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Dr. M.R.S. Vas Vs. the Commissioner of Land Revenue, Madras and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. No. 3169 of 1976 and W.M.P. Nos. 6952 to 6954 and 6975 of 1977
Judge
Reported inAIR1978Mad126
ActsTamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules 1957 - Rule 13; Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 - Sections 2(2) and 30; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantDr. M.R.S. Vas
RespondentThe Commissioner of Land Revenue, Madras and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK.K. Venugopal, Adv. for ;V. Manivannan and ;M. Krishnappan, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateGovt. Pleader, ;V.K. Thiruvenkatachari, ;S. Ramalingam, ;P. Chidambaram and ;N. Thiagarajan, Advs.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredUttamchand v. Lalwani
Excerpt:
tamil nadu cinema (regulation), rules 1957, rule 13 and tamil nadu buildings (lease and rent control) act (xviii of 1960) section, 30(iii) - lease of theatre with equipment for specified period - lease expiring - nature of lease and nature of possession of lessee thereafter - indicated - composite lease outside purview of act xviii of 1960 - possession of lessee after period of lease not lawful as required under rule 13 of the rules;the writ petitioner by document, dated 10th july, 1965, leased to the 3rd respondent the property described in the schedule to the document as a running concern for a period of ten years ending with 30th september, 1975, for a sum of rs. 1,500 per month of which rs. 600 represented the rental for the theatre building, and rs. 900 represented the hire charges.....1. this writ petition is by the owner of 'ramakrishna talkies' situate in tennur high boad, tiruchirapalli, for the issue of a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate order or direction calling for the records relating to the orders of the commissioner of land revenue, prohibition and excise, board of revenue, madras, the first respondent herein, and quash the same. the writ miscellaneous petitions are to bring on record the legal representatives of the deceased 3rd respondent as respondents 4 to 7 and to appoint the 4th respondent as the guardian of the minor respondents 5 to 7 and for an injunction restraining the second respondent from further renewing the licence in the name of the 3rd respondent's legal representatives or any other person and to substitute respondents 4 to 7 in.....
Judgment:
1. This writ petition is by the owner of 'Ramakrishna Talkies' situate in Tennur High Boad, Tiruchirapalli, for the issue of a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate order or direction calling for the records relating to the orders of the Commissioner of Land Revenue, Prohibition and Excise, Board of Revenue, Madras, the first respondent herein, and quash the same. The writ miscellaneous petitions are to bring on record the legal representatives of the deceased 3rd respondent as respondents 4 to 7 and to appoint the 4th respondent as the guardian of the minor respondents 5 to 7 and for an injunction restraining the second respondent from further renewing the licence in the name of the 3rd respondent's legal representatives or any other person and to substitute respondents 4 to 7 in the place of the 3rd respondent, respectively.

2. The first respondent's order BP. Rt. 3229/76-L dated 19-7-1976 was passed on the appeal filed by Krishnamurthi, the third respondent (now deceased) the temporary licencee of Ramakrishna Talkies, against the Collector's order refusing renewal of the C form licence for the cinema. The prior regular C form licence had been renewed upto 31-12-1974, and it stood in the name of Krishnamurthi, the deceased 3rd respondent. Further renewal of the C form licence was pending before the Collector for rectification of certain defects and the cinema had been running on temporary permits issued every month. The writ petitioner had constructed the Ramakrishna Talkies and in July 1935 the C form licence was issued in his favour under the Public Resorts Act II of 1888, as also the permit issued by the Electricity Department under the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules. Section 12(1) of the Cinematograph Act 1952, provides for the licensing authority granting the licence under Part III of the Act relating to regulation of exhibitions by means of cinematographs, if it is satisfied that the rules made under that part had been substantially complied with. Section 12(3) of the Act provides for an appeal to the State Government or to such officer as the State Government may specify in this behalf and the State Government or the officer, as the case may be, may make such order in the case as it or he thinks fit. Under Rule 13 of the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules 1957, if the applicant for the licence is the owner of the site, building and equipment, he shall produce the licensing authority the necessary records relating to his ownership and possession thereof, and it he is not the owner, he shall, to the satisfaction of the licensing authority, produce documentary evidence to show that he is in lawful possession of the site, building and equipment

