law of .limitation is a part of the law of procedure as indeed it is, then Section 14(2), Rent Control Act, does give to the High Court the power to prescribe a period of limitation for the filing of revisions.
5. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the revision is barred by time and I would dismiss it and discharge the rule. There will be no order as to costs in this Court.