1. The petitioner is a landlord who filed four suits for ejecting four tenants from huts built on a piece of vacant land in Washer, manpet. The tenants pleaded that they were entitled to protection under City Tenants Protection Act within one mouth of service of notice of the suit, filed petitions under Section 9, City Tenants Protection Act for an order that the landlord be directed to sell the laud to them for a price to be fixed by the Court in accordance with that section. The suits were dismissed as three months notice was not given under Section 11 of the Act upholding the contentions of the tenants that they were entitled to protection. At the time the suits were dismissed, the petitions of the tenants under Section 9 were pending. It was contended on behalf of the landlord that these petitions should have been merely dismissed as no order for ejectment had in fact been passed. The Registrar of the Small Causes Court has rightly in my opinion repelled this contention and held that notwithstanding the dismissal of the ejectment suits these petitions under Section 9 should be enquired into and disposed of. Only one revision petition has been filed by the landlord against one tenant, apprently as a sort of test case.
2. The same argument which failed to prevail with the lower Court is advanced before me, namely, that on a construction of Section 3 of the Act read with Section 9, a tenant is only entitled to compensation on ejectment and that no decree for ejectment having been passed, the tenants' petitions under Section 9 do not legally arise for determination. According to Section 8 every tenant shall on ejectment be entitled to be paid as compensation, the value of any building which might have been erected by him etc. Section 9 (1) is as follows:
' Any tenant who is entitled to compensation under Section 3 against whom a suit in ejectment has been instituted . . . may within one month alter the service on him of the summons apply to the Court for an order that the landlord shall be directed to sell the land for a price to be fixed by the Court, etc.'
Section 9, City Tenants Protection Act gives no right to a tenant to apply to the Court for an order directing the landlord to sell the land to him under the provisions of that section until the landlord files a suit in ejectment against him. There are two conditions prescribed to entitle a tenant to make such an application: (1) He must be entitled to compensation under Section 3 and (2) a suit in ejectment must be filed against him. The contention advanced before me is based on Section 3 which entitles thetenant to 'compensation on ejectment'. It is argued that until an ejectment decree has been passed no claim to compensation arises. Thisconstruction taken to its logical conclusion read with Section 9 would make it impossible for any tenant to make any application at all under Section 9 unless there has been an ejectment decree passed against him; whereas Section 9 clearly lays down that a tenant is entitled to file a petition under Section 9 if he is entitled to compensation and if a suit in ejectment has been instituted prescribing a period of one month from service of notice of such suit within which these petitions must be filed. The learned advocate for the landlord urges that the petitions filed under Section 9 should be dismissed with an order that no further orders are necessary in view of the dismissal of the ejectment suits. I am wholly unable to agree and as I read the two sections 3 and 9, the tenant's right to file a petition under Section 9 accrues on his being served with notice of a suit in ejectent nor can that right be taken away by the dismissal of the ejectment suit. I am unable to follow the learned advocate's arguments that with the dismissal of the ejectment suit the parties shall be merely restored to the position they occupied before the ejectment suits were filed. The statute gives the tenant a specific right under Section 9 (1), and it is incumbent on the Court to dispose of his petition under Section 9 quite apart from the manner in which the ejectment suits have been terminated. I agree with the view taken by the teamed Registrar and dismiss this petition with costs.