1. The tenant is the petitioner herein. The respondent landlord filed an application for eviction against the petitioner on three grounds (1) wilful default in payment of the rent, (2) use of the premises for a purpose other than that for which it had been led and (3) requirement of the building by the respondent bona fide for his own occupation. The petition was resisted by the petitioner contending that there has been no wilful default in payment of the rents, that the building has not been put to a different use and that the requirement of the respondent-landlord for his own occupation was not at all bona fide. The Rent Controller held that the alleged wilful default has not been made out and that the premises also has not been used for a different purpose by the petitioner. On the question of owner's occupation the respondent has referred in his eviction petition to Section 10(3)(a)(i) but the evidence adduced on his behalf was to the effect that his family has been in occupation of a room in the premises in question, that the room is found to be quite insufficient for the occupation of the family and that therefore he requires the premises for additional accommodation under Section 10(3)(c) of Madras Act 18 of 1960. Dealing with this question the Rent Controller said:
'Admittedly the petitioner's family is occupying a part of the house now and if the petitioner wants additional accommodation for residential purposes he could as well do so. But it has no been done in the instant case. So the petition on this ground (for additional accommodation under Section 10(3)(c)) may not be maintainable.'
2. The respondent-landlord appealed against the order of the Rent Controller refusing to pass an order for eviction and in that appeal he filed an application for amendment of his petition seeking to give the correct provision of law, that is Section 10(3)(c) instead of Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Act and ad a new para in his petition for eviction. This application for amendment filed at the appellate stage was resisted by the petitioner and the appellate authority allowed the amendment sought for by the respondent. According to the appellate authority the respondent has made all the necessary allegation in his petition for eviction for the application of Section 10(3)(c) of the Act, but that unfortunately he has quoted the wrong provision of law in his petition, and that in order to determine the real controversy between the parties and to avoid multiplicity of proceedings it was just and necessary that the petition for amendment should be allowed. As against the said order allowing the petition for amendment the petitioner went in revision before the revisional court and it has confirmed the order allowing the amendment sought for by the respondent. It is against that order of the revisional authority this revision has been filed.
3. On behalf of the petitioner it is contended that the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code cannot be applied to the proceedings for eviction before the authorities constituted under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, and as such they have no jurisdiction to permit the amendment of pleadings. Reference has been made to the following decisions. In Abdul Khadir Madjidar v. A. K. Murthy : (1947)2MLJ482 the question arose whether the Rent Controller had jurisdiction to set aside an ex parte decree. A Division Bench of this court held that the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code not having been made applicable to the proceedings under the Rent Control Act, the application to set aside an ex parte decree was not maintainable. In Rayala Corpn., Madras v. Syed Bawkar and Co. : AIR1957Mad385 another Division Bench had observed that the Rent Controllers are not courts, and that therefore the proceedings before them are not governed by the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. In Fernandes v. Ranganayakulu Chetti : AIR1953Mad236 Ramswami, J. has expressed the view that the Civil P. C. was not intended to be generally applicable to proceedings under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, and that the provisions of Order 47, Rule 1, Civil P.C. are not applicable when a revision petition filed under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act has been dismissed. In a recent decision of Kailasam, J. in Seethalakshmi Ammal v. Rajammal, (1964) 77 MLW 611 it was expressed that the Rent Controller is not a Civil Court and the Civil P.C. is not applicable to the Rent Control Court and that therefore he had no power to appoint a Commissioner for the purpose of determining the fair rent. To the same effect was she decision of Natesan, J. in Chennakesavalu v. Mansukhlal 1966 1 MLJ 300. In a very recent decision rendered by Raghavan, J. in C.R.P. No 2152 of 1968 (Mad) Ethirajalu Chetti v. Lakshmikantammal, it has been held that an application for impleading a person as a party under Order 1, Rule 10, Civil P.C. will not lie in proceeding initiated before the Rent Controller for eviction of a tenant. Relying on the above decision the petitioner contends that the appellate authority has no power to allow the amendment of the petition at the appellate stage, while an application for amendment of the petition under O. 6, R. 17 Civil P.C. will not lie even before the Rent Controller.
4. The learned counsel for the respondent however relies on the decision in Komaraswami Goundan In re : AIR1951Mad766 wherein it was held that a quasi-judicial Tribunal like the Rent Controller or the appellate Tribunal had an inherent power to set right mistakes in the pleadings so long as the amendment does not amount to a review of the adjudication already made. In Raman Nair v. Govindasami Naidu 1963 2 MLJ 19 it has been expressed:--
'The duty to be performed by the Rent Controller is a quasi-judicia) one; that is to say, he has to adjudicate the rights of parties in the matters entrusted to him and that therefore he had jurisdiction to reopen a case and receive additional evidence let in by the landlord though the arguments were concluded and the case was closed so long as he has not given a judgment in the case'.
Reference is also made to a decision of Anantanaryanan. C. J. in South India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Lakshmi : (1967)ILLJ801Mad . In that case while considering the power of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to receive additional written statement, it was held that though under the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal Rules only certain provisions of the Civil P.C. are made applicable to proceedings before the Claims Tribunal, nevertheless the Tribunal is not divested of an inherent power to permit such other procedures as are rendered imperative by the principles of natural justice and that the principles of Section 151 have an intrinsic application to all judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals, though the section itself may not apply.
5. In this case the main question to be decided is whether the appellate authority had jurisdiction to direct the amendment of the petition for eviction. In this case the respondent sought an eviction under Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Act in his petition for owner's occupation, though he adduced evidence as to his requirement for additional accommodation. He did not seek to have the petition amended before the Rent Controller before he adduced evidence in relation to this requirement for additional accommodation. He sought the amendment only at the appellate stage. The decision in : AIR1951Mad766 which held that a quasi-judicial Tribunal like the Rent Controller or the appellate Tribunal had inherent power to set right mistakes made inadvertently in a petition for eviction has stated clearly that such amendment cannot be sought for by way of review of the adjudication already made. I therefore feel that the appellate authority in this case is not justified in allowing the amendment at the appellate stage more or less permitting the respondent to seek a review of the judgment rendered by the Rent Controller. The only question that was involved in the appeal filed against the Rent Controller's order was whether the order of the Rent Controller is correct on the basis of pleadings and evidence before him. What the respondent wants to do is to have the petition for eviction amended and to test the correctness of the judgment of the Rent Controller on the basis such an amendment. This clearly amounts to seeking a review of the adjudication already made by the Rent Controller. I am of the view that the preponderance of judicial opinion is that the Civil P.C. as such will not apply to the proceedings before the authorities constituted under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act ant that Order 6, Rule 17 cannot be invoked by them.
6. Even assuming that the Rent Controller or the appellate authority had an inherent power to set right mistakes committed by inadvertence in a petition for eviction, the respondent in this case is not entitled to have the amendment sought for by him. The respondent has taken a chance of a decision in his favour before the Rent Controller and therefore he cannot seek an amendment of the petition after the Rent Controller has pointed out the mistake in now seeking eviction on the ground of additional accommodation. Further, no hardship will be caused to be respondent by the refusal of the amendment for he can always maintain another petition for eviction on the ground of additional accommodation. I therefore set aside the orders of the courts below holding that the amendment sought for is merely a rectification of the mistake due to inadvertence. The civil revision petition is, therefore, allowed. There will be no order as to costs.
7. Petition allowed.