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Hardit Singh Vs. Mela Ram and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 136D of 1964
Judge
Reported in8(1972)DLT21
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 9(1), 9(2) and 9(4)
AppellantHardit Singh
RespondentMela Ram and ors.
Advocates: S.S. Chadha and; K.L. Arya, Advs
Cases ReferredRam Sarup Padam Chand v. Mutana Lal
Excerpt:
tenancy - fixation of standard rent - sections 9 (1), 9 (2) and 9 (4) of delhi rent control act, 1958 - premises let out by appellants (landlord) to respondent - application filed under section 9 for fixation of standard rent - in fixation of standard rent effect of other premises on suit premises to be taken into consideration - neighboring premises smaller in area than suit premises yielded rent of rs. 66 per month - premises with nearly one fourth of area of suit premises yielded rent of rs. 80 per month - standard rent of dispute premises to be fixed at higher figure - circumstances as affecting premises in dispute cannot be ignored. - - the controller has to take into consideration the circumstances of the case as well......1, 1959. on october 30, 1961 the respondent filed an aoplication under section 9 of the delhi rent control a control act, 1958 for the fixation of standard rent on the alhgations that the premises were in occupation of tenants before 1914 and the rent for the same before june 2,1954 was rs. 20.00 per month only. it was stated that the standard rent of the premises in dispute could not be more than rs.20.00 per month prayer was made that the standard rent of the premises be fixed at rs. 20.00 per month. the appellant-landlord contested the application. (2) before the additional controller the respondent examined aw1, dr sain dass. a medical practititioner, who had been inoccupation of the premises in dispute for nearly -8 years before 1959, when tie vacated. at then time, he was.....
Judgment:

P.N. Khanna, J.

(1) Sardar Harjit Singh, appellants, is the owner of the premises in dispute, consisting of a garage situated on Library Road, Azad Market. Delhi. It was let out to the respondent form at a rent of Rs. 70.00 per month, on November 1, 1959. On October 30, 1961 the respondent filed an aoplication under section 9 of the Delhi Rent Control A Control Act, 1958 for the fixation of standard rent on the alhgations that the premises were in occupation of tenants before 1914 and the rent for the same before June 2,1954 was Rs. 20.00 per month only. It was stated that the standard rent of the premises in dispute could not be more than Rs.20.00 per month Prayer was made that the standard rent of the premises be fixed at Rs. 20.00 per month. The appellant-landlord contested the application.

(2) Before the Additional Controller the respondent examined AW1, Dr Sain Dass. a medical practititioner, who had been inoccupation of the premises in dispute for nearly -8 years before 1959, when tie vacated. At then time, he was paying Rs. 24/10.00 as monthly rent, which was proved by the .rent receipts produced by him . The wintess was, thus a tenant in the premises in the year 1939. His statement was neither assailed in cross examination, nor was any other evidence produced to cast any reflection on his version. The rent paid by Dr. Sain Dass on September 1, 1939 was Rs. 18.56 per month. It was found by the Additional Controller that the rpspondent had installed a power connecin the premises for running some machines therein. Dr. Sain Dass, being a physician, had been running, on the other hand, his clinic in the suit premises The locality in which the demised premises is sitnuated was proved to have gained importance of late, so much so that a shop measuring 10 X 10 (a much lesser area than the suit premises) was yeilding rent of Rs. 66.00 per month AW3, Siri Ram, had stated that he had let out a. shop nearly one fourth area of the premises in suit, at a rental of Rs. 80.00 per month. The Additional Controller took Rs. 18.56 to be the original rent. Adding 25 per cent in accordance with the provisions of the Second Schedule to the Delhi Rent Control Act, the basic rent was worked out at Rs 23.20 per month. Another 10 per cent was added under section 6(1)(B)(l) of the Act to make a total of Rs 25 5'2. Considering the circurrstances of the case, especially the current rentals in the neighborhood and the use to which the premises were being put, he fixed Rs. 40.00 per month as the standard rent of the premises.

(3) The Rent Control Triounal. however, considered that there was no justification for increasing the standard rent under the provisions of section 9(2) of the Delhi Rent Control Act. The subsequent installation and the running of the machines in the premises in suit and its effect of undermining the life of (be premises, according to the Tribunal, could cot be taken into consideration, as the order fixing the stan and rent was an order in rem and the rent was not to change with the change in the user of the premises. He, thereforee did not cosider any justification for increasing the amount of Rs. 25.52 to Rs 40.00per month. the order under appeal further mentioned , that if the premises were vacated by the respondent and were let out again to Dr. Sain Dass for running his clinic, there would be no occasion to reduce the standard rent on the ground that the user of the premises by the Doctor would not under - mine their life. It is under th(se circumstances that he held the standard rent of the premises to be Rs. 25.52 per month with effect from 1st December, 1961. The landlord has, thereforee, come up in second appeal to this Court.

