1. This order will dispose of Civil Revision Petitions Nos. 909 and 910 of 1980, as the facts are identical in both of them and the landlord is also the same.
2. Tilak Raj Girdhar, landlord, sought the ejectment of his tenants Mehar Chand and his son Dalip Kumar in rent application No. 2-1 of Sept. 17, 1977 and that of his other tenant, Dewan Chand in rent application No. 51-R of 1977, on the ground of non-payment of rent. Against Mehar Chand and his son Dalip Kumar, it was alleged that the shop, in dispute, was on rent with them at a monthly rent of Rs. 130/-, they were liable to pay the same on the first of each month and that they had not paid the rent from Oct, 1, 1968, till the date of the application which was instituted on Sept. 17, 1977, and as such, they were liable to be evicted from the demised premises. The tenants-petitioners admitted the relationship of the landlord and tenant between the parties, but pleaded inter alia that the rate of rent was Rs. 60/- and not Rs. 130/- per month, as alleged by the landlord and that they had paid the rent up to July 31, 1977 However, the rent up to Aug 1, 1977 to Dec, 31, 1977, amounting to Rs. 300/- at the aforesaid rate of Rs. 60/- per month together with Rs. 10/- as interest and Rs. 30/- as costs were tendered on Jan. 12, 1978, the first date of hearing. However, the amount so tendered was refused by the landlord. It was further pleaded that the landlord never issued any receipt after receiving the rent and he had also filed an application for ejectment earlier through one Lal Singh who claimed himself to be mortgagee under the landlord, which was dismissed on Aug. 18, 1975 and that order of dismissal was upheld in appeal on Apr. 3, 1976 by the Appellate Authority.
In the application against Dewan Chand, tenant, the rent was claimed at the rate of Rs. 120/- per month from Oct, 1, 1965, that is, from the same date as in the case of Mehar Chand and his son Dalip Kumar, In reply to this application, the same plea was taken by the tenant, viz., the rate of rent was Rs. 60/- and not Rs. 120/- per month and the rent had been paid up to July 31, 1977 whereas the rent from Aug. 1, 1977 to Dec. 31, 1977 amounts to Rs. 300/- at the rate of Rs. 60/- per month. Rs. 10/- as interest and Rs. 30/- as costs, in all Rs. 340/- were tendered on Jan. 12, 1978, the first date of hearing but refused by the landlord. On the pleadings of the parties, the Rent Controller framed the following issues in both the cases:
1. What is the rate of rent of the premises, in dispute?
2. Whether the respondent has made a valid tender? If not, its effect?
3. Whether the respondent is in arrears of rent as alleged in the application ?
In both the cases, the learned Rent Controller decided issued No. 1 in favour of the tenants and came to the conclusion that the monthly rent was Rs. 60/- and not the one as claimed by the landlord. He further found that the rent had also been paid up to July 31, 1977, and the tender made from Aug 1, 1977 to Dec. 31, 1977 was a valid tender. As a result of these findings, the applications for ejectment of the tenants were dismissed. In appeal, the findings of the learned Rent Controller on issue No. 1, that the rent was Rs. 60/- per month and not as claimed by the landlord, were upheld, but on the other issues which were discussed together, the Appellate Authority came to the conclusion that the tenants were in arrears of rent at least from Aug 18, 1975 and the tender made on the first date of hearing from Aug. 1, 1977 to Dec. 31, 1977, was not a valid one. Consequently, the orders of the Rent Controller, dismissing the ejectment applications, were set aside, and the ejectment applications were allowed and the tenants were ordered to vacate the premises within one month. Aggrieved against the same, the tenants have come up in revision to this Court.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioners contended that the Appellate Authority has absolutely made out a new case for the landlord which was not even set up by him in his ejectment applications. According to the landlord, the arrears of rent were from Aug. 1 1968, whereas the Appellate Authority has found that at least from Aug, 18, 1975, the arrears of rent were due According to the learned counsel, this was never the case set up by the landlord either in the ejectment applications or any where in his statement applications or anywhere in his statement. It was further contended that it cannot be believed that the landlord did not receive the rent since 1968 and he waited for the same for nine years up to 1977, without taking any steps for the recovery of the same during that period. He also brought to my notice the statement of the landlord who himself appeared as A. W. 2, wherein he has stated that one month's rent, in advance, was received by him, but no receipt was issued therefor. Under these circumstances, it was submitted, that when it has been concurrently held by both the authorities below that the landlord was claiming excessive rent, it could not be held that the tenants were in arrears of rent, as alleged by the landlord. On the other hand the learned counsel for the landlord submitted that whether the rent has been paid or not, the onus to prove the same is always on the tenant and the Appellate Authority on the appreciation of the evidence on the record, has come to the conclusion that in any case, the tenants failed to pay the rent, at least from Aug. 18, 1975, and it being a finding of fact, could not be interfered with by this court in the exercise of its revisional jurisdiction.
