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Kishan Singh Vs. Kewal Raj and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Revision Petition No. 261 of 1972
Judge
Reported in1973(6)WLN637
AppellantKishan Singh
RespondentKewal Raj and ors.
DispositionApplication dismissed
Cases ReferredKishan Singh v. Kewalraj and Ors. It
Excerpt:
.....tenant not naming k in his application--whether k can apply to court for payment (sic) him.;(b) rent deposited by tenant - whether proceedings at second stage can be dismissed in default.;(c) persons named by tenant in his application - whether court is bound to determine claims of parties.;the section has a multifarious object. it seeks to save the tenant from incurring the risk of being evicted on the ground of default in the payment of rent. in the case of there being no doubt about the landlord the tenant can deposit the rent only if the landlord refuses to accept the rent, but if the tenant has a bonafide doubt as to who is the landlord entitled to receive the rent from him, then he can apply to the court under section 19a.;once the liability of the tenant is discharged with his..........landlord and his doubt above the real landlord had been removed. he, therefore, prayed that the rent deposited by him may be paid to kewalraj. kewalraj too filed an application praying that the rent deposited in court may be paid to him. during the course of the proceecings that the learned munsif had started kewalraj moved two applications on 13-4-68. by one application he requested the learned munsif to dismiss the tenant's application in default, as he had absented himself on an earlier hearing as also on the hearing on 13-4-68. by the second application he prayed that the proceedings should be taken to be closed by virtue of order 23 rule 1 civil procedure code, the learned munsif disposed of the two applications, order on the one was as follows:parties present.this application.....
Judgment:

Kan Singh, J.

1. The present revision application arises out of certain proceedings taken under Section 19A of the Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1959, hereinafter to be referred as the 'Act'. Though the amount of rent which is the subject matter of the dispute is only Rs. 8/, the case had a number of innings in this Court as well as in the court of the Additional District Judge.

2. One Veerbhan Singh is admittedly the tenant of the suit premises which formed part of a building known as 'Girdhari Singh-Ka-Nohra' situated near Mahatma Gandhi High School, Jodhpur. He was paying a monthly rent of Rs. 8/- for the premises. Veerbhan Singh made an application under Section 19A of the Act in the court of the Munsif City, Jodhpur on 2-12-65. In that application he stated that he had a bonafide doubt as to the person to whom rent was payable by him. He named three persons as the claimants who were demanding rent from him. According to him, one of these persons was entitled to the rent of the premises. It may be mentioned that of the three persons Kewalraj was the Chief Trustee of the Oswal Singh Sabha and Mohanraj was his Mukhtiar a Aam- Thus, there were only two rival claimants Smt. Bhagwati Devi, on the one hand, and Kewalraj and Mohanraj, on the other. The learned Munsif gave notices to these claimants and he also affixed a notice on the notice board of the Court. Thereafter Kishan Singh, the present petitioner moved an application asserting that he was the person entitled to receive the rent from the tenant and he, therefore, prayed for being made a party to the proceedings. Accordingly, the learned Munsif impleaded Kishan Singh also as a party. On 20-1-67. Veerbhan Singh, the tenant, filed an application before the learned Munsif stating therein that Kewalraj was the landlord and his doubt above the real landlord had been removed. He, therefore, prayed that the rent deposited by him may be paid to Kewalraj. Kewalraj too filed an application praying that the rent deposited in court may be paid to him. During the course of the proceecings that the learned Munsif had started Kewalraj moved two applications on 13-4-68. By one application he requested the learned Munsif to dismiss the tenant's application in default, as he had absented himself on an earlier hearing as also on the hearing on 13-4-68. By the second application he prayed that the proceedings should be taken to be closed by virtue of Order 23 Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code, The learned Munsif disposed of the two applications, order on the one was as follows:

Parties present.

This application has been pressed by the learned Counsel-applicant or the basis that the application of Shri Veerbhan Singh dated 20 1-67 be decided.

I have considered this application as well the application of Veerbhan Singh in this connection.

Firstly, on merits this application filed by Veerbhan Singh as well as the present one stand decided by this Court's order dated 10-5-68, when the application of the learned Counsel dated 13-4-68 was decided by this Court.

Secondly, even otherwise when the applicant of application dated 20-1-67 is not appearing and pressing his application, as in the present application there is no one to tell this Court to decide the earlier application first which on merits has already been decided vide order dated 10-5-68, though not so specifically mentioned.

Thirdly, as has been held by me in my order dated 10-5-68 that this application and this case stand on some exceptional basis and the absence of the person who initiated it after depositing the money in the Court, would not be a good ground for dismissing the case. Similarly a prayer by the person to return the money to the person named by him only after his earlier prayer praying the Court to decide to whom the money should be given as there are so many claimants, cannot be accepted, more so when so many claimants appear and put their claim.

In the circumstances and as per this Court's order dated 10-5-68 this application along with the application of Veerbhan Singh dated 20-1-67 is dismissed with a cost of Rs. 15/- to be payable by present applicant.

Order pronounced

The other application was decided by a detailed order and the learned Munsif was of the view that Order 9 Rule 8 C.P.C. would not come into force and accordingly he rejected the application vide his order dated 10-5-68.

