(1) This revision petitioners under S. 15 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restrictions Act, 1949 (East Punjab Act No. 111 of 1949) hereinafter referred to as the Act, filed by Bansi Lal is directed against the judgment of learned District and Sessions Judge, Jullundur who is the appellant authority under the Act, affirming on appeal the decision of the Rent premises in dispute was made in favour of Sant Ram Chopra respondent against the petitioners.
(2) The respondent filed application on 27th August 1963 under S. 13 of the Act to eject the petitioners from the premises in dispute which comprise a house situate in mohalla Kishanpura, Jullundar City. This house was initially evacuee property and the petitioners was occupying it as tenant under the Custodian on a monthly rent of Re. 1 Subsequently on 6th December 1957 the house was purchased by Girdhari Lal brother of the respondent. Girdhari Lal, however, died leaving the respondent as his only heir and as such the sale certificate dated 29th June 1963 was issued in favour of the respondent. The respondent sought the ejectment of the petitioner on the ground that arrears of rent amounting to Rs. 36 for the period from 21st August 1960 to 20th August 1963 were due from the petitioners and has not been paid by him. Another ground of ejectment was that the petitioners had damaged the house so as to impair its value and utility.
(3) On 18th November 1963 which was the first date of hearing the petitioners paid Rs. 36 on account of arrears of rent, Rs. 2 on account of interest and Rs. 25 on account of costs which were assessed by the Rent Controller. The respondent received that amount under protest and stated that the interest paid was less than the amount calculated at the rate of 6 per cent per annum. The petitioners in his written statement denied the allegation about his having damaged the premises in dispute.
(4) The learned Rent Controller held that the allegation about the petitioner having damaged the premises in dispute had not been substantiated. He, however, order the ejectment of the petitioners on the ground that he interest tendered on the first date of the hearing was less than the interest due. On appeal the decision of the Rent Controller as stated above, was affirmed by the learned Appellate Authority.
(5) In revision Mr. Bhari on behalf of the petitioners has urged that the petitioners while making the payment of arrears of rent interest and costs on the first date of hearing made an extra payment of Re. 1 towards the arrears of rent, and as the deficiency in interest paid to the respondent was less than Re. 1 the deficiency could well be made up by adjusting the excess payment of Re. 1 towards it. This stand has been controverted by Mr. Wasuon behalf of the respondent and after listening to the learned counsel for the parties I am of the view that the contention advanced by Mr. Bhari should be accepted. The learned Appellate Authority has found that the arrears of rent which were due at the time of the filing of the ejectment application amounted to Rs. 35 and not Rs. 36 because the rent for the period from 21st July 1963 to 20th August 1963 could be paid on or before the 30th September 1963. This position appears to have been accepted on behalf of the respondent because the learned Appellate Authority has observed that there was no dispute that on the first date of hearing the arrears of rent amount to Rs. 35 only.
It was also the admitted case of the parties before the learned Appellant Authority that the deficiency of interest paid by the petitioners to the respondent was less than a rupee. The learned Appellate Authority refused to accede to the contention advanced on behalf of the petitioners that the excess payment of Re. 1 on account of arrears of rent should observing that the arrears of rent and interest by observing that the arrears of rent an interest did not constitute a single debt but were distinct debts within the meaning of section 59 of the Indian Contract Act and as such the excess payment of the rent could not be adjusted towards the deficiency in interest. The view of the learned Appellate Authority in this respect in my opinion is not warranted by law. Section 59 of the Indian Contract Act reads as under:
'Where a debtor owing server distinct debts to one person makes a payment to him either with express intimation or under circumstances implying that the payment is to be applied to the discharge of some particulars debt the payment it accepted mush be applied accordingly.'
Perusal of the above section goes to show that it deal with those cases where there are several distinct debts and does not apply where there is only one debt. So far as interest is concerned it is always linked up with the principle amount and in my opinion, cannot be regarded as a debt distinct an desperate from the principal. I am fortified in this connection by the view taken by Full Bench in Jia Ram, v. Sulakhan Mal, Air 1941 Lah 386(FB), Tek Chand J who spoke for the Court observed:
'Section 59 to 61, Contract Act embody the general rules as to appropriation of payment in cases where a debtor owes several distinct debts to one person and voluntarily makes payment to him. They do not deal with cases in which principal and interest are due on a singly debt or where a decree has been passed on such a debt carrying interest on the sum adjusted to be due on the decree.
(6) Mr. Wasu has argued that the arrears of rent at the time of the filing of the application amounted to Rs. 36 and not Rs. 35 as held by the appellate authority. In this respect I find as already observed earlier that the judgment of the learned Appellate Authority shows that there was no dispute before it that the arrears amounted to Rs. 35 only and in the circumstances I am not prepared to permit Mr. Wasu to take up a stand in variance with that taken before the appellate authority.
(7) I accordingly accept the revision petitioners set aside the order of the Rent Controller and the appellant authority and dismiss the ejectment application filed by the respondent. The parties in the Circumstances of the case shall bear their own cost throughout.
(8) Revision Petition allowed.