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M. Kandaswamy Vs. Sowrirajan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1981)1MLJ14
AppellantM. Kandaswamy
RespondentSowrirajan
Cases ReferredMahalinga Voikkaran v. P. R. S. Seethammal
Excerpt:
.....failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it and hence, this court during the pendency of the civil revision petition can not only take note of the subsequent payment of rent made and also hold that such a payment made pending disposal of the civil revision petition would tantamount to remittance of rent within the time fixed by the authority. he also contends that failure to grant further time had res-suited in gross prejudice to the tenant resulting in. cannot be taken into account for finding out whether there has been a failure to pay rent on time or not. ganesan is that it was only the inability of the tenant which prevented him from paying the value of the restricted claim of 30 kalams and therefore, the conclusion that there was no bona fide in requesting for further time..........failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it and hence, this court during the pendency of the civil revision petition can not only take note of the subsequent payment of rent made and also hold that such a payment made pending disposal of the civil revision petition would tantamount to remittance of rent within the time fixed by the authority. he also contends that failure to grant further time had res-suited in gross prejudice to the tenant resulting in. eviction and hence the order of eviction is unsound and unsustainable in law. he also relies upon the decision of this court rendered in mahalinga voikkaran v. p.r.s. sellathammal (1972) 85 lw 376 to contend that a civil revision petition is a continuation of the petition filed under act xxv of 1955 and therefore, this court has.....
Judgment:

T. Sathiadev, J.

1. This revision petition is filed under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code, and under Section 6(b) of Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act XXV of 1955 against the order passed by the Special Deputy Collector and Presiding Officer of Tiruvarur in P. No. 138 of 1979 on 5th December, 1979. The tenant is the petitioner herein against whom a petition was filed under Section 3(4) (a) of Act XXV of 1955 for evicting him for non-payment of lease rent for Fasli 1388. The Authority held that this is a case where 'the tenant (intended) to drag the matter wilfully and there is no bonafide reason to grant any further time 'and hence it is ordered the tenant to be evicted since he has not paid the lease rent in-spite of opportunities given Mr. Ganesan, counsel for the petitioner, contends that the refusal to grant further time beyond the two adjournments given earlier, being unreasonable, the Authority had failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it and hence, this Court during the pendency of the Civil Revision Petition can not only take note of the subsequent payment of rent made and also hold that such a payment made pending disposal of the Civil Revision Petition would tantamount to remittance of rent within the time fixed by the Authority. He also contends that failure to grant further time had res-suited in gross prejudice to the tenant resulting in. eviction and hence the order of eviction is unsound and unsustainable in law. He also relies upon the decision of this Court rendered in Mahalinga Voikkaran v. P.R.S. Sellathammal (1972) 85 LW 376 to contend that a Civil Revision Petition is a continuation of the petition filed under Act XXV of 1955 and therefore, this Court has ample jurisdiction to give an opportunity to the tenant to pay the arrears during the pendency of the Civil Revision Petition and if such a payment is made, it would be sufficient compliance of the provisions of the Act and it would in turn result in setting aside the order of eviction.

2. Mr. Raman, counsel for the respondent/landlord in turn relies upon the decision rendered in Sivasankara Devarayar v. (Minor) Prakash by Guardian (1979) TLNJ 290 wherein, it has been stated that where a revision can be considered as a continuation of the proceedings under Act XXV of 1955 initiated before the Revenue Court is an aspect on which there is still a grave doubt, and that there has been a compliance of the orders passed during the pendency of the Civil Revision Petition. cannot be taken into account for finding out whether there has been a failure to pay rent on time or not. The compliance of interim order pending disposal of the Civil Revision Petition is no ground to hold that the order of the Revenue Court has been complied.

3. In this case, the preliminary order was passed on 29th October, 1979, directing the tenant to deposit a sum of Rs. 692.70 together with costs of Rs. 40 on or before 21st November, 1979. The tenant had earlier filed a vakalat through counsel on 16th August, 1979; but no enquiry could be conducted till 22nd October, 1979, and it is only thereafter, by mutual consent of the landlord and the tenant, the claim of 61 kalams was restricted to only thirty kalams for Fasli 1388. The tenant agreed to pay the value of this quantity and accordingly, an order was passed granting time till 21st November, 1979, for payment of the amount. On 21st November, 1979, the tenant paid only Rs. 150 and asked for further time of two months. But this was objected to by the landlord by stating that the properties are being distrained for arrears of Land Revenue and therefore a longer time cannot be granted. This resulted in the Revenue Court fixing 5th December, 1979, as a date by which the balance of the amount was to be paid. Again on 5th December, 1979, the tenant paid only Rs. 50 and pleaded for further extension of time. On this date, the landlord stated that already his movables have been distrained and that he had no money to pay even the public demands. It is in this background, the Revenue Court came to the conclusion that the tenant wanted to drag the matter wilfully and there is no bona fide reason to grant any further time.

4. The contention of Mr. Ganesan is that it was only the inability of the tenant which prevented him from paying the value of the restricted claim of 30 kalams and therefore, the conclusion that there was no bona fide in requesting for further time being erroneous, the Revenue Court has failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it.

5. No doubt this Court in Mahalinga Voikkaran v. P. R. S. Seethammal (1972) 85 L W 376 has held that this Court while exercising powers under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code, has ample powers to give relief to parties and when (such wide powers are exercised, this Court can also enable a tenant to pay the arrears of rent which, he had failed to pay by the time fixed by the Revenue Court. The learned Judge has held that it depends upon the proper circumstances made out for such a relief to be granted in the Civil Revision Petition. It cannot be denied that the Revenue Court has the jurisdiction, taking into account the circumstances of the case to give such time as may be required for a tenant to pay the rent. Equally, he has jurisdiction to decide as to whether the tenant was resorting to protraction of the proceedings and his failure to payment, is bonafide or not.

6. In this case, when the Revenue Court had taken note of the landlord agreeing for one half of the amount to be remitted, and who had appraised the Court of his properties being distrained for non-payment of the land revenue and on the second occasion reporting to the Revenue Court of his movables having been already distrained, it cannot still be held that the Revenue Court had failed to exercise its jurisdiction in holding that the tenant had wilfully avoided paying the rent knowing the circumstances in which the landlord is placed and therefore, the request made by him for further adjournment is not bona fide. When a Revenue Court thus takes into account the relevant circumstances and also exercises jurisdiction reasonably after granting such adjournments as are necessary for part payments to be made, and when it comes to the ultimate conclusion, that inspite of the indulgence shown, the tenant is wilfully avoiding payment of rent, it cannot in any sense he hold that it had failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in its under Act XXV of 1955. It is not for this Court to go into the question of finding out whether the subsequent payment made during the pendency of the Civil Revision Petition, would by itself show that the Revenue Court had either wrongly exercised its jurisdiction or failed to exercise its jurisdiction. Subsequent payments, cannot be taken into account for holding as to what had been committed by the time the order was passed by the Revenue Court. In this case, on the day when the order was passed, there were justifiable circumstances for the Revenue Court to hold that the tenant is the person who has wilfully avoided payment and he had not only dragged on the matter but he had not also given any bona fide reason for grant of any further time. In this view, this Civil Revision Petition stands dismissed. No costs.


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