3. The writ petitioner was running the cinema under the name and style of 'Ramakrishna Talkies' in his name from 1935 to 1945, and his brother was running the cinema with the licence standing in his name thereafter until about 1947. There is no dispute between the parties about the facts thus far referred to. Subsequently, the petitioner and the third respondent's father Ramasubramania Iyer entered into an agreement of lease dated 15-10-1947 in respect of the Ramakrishna Talkies for a period of five years from 1-4-1947. The lease deed dated 15-10-1947 has been produced before us. But objection was taken on behalf of the contesting respondents about that document being looked into by this court, on the ground that it has not formed part of the records either before the Collector or before the first respondent. Subsequent to that lease, there was a supplemental agreement between the petitioner and Ramasubramania Iyer for apportioning the rent of Rs. 1,200 per month into Rs. 600 representing the rental for the theatre building and Rs. 600 representing the hire charges for the furniture, fans, bulbs, fixtures, electrical fittings, stage materials and other equipment required for fulfilling the regulations and requirements of District Magistrate's Electrical Inspector's, Fire Brigade Officer's and Public Resort Act's licences needed for a pucca licensed theatre and also for the goodwill of the business as a going concern run under the name and style of 'Ramakrishna Talkies' covered by all the requisite licences. Thereafter, there was a further lease under toe document dated 10-7-1965 by the petitioner in favour of R. Krishnamurthi, the third respondent herein and the son of the previous lessee, of the same property described in the schedule to the document, as a running concern for a sum of Rs. 1,500 per mensem for a period of ten years ending with 30-9-1975. According to Clause 18 of that agreement out of the sum of Rupees 1,500, Rs. 600 represents the rental for the theatre building and Rs. 900 represents the hire charges for the furniture, fans, fittings and also for the goodwill of the business as a running cinema called 'Ramakrishna Talkies' fully covered by all the necessary licences. The affidavit filed in support of the writ petition discloses that at the request of Ramasubramania Iyer before the expiry of the lease on 30-9-1965, the petitioner had agreed for the transfer of the lease to his son Krishnamurthi, the third respondent and had also given the necessary consent letter for the transfer of the licences and certificates required in favour of Krishnamurthi and that after the expiry of that lease, the subsequent lease agreement dated 10-7-1965, referred to above, was entered into.

4. When the matter of the issue of a regular C form licence was pending before the Collector, after the expiry of the period of the last lease on 30-9-1975, the petitioner raised an objection for the renewal of the C form licence saying that the lease expired on 30-9-1975 and that it was of a composite nature not falling within the purview of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 18 of 1960, and that on the expiry of the lease, the lessee could not claim to be in lawful possession of the property and, therefore, the requirement of Rule 13 of the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules 1957, was not satisfied. Therefore, the question for consideration by the Collector, the licensing authority, was whether the lessee was in lawful possession as required by Rule 13 of the rules and he thought that the licencee cannot be considered to be in lawful possession unless the tenancy is either covered by the lease document or the tenant continues to be in occupation as a statutory tenant under the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960. The Collector found the point against Krishnamurthi, observing--

"It is clear beyond any doubt that the lease has been only of a running business as a cinema theatre and not of the building as such. Thus, Section 30(iii) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act directly applies to this case, where the object of the tenant was to run the business or industry and not to use the building as accommodation. In fact, the lessee took over a running cinema theatre and, as admitted by him, only the projector was changed. I am unable to accept the arguments of the lessee that the failure to mention the cinema projector by itself will take the lease outside the purview of Section 30(iii) of the Act ... .. The theatre was running even before the lessee took it over and the lease taken by him was of the entire business. Just because the projector was changed it does not detract from the nature of a composite lease ... .. I find no reason to doubt the fact that the lease was a composite one. It is also not covered under the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act and according to its amended Section 30(iii). As such, the lessee cannot establish lawful possession after the expiry of the lease as required under Rule 13 of the Cinema (Regulation) Rules and his application for renewal of the licence is therefore refused."

