1. Two Revision Petitions Nos. 773 and 774 of 1975 have been filed by Hazara Singh, Dalip Singh and Gurnam Singh petitioner-landlords (herein after referred to as the landlords) against the order of the Appellate Authority (district Judge), Patiala, as per which he disposed of two separate appeals filed by the two tenants Rattan Singh and Dalip Singh, who have been arrayed as respondents in the revision petition. As per this order, the appellate Authority has set aside the order passed by the Rent Controller in consequence of which the tenants were ordered to be evicted from the property in dispute.
2. The facts maybe briefly noticed. The property in dispute is admittedly agricultural land comprising Khasra No. 412/0-11, Khata No 377/526 as Mentioned in Jamabandi for the year 1966-67, situated at village Kuakar Majra with the limits of Municipal Committee Gobindgarh. The case of the Landlord in the ejectment petition was that their father was the owner of the land in dispute and he had leased out the same to Rakha Singh (respondent No. 3 in the Revision Petitions) on a rent of Rs. 70/- per annum for a period of twenty years in Nomani 2007 BK and that the term of the tenancy had now expired. It was further averred that after the death of the father of the landlords they became owners of the property on the basis of the will executed by their father in their favour. Rakha Singh is thus said to be a tenant under the petitioner-landlords. Various grounds for eviction were taken up. Firstly, it was alleged that Rakha Singh had without the consent of the landlords or their father changed the site in depute by making a construction thereon and further that Rakha Singh had sublet the site in dispute to the other two respondents namely, Ratan Singh and Dalip Singh who are in possession of the same. The landlords also claimed that the site was required by them for their own use and occupation.
3. The ejectment application was resisted by the respondents. The main objection raised on their behalf was that the ejectment application was not competent under the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act), as there was no relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties. It was also pleaded that the construction over the plot in question was made with the implied consent of the landlords. Some other technical objection were also raised and one of the important one being that the land in dispute was meant for business and could not be got vacated under the provisions of the Act. Various issues were struck by the Rent Controller to decide the controversial point. It is needless to recapitulate the finding on each issue as they are not relevant for the purpose of the present revision petition in which sole point which has been mooted is in regard to the jurisdiction of the Rent Control Authorities to try the case. The relevant issue in this behalf is issue No. 5. The Rent Controller was of the view that the land in dispute was situated within the limits of Municipal Committee, Gobindgarh and hence the ejectment application was triable by the Rent controller. He, therefore, decided that issue in favour of the landlords. As a cumulative result of all the findings under the various issues, the Rent Controller ordered the eviction of the tenant-respondents.
4. The tenants, as already noticed, went up in appeal before the Appellant Authority, who reversed the decision of the Rent Controller, mainly on the ground that the land in dispute was not proved to have been separately let out for business purposes and hence the ejectment of the tenant could not be claimed by the virtue of Section 13 of the Act, as this land did not fall within the definition of 'rented land' as given in Section 2(f) of the Act.
5. As observed earlier also, it is only the finding of the Appellate Authority in regard to the jurisdiction of the Rent Control Authorities, as noticed above which has been impugned in the two revision petitions. Mr. Y. P. Gandhi Learned counsel for the petitioners has drawn my attention to the original lease deed (Patta) Exhibit PW2/A and has sought to argue that it was stipulated in the said document that the tenant Rakha Singh could use the land either for purpose of cultivation by himself or through anybody else or could use it for installation of some factory. According to the counsel, the opinion given to the tenant as above leads to an interpretation that the land was let out for purpose of being principally used for business or trade and such a land, it is urged wold fail within the definition of the words 'rented land' which is turn clothed the Rent control Authority to take cognizance of eviction application in respect of such lands. In so far as the definition of the words business or trade is concerned the same is not material or relevant for the purpose, for deciding the above point. What is however required to be found is whether by the stipulation under the lease deed noticed above, the character of the demised land became 'rented land' or not. Apart from his own interoperation of these words, Mr. Gandhi has cited The model Town welfare Council, Ludhiana v. Bhupinder Pal Singh, (1971) 73 Pun LR 731(AIR 1973 Punj 76)(FB) and Hairalal Vallabhram v. Kasturbhai Lalbhai AIR 1967 SC 1853, but these authorities have not relevance to the point in issue. The first authority interprets as to what is business, whereas the second authority deals with the jurisdiction of the courts generally and not with reference to rented land. As against this, the respondents are duly armed with two decision which may be noticed. The first one is Prem Narain v. Smt. Rajo, (1968) 70 Pun LR (SN) 5 wherein it was held that the definition of 'rented land' under section 2(f) of the Act reads to mean any land let separately for the purpose of being used principally for business or trade. It was further held in this authority that it is apparent from this definition that even if land has been let for business or trade but is not let principally for business or trade, the definition wold not be attracted. In the second authority, Raghunath v. Sushil Kumar, AIR 1972 Delhi 33, it was opined that merely by reason of subsequent construction on the property, the nature of the property does not cease to be rented land, as the nature of the property is to be determined as on the date when it was let out. Apart from the authorities referred to above, the phraseology used in the Act in defining 'rented land' is quite unambiguous. The Appellate Authority has, therefore, rightly come to the conclusion that the property in dispute in the present case which was not separately let out principally for business or trade could not be treated as 'rented land' and hence the jurisdiction of the Rent control Authorities to entertain ejectment applications in respect of such properties is barred. This finding of the Appellate Authority is affirmed.
6. No other point having been pressed in these revision petitions, the same are without merit and are consequently dismissed, but with no order as to costs.
7. Petition dismissed.