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St. Mary's School Vs. Henry Brooks (04.02.1981 - DELHC) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 458 of 1980
Judge
Reported in19(1981)DLT263; 1981(2)DRJ90
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 9
AppellantSt. Mary's School
RespondentHenry Brooks
Advocates: C.L. Nayar and; C.B. Lal, Advs
Excerpt:
.....from 15th may, 1976 i.e. after the expiry of five years from the date of the letting. - - the additional controller fixed interim rent effective from 1st april, 1980, the appellants filed an appeal without any..........1 972 claiming standard rent at rs. 95.00 per month. the additional controller fixed interim rent effective from 1st april, 1980, the appellants filed an appeal without any success. hence this second appeal. (3) learned counsel for the appellants has raised two questions : (i) that the interim rent of rs. 201.60 is excessive and (ii) that the interim rent should be made effective within the meaning of section 9(7) of the act i.e. from a date within one year of the filing of the application for fixation of standard rent. as regards the first question, it appears that the matter regarding fixation of standard rent is still pending and it is only a temporary arrangement that the additional controller determined the estimated cost of construction at 32.25 .and determined the interim.....
Judgment:

Sultan Singh, J.

(1) This second appeal under Section 39 of the Delhi Rent Control Act 1958 (hereinafter called 'the Act') is directed against the order dated 23rd September, 1980 of the Rent Control Tribunal confirming the order dated 7th April, 1980 of the Additional Controller fixing the interim rent of the suit premises at Rs. 201.60 per month with effect from 1st April, 1980,

(2) The Appellants took on rent the premises at A-1, Model Town, Delhi at Rs. 500.00 per month with effect from 15th May, 1971. An application for fixation of standard rent was filed on 18th September, 1 972 claiming standard rent at Rs. 95.00 per month. The Additional Controller fixed interim rent effective from 1st April, 1980, The appellants filed an appeal without any success. Hence this second appeal.

(3) Learned counsel for the appellants has raised two questions : (i) that the interim rent of Rs. 201.60 is excessive and (ii) that the interim rent should be made effective within the meaning of Section 9(7) of the Act i.e. from a date within one year of the filing of the application for fixation of standard rent. As regards the first question, it appears that the matter regarding fixation of standard rent is still pending and it is only a temporary arrangement that the Additional Controller determined the estimated cost of construction at 32.25 .and determined the interim rent at Rs. 201.60 per month. No substantial question of law is raised as regards quantum. The interim rent being a temporary measure, I do not propose to interfere with the same in the second appeal. The interim rent fixed by the Additional Controller and confirmed by the Rent Control Tribunal, however, is not a bar for the appellants to agitate for the fixation of standard rent at a lower figure in the proceedings pending before the Additional Controller.

(4) The next question is from what date the interim rent should be made effective. The standard rent application was filed on 18th September, 1972 while the tenancy commenced from 15th May, 1971. Section 9(7) of the Act reads as under :

'SECTION 9(7) : In fixing the standard rent of any premises under this section, the Controller shall specify a date from which the standard rent so fixed shall be deemed to have effect : Provided that in no case the date so specified shall be earlier than one year prior to the date of the filing of the application for the fixation of the standard rent.'

(5) Under this section standard rent is to be fixed from a date to be specified by the Controller and such date cannot be earlier than one year prior to the date of filing of the application for fixation of standard rent. The application, as already stated, was filed on 18th September, 1972. Thus the standard rent if and when fixed may bemade effective under Section 9(7) of the Act with effect from 18th September, 1971. Section 10 of the Act reads as under :

'SECTION 10 : Fixation of interim rent : If an application for fixing the standard rent or for determining the lawful increase of such rent is made under Section 9, the Controller shall, as expeditiously as possible, make an order specifying the amount of the rent or the lawful increase to be paid by the tenant to the landlord pending final decision on the application and shall appoint the date from which the rent of lawful increase so specified shall be deemed to have effect.'

(6) Under this provision no application in writing for fixation of interim rent is necessary. It is for the Controller to fix the interim rent as expeditiously as possible in all applications filed for fixation of standard rent or for determining the lawful increase of such rent. In the present case, interim rent, it appears, was not fixed for a period of about 8 years. The appellants filed application for fixation of interim rent on 30th April, 1979. Section 10 also does not specify the date from which the interim rent, if any, determined by the Controller is to take effect. Learned counsel for the respondent submits that the property in question was constructed in February, 1971 : it was first let to the appellants on 15th May, 1971 at Rs. 500.00 per month and under Section 6(2)(b) of the Act the standard rent of the premises for a period of five years from the date of first letting shall be the agreed rent. In other words, he submits that Rs. 500.00 would be the standard rent of the suit premises for the period ending 14th May, 1976. He further submits that the application for fixation of interim rent was filed on 30th April, 1979 and thereforee interim rent should not be fixed from a date earlier than the date of institution of the application for interim rent. I do not agree. As already stated there is no provision for filing of an application for fixation of interim rent. In the absence of any guideline in Section 10 as to the date from which the interim rent is to be effective, it is just and proper to refer to Section 9 of the Act. Section 9(7) of the Act provides adate for the purposes of fixation of standard rent. This guideline can be adopted for purposes of fixation of interim rent. There are disputes between the parties whether the property was constructed in February, 1971 and whether the letting in favor of the appellants was the first letting. Without deciding these disputes and without prejudice to the rights of the parties, I consider that the interim rent in the present case should be made effective from 15th May, 1976 i.e. after the expiry of five years from the date of letting to the appellants.

(7) I accordingly modify the order of the Controller and the Tribunal and fix the interim rent of the suit premises at Rs. 201.60 per month with effect from 15th may, 1976 till the decision of the application for fixation of standard rent without prejudice to contentions of the parties. There will be no order as to costs.


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