As already stated, the third respondent filed an appeal before the first respondent against the Collector's order and it was contended before the first respondent that the lease was not a composite one inasmuch as the projector and the loud-speakers, amplifiers and other cinema equipment had to be provided by the lessee himself. The first respondent accepted that contention and allowed bhe appeal end directed the Collector to issue the C form licence to the third respondent, observing--

"It has been admitted by the respondent that he has not provided, apart from the fire extinguishers and a cinema screen, any other machinery or equipment. These items are not enough to run the cinema. The essential equipment for running a cinema is the projector together with loud-speakers and amplifier. It is admitted by the respondent that these items have been provided by the appellant himself. In view of this, I cannot accept the argument that the lease is that of the running cinema. The mere mention of the word 'good-' will' in the lease does not make it the lease of a running concern... .. The counsel for the appellant has also cited the judgment of the Madras High Court in W. P. Nos. 1640 and 1641 of 1968 (Mad), (K. Kuppuswami Gounder v. The Board of Revenue) in the case of Am-bikai Talkies. Karur, Tiruchirapalli Dt., in which it has been held that if the equipment does not belong to the lessor the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 1960 will apply ... .. I, therefore, hold that the lease is purely that of the buildings and it is not a composite lease. As such the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act will be applicable in this case and therefore the lessee will become entitled to protection under the above Act. That being the case, it cannot be said that he was in illegal possession of the building after 30-9-1975."

The petitioner had sent a lawyer's notice dated 2-10-1975 to the Collector, as required by Section 80, Civil P. C, saying that the lease was of the building alone and not a composite lease. The first respondent had taken that circumstance also into consideration, though he had felt that it need not act as estoppel against the petitioner.

5. In the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition, the petitioner has stated thus in para. 3--

"It is necessary to state that until 31-10-1947, my theatre was equipped with a projector which included also the sound equipment. At the request of the lessee, I had consented to his replacing the single projector and the sound equipment with a double projector and sound equipment. This was the only equipment which he replaced, and all the other furnitures, fittings, machinery, equipment etc., which are required for running the cinema theatre, were all part of the lease."

There is no specific denial of this allegation in the counter affidavit filed in the writ petition. Therefore, it has to be taken that it is admitted that at the time of the original lease and until 31-10-1947, the theatre had been equipped with a single projector and sound equipment, that at the request of the lessee Rama-subramania Iyer, the petitioner consented to his replacing the single projector and the sound equipment with a double projector and sound equipment and that it was the only equipment which the lessee replaced, and all other furniture, fittings, machinery, equipment etc, required for the running of the cinema theatre, were all parts of the lease. It is necessary to state in this connection that it was conceded by the learned counsel for the petitioner that there is no reference to the projector and sound equipment in any of the leases in favour of Ramasubramania Iyer and the third respondent. But the fourth respondent has stated in the counter affidavit filed in the writ petition that admittedly the main cinema projector and sound equipment belonged to her. She has further contended that the lease of a cinema business without a projector and sound equipment would be meaningless, that a perusal of the lease deed would show that neither the talkie equipment nor the projector was included in the lease, and that in fact, the petitioner has admitted in the affidavit that the lessee has provided the projector which included sound equipment.

6. Section 105 of the T. P. Act, a Central enactment, governs leases of immoveable property. Transfer of property is in the Concurrent List forming Entry 6 in List 3 of Schedule VII. Therefore, the State can also legislate regarding leases. The Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 18 of 1960, was passed to amend and consolidate the law relating to letting of residential and non-residential buildings and the control of rents of such buildings and the prevention of unreasonable eviction of tenants therefrom in the State of Tamil Nadu. Section 2(2) of the Act defines a building as--

" 'building' means any building or hut or part of a building or hut, let or to be let separately for residential or non-residential purposes and includes--

(a) the garden, grounds and out-houses. if any, appurtenant to such building, hut or part of such building or hut and let or to be let along with such building or hut,

(b) any furniture supplied by the landlord for use in such building or hut or part of a building or hut, but does not include a room in a hotel or boarding house."

