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S.A. Seshadri Aiyangar Vs. Narayana Nair - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 570 of 1947
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Mad106
ActsMadras House Rent Control Order, 1945; Madras General Clauses Act, 1891 - Sections 8; General Clauses Act, 1897 - Sections 6
AppellantS.A. Seshadri Aiyangar
RespondentNarayana Nair
Appellant AdvocateG. Ramalinga Reddi, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.S. Narayana Iyengar, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredKeshoram Poddar v. Nandoo Lal
Excerpt:
.....clauses act, 1891 and section 6 of general clauses act, 1897 - whether lower court right in dismissing execution petition of landlord - insertion of section 18 indicate intention of legislature was that all pending proceedings be continued - in present case tenant had vested right to file revision petition - authority before whom revision proceedings could be taken to enforce that right continued to exist and section 18 suggest that all pending proceedings be saved - held, lower court rightly dismissed execution petition of landlord. - - 113 their lordships very definitely found on the construction of the relevant sections of the statute before them that the matter bad otherwise been provided for......duration is repealed, section 8, general clauses act, 1891 (madras) provides that unless a different intention appears the repeal shall not affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability, acquired, accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed or affected any investigation, legal proceedings, or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment, as aforesaid and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted or continued or enforced and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as if the repealing act or regulation had not been passed. the provision of this section will not directly apply when a temporary act expires by efflux of time. what is to happen to pending ' proceedings in.....
Judgment:

Balakrishna Aiyar, J.

1. This is an appeal from the order of the Principal Judge, City Civil Court, Madras, dismissing an execution petition, E. P. No. 1109 of 1946 on the file of his Court.

2. The relevant facts are these : The property which forms the subject-matter of this controversy is a non-residential building in Besant Road, Triplicane. On 29th May 1946 the landlord obtained from the House Rent Controller appointed under the Madras House Rent Control Order of 1945, an order for the eviction of the tenant who was then in occupation of the premises. The tenant preferred an appeal to the Collector of Madras, which was dismissed on 15th July 1946. On 2nd August 1946 the landlord applied to the City Civil Court for execution of the order of eviction that had been made in his favour. On the very same day, namely, 2nd August 1946, the tenant presented a revision petition to the Government which he was entitled to do under the Madras House Rent Control Order. This order ceased to be in force on 30th September 1946 and its place was taken by the Madras Act XV [15] of 1946. On 13th March 1947, that is to say, after the Madras House Rent Control Order of 1945 had ceased to be in force and the Madras Act XV [15] of 1946 had taken its place the Provincial Government allowed the revision petition of the tenant. When this fact was brought to his notice the learned Judge in the City Civil Court dismissed the execution petition. Against that order the landlord now appeals.

3. The principal argument put forward on behalf of the landlord is that on 13th March 1947 when the Government passed the order allowing the revision petition of the tenant they had no power to do so since the Madras House Rent Control Order of 1945 which alone conferred on them the requisite power was no longer in force. In substance the argument was that the source from which the Government derived their power had dried up, and that, therefore, their order was incompetent. In this connection reference was made to certain passages in Craies 'Statute Law' Edn. 4 at p. 347, where the learned author says :

'As a general rule, and unless it contains some special provision to the contrary, after a temporary Act has expired no proceedings can be taken upon it, and it ceases to have any further effect -- In Spencer v. Hooton, (1920) 4 M. A. 67, Roche J. held that he had no jurisdiction to hear appeals from Munitions Tribunals in proceedings taken under the Wages (Temporary Regulation) Acts by reason of the Act giving him jurisdiction having expired before the appeals came on for hearing. There is a difference between the effect of expiration of a temporary Act and the repeal of a perpetual Act.'

In support of his contentions the learned advocate for the appellant also relied on the decision in Canada Cement Co. v. East Montreal (Town of), (1922) 1 A. C. 249 : 91 L. J. P. C. 113. That was a case in which a Tribunal to which appeals previously lay was abolished and another constituted in its place. The Privy Council held that an appeal did not lie to the new Tribunal. Their Lordships observed :

'This appeal had not been brought when the statute was passed, although the proceedings before the circuit Court had been instituted. Consequently, the statutes giving whatever right of appeal may have existed were replaced by sections which gave none.'