(4) Sub Section (1) and (2) of section 9 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 read as follows:-

'9,(1).The Controller shall, on an application made to him in this behalf, either by the landlord or by the tenant, in the prescribed manner, fix in respect of any premises- (i) the standard rent referred to in section 6 ; or (ii) the increase, if any, referred to in section 7(2) to fixing the standard rent of any premises or the lawful increase thereof, the Controller shall fix an amount which appears to him to be reasonable having regard to the provisions of section 6 or section 7 and the circumstances of the case.'

While sub-section (1) empowers the Controller to fix 'standard rent referred to in section 6', sub-section (2) enjoins upon him to fix an amount which appears to him to be reasonable having regard not only to the provisions of section 6, but also 'the circumstances of the case The standard rent, thereforee, has to be a reasonable amount as fixed by the Controller. The provisions of section 6 are not to be taken as the only guide. The controller has to take into consideration the circumstances of the case as well. In the present case. Rs. 25.52 is the amount werked out under the provisions of section 6 ; but the Controller has to make it reasonable by taking date of the circumstances of the case also.

(5) The learned counsel the the respondent submitted that the situation, Jocality and condition of the of the premises and the amenities provided therein and where there are similar or nearly similar premises in the locslity, having regard also to the standard rent payable in respect of such premises, cannot be taken into consideration for the purpose of fixing the standard rent under sub-sections (1) and (2) for the reason that such considerations are required to be kept in mind, the purposes of sub section (4, of section 9, when for any reason it is not possible to determine the standard rent on the principle setforth in section 6 but the very fact that the expression 'the circumstances of the case' have been used in sub-section (2) shows .unmistakably that these circumstances cannot be ignored. No elaboration of the circumstances of the case has been attempted in sub-section (2) as has been done in sub-section (4). In the case covered by sub-section (2), calculations made under section 6 provide a base. over which the standard rent assumes a reasonable farm with the help of circumstances of the case. In the case covered by sub section (4), the base provided by section 6 is missing; the circumstances of the case, which alone have to determin the standard rent. thereforee, had to be elaborated in order to avoid vaguenes and speculation. There was no justification, thereforee, for the Kent Control Tribunal to ignore the circumstances of the case, which had been taken into consideration by the Additional Controller.

(6) The argument advanced by the learned counsel for the respondent as also incorporated in the judgment of the Rent Control Tribunal, to the effect that the standard rent has nothing to do with the use of the premises, lacks substance. The particular locality which before the year 1944 may be a mere residential locality for the lower middle sections of the population may grow into an industrial or commercial locality 20 years later in the year 1934. it is the commercial and industrial use to which the premises can now be put in the year 1964 that will governs the rent in the locality. Even a physician shall have to pay the prevailing higher rent, which a commercial and industeial use of the premises will yield, rather than expect to pay rent which was controlled by the use of the premises as a clinic by his possession twenty years ago. There is evidence in this case that the locality has now grown in importance. The installation of machines and power connection in the premises also indicates that the locality has become industrial or commercial. There would, thereforee, be no justification for Dr. Sain Dass to now come and expect the premises to be let to him at a cheaper rent, meredly because, he cannot use the premises for industrial or commercial purposes. The landlord, as a result of the interplay of oconomic force, would prefer to give the premises in dispute to an industrial or commercial establishment, who would be prepared to pay him more rent. The physician if he still requires the premises, can have them by paying the reasonable rent, which the premises under its presant conditions can fetch. This appears to have been the legislative intent, when under section 9(2). the Controller was required to consider, both the provisions of section 6 and the circumstances of the case, as affecting the premises in dispute.

(7) The learned counsel for the respondent cited Ram Sarup Padam Chand v. Mutana Lal, where Tatachari J. held that the circumstances of the case refer to circumstances relating to the suit premises and not to other similar premises. But the observations of his Lordship do r of help the respondent as the effect of the circumstances of the other premises on the suit premises was not ruled out in the judgment There evidence on record shows that the neighbouring premises are now yielding Rs. 66.00 per month, although the area therein is smaller than the premises in dispute. Premises with nearly one fourth of the area to the premises in suit, are yielding a rent of Rs 80/ per month. No- evidence was produced on the other hand, to show that the rents for the other premises have remained the same or are less than those disclosed by the respondents evidence This only show that so far as-the premises in dispute are concerned, the standard rent in respect thereto, has- to be fixed at a higher figure, as the character of the locality, in which the premises are situated has charged. The circumstancees, as affecting the premises in dispute cannot be ignored Under the circumstances, I do not find any justification for the Rent Control Tribunal to interlere with the judgment of the Additional Controller.

(8) The judgment of the Rent Control Tribunal is. thereforee, set aside and that of the Additional Controller is restored. The standard rent of the premises shall be Rs. 40.00 per month. The landlord's arpeal is accepted to that extent. There shall, however, be no order as to costs.


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