Clause (iii) of Section 30, which has been introduced by the Tamil Nadu Act 23 of 1973 and which came into force with effect from 30-6-1973, says that nothing contained in the Act shall apply to--

"any lease of a building under which the object of the tenant is to run the business or industry with the fixtures, machinery, furniture or other articles belonging to the landlord and situated in such building."

Illustration (2) to this Sub-section sets out that--

"Where the lease is of land and building together with fixtures, fittings, cinematograph talkie equipments, machinery and other articles, the Act does not apply to such building." The learned counsel for the contesting respondents submitted that what does not fall within Clause (iii) of Section 30 and Illustration (2) to that section would fall within the ambit of the enactment. We are unable to accept this argument. We find the following passage in Lucy v. W. T. Henleys Telegraph Works Co. Ltd., 1969-3 All ER 456 at p. 464--

"The contents of the 'Report of the Committee on Limitation of Actions in cases of Personal injury' cannot, under our present law, be adverted to in construing the Act which followed it within less than a year."

The Supreme Court has observed in Dwarka Prasad v. Dwarka Das Saraf, that--

"It is settled rule of construction that a proviso must prima facie be read and considered in relation to the principal matter to which it is a proviso. It is not a separate or independent enactment ... .. To expand the enacting clause, inflated by the proviso, runs against the fundamental rules of construction that a proviso must be considered in relation to the principal matter to which it stands as a proviso."

We are, therefore, of the opinion that the question whether the lease is protected by the Act or not will have to be decided with reference to the main provisions of the Act itself and not with reference to Section 30 and the Illustration thereto, which are In the nature of provisos.

V. If the lease is governed by the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 1960, the third respondent's legal representatives associated with the business carried on in the building would also be tenants within the meaning of Section 2(8) of the Act, for, the definition of a 'tenant' in Section 2(8) of the Act, both before and after its amendment by the Tamil Nadu Act 23 of 1973, includes any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for the building, and also the surviving spouse, or any son or daughter or the legal representatives of a deceased tenant, who, in the Case of non-residential building, had been in continuous association with the tenant for the purpose of carrying on the business of the tenants upto the death of the tenant and continues to carry on such business thereafter. In J. C. Chatterjee v. S. K. Tandon, , it is observed (at p. 25281--"It is now settled that after the termination of the contractual tenancy the statutory tenant has only a personal right to continue in possession till evicted in accordance with the provisions of the Act. It is pointed out by this court in Anand Nivas Pvt. Ltd. v. Anandji Kal-yanji Pedhi, -- 'A person

remaining in occupation of the premises let to him after the determination of the expiry of the period of the tenancy is commonly though in law not accurately, called a 'statutory tenant'. Such a person is not a tenant at all; he has no estate or interest in the premises occupied by him. He has merely the protection of the status in that he cannot be turned out so long as he pays the standard rent and permitted increases, if any, and performs the other conditions of the tenancy. His right to remain in possession after the determination of the contractual tenancy is personal; it is not capable of being transferred or assigned, and devolves on his death only in the manner provided by the statute.' " These observations have been made with reference to the provisions of the Bombay Rents Hotel and Lodging House Rates (Control) Act, 1947. In Uttam-chand v. S. M. Lalwani, , which arose under the Madhya Fra-desh Accommodation Control Act 23 of 1955, the following observation of Jenkins L. J. In Levermore v. Jobey, 1958-2 All ER 362 has been extracted--

"For the purpose of construing the lease and in particular the tenant's covenant (11) it is permissible for the court, and indeed obligatory on the court, to pay regard to the surrounding circumstances with reference to which the lease was entered into, and in particular to look at the nature of the subject-matter of the letting".

