1. On 1st April, 1964, by a document, Exhibit P-1, Chiranji Lal gave his shop, which was situate in Bhadson, District Patiala, on a monthly rent of Rs.30 to Narain Singh for one year. The shop was not vacated by the tenant though according to the owner, he was orally asking him to do so. Chiranji Lal, however, continued accepting rent from the tenant. On 28th December, 1966, Chiranji Lal gave a notice, Exhibit D-15, to the tenant asking him to vacate the shop within two weeks. This notice was received by the tenant on 30th December, 1966. In January, 1967, a suit was filed by Chiranji Lal against Narain Singh for possession of the said shop on the ground that he had rented out the premises to the defendant for one year and the latter was not prepared to vacate the same, in spite of a notice having been issued to him in that behalf.
2. The suit was contested by the defendant, who pleaded that the rent settled was Rs.24 and not Rs.30 per mensem as alleged by the plaintiff. The notice according to the defendant, was invalid, because it was neither for the requisite period of 15 days nor did it expire with the end of the month of tenancy. It was also averred that the tenancy was renewed after the efflux of time and it then became a monthly tenancy.
3. The trial Judge decreed the suit, holding that the rent of the shop was Rs.30 per month, that the notice dated 28th December, 1966, was valid and that the tenancy had been renewed after the efflux of time and thereafter it became a monthly tenancy from month to month.
4. When the matter went in appeal before the learned Additional District Judge, Patiala, he reversed the decision of the trail Court and held that the notice given by the plaintiff to the defendant was invalid. He, however, confirmed the finding of the trial Court on the point that the tenancy had been renewed after the efflux of time and it then became a monthly tenancy. No finding, however, seems to have been given by him regarding the rate of rent. On these findings, the appeal was accepted and the plaintiff's suit dismissed. Against this decision, the present appeal has been filed by the plaintiff.
5. The learned Additional District Judge had held the notice, Exhibit D-15, to be invalid for two reasons. Firstly, according to him, the notice was served on 30th December, 1966, and 14 days time given therein did not expire with the end of the month of the tenancy. Secondly, the defendant was asked to surrender possession of the premises within 14 days, whereas a clear 15 days' time had to be given for that purpose.
6. It is undisputed that the provisions of Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act are not applicable to Punjab. However, the principles of the said section have been generally applied. In a Full Bench decision of this Court in Bhaiya Ram v. Mahavir Parshad, 70 Pun LR 1011=(AIR 1969 Punj 110)(FB) it had been held:
'The notice required to be served in the Punjab (where the statutory provisions on Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act do not apply and merely its equitable principles have been applied) has to be a notice to quit or a notice terminating the tenancy and such notice must give reasonable time to quit. Considering the law laid down in various decided cases, fifteen days appear to be the minimum reasonable period of such a notice. In the Punjab, however, such a notice need not necessarily terminate strictly with the end of a month of the tenancy.'
7. From the above, it would be clear that a notice in Punjab need not necessarily terminate strictly with the end of the month of the tenancy. That being so, one of the grounds mentioned by the learned Judge for holding the notice to be invalid becomes unsound.
8. It is true that the learned Judges of the Full Bench have not categorically stated that the notice must be of 15 clear days, but, in any case, it has been observed by them that 15 days appear to be the minimum reasonable period for such a notice. It will, therefore, perhaps be not proper to hold that even 14 days' notice would be sufficient.
9. There is, however, one other fact, on the basis of which, in my view, the appeal should succeed. In clause 7 of the rent note, Exhibit P-1, it had been mentioned that the tenant would himself vacate the shop on the expiry of the fixed period of lease and that the landlord need not serve a notice upon him for that purpose. On the basis of this clause, an argument was raised that in the present case, no notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act was at all necessary to terminate the tenancy.
10. This connection was, however, repelled by the learned Judge by observing that this agreement, declaring a notice unnecessary, was only with regard to the initial tenancy for the fixed period and not regarding the subsequent monthly tenancy, which came into existence on account of the tenant's holding over with the consent of the landlord after the expiry of the said fixed period.
11. It appears that the ruling given by a Division Bench of this Court in Dayal Chand v. The Union of India, 1970 Ren CR 205=(AIR 1971 Punj 23) was not brought to the notice of the learned Additional District Judge. In that case, it was held--
'After the expiry of the period fixed in the original ease, the original contract of tenancy came to an end and a new contract of tenancy came into being. Of course, by implication, the terms of lease embodied in the original contract would be deemed to be the terms of lease in the new contract.'
If that be so, then in the instant case, clause 7 of the original agreement, under which a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act was not necessary, would be deemed to be the term of lease of the new contract of tenancy, which came into being as a result of the holding over of the tenant after the expiry of the original period of tenancy fixed in Exhibit P-1. In these circumstances, according to the Bench decision of this Court, no notice was necessary to be given by the plaintiff to the defendant for terminating the tenancy. The invalidity of the notice was the only ground on which the plaintiff's suit was dismissed by the lower Appellate Court.
12. I would, therefore, accept this appeal, set aside the judgment and decree of the plaintiff's suit. In the circumstances of this case, however, I will leave the parties to bear their own costs in this Court as well.
13. Appeal allowed.