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Ramniklal Dwarkadas Modi Vs. Mohanlal Laximichand and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Appln. No. 1327 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1977Guj15; (1977)GLR32(GJ)
ActsBombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act , 1947 - Sections 11, 11(3), 12, 12(2) and 12(3); Constitution of India - Article 141
AppellantRamniklal Dwarkadas Modi
RespondentMohanlal Laximichand and ors.
Appellant Advocate Suresh M. Shah and; D.B. Dholakia, Advs.
Respondent Advocate D.U. Shah, Adv.
Cases ReferredVora Abbasbhai Alimahomed v. Haji Gulamnabi Haji Safibhoi
Excerpt:
tenancy - standard rent - sections 11 and 12 of bombay rents, hotel and lodging house rates control act, 1947 and article 141 of constitution of india - whether it is necessary to make application under section 11 in order to avoid decree of eviction under section 12 (3) - dispute as to standard rent can be raised by giving notice disputing standard rent prior to demand notice under section 12 (2) or by way of reply within one month of such notice - not necessary to make application under section 11 within one month of notice in order to avoid decree of eviction. - - the point is now clearly governed by a decision of the supreme court in shah dhansukhlal chhaganlal v. whether the only manner in which a dispute as to the standard rent can be brought into existence for taking the case.....desai, j.1. in this reference the question to be determined is whether it is not sufficient to raise a dispute as to the standard rent within one month in reply to the notice or even prior to the date of such demand of rent, but it is necessary in either case also to make an application under section 11 of the bombay rents, hotel and lodging house rates control act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the act) within one month of the notice referred to in section 12(2) of the act in order to avoid a decree of eviction under section 12(2)(a) of the act. to state shortly, the essential facts are that the suit residential premises were rented by the opponent plaintiff landlord to the petitioner defendant tenant on monthly rent of rs. 45/-. the tenant was in arrears of rent with effect from.....
Judgment:

Desai, J.

1. In this reference the question to be determined is whether it is not sufficient to raise a dispute as to the standard rent within one month in reply to the notice or even prior to the date of such demand of rent, but it is necessary in either case also to make an application under Section 11 of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) within one month of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act in order to avoid a decree of eviction under Section 12(2)(a) of the Act. To state shortly, the essential facts are that the suit residential premises were rented by the opponent plaintiff landlord to the petitioner defendant tenant on monthly rent of Rs. 45/-. The tenant was in arrears of rent with effect from April 1, 1966. The tenant had given a notice to the landlord on September 2, 1966 and raised a dispute that the monthly rent of Rs. 45/- was excessive. Thus he raised a dispute as to the standard rent of the suit -premises. The landlord replied to this notice on September 12, 1966. Thereafter the landlord gave a notice dated January 11, 1967 to the tenant demandinj7 arrears of rent from April 1, 1966 and terminating his tenancy. The notice was returned as not claimed. The landlord, therefore, gave a second notice dated January 23, 1961 which was returned with a postal endorsement 'refused'. Then the landlord filed a Regular Civil Suit No. 334 of 1967 in the Court of the Joint Civil Judge, Junior Division, Rajkot for recovering the rent and possession of the suit premises on the ground of arrears of rent which were due for a period of more than 6 months. The tenant filed Civil Miscellaneous Application No. 336-A of 1967 for fixation of standard rent under Section 11 of the Act on October 26, 1967. This application and the suit were consolidated -and heard together. The learned trial Judge following the decision of the Supreme Court in Shah Dhansukhlal Chhaganlal v. Dalichand Virchand Shroff, 9 Guj LR 759 = (AIR 1968 SC 1109) passed a decree of eviction under Section 12(3)(a) of the Act, holding that the dispute regarding the standard rent was required to be raised by filing an application for fixation of standard rent under Section 11(3) of the Act within one month of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act and in the present case the dispute regarding the standard rent was not raised in that manner. In Civil Appeal No. 79 of 1968 filed by the tenant against the said judgment and decree, the learned District Judge confirmed the decree of eviction passed by the trial Court on the around that the decision of this Court in Shah Ambalel Chhotelal v. Shah Babaldas Dayabhai, 3 Guj LR 625 = (AIR 1964 Guj 9) to the effect that it was not incumbent on the tenant to make an application under Section 11(3) of the Act for fixation of the standard rent within one month of the receipt of the notice was overruled by the decision in Dhansukhlal's case, wherein it was held that Section 12(1) of the Act must be read with the explanation and so read the tenant could be considered to be ready and willing to Pay if before the expiry of the period of one month after the notice referred to in sub-section (2) of Section 12 of the Act an application to the Court under Section 11(3) of the Act was made and thereafter the tenant paid or tendered the amount of rent or permitted increases as specified by the Court.

