1. This is a tenant's revision petition against the decision of the Appellate Authority confirming on appeal the order of the Rent Controller ordering his eviction from the premises in question.
2. Chanan Singh had taken the house in dispute, situate in Kharar, from Shrimati Khushal Kaur, on a monthly rent of Rs.30/-. Subsequently, the landlord filed an application for eviction against him under Section 13 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, hereinafter called the Act. The ground for eviction, with which we are concerned in the present revision, was that the house was required by the landlord for her personal use and occupation.
3. Both the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority have given a concurrent finding of fact that the landlord had succeeded in establishing this ground of eviction.
4. In the present revision, learned counsel for the petitioner has argued only one point, namely, that the Appellate Authority should have allowed the application for amendment filed by the tenant before him. By the proposed amendment, the tenant wanted to allege that the premises in question were a scheduled building as mentioned in Section 2(h) of the Act and, therefore, no order for eviction could be passed in the case of such a building.
5. This application had been rejected by the Appellate Authority broadly on three grounds. Firstly, it was said that the eviction application had been made on 8th January, 1969, and had remained pending before the Rent Controller till 9th December, 1969, i.e. for a period of about 11 months and still the tenant did not think of moving such an application and, therefore, he should be deemed to have given up or waived the said plea, even if it was available to him. Secondly, if the application was allowed, the Appellate Authority would have to remand the case for a fresh decision to the Rent Controller, which he could not do under the law, and thirdly, if it was a fact that the premises in dispute were a scheduled building, then it had not been explained as to why this point was not taken up in the original written statement filed by the tenant.
6. As regards the second ground, there does not seem to be much merit, because the Appellate Authority, if he had permitted the amendment, could have either himself tried and said point or remitted the case to the Rent Controller for trial and then sending the report to him. This, therefore, could not be a valid ground for rejecting the application. As regards the other two grounds, there seems to be substance in them. If it was really a fact that it was a scheduled building, then, obviously, the lawyer, who was conducting the case on behalf of the tenant, would have immediately taken up this point in answer to the eviction application, because under the law, admittedly, no order of eviction could be passed in respect of a scheduled building on the ground of personal necessity. This ground was undoubtedly not taken either in the written statement or during the entire trial of the application before the Rent Controller. It is significant to mention that even though the said ground was mentioned in the grounds or appeal before the Appellate Authority against the order of the Rent Controller, yet the application for amendment was made after about nine months thereafter. The reason for not taking up this ground originally, as given in the application for amendment, was that it was due to inadvertence that his plea was not mentioned. If the tenant or his lawyer had been so negligent that he did not take this point either in the written statement or during the period when the application was being tried before the Rent Controller or even after ten months of the institution of the appeal, that could not be a valid ground for allowing the amendment. Surely, gross negligence cannot in law afford a valid ground for allowing the amendment. My attention was drawn to a Single Bench authority of this Court in Kundan Lal Verma v. Smt. Sushila Devi, 1971 Cur LJ 1024=(AIR 1972 Punj & Har 283), where in almost identical circumstances, it was held that the amendment should not be allowed.
7. I would, therefore, dismiss this petition, but, in the circumstances, leave the parties to bear their own costs throughout.
8. Petition dismissed.