S.N. Andley, J.
(1) The learned Single Judge was of the view that the construction of sub-section (4) of section 9 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, required consideration by a larger Bench as it arises in numerous cases and that is how this matter has come up before us.
(2) The appellant, who is the landlord, purchased the shop which is in the tenancy of the respondents, on April 24. 1961. The shop bears Municipal No. 520 in Ward No. V at Mehrauli. It was purchased by the appellant from the Ministry of Rehabilitation for Rs. 8,250.00 and a sale certificate was issued in his favor on April 24, 1962. Prior to this date, the rent of the shop which was being paid to the Custodian of Evacuee Property was Rs. 6.00 per month. Shortly after this purchase, the appellant applied to the Rent Controller for fixation of standard rent. By his order dated August 21, 1964, the Additional Rent Controller fixed the standard rent at Rs. 30.00 per month on the basis of the cost of construction and the value of the land. The respondents appealed and on January 6, 1965, the Rent Control Tribunal found that there was no sufficient evidence to fix the standard rent on the basis of the cost of construction under section 6 of the Act and he directed the Rent Controller to fix the rent under sub-section (4) of section 9 of the Act. This sub-section provides :-
'WHEREfor any reason it is not possible to determine the standard rent of any premises on the principles set forth under section 6, the Controller may fix such rent as would be reasonable having regard to the situation, locality and condition of the premises and the amenities provided therein and where there are similar or nearly similar premises in the locality, having regard also to the standard rent payable in respect of such premises.'
(3) By his order dated February 25, 1967. the Rent Controller fixed the standard rent at Rs. 7.00 per month. This he did on the basis of the oral and documentary evidence led by the parties and also his own inspection of the locality in which the tenancy premises are situa.te. This time the appellant went in appeal to the Tribunal but the appeal was dismissed on April 31, 1968, and thereupon, the appellant filed this second appeal in this Court.
(4) There appear to us to be two parts to sub-section (4) of section 9 of the Act. The first part requires the Controller to fix such rent as would be reasonable having regard to the situation, locality and condition of the premises and the amenities provided therein. If the sub-section had ended there, the Controller would have had to take only these matters into consideration to fix the standard rent. These matters, in our opinion, clearly include the rent fetched by similar premises in the locality even if such rents are not the standard rents fixed or determined under the Act. Then the sub-section proceeds to say that if in addition to these matters there are similar or nearly similar premises in the locality regard is also to be had to the standard rent payable in respect of such premises. The word 'also' is significant. It may be that in a particular locality there are premises whose standard rent has not been fixed but which are rented out and also premises whose standard rent has been fixed. In such a case, the Controller is bound to take both types of premises and the rents in respect thereof into consideration in order to fix the standard rent of the premises in question and he is not to confine himself merely to a consideration of only those premises whose standard rent has been fixed or determined. In our opinion the conjunctive 'and' and the word 'also' make this abundantly clear.
(5) The question, thereforee, is as to what should be the standard rent for the premises in appeal. In determining this question we are bound by the findings of fact of the Rent Control Tribunal. The counsel for the appellant contends that the Tribunal has only taken the standard rent of the adjoining premises into consideration and not the other rents prevailing in the locality and, thereforee, standard rent for the premises in question has been fixed on a wrong basis. In our view. the criticism is unjustified. The Rent Control Tribunal has taken note of all the oral and documentary evidence adduced in the case not only with respect to premises whose standard rent was fixed but also with respect to premises whose standard rent was not fixed. It is in evidence that the shops of Ramji Lal (RW. 1) and of Girdhari Lal are adjoining the shop in question. Standard rent of Ramji Lal's shop has been fixed at Rs. 8.00 per mensern but that of Girdhari Lal's shop as spoken of by Daya Nand (RW. 2) lias not been fixed and the rent of this shop is Rs. 7.00 per mensem. The Rent Control Tribunal has come to the conclusion that the only material evidence under section 9(4) of the Act in the instant case is the rent of the shops situate adjoining the shops in dispute on either side and the standard rent fixed for one of them. He has then rejected the rents of other shops which are at a distance from the shop in question and taking the evidence as to the rent of the two adjoining shops has confirmed the finding of the Additional Rent Controller that the rent of the shop in question should be Rs. 7.00 per mensem. This is a finding of fact binding upon us because the Rent Control Tribunal has taken into consideration not only the standard rent of one of the adjoining shops but also the rent of the other adjoining shop in coming to his conclusion. This finding cannot, thereforee, be interfered with in this secound appeal.
(6) The appeal is, thereforee, dismissed but in view of the fact that the rent of the shop is in a very small amount, we do not think it will be an appropriate case to make any order as to costs and we direct that the parties shall bear their respective costs.