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Sampuran Singh Vs. R. Copal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 133 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1981Delhi7; 17(1980)DLT382; 1980RLR310
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 15(1)
AppellantSampuran Singh
RespondentR. Copal
Advocates: H.R. Dhawan and; K.B. Gupta, Advs
Cases ReferredRam Prakash Kapur v. Bhagwanti Devi
Excerpt:
the case dealt with the eviction petition filed under section 14 (1) proviso (a) of the delhi rent control act, 1958 where in the standard rent was already determined - the court ruled that the rate at which rent should be directed to be paid was the rate of standard rent. - .....acjusting the amount already deposited in the court up to and after december 17, 1970, and deposit rent month by month by the 15th day of each succeedirg month at the same rate. the landlord is aggrieved by this order. his main contention is that the rent should have been directed to be paid at the rate of rs. 160-00, the standard rent fixed by the high court. he relies upon sub-section (3) of section 15 of the act, and mohd. atique siddiqui v. munshi anis ahmed, 1974 r.l.r. 422. his further contention is that the arrears should have been directed to be paid from may 27,1961. the tenant's contention is that under s. 15(1), the rate of rent cannot exceed that at which the rent was last paid. if he wanted more rent, he should file a suit for recovery of rent which he has already done. the.....
Judgment:

M.L. Jain, J.

(1) This is a second appeal arising in the following circumstances.

(2) The appellant is the landlord and the respondent is the tenant. The premises were let out on Februarys, 1956, at the rate of Rs. 120-00 per month. Both filed applications for fixation of standard rent. The tenant allowed his application to be dismissed in default. The Controller raised the rent to Rs. 140-00. Both went in appeal. The appeal of the tenant was dismissed by the Rent Control Tribunal and by its order dated November 14, 1968, it accepted the appeal of the landlord and fixed the standard rent of the premises in question at Rs. 200-00 per month with effect from May 27, 1961. The tenant filed an appeal in the High Court. Pending this appeal, an eviction petition was filed by the landlord under clause (a) of the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 14 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (herein after the Act), on November 7, 1970. An application for a direction under Sub section (1) of Section 15 of the Act was made. This court by its order dated August 18, 1971, made in the said appeal, reduced the standard rent from Rs. 200-00 per month to Rs. 160-00 per month. However, the Controller refused to make an order under Section 15(1) of the Act, vide his judgment dated November 21, l'.)72. Upon appeal, the Tribunal, by its order dated April 16, 1974, made the direction that the tenant shall pay within one month the arrears of rent with effect from November, 18, 1967, at the rate of Rs. 120-00 per month afi:er acjusting the amount already deposited in the court up to and after December 17, 1970, and deposit rent month by month by the 15th day of each succeedirg month at the same rate. The landlord is aggrieved by this order. His main contention is that the rent should have been directed to be paid at the rate of Rs. 160-00, the standard rent fixed by the High Court. He relies upon Sub-section (3) of Section 15 of the Act, and Mohd. Atique Siddiqui v. Munshi Anis Ahmed, 1974 R.L.R. 422. His further contention is that the arrears should have been directed to be paid from May 27,1961. The tenant's contention is that under S. 15(1), the rate of rent cannot exceed that at which the rent was last paid. If he wanted more rent, he should file a suit for recovery of rent which he has already done. The standard rent cannot be taken into consideration for purposes of Sub-section (1) of Section 15. .This is so because standard rent it fixed for the future. The law does not require that the landlord cannot agree to receive less. What it requires is that rent charged cannot exceed the standard rent and where the standard rent is more than the contractual rent, the landlord cannot recover the standard rent without notice to the tenant. He relies upon M.L. Ahuja v. Lackhman Das 1970 R.C.R. 347, S. Labh Singh v.Jagan Nath Bahl 1971 R.C.R. 959, and M.M.Chawla v. J.S.Sethi, 1969 R.C.R. 861. He also contended that the tenant can be required to pay only from November 14, 1968, that is, what is within limitation and so legally recoverable. If the tenant is unable to produce the receipts after such a long period. He may be required to pay the whole of the arrears whereas he has already paid the agreed rent. It was urged next that the case is not covered under Sub-section (3) of Section 15 because of the Supreme Court judgment in M.M. Chawla (supra).

(3) I have considered the rival contentions and examined the aforesaid rulings. The two cases M.L. Ahuja and S. Labh Singh (supra) do not apply, firstly, because there is no evidence on record to show the rate at which rent was last paid immediately before April 16, 1974. Secondly, because in Mohd. Atique Siddiqui (supra), it was held that S. 15(1) has to be read Along with Sub-section (3). M.M. Chawla (supra) was a case in which no standard rent had been fixed and the tenant was claiming that standard rent should be fixed in the eviction proceedings. The Supreme Court held that in such a case until standard rent is determined, the tenant should be directed to pay 'interim rent' at the rate at which it was last paid. Nowhere does it lay down that where the standard rent is determined, the rent which the landlord is entitled legally to recover is only the contractual rent or the rent at the rate last paid. It appears to me quite clear that where standard rent has already been determined, neither the landlord can demand more, nor does the tenant acquire a right to pay Jess, than the standard rent within the meaning of Subsection (1) of S. 15. When the learned Tribunal made the order, the standard rent had already been fixed. thereforee, the rate at which the rent should have been directed to be paid would be the rate of the standard rent fixed by the High Court. That would be the rate which can be given effect to. To do otherwise would be to frustrate the law and would create great hardship to the tenants in several cases where the standard rent is less than the contractual rent. It is not a case of increase in rent within the meaning of S. 8 of the Act so as to call for a notice before increase. As to the amount legally recoverable under the Limitation Act, the standard rent becomes applicable from the date fixed by the controller and cause of action accrues from the date of its determination, vide Ram Prakash Kapur v. Bhagwanti Devi, 1973 R.C.R. 240.

(4) I, thereforee, find no force in any of the contentions of the tenant, accept this appeal and modify the order of the learned Tribunal to the extent that the arrears of rent shall be paid within one month from today at the rate of Rs. 160-00 per month with effect from May 27, 1961, minus the rent already paid, and thereafter at the same rate month by month on or before the 15th day of each succeeding month. Costs here shall be borne by the tenant respondent. The parties shall appear before the Controller concerned on March 15,1980.


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