1. Munshi Ram and Kidar Nath landlords of the property in dispute which is a shop situated-in Hariana, tehsil and district Hoshiarpur, filed an application under Section 13 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, against Ram Lal Roshan Lal and Pawan Kumar, with the allegation that the shop in question was let out to Ram Lal on February 20, 1959 on a monthly rent of Rs. 11/- and Ram Lal aforesaid also executed a Rent note in favour of the landlords as evidence of the transaction. It is alleged by the landlords that Ram Lal was in arrears of rent to the tune of Rs. 322/- up to December 20, 1970 and he had also not paid house tax for eleven years at the rate of Rs. 10.80/- per year, as per agreement between the parties. They further alleged that Ram Lal had sublet the shop to Roshan Lal; and Pawan Kumar without the consent of the landlords and these person were running their business in the shop. The landlords, therefore, prayed that all these three persons be ordered to be ejected from the shop.
2. The above application was resisted by the two petitioners Roshan Lal and Pawan Kumar as also Ram Lal who had executed the Rent Note. The arrears of rent including interest and costs were tendered on the first date of hearing which were accepted by the landlords with the objection that they recognised only Ram Lal as a tenant and not the other two sub-tenants. In so far as the tenants are concerned, they took up the stand that the shop in question was leased to Roshan Lal from the very beginning and he is in possession of the same uptil now paying a monthly rent of Rs. 10/-. It was stated that Pawan Kumar petitioner is the son of Roshan Lal petitioner and is helping his father in the shop. As regards Ram Lal, it is alleged that he was never in possession of the shop but he was only shown as a tenant in the Rent Note in order to secure due receipt of the rent from the petitioners. As already stated, according to the petitioners the agreed rent is Rs. 10/- and not Rs. 11/- as mentioned in the Rent Note.
3. After framing the necessary issue and allowing the parties to lead evidence in support of their respective contentions, the Rent Controller considered the matter and accepted the plea of the tenants. The ejectment application was, therefore, dismissed. The landlords, however, filed an appeal before the Appellate Authority who reversed the decision of the Rent Controller and ordered the eviction of the tenants who were, however, given one months time to vacate the premises. The present Revision petition has now been filed by Roshan Lal and his son Pawan Kumar and Ram Lal, the lessee in the Rent note has been arrayed as a respondent in the petition.
4. Mr. K. L. Jagga, learned counsel for the petitioners has been at pains to put forward his contentions which are three-fold.Firstly, it is submitted that Section 92 of the Evidence Act had no application in the present case and the Appellate authority was not justified in invoking the aid of that section to the detriment of the petitioner. The second line of argument is that even if Section 92 is applicable, the case of the petitioners would be covered by Proviso 4 to that section. Lastly, the argument is that as the landlords has acquiesced in accepting the Rent from Roshan Lal for a considerably long period, they were debarred from raising any objection later on. I proceed to examine all these three points seriatim.
5. Under Section 92 of the Evidence Act, when the terms of a contract or other disposition of property have been reduced into writing no oral evidence to very the terms of such a contract or disposition of property, is admissible. According to Mr. Jagga, however, Rent Note does not tantamount to a contract or a disposition of property. I fail to appreciate the logic of this argument.The Rent Note had been executed evidencing certain terms of lease agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant and it certainly would be a contract or at least a disposition of property. The argument is therefore, repelled. The second phase of the argument is that even though the admissibility of the Rent note is accepted, the petitioners could show that it was, in fact, Roshan Lal who was the tenant of the shop in dispute and not Ram Lal who had executed the Rent Note. It appears that the learned counsel had not properly appreciated the purpose of Proviso, 4 to Section 92, according to which if subsequent to the written agreement the terms of the agreement are changed or modified by means of a separate oral agreement, then evidence regarding that oral agreement can be adduced. There is, however, no such thing in the present case, as it is not the contention of the petitioner that they acquired tenancy rights by means of a subsequent and a separate oral agreement with the landlords. On the other hand their case throughout has been that it was Roshan Lal who had taken the shop in question on lease and who has been in possession thereof as a tenant. This stand does not tantamount to varying or modifying the terms of the written deed. The petitioner cannot therefore, take shelter under Proviso 4. The point raised by the learned counsel is of no benefit to the petitioner. Last though not the least, the argument, is that the landlords continued to accept rent from Roshan Lal for a number of months, but this again is factually wrong. I have carefully seen the entries on the reverse of the Rent Note and find that all the entries pertain to rent being paid by or on behalf of Ram Lal as a tenant and the name of Roshan Lal petitioner is not found in any of these entries. The question of acquiescence does not, therefore, arise.
6. No other point has been argued in this Revision Petition which is consequently dismissed, but no order as to costs.
7. Petition dismissed.