1. This is tenants revision petition against whom eviction order has been passed both the authorities below.
2. Landlord Harbans Lal sought the ejectment of the tenant Madan Mohan Singh from a portion of house No. 1207. Bengali Mohalla, Ambala Cantt. which was given to him on rent at the rate of Rs, 70/- per month besides water rate and electricity charges, as per the reading of the electricity mater. According to the landlord, the tenant had not paid the electricity charges from May 1, 1981 to October 31, 1981; the water rate, and the rent amounting to Rs. 420/- for the above said period. In the written statement, the tenant controverted the same and pleaded that there was no agreement to pay the water-tax or the water rate by him to the landlord. It was also averred that the Ambala Sadar Municipality had abolished the water-tax with effect from April 1, 1980. Since there was no exclusive tap in the tenanted premises under his control, the question of paying any water rate by him did not arise. It was also pleaded that he was paying electricity charges against his electricity consumption regularly. On the first date of hearing i.e. December 9, 1981, the Rent Controller assessed Rs. 420/- as the arrears of rent; Rs. 14/- as interest thereon and the costs of Rs. 30/ total 464/- and the case was adjourned to December 23, 1981. On that day, the tender was accepted under protest. Thus, the main controversy between the parties in this case is. whether the tender made on the first date of hearing was valid or not? The learned Rent Controller found that the tenant was not able to pay the water rate. Since, he had failed to tender the amount of electricity bills either in the Court or outside the Court, he had incurred the liability to be ejected from the premises, in dispute. Thus, the tender made by him on the first date of hearing was not valid as it did not include the electricity charges which former part of the rent. The other plea of the landlord that the bona fide required the premises for his own use and occupation was negative. Ultimately, the eviction order was passed against him. In appeal, the learned Appellate Authority affirmed the said findings of the Rent Controller and, thus, maintained the eviction order passed against him. Dissatisfied with the same, he has come up in revision to this Court.
3. The gravamen of the agreement of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that since the electricity charges were to fixed between the parties they could not form part of the rent and therefore, the tender made by the tenant on the first date of hearing could not be held to be invalid on that account. In support of the contention, the learned counsel relied upon Chhotelal v. Kewal Krishan, AIR 1971 SC 987.
4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties and going through the case law cited at the bar, I do not find any merit in this revision petition.
5. It has been found as a fact and has not been contested that the tenant did not pay or tender the electricity charges which he was liable to pay under the terms of the tenancy. Simply because the tenant was liable to pay the electricity charges as per the meter reading, it did not mean that the same did not form part of the rent, Chhotelal's case (supra), relied upon by the learned counsel for the petitioners is clearly distinguishable on facts. Therein the landlord had not alleged in the ejectment application that there was any other amount also which formed part of the rent. It was nowhere stated in that case that the arrears of electricity charges formed part of the rent. As such, no issue was framed in that behalf buy the Rent Controller in that case. Besides, therein the rent was to be paid in advance. On these facts, it was observed in the said case that the electricity charges could not form part of the rent because they could not possibly be paid with rent. whether the payment of fixed amount every month as electricity charges formed part of the rent or not, was not finally settled in the aforesaid case as is evident form the observation of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in paragraph 3 of the judgment which reads as follows:
'We do not consider it necessary to express any opinion whether in such a case the electric charges could or could not form part of the rent. On the face of it, where the electric charges are not fixed and can only be ascertained at the end of each month, after the electricity consumed is known, while the rent is payable in advance, it is clear that the electric charges cannot be held to form part of the rent.'
No other contention has been raised nor arises in this revision.
6. Consequently, this revision petition fails and is dismissed with costs. However the petitioners is allowed three months' time to vacate the premises; provided all the arrears of rent, if any, and the advance rent for three months are deposited with the Rent Controller within one month along with an undertaking, in writing, that after the expiry of the said period of three months, he will vacate the premises and hand over the vacant possession thereof to the landlord.
7. Petition dismissed.