3. So far as the first order is concerned, Kewalraj came up in revision to this Court which was registered as S.B. Civil Revision No. 668 of 1968--Kewalraj and Anr. v. Veerbhan Singh. It was heard by Jagat Narayan J., as he then was, and was allowed on 25-11-69. It was ordered by him that the rent deposited by Veerbhan Singh under Section 19A be paid to Kewalraj. Then a review application was filed by Kishan Singh, the present petitioner. It was registered as S.B. Civil Review Petition No. 7 of 1970--Kishan Singh v. Kewalraj and Ors. Jagat Narayan C.J. reviewed his earlier order and re heard the revision application. This time he dismissed the revision application on the ground that it was not maintainable though ha expressed no opinion as to the merits. As against the second order Kewalraj and Mohanraj went up in appeal to the court of the Additional District Judge No. 2, Jodhpur under Section 22 of the Act. The learned Additional District Judge was of the opinion that provisions of Order 9 Rule 8 apply to the proceedings under the Act and consequently the learned Munsif was not justified in rejecting the application of Kewalraj dated 13-4-68. Consequently the learned Additional District Judge in accepting the appeal set aside the order of the learned Munsif.

4. Against the last mentioned order of the learned Additional District Judge which was dated 6-6-70, the present petitioner Kishan Singh had come up in revision to this Court which was No. 500 of 1970--Kishan Singh v. Kewalraj and Ors. It came up for admission before Shinghal J. on 17-11-70 and was dismissed in limine. Subsequent to this Kishan Singh moved another application before the learned Munsif that the amount of rent be paid to him. After referring to the several orders the learned Munsif came to the conclusion that this application had no force and accordingly he dismissed it.

5. Aggrieved by the order of the learned Munsif, Kishan Singh went up in appeal to the court of the learned District Judge, Jodhpur who assigned the appeal for disposal to the Additional Civil Judge, Jodhpur. The learned Additional Civil Judge, however, dismissed the appeal.

6. It is in these circumstances that Kishan Singh petitioner has come up in revision to this Court.

7. It will be convenient to read the relevant provision of the Act:

Section 19A Deposit of rent by tenant--(1) Every tenant shall pay rent within the time fixed by contract or in the absence of such contract, by the fifteenth day of the month next following the month for which it is payable.

(2) Where the landlord does not accept any tent tendered by the tenant within the time referred to in Sub-section (1) or where there is bonafide doubt as the person or persons to whom the rent is payable, the tenant may deposit such rent with the court and such deposit of rent shall be a full discharge of the tenant from the liability to pay rent to the landlord.

(3) The deposit shall be accompanied by an application by the tenant containing the following particulars, namely--

(a) The accommodation for which the rent is deposited with a description sufficient for identifying the premises;

(b) the period for which the rent is deposited;

(c) the name and address of the landlord or the persons claiming to be entitled to such rent;

(d) the reasons and cirumstances for which the application for depositing the rent is made.

(4) The application referred to in Sub-section (3) shall bear a court fee stamp of Rs. 2/-and shall be accompained by requisite postal stamps for sending the notice and a copy of application under Sub-section (5).

(5) On such deposit of the rent being made, the court shall send notice of the deposit by registered post acknowledgement due and also send a copy or copies of the application to the landlord or persons claiming to be entitled to the rent with an endorsement of the date of deposit; and a copy of such notice shall be affixed on the notice board of the court.

(6) If an application is made for the withdrawal of any deposit of rent, the court shall, if satisfied that the applicant is the person entitled to receive the rent deposited, order the amount of the rent to be paid to him and such payment of rent shall be a full discharge of the court from all liability to pay rent to the landlord.