Basing himself on that observation, Mr. B. R. L. Iyengar, who appeared for the appellant in that case, contended that in construing the nature of the lease the court must not lose sight of the fact that the lease in that case in terms purports to be of the Dal Mill building and that the machinery comes under the lease only incidentally as having been fixed in the said building. The Supreme Court has observed in that decision (at p. 719)--

"Mr. Iyengar has also relied on the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Venkayya v. Thainmanna Pada Ven-katasubbarao, AIR 1957 Andh Pra 619 at p. 626. Dealing with the question as to the nature of the lease with which the court was concerned in that case, Viswa-natha Sastri J. observed that there is an Immense variety of structures which could be styled buildings, and added--

'We are unable to accede to the proposition that every enclosure of brick, stone-work or mud walls covered in by a roof irrespective of the purpose for which it is used and let, is a building within the meaning of the Act.'

The learned Judge has also remarked that so to construe the Act would bring within its operation all factories and mills which are invariably located in buildings. The question in each case would be what is the dominant part of the demise and what is the purpose for which the building was constructed and let out ... .. Mr. Iyengar contends that in construing the lease before us, we must apply the test of the dominant intention of the parties. In our opinion, this contention is well-founded; and so, we must determine the character of the lease by asking ourselves as to what was the dominant intention of the parties in executing the document.

As we have already noticed, Section 3(a)(y)(3) takes within the definition of accommodation any building or part of a building, including any fittings affixed to such building or part of a building for the more beneficial enjoyment thereof. There can be no doubt that the fittings of the machinery in the present case cannot be said to be fittings which had been fixed for the more beneficial enjoyment of the building. The fittings to which Section 3(a)(y)(3) refers are obviously fittings made in the building to afford incidental amenities for the person occupying the buildings. That being so, it is clear that the fittings in question do not fall under Section 3(a)(y)(3). If the fittings in question had attracted the provisions of Section 3(a)(y)(3) there would have been no difficulty in holding that the lease is in respect of accommodation as defined by the said provision. What then was the dominant intention of the parties when they entered into the present transaction? We have already set out the material terms of the lease and it seems to us plain that the dominant intention of the appellant in accepting the lease from the respondent was to use the building as a Dal Mill ... ..The fact that the appellant contends that the machinery which was transferred to him under the lease was found to be not very serviceable and that he had to bring his own machinery, would not alter the character of the transaction ... .. The fixtures described in the schedule to the lease are in no sense intended for the more beneficial enjoyment of the building ... .. The fact that a mill situated in a building is not expressly exempted by Section 2(1) would hardly make any difference; because no lease can attract the provisions of the Act unless it is shown that it is in respect of accommodation as defined in Section 3(a) and that must inevitably take us to the question as to whether the present lease falls under Section 3(a)(y)(3). If the answer to this question is in the negative, it makes no difference at all, because if the lease is not in respect of accommodation, it is hardly necessary to enquire whether it has been exempted from the operation of The Supreme Court has observed in Dwarka Prasad v. Dwarka Das Saraff, , referred to above, thus (at pp. 1759-1762)--