4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, I find force in the contentions raised by the learned counsel for the petitioners. The plea of the landlord that the rate of rent was Rs. 130/- per month as alleged in rent application No. 2-1 of Sept. 17, 1977, and Rs. 120/- per month in rent application No. 51-R of 1977, has been found to be false by both the Courts below. even in the earlier eviction proceedings, which were instituted by one Lal Singh, claiming himself to be the mortgagee under Tilak Raj Girdhar, landlord, it was held by the Rent Controller that the mortgage was a paper transaction and, therefore, the Lal Singh, never become a landlord qua the tenants. Tilak Raj Girdhar, landlord, had also appeared as a witness in support of the claim of Lal Singh in that application. In appeal, the finding of the Rent Controller was upheld by the Appellate Authority as well in that case. Thus, it is apparent that the pleas of the landlord in the earlier ejectment application filed by Lal Singh, and the pleas of the landlord in the present eviction applications about the rate of monthly rent, have been found to be false by both the authorities below. Under the circumstances to hold that the rent was at least due from Aug. 18, 1975, which was never the case set up by the landlord was not only improper, but also wholly illegal. It may also be mentioned here that in the earlier ejectment application filed by Lal Singh in Aug. 1974, no arrears of rent were claimed therein against the tenants. The approach of the Appellate Authority that though the landlord had not spoken the whole truth before the Court but the maxim, 'Falsus in uno falsus in omnibus' is no longer applied unqualifiedly even to criminal cases and it was now well settled that it is the duty of the Court to find out where the truth lies after separating the grains from the chaff, is wholly misconceived. If once it is held by the Court that the landlord is not coming with clean hands and has taken false pleas, no order of ejectment can be passed in his favour much less a new case can be made out for him, as has been done by the Appellate Authority in the present case.
5. It is also pertinent to mention here that no receipt was ever issued by the landlord to the tenants on account of the payments of rent received by him, as has been admitted by him in his statement, while appearing as A. W. 2. Under these circumstances, the tenants' claim that the rent had been paid by them up to July 31, 1977, at the rate of Rs. 60/- per month had to be accepted particularly when no such claim was made since 1968 till he filed the eviction applications. Ordinarily, no landlord will wait for such a long time in case the tenant was in arrears of rent for such a long period. All these circumstances go to prove that the claims set up by the tenants were proved and the landlord had intentionally taken false pleas which have been so found by both the Courts below. The order passed by the Appellate Authority is not only illegal, but also improper as it has gone out of the way to hold that the tenants were in arrears in any case at least from Aug. 18, 1975 when the earlier ejectment application filed by Lal Singh in 1974, was dismissed by the Rent Controller on 18-8-1975.
6. Under these circumstances, the revision petitions are accepted and the orders of the Appellate Authority are set aside and that of the Rent Controller dismissing the ejectment applications is restored with special costs which are assessed at R. 500/- in each case.
7. Revision allowed.