For the other side it was contended that by 30th September 1946 when the Madras House Rent Control Order of 1945 ceased to be in force the tenant had already acquired a vested right to move the Government in revision and that there is nothing in the language of Act XV [15] of 1946 taking away that right. The decisions in Narayanaswami Naidu v. Inspector of Police, Mayavaram : (1949)1MLJ1 , and Colonial Sugar Refining Co. v. Irwing, 1905 A. C. 369 : 74 L. J. P. C. 77, were also relied on. In the former case the question was whether a person who had been ordered to be detained under Madras Act I [1] of 1947 and who had preferred an application to the High Court under Section 491, Criminal P. C., before Madras Ordinance II [2] of 1948 had been promulgated had a right to have his petition disposed of by the High Court or whether that right of his was taken away by the Ordinance. It was ruled that the right of a detained person to apply to the High Court under Section 491, Criminal P. C., cannot be treated as a matter of procedure; but it is a substantive right and a very valuable right and that the ordinance would not apply to pending proceedings under Section 491, Criminal P. C., but only to petitions filed after the date of the promulgation of the ordinance. On the analogy of this decision, it was contended that the right of the tenant to move the Government in revision under the Madras Rent Control Order of 1945 was a substantive right which had accrued to him before the expiration of the order and that it had not been taken away by Act XV [15] of 1946. In the case in Colonial Sugar Refining Co. v. Irwing, 1905 A. C. 369 : 74 L J. P. C. 77 their Lordships observed that 'to deprive a suitor in a pending action of an appeal to a superior tribunal which belonged to him as of right is a very different thing from regulating procedure'.

4. When what is called a permanent Act, that is to say, an Act which is of indefinite duration is repealed, Section 8, General Clauses Act, 1891 (Madras) provides that unless a different intention appears the repeal shall not affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability, acquired, accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed or affected any investigation, legal proceedings, or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment, as aforesaid and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted or continued or enforced and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as if the repealing Act or regulation had not been passed. The provision of this section will not directly apply when a temporary Act expires by efflux of time. What is to happen to pending ' proceedings in such a case must depend upon the intention of the Legislature; and where clear words are not used the intention must be inferred from the relevant circumstance thus, where a temporary Act sets up a special tribunal and as the result of the expiration of the Act the special tribunal ceases to exist and no clear provision is made for continuing pending proceedings it will be reasonable to infer that the intention of the Legislature is that such proceeding shall not be continued. The decision in Spencer v. Hooton, 1920-4 Munition App. 67 is not available but from the passage in Craies on Statute law which refers to it, it is to be inferred that the decision of Roche J. proceeded on this principle. In Canada Cement Go. v. East Montreal (Town of), (1922) 1 A.C. 249: 91 L. J. P. C. 113 their Lordships very definitely found on the construction of the relevant sections of the statute before them that the matter bad otherwise been provided for. Where a right has become vested in a person and the authority through whom that right can be enforced continues to exist the inference would be justified that there was no intention to deprive the person of that right. In the present case a revision did lie to the Government at the time the petition was presented; the Government had then jurisdiction to entertain and dispose of it, and it did dispose of it. In this connection reference may also be made to. the decision in Keshoram Poddar v. Nandoo Lal . The facts of that case were: The Calcutta Rent Act, 1920, enabled a landlord or tenant of premises in Calcutta to obtain from the Controller of Rents a certificate of the standard rent of the premises. A right to apply for revision of his order to the President of the Calcutta Improvement Tribunal was also provided for. By Section. 1, Sub-Section (4) it was provided that the Act was to be in force for a period of three years. In 1923 the Act was amended and the life of the Act extended up to the end of March 1924. In 1924 the Act was further amended and its life was extended upto 1927. When the life of the Act was extended in 1924 its scope was reduced by the insertion of a proviso with the result that the Act ceased to apply to any premises the rent of which exceeded Rs. 250 a month. The tenant applied for the fixation of the standard rent and on 23rd October 1922 the Controller fixed the rent at Rs. 4500 per month. On 25th November 1922 the tenant appealed to the President of the Improvement Committee to review that decision. The President who was fully occupied in hearing other appeals was able to take up the case only on 3rd August 1924, He then dismissed it on the ground that he had no jurisdiction to determine the matter. This he did because of the two amending Acts which had been passed while the case was waiting and because of the amendment to the original Act which rendered it inapplicable to premises the rent of which exceeded Rs. 250 per mensem. The Privy Council overruled this view which was concurred in by the High Court. Their Lordships observed that the Act was a living Act at the moment the application was made to the President and that the proviso had to be read just as if the words had been inserted in the original Act and that the President had jurisdiction to dispose of the revision petition. It is possible to argue that the decision turns on the construction of the Act and is not therefore directly applicable; but it does suggest that the solution to the problem lies in ascertaining the intention of the Legislature. The insertion of Section 18 of Madras Act XV [15] of 1946 indicates that the intention of the Legislature was that so far as possible all pending proceedings are to be continued. Regard being had to the facts that the right which the tenant had was a vested right that the authority before whom proceedings could be taken to enforce that right continued to exist and Section 18 of Madras Act XV [15] of 1946 suggests that the intention of the Legislature was that all pending proceedings should as far as possible be saved, it must be found that the decision of the Court below was right. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed with costs.


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