2. Before the learned single Judge who heard this revision application, the aforesaid decision of the lower appellate Court was sought to be supported by relying upon the decision given by M. U. Shah J. in Civil Revn. App1n. No. 517 of 1965 decided on October 29, 1968 (Guj), the decisions of the Supreme Court in Dhansukhlal's case (supra); Harbanslal Jagmohandas v. Prabhudas Shivlal, 78 DLR 213 = (AIR 1976 SC 2005) and the decision of the Division Bench consisting of S. H. Sheth J. and Rane J. in Civil Revision Application No. 531 of 1972 decided on April 8, 1976.

3. M. U. Shah J. in Civil Revision Application No. 517 of 1965 made the following observations:

'It is true that in reply to the plaintiff's notice, the defendant No. 1 had also contended that the contractual rent of Rs. 25/- per month was excessive and thus raised a dispute. But the defendant No. 1 did not make an appropriate application as required under sub-section (3) of Section 11 of the Rent Act and, in term that sub-section. The point is now clearly governed by a decision of the Supreme Court in Shah Dhansukhlal Chhaganlal v. Dalichand Virchand Shroff, AIR 1968 SC 1109, at page 1112 .... ......'

So far as the case of the Supreme Court in Harbanslal Jagmohandas (supra), is concerned reliance was placed on the following observations of the Court:

'The question as to when a dispute is to be raised came up for consideration in S. D. Chhaganlal v. D. V. Shroff. The appellant fell into arrears of rent in that case. The landlord gave a notice to the tenant on April 18, 1955 demanding the arrears of rent and also terminating the tenancy of the defendant with effect from May 31, 1955. The notice was received by the defendant on April 21, 1955. The suit for ejectment was filed on March 15, 1956 on the ground that the defendant was in arrears of Payment of rent and permitted increases and as such not entitled to the protection of the Act. This Court held that Section 12(1) of the Act must be read with the Explanation and so read it means that the tenant can only be considered to be ready and willing to pay if, before the expiry of the period of one month after notice referred to in sub-section (2), he makes an application to the Court under sub-section (3) of Section 11 and thereafter pays or tenders the amount of rent or permitted increases specified by the Court. This Court found in S. D. Chhaganlal's case that the tenant made no payment within the period of one month of the notice of the ejectment and further that although in his written statement he raised dispute about the standard rent he made no application in terms of S. 11(3) of the Act. The tenant can claim protection from the operation of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act only if the tenant makes an application within one month of the service of the notice terminating the tenancy by raisin54 a dispute as to standard rent.'

4. Rane J, speaking for the Division Bench observed:

'It is not disputed that the defendants did not make an application to the Court under sub-section (3) of Section 11 of the Rent Act before the expiry of the period of one month after the notice referred to in sub-see. (2) of S. 12 of the Rent Act. Under these circumstances, the defendants cannot avoid the decree for eviction on the ground that there is a dispute as regards the standard rent in the instant suit. If any authority is needed on the point, it is provided by the decision of the Supreme Court in the cases of Harbanslal Jagmohandas v. Prabhudas Shivlal, (Civil Appeal No. 282 of 1971) and Rev. Everett M. Fasanchat v. West End Works, (Civil Appeal No. 2068 of 1971 reported in AIR 1976 SC 2005)'.

5. The learned single Judge was unable to agree with the decision that Ambalal's case (supra) on the point in question was overruled and, therefore, made a reference to a larger Bench. The point of reference is as under:

'Whether the only manner in which a dispute as to the standard rent can be brought into existence for taking the case out of the provisions of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act is by making of an application for fixing the standard rent within one month of the service of the demand notice or the dispute can be raised in any other manner like giving of a notice disputing the standard rent prior to the demand notice or by way of reply within one month of the service of the demand notice ?'

This Bench is, therefore, constituted to decide the said question.

