1. This is a rule directed against an order passed by Mr. Harbans Singh, District Judge, Ludhiana, ordering the ejectment of thetenant from a portion of the property in his possession.
2. The learned Judge has found that the landlord is in possession of one room because he had already been evicted from another. His statement was that he was using that room for his business purposes. The learned Judge has also found that twelve years ago he had two rooms when his family consisted of himself, his wife and six minor children. Since then the children have grown up, two of his sons have got married and one of them has got a son so that there are now ten members of the family.
3. The premises in dispute were purchased by the landlord for Rs. 21,000/- and the learned District Judge has found that merely because he has been living in two rooms instead of in comfort in his own house is no ground for depriving him of the possession of the house which he has purchased. Taking all these facts into consideration, the learned Judge has ordered the eviction of the tenant from a portion of the building in which the tenant is now residing and has given that portion to the landlord.
4. Mr. Mela Ram for the petitioner has submitted that the learned Judge has misdirected himself in the matter of construction of Section 13 (3) (a) (i) (b) of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act where the words are 'he is not occupying another residential or a scheduled building, as the case may be, in the urban area concerned' and that the Judge has added words which do not exist. He has relied on a judgment of their Lordships of the Privy Council in -- 'Robert Wigram Crawford v. Richard Spooner', (1846) 4 Moo. Ind. App. 179 (PC), where it was held that the plain words of a section must be construed as they are and words cannot be added but that was a rule laid down very long ago. Only recently in -- 'Seaford Court Estates Ltd. v. Asher', (1949) 2 All. E.R. 155 at p. 164, Denning L.J., took a different view and said that
'in the absence of it (clarity), when a defect appears a Judge cannot simply fold his hands and blame the draftsman. He must set to work on the constructive task of finding the intention of Parliament, and he must do this not only from the language of the statute, but also from a consideration of the social conditions which gave rise to it and of the mischief which it was passed to remedy, and then he must supplement the written word so as to give force and life to the intention of the legislature.'
It is not necessary in this case to say whether there was a case of casus omissus or to add words. We are being asked to exercise our extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. In my opinion, the learned Judge has tried to do substantial justice between the parties and no case seems to have been made out for interfering with his order.
5. Mr. Mela Ram has asked that some time should be allowed to his client to vacate 'the premises. I am of the opinion, that three months' time as from today allowed by law would be sufficient for the purpose,
6. I would, therefore, dismiss this petition except as to giving of time and discharge the rule but leave the parties to bear their own costs in this Court.
7. I agree. Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes at p. 236 states as follows :
'Where the language of a statute, in its ordinary meaning and grammatical construction, leads to a manifest contradiction ofthe apparent purpose of the enactment, orto some inconvenience or absurdity, hardship or injustice, presumably not intended,a construction may be put upon it whichmodifies the meaning of the words, andeven the structure of the sentence. Thismay be done by departing from the rulesof grammar, by giving an unusual meaningto particular words, by altering their collocation, by rejecting them altogether, or byinterpolating other words, under the influence, no doubt, of an irresistible convictionthat the Legislature could not possibly haveintended what its words signify, and thatthe modifications thus made are mere corrections of careless language and reallygive the true meaning. Where the mainobject and intention of a statute are clear,it must not be reduced to a nullity by thedraftsman's unskilfulness or ignorance ofthe law, except in a case of necessity, orthe absolute intractability of the languageused. The rules of grammar yield readily insuch cases to those of common sense.'
This is supported by the ruling of the PrivyCouncil -- 'Salmon v. Duncombe', (1886) 11AC 627. Even if the Judge in the interpretation of the language of a statute has come toa conclusion which is erroneous, this by itselfis no ground for interference in the exerciseof extraordinary jurisdiction under the provisions of Article 227 of the Constitution if hehas in his order come to substantial justice.I agree to the orders proposed by my learnedbrother.