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P.R. Subbier Vs. W.P. Chetty - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1958)2MLJ583
AppellantP.R. Subbier
RespondentW.P. Chetty
Excerpt:
- - on account of searcity of houses, residential as well as non-residential, there has been a feeling that the landlords were making the tenants to pay abnormal rents......to rush to court saying that the rent of rs. 150 per month which had been fixed is not a fair rent and that the fair rent should be fixed.6. both the courts below declined to go into the matter by reason of the decision of basheer ahmed sayeed, j., in c.r.p.nos. 2081 and 20820 951. therelevant passage in that judgment is as follows:the compromise has not been attacked by the tenant as being fraudulent, or as having been obtained under any misrepresentation. in the absence of any such allegation or proof thereof, the learned appellate judge is not entitled to go behind the compromise, which has been properly entered into and which is proved to have been signed by the parties affected and by their respective counsel.7. in other words, both the courts below refused to interfere.....
Judgment:

Ramaswami, J.

1. This is a Revision which has been filed against the order made by the learned Small Cause Judge, Madras, in H.R.A. No. 364 of 1955, confirming, the order made by the Rent Controller, Madras, in H.R.C. No. 1004 of 1955.

2. W.P. Chetty is the owner of premises No. 65, Thambu Chetty Street, G. T., Madras. The tenant is P.R. Subbier who is running a small press for printing, All India Racing News. In other words, the building is being used for a non-residential purpose. It is stated that the rent which was being paid was in the region of Rs. 90 per month.

3. In these circumstances the tenant committed default in the payment of rent, which entitled the landlord to get him evicted. The landlord therefore came to Court with an application for eviction of this tenant.

4. On this Petition being filed, the parties began to negotiate with each other in regard to the tenant being allowed to continue in the premises and a rent more appropriate to the times being paid by the tenant to the landlord. It is stated that the parties were represented also by counsel. As a result of the negotiations between the parties they came to an understanding that the tenant need not i e turned out and that he may be continued and that the rent may be fixed at Rs. 150 per month as the reasonable rent prevailing in the neighbourhood for buildings of similar description. On the parties coming to this free and voluntary arrangement, naturally the eviction petition was withdrawn.

5. But unfortunately the tenant has been ill-advised to rush to Court saying that the rent of Rs. 150 per month which had been fixed is not a fair rent and that the fair rent should be fixed.

6. Both the Courts below declined to go into the matter by reason of the decision of Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J., in C.R.P.Nos. 2081 and 20820 951. Therelevant passage in that judgment is as follows:

The compromise has not been attacked by the tenant as being fraudulent, or as having been obtained under any misrepresentation. In the absence of any such allegation or proof thereof, the learned Appellate Judge is not entitled to go behind the compromise, which has been properly entered into and which is proved to have been signed by the parties affected and by their respective counsel.

7. In other words, both the Courts below refused to interfere with the rent which had been fixed by agreement of parties as a fair and reasonable one under the circumstances, though the reason given by them was that they followed the decision of Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J.

8. In this Revision I am of opinion that the rent of Rs. 150 which had been fixed is one which cannot be interfered with at all for the following reasons. On account of searcity of houses, residential as well as non-residential, there has been a feeling that the landlords were making the tenants to pay abnormal rents. Therefore a machinery has been provided by the legislature for fixing the fair rent on invitation by the parties. But this does not mean that the parties are not at all free to arrange between themselves as to what the fair and reasonable rent should be. Now there are several methods of fixing that fair rent. It may be based upon the Municipal valuation, accommodation provided, uninterrupted past payments without protest, the rents commanded by properties of similar discription in the vicinity, by the amenities provided and by a hundred and one other reasons incidental to each case. Perhaps the most satisfactory way of fixing a fair rent and resonable rent is for the parties to negotiate between themselves and arrive at a result satisfactory to themselves. After all it is the tenant and landlord who know where the shoe pinches ; if they are able to bring about freely negotiated settlement, of fair rent, I do not see any reason why any Rent Controller should refuse to accept it as a fair and reasonable rent. The Rent Controller cannot be wiser than the parties themselves. He can only interfere if it is found that the compromise has not been freely arrived at and there has been overreaching of one party by the other. That is what Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J., has stated in his order, viz., that the compromise in that case was not one which can be attacked in any one of the ways by which a valid compromise can be impeached.

9. In the present case there is no dispute that the compromise has been freely arrived at and it was as a result of certain advantages got by the tenant and as a compensation to the landlord for certain disadvantages which had accrued to him. On that day the landlord could have certainly evicted this tenant. It was to the tenant's great advantage to continue in the building. On account of that advantage he was prepared to pay what he considered to be a fair rent. Once that settlement has been freely arrived at, it will be obviously wrong for the Court to go behind it and assume jurisdiction, investigate the matter afresh and come to its own conclusion once again. That is what the Courts below have done by stating that they had no jurisdiction to enquire into the matter, though their orders have not been properly worded.

10. The inartistic wording of the orders does not mean that the Revisional Court should interfere. The revisional jurisdiction is paternal and supervisory in its nature. This Court will,not interfere in order to promote miscarriage 'of justice. Oft the other hand, even if there are technical errors, if the Revisional Court finds that the right thing has been done, itwill not interfere in revision. A revision-should not be an engine of oppression but should be the means of correcting judicial errors and promoting carriage of justice.

11. Therefore, looked at from any point of view, this revision has got to be dismissed and is hereby dismissed. No costs.

12. I may note that Mr. Mathrubhutham, the learned Counsel for the Respondent, states that he would consider this rent of Rs. 150 as a fair rent for these premises.


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