6. In Ambalal's case (AIR 1'964 Guj 9) (supra) the Court analysed the provisions of Section 12 of the Act and observed :

' The right to recover possession being dependant upon whether or not a tenant has paid or has been ready and willing to pay and has performed the other conditions of the tenancy the question must always arise whether at the date when the landlord filed his suit he was in a position to establish that the tenant was not one who was entitled to the benefit of sub-section (1) in as much as he had not paid or was not ready and willing to pay the standard rent and permitted increases when the suit was instituted. It is only when a landlord is in a position to establish that the tenant forfeited his right to protection under this sub-section that the landlord would have a cause of action to file a suit for ejectment. Therefore, it is at the date when such a cause of action accrues to the landlord that the Court has to ascertain whether the prohibition against the landlord laid down in subsection (1) against his right to recover possession existed or not. This position becomes, clear also from the provisions of sub-section (2) which lays down an obligation on the landlord to serve a notice in writing of the demand of the standard rent and permitted increases and the necessity of one month expiring even after such a notice has been served upon the tenant. Sub-section (2) thus lays down a condition precedent and evidently it is done to give an opportunity to a defaulting tenant to pay up the arrears and save himself from being evicted. If the tenant pays up the arrears within the time prescribed in sub-section (2), he gets the protection of sub-section (1). The effect of sub-sections (1) and (2), therefore, is two-fold:-

(a) if the tenant has paid or has been ready and willing to pay standard rent and permitted increases, he is protected by sub-section (1) and he cannot be, evicted, and

(b) even if he has committed default, but pays up within the time laid down in sub-section (2), which would be before the institution of the suit, he would still be protected under sub-section (1).

The Legislature has then gone one step further by providing in sub-section (3) (b), in cases not falling either under subsection (1) on the one hand and sub-section (3) (a) on the other, a further opportunity and safeguard if the defaulting tenant pays up the arrears on the first day of the hearing of the suit or on such other date that the Court may fix and continues to pay thereafter regularly. Thus the Legislature has created safeguards for the tenant available to him at three different stages:

(1) If he has been paying or has been or is deemed to be ready and willing to pay the standard rent and permitted increases at the date of the suit, sub-section (1) protects him.

(2) Even if he has not been paying or has not been ready and willing to pay and has, in fact committed default, but pays before the date of the suit within the time prescribed by sub-section (2), in which even sub-section (1) again safeguards him, and

(3) Even if he has not paid or has not been ready and willing to pay and has in fact committed default, except in cases falling under sub-section (3) (a), he is still safeguarded by sub-section (3) (b) if he makes payment on the first day of hearing or on or before such date fixed by the Court.'

The Court negatived the argument that the dispute raised for the first time in the written statement filed after the expiry of one month of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act could give any protection to a tenant who is in arrears of rent for more then 6 months against the operation of the provisions of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act. The Court then considered Section 12(1) and the Explanation and observed:

'But with respect neither the explanation nor sub-section (3) of Section 11 rules out the proof of readiness and willingness by a mode other than that provided for by the explanation. There is nothing in S. 12 or the explanation to warrant the narrow construction that the tenant can establish his readiness and willingness only through the rule of presumption I-aid down in the explanation or the machinery provided in sub-section (3) of Section 11. The explanation is only one more protective safeguard created for the benefit of the tenant. If he avails of it, the Court then raises a presumption. If he does not, but proves his readiness and willingness otherwise, the Court, cannot discard such evidence. This view was accepted in an unreported judgment by Chagla C, J. in Civil Revision Application No. 412 of 1957, decided on July 8, 1958, where he stated that the explanation by a legal fiction treats an application for fixation of the standard rent as evidence of readiness and willingness of the tenant to pay; nevertheless it is open to the tenant to prove his readiness and willingness otherwise. He agreed with the contention on behalf of the tenant that in case of a dispute regarding the standard rent, it was, not necessary that the tenant must pay the rent fixed by the Court on an application under the, explanation, The explanation is intended as a safeguard for the tenant; if he obtains an order and pays the amount according to that order, then no question of his being in arrears arises, but, he added, that it was open to the tenant to take the risk and deposit what he thinks to be the standard rent and if that turns out to be standard rent fixed by the Court, it would be sufficient. Conversely, as observed by Datar, J, in Civil Revision Application No. 1495 of 1956, decided on February 5, 1958 (Bom) the explanation does not mean that if no such application is made, the tenant would be deemed not to be ready and willing. In our view, there is no warrant either in Section 12 or in the explanation thereto to take a restricted construction adopted by Patel J, and Raju J. There is nothing in the section to indicate that the Legislature intended to lay down an exclusive mode of establishing readiness and willingness by resorting only to the explanation. The explanation, as aforesaid, provides only a presumption and that is one mode of evidencing readiness and willingness, but, the tenant may not choose to resort to that method and may prefer to establish his readiness and willingness otherwise than under the explanation. There is nothing in the section not to allow him to establish his actual readiness and willingness instead of relying on the fiction created by the explanation. There is also nothing in the section to prevent him from applying under Section 11 irrespective of the explanation.' (Underlining ours).