"The building covered by the suit is admittedly one built and adapted for screening films. The plaintiff had been carrying on a cinema business in this theatre for a long number of years but, when he discontinued, the defendant approached him in January 1952, for the grant of a lease of the building with all the equipment and fittings and furniture necessary for his operating the cinema ... .. Therefore, once the lease for the entire building and cinema projector, accessories and the like was finalised, the deed of demise was actually executed ... .. The core of the controversy here is (a) whether the lease is of the building, the fittings and other fixtures merely making for the beneficial enjoyment of and ancillary to the building, as urged by the tenant; or whether the building provides a bare, though appropriately designed, enclosure to house an enterprise, the dominant purpose or real subject of the lease being the cinema, apparatus and fittings including subsidiarily and incidentally, though necessarily, the structure of brick and mortar; and (b) whether the cinema, to fall within the exclusionary clause added by the amending Act, must be actually a going concern with all the licences for showing films and running the theatre being in the name of the lessor ... .. Looking at the three problems posed, unaided by the many decisions cited by counsel, we are inclined to the view that a lease of an 'accommodation' must essentially be of a building -- not a business or industry together with the building in which it is situated ... .. where the lease is composite and has a plurality of purposes, the decisive test is the dominant purpose of the demise ... .. The law sought to rescue exploited tenants of buildings. If this be a sound reading of the mind of the legislature it is fair to hold that the protected category of accommodation was residential and non-residential buildings and not business houses ... .. In this statutory context, gardens, out-houses, furniture and fittings mean annexures for the better enjoy-ment of the building. In this sense, the dominant intention must be to lease the building qua building. If that be the intention, the rent control law protects. On the other hand, if a going undertaking such as a running or ready-to launch and fully equipped cinema house is covered by the provision, the emphasis is not so much on the building but on the business, actual or imminent. There is nothing in the present definition which helps this shift in accent." The terms of the lease deed in that case were these--

"We have taken a cinema hall known as Dwarka Prasad Theatre Hall ... .. for running a cinema ... .. on a monthly rent of Rs. 200 commencing from 25-3-1953."

On the same day the defendants in the suit executed another lease deed stating that they had taken the Dwarka Theatre hall on a rent of Rs. 200 per month and that in that building there were new furniture fitted for about 500 seats with ceiling and fittings of electric light and fans, complete machinery, ceiling fans and operating machines together with all articles present in the hall of the theatre, a list whereof had been duly signed by the executant and that they had taken that also on a monthly rent of Rs. 1,100 besides the rent of the building, The defendants stated in that lease deed that they had taken the building on rent to continue running a cinema. The Supreme Court has held that the lease sued on does not fall within the scope of the definition of 'accommodation' in the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act (3 of 1947).

8. The inventory taken as per Clause 15 of the lease deed dated 10-7-1965, in the present case shows that along with the building of Ramakrishna Talkies the petitioner had leased 91 wooden benches, 42 back benches, with iron stand, 50 teak-wood arm chairs, 40 iron chairs with back, one teakwood table with drawers, one teakwood telephone table, one wiring diagram plan, one set of framed cinematograph rules, one framed fire-fighting process, 'exit' and 'no exit' boards on doorways and windows, one seating capacity board, two framed Lakshmi and Saraswathi pictures, five fire extinguishers with refills with three spare refills for fire extinguishers, seven fire buckets, two iron stands for fire buckets in auditorium, seven ceiling fans with suspending pipes and separate regulators, one electric calling bell, two big ladders, one projection screen, two G. I. pipes required for the projection screen, one wooden frame border for projection screen, two big main switch boards and complete wiring system throughout the theatre with light points throughout the auditorium, exits, outside walls, cabin room, verandahs, waiting sheds, tea stalls, booking offices etc., and permanent serial lighting points in gable wall in front and in cabin room, verandahs and stair steps with blue cloth curtains for doorways and windows suspended from iron rods fixed to the doorways and windows and celotex fittings and two long benches and back benches. These articles are in no sense intended for the more beneficial enjoyment of the building and would be properly required only for the purpose of running the cinema. The fact that the income from the tea shop, pan shop and cycle stand are also covered by the lease, that the property leased has been described in the schedule to the lease deed as a running concern, that the monthly rental of Rs. 1,500 has been fixed representing Rs. 600 being the rental for the theatre building and Rs. 900 being the hire charges for the furniture and fittings and also for the goodwill of the business as a running concern bearing the name and style of Ramakrishna Talkies fully covered by all the necessary licences and that the lessee has to make his own arrangements to obtain the renewal of the licences every year for conducting shows, etc., and was bound to hand back the theatre after the lease period was over fully covered by all the necessary licences in favour of the lessor, so that shows can be conducted on the very day of the expiry of the lease in continuation, shows that what had been leased is not the mere Ramakrishna Talkies building but Bamakrishna Talkies business with the necessary licences and all the equipment except the small projector and the sound equipment which belonged to the lessor and by consent of the parties to the lease deed had been replaced by the lessee by a double projector and sound equipment. Great stress was laid by the learned counsel for the contesting respondents on the fact that the cinematograph projector and sound equipment used in the theatre since the date of commencement of the lease belonged to the lessee and not to the lessor and it was contended that it must be sufficient to hold that the lease was not of a running concern but only of a building. In view of the observations of the Supreme Court in Uttamchand v. Lalwani, , which we have underlined that the fact that the machinery which was transferred to the lessee under the lease was found to be not very serviceable and that he had to bring in his own machinery would not alter the nature of the transaction, we are of the opinion that the mere fact that the single projector and the sound equipment which the petitioner was using until the date of the lease in favour of Ramasubramania Iyer had not been leased but had been replaced by the double projector and sound equipment belonging to the lessee by consent of the parties to the lease would not alter the nature of the transaction in this case. The dominant purpose of the lease, as disclosed by the apportionment of the rental of Rs. 1,500 into Rs. 600 being the rental for the theatre building and Rs. 900 being the hire charges for furniture, fans, fittings and also for the goodwill of the business as a running concern, would also show that the lease was of the Bamakrishna Talkies as a running concern together with the building in which it was being run by the petitioner until the date of the lease and not of the mere building. Therefore, it would follow that the lease is a composite one and that it is not governed by the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960. The possession of the third respondent after the expiry of the lease on 30-9-1975 was not either under any subsisting contract of lease or under any lease coming within the purview of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. Therefore, the possession of the third respondent after 30-9-1975, was not lawful possession and consequently he had not satisfied the requirement of Rule 13 of the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules 1957, and he was not entitled to have the C form licence granted by the Collector for run-ning the cinema business in the building.

