C.M. Lodha, C.J.
1. This second appeal has been laid before us in pursuance of an order made by S.N. Modi, J. whereby the learned Judge felt some doubt about the correctness of the view taken by D.P. Gupta J. in S.B. Civil Second Appeal No. 216 of 1976, Mangi Bai v. Jeeva, decided on 4-10-1976 and, therefore referred this case to a larger Bench.
2. The point arising for decision is short and simple. Plaintiffs Puran Mal and others filed a suit against the defendant appellant for his eviction from a room situated in Nohra No. 2. Lakar Mandi, Sri Ganganagar, alleging that the room in question had been let out at a monthly rent of Rs. 12/- but the defendant had not paid rent for 17 months and, consequently, he had become a defaulter. It was also pleaded that the suit premises are required by the plaintiffs reasonably and bona fide for their residence. The defendant con-tested the suit and pleaded that although the amount of rent for 17 months was due from him, but it was the plaintiff who was in default as he had not accepted the rent in spite of being offered several times by the defendant. He also pleaded that a money order for Rs. 156/-, was sent to the plaintiffs but the same was refused.
3. The trial court rejected the plaintiffs' contention regarding bona fide requirement of the premises in question for their residence and further held that the defendant had not committed any default in payment of rent. In the result, it dismissed the suit, Aggrieved by the judgment and decree of the trial court, the plaintiffs filed an appeal which was allowed by the learned Civil Judge, Sri Ganganagar, who decreed the suit against the defendant for recovery of rent as well as for eviction on the ground that even though the plaintiffs had failed to prove bona fide necessity for the premises in question for their own residence yet it was established that the defendant had committed default in payment of rent. Aggrieved by the judgment and decree of the learned Civil Judge, Sri Ganganagar, the tenant has filed this appeal.
4. On October 18, 1975, the appellant made an application under Section 13A of the Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950, as amended by the Amendment Act (No. 14 of 1976) hereinafter referred to as the Act stating that the appellant had paid full arrears of rent to the plaintiffs, but the amount of interest had not been paid though the appellant was prepared to pay the same along with costs of litigation. It was, therefore, prayed that the amount payable by the defendant to the plaintiffs may be determined and a period of 90 days may be granted to the defendant to deposit the same and the plaintiffs' suit may be dismissed.
5. On this application, the learned Single Judge by his order dated November 23, 1976, determined the amount of costs and interest as Rupees 371.50 P. and directed the' tenant appellant to deposit in court the said amount within 30 days.
6. On December 20, 1976, before the expiry of the time originally fixed, the tenant appellant made an application for granting extension of one month for payment of the amount. The application was opposed by the counsel forthe respondent-landlord, on whose behalf, it was contended that the court has no jurisdiction to extend the time once fixed for depositing the amount determined under Section 13-A (b) of the Act.
6-A. Hence, the only question for determination is whether the Court has jurisdiction to extend the time? Here, it may be pointed out that the amount was actually deposited on December 24, 1976. Thus, there was a delay of only 2 days in depositing the amount. The relevant clauses of Section 13-A read as under:--
'13-A. Special provisions relating to pending and other matters. -- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act as it existed before the commencement of the Amending Ordinance or in any other law,--
(a) no court shall, in any proceeding pending on the date of commencement of the amending Ordinance pass any decree in favour of landlord for eviction of a tenant on the ground of nonpayment of rent, if the tenant applies under Clause (b) and pays to the landlord, or deposits in court, within such time aggregate of the amount of rent in arrears, interest thereon and full costs of the suit as may be directed by the court under and in accordance with that clause;
(b) in every such proceeding, the court shall, on the application of the tenant made within thirty days from the date of commencement of the amending ordinance notwithstanding any order to the contrary, determine the amount of rent in arrears up to the date of the order as also the amount of interest thereon at 6% per annum and costs of the suit allowable to the landlord; and direct the tenant to pay the amount so determined within such time, not exceeding ninety days, as may be fixed by the court: and on such payment being made within the time fixed as aforesaid, the proceedings shall be disposed of as if tenant had not, committed any default;
A bare reading of Clause (b) of Section 13-A makes it clear that the court has jurisdiction to fix time not exceeding 90 days for payment of the amount. Under Clause (a), the time fixed in the present case was one month. Reading both the Clauses (a) and (b) together, it comes to this, that the court has no jurisdiction to pass a decree in favourof landlord for eviction of a tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent if the tenant deposits the aggregate amount of rent in arrears etc. within the time not exceeding 90 days fixed by the Court, but if the amount is not paid within the time fixed, the court has option either to extend the 'time in an appropriate case or to refuse to extend the time so that in the later case, it may decree the suit.
7. Now, in the present case, before the expiry of the time originally fixed the tenant applied for extension of time on December 20, 1976 and deposited the amount two days thereafter, i.e. very much within 90 days. Of course, the Court has no jurisdiction in such circumstances, to extend time beyond 90 days, but as has been pointed out above, the application was made before the expiry of the time originally fixed and so also the amount has been paid within 32 days, We are, therefore, of opinion, that the Court has jurisdiction in such a case to extend time not exceeding ninety days from the date of the original order directing payment to the landlord or deposit in court.
8. Learned counsel for the respondent-landlord, however, contended that no case has been made out for extending the time and, therefore, even if the Court has jurisdiction that indulgence should not be granted to the tenant. In the application for extension supported by an affidavit, it has been stated that even though the counsel for the appellant had written to his client to send the amount for deposit, but it appears that either the letter had not been received or for want of funds, the tenant-appellant may not have been able to arrange for money. In this connection, it has also been stated that the appellant is a poor carpenter and is financially not sound. It is further noteworthy that the amount has been deposited within 2 days of the time originally fixed. In the circumstances, we are of opinion that a case for extension of time has been made our. Accordingly, the time for depositing the amount is extended up to December 24, 1976, when the amount was actually deposited.
9. The natural corollary of the above finding is that the appeal is allowed, the judgment and decree of the court below is set aside and the suit for eviction is dismissed.