This ruling of the Division Bench was always followed in this Court till the decision in Dhansuklal's case (supra) and the question is whether the latter decision overrules the aforesaid proposition of law enunciated in Ambalal's case (AIR 1964 Guj 9) (supra). In Harbanslal Jagmohandas's case (AIR 1976 SC 2005) (supra), the Supreme Court had to resolve the question as to whether on receipt of a notice from the landlord terminating the tenancy on the ground of arrears of rent, the dispute as to the Standard rent had to be raised before expiry of one month after the service of the notice. Ambalal's case (supra) was summerised by the Court as holding that in order to avoid the operation of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act, dispute with regard to the standard rent or permitted increases must be raised latest before the expiry of one month from the date of service of the notice under Section 12(2) of the Act and it was not enough to raise a dispute for the first time in the written statement. Or to put in other words to attract the application -of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act there must be non-existence of the dispute at the date of the notice and such a non-existence must continue right upto the expiration of one month from the date of service of the notice so that if the dispute was raised at any time prior to the expiration of the said period of one month; the operation of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act would be excluded. The Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in Dattu Subhana v. Gajanan Vithoba, 73 Bom LR 371 = (AIR 1971 Bom 396) took the view that the tenant could raise a dispute as to standard rent by raising an issue as to standard rent in the written statement and in taking this view the Bombay High Court relied on Section 11(4) of the Act. The Supreme Court on this point affirmed the decision of this High Court in Ambalal's, case (AIR 1964 Guj 9) (supra) and rejected the view in Dattu Subhana's case (supra) observing as under:-

'The view of the Bombay High Court overlooks the limitation of time within which a dispute is to be raised as to standard rent. The view of the Bombay High Court is that disputing within one month of the service of the notice terminating the tenancy is one mode of raising a dispute and there is another mode of raising the dispute at any stage of the suit. The view of the Bombay High Court nullifies the provisions contained in Section 12 and Explanation thereto and confers a right on the tenant where the legislation does not contemplate such a right.

The provisions in Section 11(3) of the Act deal with others which may be passed by the Court during the pendency of the application disputing the rent. Provisions in Section 11(4) of the Act deal with orders which may be passed consequent upon dispute as to rent. It is only when an application disputing rent -is made within the time contemplated by Explanation I to Section 12 of the Act that the provisions in sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 11 are attracted.'

7. In coming to this view the Supreme Court referred to the decision in Dhansukhlal's case (supra) and made the observations cited herein before. The Supreme Court pointed out that in Dhansukhlal's case the tenant had made no payment within one month of the notice of ejectment. The tenant had made no application under Section 11(3) of the Act for fixation of the standard rent within the period of limitation and had raised contention regarding the standard rent for the first time in the written statement. it may be noticed that the facts found in Dhansukhlal's case show that the same was governed by the provisions of Section 12(3)(b) of the Act and the contention raised before the Court was whether the provisions of Section 12(1) of the Act were applicable throughout the hearing of the suit, that is, down to the date of final hearing. If at that stage it was found that the tenant had paid up all the arrears due from him could he be ejected? The Court in DhansukhIal's, case (AIR 1968 SC 1109) answered this question to quote:-

