Guman Mal Lodha, J.
1. This is a plaintiff's second appeal in a suit for rent against the State. The plaintiff has got two storeyed house which was given to the State for running a school. The provisional rent was fixed for its. 21.20 P. per month with the understanding that the Government would get fair rent fixed from the Public Works Department according to its schedule.
2. On 11th March, 1966, the Executive Engineer, PWD (B & R), District Division, Jaipur, informed the Inspector of Schools that the fair rent of the property in question would be Rs. 61/- per month. The plaintiffs claimed that atleast they should get Rs. 61/- per month as fair rent fixed by the PWD. The plaintiff has not claimed any rent for the period commencing from 11th March, 1966 to 31-7-1968 because, it has become time barred. The rent is being claimed at the increased rate of Rs. 49.75p. from 1st August, 1968 to 31-7-1971, the total being Rs. 1428/-.
3. The defence of the defendants was that the plaintiff, himself at some stage claimed Rs. 49/- per month and, therefore, he cannot claim more. The trial court has granted decree but the first appellate court reversed it. Hence this appeal.
4. While discussing the issue No. 2, the first appellate court has observed that Ex. 2 fair rent certificate relates to the premises and it has been issued by the PWD, Jaipur. Ex. 1 shows that Head Master Phagi goes to the Executive Eng., PWD for assessing the rent and Ex. Eng., PWD on that basis assessed the fair rent. The Inspector of Schools recognised the rent of Rs. 61/- per month as fair, and the certificate was given by the competent authority.
5. The trial court, on the above basis, held that Rs. 61/- per month is fair rent. The first appellate court has expressed doubts regarding allegation that Rs. 21.25 was provisional rent only on the ground that it has not been the stated who has settled the provisional rent, and the name & designation of the officer has not been given. I am of the opinion that the above record is not enough for discarding the plaintiff's case,
6. Moreover, the fair rent was determined at the request of the Head Master and was proved by the Inspector of Schools. The determination was by the Ex. Eng. PWD who is the Government agency and who assessees the rent according to the Government schedule. It is surprising that the State functionaries should now disown the assessment done by them without there being any allegation of any illegality or fraud or mistake in the assessment. In my opinion it is binding on the State.
7. In law according to the principle of estoppel and also as per equity and fair play, no Government agency can be allowed to refuse to pay the fair rent determined by the Public Works Department, normally. It is highly undesirable that the State functionaries should challenge 'Fair rent' determined by PWD by refusing to pay it and drag the private citizens to litigation.
8. The State should appreciate that the High Court has got pendency 50,000 in Rajasthan, and about 13 lakhs in all High Courts 1,48,891 in Supreme Court 96,38,284 in all Civil and Criminal Courts of India and some of the cases of more than 3 decades institution are yet pending marking a mockery of Justice.
9. Before permitting any litigation, the State functionaries should closely, minutely and seriously scrutinise the anticipated, threatened and apprehended litigation and then permit it only if the top brass is satisfied on the following objective tests:
(i) That the claim is inequitable, unjust and against law;
(ii) That, the litigation is unavoidable as no compromise, settlement;, reconciliation is possible, as the opposite party is most unreasonable;
(iii) That, the litigation invloves substantial amount, or property or rights and conceding the demand would result in serious repercussions on future similar transactions or cases, also;
(vi) That, the claim is against the public interest.
10. It is further necessary that such objective examination should be made at every stage of the case and after decision of trial court against the State, it mast be much more stringent.
11. The above tests are illustrative but the apex test must be 'Social Justice' and directive principles enshrined in the Constitution.
12. The result of the above discussion is that the appeal is accepted and the judgment of the trial court is restored and the judgment & decree of the first appellate court is set aside.
13. The parties would bear their own costs, throughout.