S. Nainar Sundaram, J.
1. Though submissions were made in the interim applications, practically they covered the controversy in the main writ petition which comes up for admission after notices of motion. Hence both Mr. V.P. Raman, learned Counsel for the petitioner and Mr. N.C. Raghavachari, learned Counsel for the second respondent, wanted to have their submissions treated as submissions in the main writ petition itself. The prayer in the writ petition runs in the following terms:
For the reasons stated in the accompanying affidavit, the petitioner herein prays that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to issue a Writ of Mandamus or other appropriate writ order or direction forbearing the first respondent herein from granting any renewal to the 2nd respondent of licence to locate and run the cinema theatre in the petitioner's premises Rajakumari Theatre at Thiagaraya Road, Madras-17....
2. The petitioner claims that she is the owner of the theatre. The second respondent is stated to be the mortgagee in possession. There is a thick controversy as to whether the second respondent is in lawful possession of the theatre in question. The licensee of the theatre is none else than the husband of the second respondent. I do not propose to express any opinion and I do not think it is proper also for the Court to express any opinion on the question of lawful possession, in writ jurisdiction. In this connection, I must advert to the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in M.C. Chockalingam v. V. Manickavasagam : 2SCR143 which has not approved the High Court under Article 228 of the Constitution taking upon itself the investigation as to the legality of possession of the site in the hands of the applicant for renewal of licence. Before the Supreme Court, the following observations of the Bench pf this Court in C. Bhavarlal v. Mallay Gounder : (1970)1MLJ236 were referred to:
The jurisdiction to grant or refuse renewal of a licence is entrusted to the licensing authority which is not the Court. The nature of the jurisdiction so entrusted is clearly for the licensing authority to see whether on the documentary evidence produced, he is satisfied that the applicant was in lawful possession of the site. In exercise of his jurisdiction the licensing authority looks into the matter prima facie and for the purpose of his being satisfied whether be, the applicant is in lawful possession. He is not called upon to decide the issue finally between the parties as in a suit. This aspect of the matter should be kept in view when it comes up in the form of a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. In exercise of this power this Court will not in that background, take upon itself to investigate as to the legality of possession of the site in the hands of the applicant. All that can be looked into by this Court, as we are inclined to think, is whether the licensing authority has applied his mind to the documentary evidence produced before him and weighed it with a view to satisfy himself as to the legality. Short of caprice, arbitrariness or mala fides the licensing authority would more than have done his duty if he had gone through that process. If this Court is satisfied about it, it will not further go into the rival position in regard to the legality of possession of the site which will not necessarily be the final pronouncement between the parties but leave the issue to be tried as between them in a suit in the appropriate civil Court.
3. Furthermore, I am told that the licensee, the husband of the second respondent, has applied for renewal on 20.9.1985 and the first respondent is already seized of the matter. Mr. V.P. Raman, learned Counsel for the petitioner, would submit that his client has been objecting to the grant of the renewal even anterior to the filing of the application for renewal as stated above. Whatever that be, since the first respondent is now seized of the matter, the question of legality of possession can as well be gone into and adjudicated upon by him under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1955 and the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1957. The first respondent is directed to proceed, deal with and dispose of the matter in accordance with the provisions of the said Act and the said Rules. This writ petition is ordered in the above terms. No costs.