Govinda Menon, J.
1. Both the lower courts have held that during the pendency of an appeal against an order made by the Rent Controller for eviction as a result of non-payment of rent the appellate authority has no power to condone the non-payment by acceptance of rent. The proviso added to Section 7, Sub-section (2) of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act states that when an application for eviction is made on the ground of the tenant's default to pay rent in time, if the Controller is satisfied that the default to pay rent was not wilful, the Controller may give the tenant a reasonable time not exceeding 15 days to pay or tender the rent due by him to the landlord upto the date of such payment or tender. This shows that the Controller has got to explain for the non-payment of rent and thereby condone the temporary default on the part of the tenant. If such, condonation is made, then, the application by the landlord will be dismissed.
2. Mr. K. Raman relies upon Section 7 (A) introduced by Madras Act, VIII of 1951 for thecontention that this power vested in the Controller can be exercised also by the appellatecourt in an appeal from the order of evictionmade by the Controller. Thus, his argumentis to the effect that even after an order foreviction has been made by the Controller fornon-payment of rent, if the tenant is able tosatisfy the appellate court that the non-paymentwas not due to any wilful neglect on hispart, it is open to the appellate Court to condone the default and allow the tenant to paythe rent. For this purpose, he relies upon thedecision -- 'Satyanarayana v. Venkatarattamma', : AIR1951Mad1044 . The facts of thiscase are somewhat similar to what we have toconsider here and the question which was considered by the learned Chief Justice and Somasundaram J. was whether under the circumstances of that case, Section 20 of the Act appliedand the learned Judges came to the conclusionthat Section 20 applied. If Section 20 applied, it may besaid that, during the pendency of the appeal, theorder for eviction cannot be deemed to be final.It is common ground that an appeal is a continuation of the proceedings in the court of firstI instance and I am of opinion that the provisocan be made applicable to the facts of thepresent case. I therefore set aside the order ofthe lower Court and direct that the default fornon-payment of rent be condoned. There willbe no order as to costs.