M.P. Thakkar, J.
1. A startling proposition has been canvassed by the petitioner-landlord with his eyes glued on Section 13(1)(1) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates (Control) Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Rent Act). 'If a tenant in town X acquires vacant possession of premises in a different town, Y, and if the premises are suitable for residence' says Counsel for the landlord with confidence, 'he is liable to eviction under Section 13(1)(1) of the Act.'
2. The provision in question in so far as material, reads as under:
13(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act (but subject to the provisions of Section 15, a landlord shall be entitled to recover possession of any premises if the Court is satisfied-
xxx xxx xxxxxx xxx xxx(L) that the tenant after the coming into operation of this Act has built, acquired vacant possession of or been allotted a suitable residence.
3. The Rent Act is made applicable to towns in which there is acute scarcity of housing accommodation in order to extend protection to the tenants. Section 13(1)(1) empowers the Court to pass a decree for eviction where the tenant acquires or is allotted vacant possession of suitable premises for the reason which effortlessly leaps to the eye, namely, that the tenant is no more in need of the amount of Rent Act in view of such acquisition or allotment of vacant possession of suitable residence-why should the law deny to the landlord the right to the possession of his own property if the tenant is in no need of such protection? Evidently, that is the rationale of the provision embodied in Section 13(1)(1). It, however, postulates that the alternative accommodation is in the same town in which the rented premises are located. It would be an exercise in non-reason to authorise eviction even if the so called alternative premises are situated in a different town. Surely a tenant in Ahmedabad cannot be evicted merely because he purchases a suitable residential house property and acquires vacant possession thereof in Moscow or for that matter in Madras? The calculated design of the legislature is to afford protection to tenants townwise where housing shortage exists. And the need for protection does not disappear if alternative premises are acquired at a place other than in that particular town while it would disappear if such accommodation is acquired in that very town. Even vivid imagination cannot make one accept the proposition cavassed on behalf of the landlord. Section 13(1)(1) cannot apply where the tenant acquires or is allotted vacant possession of premises elsewhere than in the town of the rented premises. The aforesaid construction is so self evident that it is not necessary to demonstrate its truth by taxing the reasoning faculty any further. In the present case, the tenant, a poor railway employee who was occupying rented premises at Rajkot, was staying at Surendranagar for some time and at Mehsana thereafter on account of his transfer. On admitted facts, the plaintiff is, therefore, not entitled to a decree. If at all, the landlord can claim possession of the premises in case the tenant does not use the premises for a continuous period of six months without reasonable cause, within the meaning of Section 13(1)(k). Decree is, however, claimed under Section 13(1)(1) not under Section 13(1)(k) of the Rent Act. The landlord must accordingly fail even if the evidence is accepted at its face value. Besides, the learned Trial Judge was right in forming the opinion that even the premises which were offered to the respondent-tenant at Mehsana and Surendranagar were not suitable for his residence. This is a pure question of fact and the High Court cannot interfere therewith under Section 29(2) of the Rent Act. There is no substance in the petition. It fails and is rejected, Rule is discharged with costs.