Provided that no order for payment of any deposit of rent shall be made by the court under this sub-section without giving all persons named by the tenant in his application under Sub section (3), as claiming to be entitled to payment of such rent, an opportunity of being heard and such order shall be without prejudice to the rights of such persons to receive such rent being decided by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The section discloses two distinct stages in the proceedings initiated there under. The first stage is about the conditions under which the tenant may make the application for deposit for rent. According to Sub-section (2) when the landlord does not accept any rent tendered by the tenant within the time reterred to in Sub-section (1) or when the tenant is having a bonafide doubt as to the person or persons to whom rent is payable that the tenant may deposit such rent with the court and such deposit of rent shall be full discharge of the the tenant from the liability to pay the rent to the landlord. Sub-sections (3) and (4) lay down what the application for deposit of rent has to conatin and what court fee has to be paid. With the deposit of the rem by the tenant in accordance with subsection (1) to (4) the second stage commence. It enjoins upon the court in which deposit is made to proceed in the manner indicated thereunder so that the court may be fully discharged from all liability to pay rent to landlord. The section has a multifarious object. It seeks to save the tenant from incurring the risk of being evicted on the ground of default in the payment of rent. In the case of there being no doubt about the landlord the tenant can deposit the rent only if the landlord refuses to accept the rent, but if the tenant has a bonafide doubt as to who is the landlord entitled to receive the rent from him, then he can apply to the court under Section 19 A. The procedure indicated thus puts the rival claimants also under an obligation to have their claims settled so that the tenant may be certain about the person to whom he is to pay the rent in future. Once the liability of the tenant is discharged with his depositing the rent in accordance with the provisions of Section 19 A he is not strictly speaking concerned with the second stage of the proceedings to be initiated by the court for the disposal of the money lying with it in deposit, It is required to send a notice of deposit by registered post with acknowledgement due with copy or copies of applications to the landlord or persons claiming to be entitled to the rent with an endorsement of the date of deposit. Further a copy of the notice is required to be affixed on the notice board of the court. Then comes the stage of Sub section (6). It is not that the court may send the money to the landlord, but it is for the latter to make an application for the withdrawal of the money from the court. The court, if it is satisfied that the applicant is the person entitled to receive the rent deposited, order the payment of such rent to him and payment shall be a full discharge of the court from all liability to pay rent to the landlord. The proviso to Sub-section (6) will apply when there are several claimants named by the tenant in his application under Sub-section (3) as claiming to be entitled to payment of such rent. In that event an opportunity of hearing has to be given by the court to all such persons and then the court has to pass an order about whom it is satisfied that he is the person entitled to receive the rent deposited. Such an order for the payment of the deposited rent would not prejudice the rights of the claimants to receive such rent and this could be decided by a court of competent jurisdiction. This shows that the court is acting in a summary fashion under Section 19A of the Act and the order of the court does not effect much less determine the rights of the parties regarding the rent.

8. In the second stage of the proceedings two things are essential (1) the court has to be started that the person who applies before it is entitled to receive the rent and where more than one person are named in the application as claimants of rent then opportunity of hearing has to be afforded to all such persons. It is not indicated how the court has to be satisfied Normally all such relevant material as would help a judicial mind to reach a conclusion could be acted upon. This may include the admission of the tenant contained in the application or in any affidavit or the court may consider the affidavits of the concerning parties or for that matter any other relevant piece of evidence. Since Sub-section (6) does not in terms indicate as to who can apply for the payment of deposited rent, it has to be found out from what had preceded this subsection as to who can apply for the payment of deposited rent. There are two categories of applications: the first one is where a known landlord has refused to accept the rent and the second category is where the tenant has a doubt as to who is the person entitled to receive the rent. Naturally, there fore, in this category there would be more than one person making a demand of rent from the tenant and the tenant alone knows as to who are the persons making the demand from him or an what manner. A doubt has arisen in his mind. Therefore, I do not think it will be open to a person not named by the tenant as claimant in his application to join the proceeding. In the very nature of things the proceedings under Sub-section (6) are of summary nature and it will not be in consonance with the underlying intention of the legislature to enlarge the scope of the proceedings. In that event one does not know how many rival claimants may choose to come of their own without being named by the tenant in his application and the court may be then called upon to hear each and every such person. This could not, in my humble view, be the intention of the legislature who only aimed at relieving the hardship of the tenant firstly, where the known landlord was not accepting the rent or when more than one person were demanding rent from the tenant and the tenant was doubtful as to who was entitled to receive the rent from him.

9. Learned Counsel for the petitioner invited attention to Section 19C. He argued that the withdrawal of the rent deposited under Section 19A shall not operate as an admission against the person concerned of the correctness of the rent, the period of default, the amount due or of any other facts stated in the tenant's application for depositing the rent under Section 19A. I may read Section 19C.

Section 19C. Saving as to expenses of rent and forfeiture of rent in deposit: The withdrawal of rent deposited under Section 19A in the manner provided therein shall not operate as an admission against the person withdrawing it of the correctness of the rent, the period of default, the amount duo, or of any other facts stated in the tenant's application for depositing the rent under the said Section,

(2) Any rent in deposit which is not withdrawn by the landlord or by the persons entitled to receive such tent shall be forfeited to Government by an order made by the court, if it is not withdrawn before the expiration of three years from the date of posting of the notice of deposit.

(3) Before passing an order of forfeiture the court shall give notice to the landlord or the person or persons entitled to receive the rent in deposit by registered post acknowledgement due at the last known address of such landlord or person or persons and shall also publish the notice on the notice board of the court and if the amount of rent exceeds one hundred rupees, shall also publish it in any local newspaper.

It is true, the withdrawal of rent is without prejudice to the claimant's rights. The effect of Section 19A is only this that the tenant's liability stands discharged qua the amount that he has paid in court under Section 19A. In other words, by statutory fiction the payment of the amount in court is deemed to be a payment to the landlord. The effect is no further.

10 Therefore, from the above discussion it follows: (1) That Kishan Sing was not entitled to apply before the learned Munsif for payment of rent to him, as he had not been named by the tenant in his application. (2) There could be no question of dismissal of the tenant's application in default after the first stage of the proceedings is over with the deposit of rent by the tenant. (3) The court is duty bound to determine the claims of the persons named as claimants in the tenant's application.

11. The court has so far not passed any order for the payment of the deposited rent to any one and it will have to pass such an order now.

12. The result is that the present revision application by Kishansingh is not maintainable and is hereby dismissed. The parties are left to bear their own costs.


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