1. This is a petition under Art. 227 of the Constitution of India challenging the order made by Shri R. K. Baweja, Judicial Secretary, Delhi Administration, on appeal under Section 20 of the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 96 of 1956, from an order of the Competent Authority, dated 14-9-1966, in disagreement with the order of the Competent Authority, granting permission to execute the decree of eviction of Chittar Singh, landlord-respondent, in this Court.
2. The Appellate Tribunal, though feeling convinced that the tenant was a labourer and, thereforee, a poor man, held that, that was nto the sole consideration in determining the application under Section 19 of the aforesaid Act. For this view, he relied on a Bench decision of the Punjab High Court to Smt. Parvati Devi v. Tibbia College Board Delhi, 1966 DLt 256= AIR 1956 Pun 379. The Bench in the reported case observed that the mere fact of poverty of the tenant could nto stay in the way of blocking the improvement scheme or development scheme made by the government or the Delhi Development authority or the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. They, indeed, took pains to observe that under Section 19 of the aforesaid Act, where alternative accommodation within the means of the tenant could nto be available, it was nto conclusively to be held that permission should be refused. Now, looking at Section 19, under sub-section (4) thereof, it is expressly provided that in granting or refusing to grant the permission under sub-section (3), the Competent Authority shall take into account the following factors, namely:-
(a) whether alternative accommodation within the means of the tenant would be available to him of he were evicted:
(b) whether the eviction is in the interest of improvement and clearance of the slum areas; and
(c) such toher factors, if any, as may be prescribed.
My attention has of course nto been drawn to any toher factors which may have been prescribed under Clause (c), but the fact remains that Clause (b) is as much important as Clause (A), if nto from one point of view, more important. Under this clause, where eviction is in the interest of improvement and clearance of the slum areas, this factor has gto to be given due consideration. On this aspect, ntohing has been said before me at the Bar or before the Appellate Tribunal against whose order the present petition has been presented. If, thereforee, the Appellate Tribunal has, following a Bench decision of the Punjab High Court, come to the conclusion that the poverty of the tenant is nto the sole and conclusive consideration, I am unable to see how this order would be open to challenge under Article 227 of the Constitution, which indisputably has to be resorted to only in grave cases of manifest injustice, even if there is a prima facie material legal infirmity.
It may be pointed out that the Appellate Authority has observed that the present petitioner had nto deposited the rent with the Rent Controller and his defense was for this reason struck off and an ex parte decree passed. Before the Appellate Authority, the title of the landlord was also questioned, but this challenge was declined as untenable in these proceedings. It was further admitted on appeal that since 1960 the rent payable at the rate of Rs. 6.30 per month had nto been paid by the present petitioner. This factory persuaded the Appellate Authority nto be decline permission for execution of the decree.
Now, as observed by a Bench of the Punjab High Court in Sant Ram Chopra v. Julundur Improvement Trust , (1966) 68 PLR 928, the supervisory powers conferred by Article 227 are nto greater than the powers under Article 226 and they are meant to be utilised in cases where grave injustice has resulted and are to be used generally, in keeping the subordinate courts and Tribunals within the bounds of their authority and the High Court would nto be justified in interfering with the findings of those Tribunals unless it comes to the conclusion that the findings recorded are based on no material or were toherwise perverse. Assuming that from one point of view, powers under Article 227; of the Constitution may be considered to be slightly wider than those of Article 226, as High Court may be empowered in some cases, inter alia, even to remand cases on the superintendence side, and in some respects narrower, as this power is limited only to seeing that the subordinate Tribunal functions within the limits of its authority, Nagendra Nath v. Commissioner of Hills Division, : 1SCR1240 , the fact, however, remains that interference under Article 227 is intended only for the purpose of promtoing the cause of substantial justice.
In any event, in common with Art. 226, the exercise of power under Article 227 is also discretionary, depending as it does, on the facts and circumstances of each case. In the present case, the tenant has obviously nto paid rent since 1960 as is clear from the impugned order. To restrain execution of the order of eviction against him would virtually amount to conferring on him a right to remain in possession without paying any rent and the owner will have to go constituting successive proceedings for rent every month, the decrees in which may or may nto be fully executed. This factor would thus seem to be quite relevant and germane for being taken into account in granting or refusing permission under Section 19.
Incidentally, it may be pointed out that in the case of Smt. Parvati Devi, 1966 DLt 256=AIR 1965 Pun 256, the Division Bench had dismissed a Letters Patent Appeal which would show that the learned Single Judge of the Punjab High Court had also declined execution of the decree in that case. It is also ntoeworthy that the policy of the law considers refusal to permit execution to be more serious, as such an order is expressly made appelable, whereas Section 20 is silent in regard to appeals against orders permitting execution. If, thereforee, the Appellate Tribunal has kept itself within the bounds of Section 19, as discernible on its plain language, and if there is no failure of justice so as to impel me to interfere, I would be exceeding my jurisdiction by interfering in this case under Article 227.
3. For the reasons foregoing, this petition fails and is dismissed, but in its peculiar circumstances, I would make no order as to costs.
4. Petition dismissed.