'It appears to us that there is no substance in the contention put forward on behalf of the appellant. Section 12(1) must be read with the Explanation and so read it means that a tenant can only be considered 'to be ready and willing to pay' if, before the expiry of the period of one month after notice referred to in sub-section (2). He makes an application to the Court under sub-section (3) of Section 11 and thereafter pays or tenders the amount of rent or permitted increases specified by the Court, We have already noted that the tenant made no payment within the period of one month of the notice of ejectment and although in his written statement he raised a dispute about the standard rent he made no application in terms of Section 11(3) of the Act. The readinesss and willingness to pay has therefore to be judged in the light of the facts of the case. Where as here a suit is filed on the ground that the tenant was in arrears for a period of more than 6 months and although raising a dispute as to the standard rent and permitted increases recoverable under the Act, the tenant makes no application in terms of Section 11(1) he cannot claim the protection of Section 12(1) by merely offering to pay or even paying all arrears due from him when the Court is about to pass a decree against him. In Vora Abbasbhai Alimohomed v. Haji Gulamnabi Haji Safibhai (1964) 5 SCR 157 = 5 Guj LR 55 = (AIR 1964 SC 1341) it was pointed out that Section 12(1) of the Act applied to a tenant who continued to remain in occupation even after the expiry of the contractual tenancy so long as he paid or was ready and willing to pay the amount of the standard rent and permitted increases. The protection was however available to a tenant subject to the provisions of Section 13 and to the limitations contained in Section 12(2) and Section 12(3)(a) of the Act.'

The Court made clear that Section 12(1) of the Act had to be read with explanation to the section. The ratio of this decision is clearly that protection under Section 12(1) of the Act can be availed of only if before the expiry of the period of one month after the notice referred to in sub-section (2) of Section 12 of the Act the tenant makes an application under Section 11(3) of the Act and thereafter he pays or tenders the amount of rent or permitted increases specified by the Court. The clear and specific proposition of law laid down therein is to the effect that in order to -avoid the provisions of Section 12(3) by claiming protection under Section 12(1), the tenant has to make an application under Section 11(3) of the Act before the expiry of one month of the receipt of the notice under Section 12(2) of the Act or to put in other words the tenant can get protection under Section 12(1) provided he has made an application under Section 11(3) of the Act within one month of the receipt of the notice under Section 12(2) of the Act. The word 'only' is used to emphasise as to when the factum of readiness and willingness of the tenant is said to be established by the statutory presumption under Section 12(1) read with the explanation and it is so established provided the provisions -of Section 12(1) read with explanation are complied with. The word 'only' supplies an emphasis to the expression 'to be ready and willing to pay' and the readiness and willingness can also be proved by statutory presumption which arises on the provisions of the explanation being satisfied. The word 'only' has not the effect that the tenant can obtain protection by raising a dispute as to the standard rent only in one manner, namely, if the tenant makes an application within one month of the service of the notice terminating the tenancy by raising a dispute as to the standard rent. If the tenant wants to avail himself of -the statutory presumption arising under Section 12(1) and the explanation he has to make an application under Section 11(3) of the Act within one month after the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act and to pay and tender the amount of rent and permitted increases specified in the order mode by the Court. A decision of the Supreme Court is not to be read as a statute; a decision of a Court is only an authority to what it actually decides. The Supreme Court in State of Orissa v. Sudhansu Sekher Misra AIR 1968 SC 647 referred with approval of quoted passage of Earl of Halsbury in Quinn v. Leathem, 1901 AC 495, which is as under:-

'Now before discussing the case of Allen v. Flood, (1898) AC 1 and what was decided therein, there are two observations of a general character which I wish to make, and one is to repeat what I have very often said before, that every judgment must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved, since the generality of the expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which such expressions are to be found. The other is that a case is only an authority for what it actually decides. I entirely deny that it can be quoted for a proposition that may seem to follow logic-ally from it. Such a mode of reasoning assumes that the law is necessarily a logical Code, whereas every lawyer must acknowledge that the law is not always logical at all.' It is not a profitable task to extract a sentence here and there from a judgment and to build upon it.'

In the aforesaid two decisions the Supreme Court has not considered methods or manners in which the dispute as to standard rent could be raised under Section 12 of the Act to avoid a decree of eviction under Section 12(3) of the Act. In the aforesaid cases the Court was considering the provisions of Section 12(1) and Explanation to Section 12 of the Act and held that the tenant could claim protection under Section 12(1) read with Explanation if only an application under Section 11(3) of the Act for fixation of standard rent is made and thereafter the tenant pays or tenders the amount of standard rent or specified by the Court.

