1. The petitioner is a tenant of premises No.8 Prasanna Vinayakar Koil St, Mylapore, which belongs to the third respondent Alamelu Ammal. The third respondent purchased the same from its previous owner on 1-6-1966. After purchasing the building she called upon the petitioner tenant to vacate the same alleging inter ilia that she purchased the premises for her own occupation and for the use of the married daughters. The tenant denied the bona fides of the claim of the landlady. The landlady followed up the demand by another notice and subsequently approached the Government by addressing a letter on 15-4-1967 and prayed for exempting the building from the provisions of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. The Government called for a report from the Accommodation Controller. The Accommodation Controller after making enquiry of persons including the petitioner, submitted a report stating that the request was not bona fide. Though this report was given by the Accommodation Controller, as early as 21-10-1967, the Government, after a lapse of more than two years, passed an order on 25-9-1969, exempting the building from the provisions of the Act giving the petitioner six months time to vacate. This petition is filed to quash the said order.
2. Mr. Manickavasagam appearing for the petitioner contended that the order of the Government is vitiated on account of the long interval between the date of the application made by the landlady and the date of the order. His submission is that subsequent to the application made by the landlady for exemption circumstances considerably changed and that the Government failed to take into consideration the change of circumstances at the time of passing of the impugned order. This contention is well-founded. One of the grounds upon which the third respondent wanted exemption was that the building was required for the occupation of her grandchildren who were said to be studying in Rosary Matriculation school, which is said to be near the building in question. Another ground mentioned was that the landlady's daughters were living in rented houses. It is the contention of the petitioner that the grand children ceased to study in that School at the time when the Government passed the exemption order and that at that time one of the married daughters of the landlady had moved into a house of her own in Anna Nagar and that therefore if the Government had taken the change in circumstances into consideration, there was no ground to exempt the building from the operation of the Act. This contention is tenable. A perusal of the file does not show as to the reason for the long delay of more than two years in passing the order after the Accommodation Controller submitted his report. The government merely referred in the impugned order to the request made by the landlady for exempting the building for the use of here grand-children and her married daughters. If the grounds alleged by the landlady had not existed at the time when the Government passed the order, there was no ground to exempt the building. One of the objects of the Act is to prevent unreasonable eviction. In dealing with a request for exemption of any building from the application to the Act, it is incumbent upon the Government to consider whether the power should be exercised for the purpose of the implementation of the policy underlying the Act--Pannalal Jagannath Prasad Gupta v. State of Madras, : (1963)1MLJ415 ; see also the observation of the Supreme Court in P. J. Irani v. State of Madras : 2SCR169 .
3. The facts of this case show that at the time when the Government passed the impugned order, they failed to examine the question whether the same state of affairs continued to exist as was obtaining at the time when the landlady applied for exemption overlooking the fact that the order was being passed after a lapse of nearly two years and five months. In this view the impugned order is unsustainable and it is hereby quashed without prejudice to the landlady to convince the Government that even now circumstances exist justifying exemption. There will be no order as to costs.
4. Petition allowed.