9. The learned counsel for the contesting respondents submitted that it is not for this court to interfere with the view of the first respondent on facts. The conclusion of the first respondent that the property leased is a building falling within the definition of 'building' in Section 2(2) of the Act and not one of a composite nature not governed by the provisions of that Act, was based on an erroneous view of the law, and his order directing the Collector to issue the C form licence to the deceased third respondent has exceeded his powers under the law. Where the Executive has exceeded its powers under the law or has abused such powers by exercising them for an ulterior purpose not sanctioned by the law, the action of the Executive can be interfered with by the court and to that extent the position of an executive body and that of a judicial or quasi-judicial body are not different (vide (1967) 69 Pun LR 377). We are, therefore, unable to agree with the learned counsel for the contesting respondents that it is not open for this court exercising powers under Article 226 of the Constitution to interfere with the view of the first respondent that the lease is of a building to which the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960, applies and not a composite lease which is not governed by the provisions of that Act. The order of the first respondent allowing the third respondent's appeal and directing the Collector to grant the C form licence to the third respondent cannot, therefore, be sustained in law and has to be set aside.

10. The petition is accordingly allowed with costs, payable by the contesting respondents. Advocate's fee Rs. 500. The first respondent's order is set aside and the order of the Collector of Tiruchirapalli refusing to grant the C form licence to the third respondent is restored.

11. The learned counsel for the petitioner and the contesting respondents had no objection to the legal representatives of the third respondent being brought on record and the question whether the fourth respondent was associated with the business carried on by the third respondent and was entitled to the licence may be left open for consideration by the authorities below in the event of the petitioner failing in his contention that the lease is a composite one and not governed by the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 1960, and that the third respondent is not entitled to have the C form licence renewed in his favour. W. M. P. Nos. 6952, 6953 and 6975 of 1976 are allowed and the relations of the third respondent are brought on record as his legal representatives as prayed for and the third respondent's name is directed to be removed from the cause title. W. M. P. No. 6954 of 1976 is dismissed as no longer necessary. There is no need to leave open the question whether the fourth respondent is associated with the third respondent in carrying on the business and is entitled to have the C form licence transfered in her favour, as the petitioner has succeeded in the writ petition. There will be no order as to costs in the writ miscellaneous petitions.


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