8. In this connection the decision of the Supreme Court in Vora Abbasbhai Alimahomed v. Haji Gulamnabi Haji Safibhoi, 5 Guj LR 55 = (AIR 1964 SC 1341) has to be noted. The facts in the case were that demand notice dated December 1, 1956 asking for rent due for more than six months was received by the tenant on December 3, 1956. The tenant by his letter of December 7, 1956 contended inter -alia that the contractual rent was excessive. A suit for eviction was filed on January 27, 1957. The ten-ant gave an application under Section 11(1) of the Act for fixing the standard rent on January 5, 1957. Thus it is clear from the facts of the case that the dispute as to standard rent was raised by way of reply to the notice within one month of the notice but the application for fixing the standard rent was not given within one month. The Supreme Court dealt with the case as one falling under Section 12(3)(b) of the Act and obviously because the dispute with regard to the standard rent was raised by the tenant by his reply to the notice within one month thereof. If that were not so, the Supreme Court would have held that Section 12(3)(b) of the Act applied to the case. This case thus completely supports our view on the provisions of law as stated above. It must be noted that the Supreme Court has not overruled this decision either in Dhansukhlal's case or Harbanslal's case which would ordinarily be the result if the Supreme Court in these decisions laid down any law contrary to what is enunciated in the said decision.

9. The facts of the case in which Justice Rane spoke for the Division Bench, in Civil Revision Application No. 531 of 1972 are required to be noticed. The notice demanding arrears of rent of more than 6 months and terminating the tenancy was given by the landlord to the tenant on May 8, 1969. The tenant in his written statement raised a dispute regarding the standard rent for the first time. No reply to the notice by the landlord demanding rent and possession of the suit premises was given. No application under Section 11(3) of the Act was made to the Court before the expiry of one month after the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act was made by the tenant. It was, therefore, held by the Court that the tenant could not avoid a decree of eviction under Section 12(3) of the. Act on the ground that there was a dispute as to the standard rent in the said suit. It is evident that no dispute in any of the modes or manners provided under the Act as to the standard rent was raised within the limitation provided by the statute but the same was raised after the expiry of one month of the receipt of the notice under Section 11(2) of the Act by raising the same for the. first time in the written statement. The Court, therefore, passed a decree of eviction placing reliance on the -decision in Harbanslal Jagmohandas's case (supra). This case, therefore, does not lay down on the point at issue any principle of law contrary to what has been laid down in Ambalal's case (supra). The decision given by M. U, Shah J. in Civil Revision Application No. 517 of 1965 (Guj), with respect does not lay down the correct proposition of law on the point at issue for the reasons already given.

10. The result is that the decision in Ambalal's case (AIR 1964 Guj 9) quoted herein above as regards the stages at which the dispute as to the standard rent has to be raised and also the manner in which it should be raised stands and is good law even today.

11. We completely agree with the position of law on the point in issue enunciated in Ambalal's case and the reasons of our agreement are as set out in the said judgment and it is not necessary to repeat the same. To summarise the correct proposition of law on the point in issue:

(a) If the tenant files an application' to the Court under Section 11(3) of the Act within the period of one month of the receipt of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act, he shall be deemed to be ready and willing to pay the rent and permitted increases specified in the order made by the Court as per provisions of Section 12 read with the, Explanation.

(b) The tenant can also establish his readiness and willingness to pay the rent due by any other mode than the one indicated in the Explanation read with Section 12 of the Act, as for example, by tendering the demanded amount of rent in cash within one month of the receipt of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act. This illustration regarding payment in cash is merely illustrative and not exhaustive.

(c) The tenant can also claim protection from the operation of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act by raising a dispute as to the standard rent either prior to the notice under Section 12(2) of the Act or by reply to the notice but in this case the tenant must do so within one month from the receipt of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act.

The protection obtainable as per points (b) and (c) set out hereinbefore is further protection to which the tenant is entitled and is independent of each other as well as what is said in point (a). It is not a further requirement for such protections that the tenant must make an application under Section 11(3) of the Act. it may be clarified that the word 'next' used in Section 12(2) means immediately so that the tenant has to raise a dispute regarding the standard rent with in one month of the receipt of the notice referred to in Section 12(2) of the Act.

12. Our answer, therefore, to the question referred to is that a dispute as to the standard rent can be raised in any other manner like giving a notice disputing standard rent prior to the demand notice under Section 12(2) or by way of a reply within one month of such a notice. It is not that the only manner in which the dispute regarding the standard rent can be brought into existence for taking the case out of Section 12(3)(a) of the Act is to make an application for fixing the standard rent within one month of the service of the demand notice.

13. In pursuance of our answer, this revision application is remanded for disposal according to the provisions of law with no order as to costs of this reference. Orders accordingly.

14. Order accordingly.


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