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The State of Madras, Represented by the Accommodation Controller Vs. S. Natwarlal Davey - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1960)2MLJ384
AppellantThe State of Madras, Represented by the Accommodation Controller
RespondentS. Natwarlal Davey
Excerpt:
- - 1. though the application for fixation of fair rent was disposed of on the lacts and this court cannot interfere with the finding arrived at by the learned judge regarding the quantum of fair rent, the learned government pleader has raised several interesting questions of law turning on the interpretation of section 3(5) of the madras buildings (lease and rent control) act of 1949. his contention, if i understood him right, was that in the case of buildings taken over by the state under section 3 ol the act, there cannot be at any time any application for the fixation of fair rent. i am clearly ot opinion that this is not a correct interpretation of section 3(5) read with the first proviso......court cannot interfere with the finding arrived at by the learned judge regarding the quantum of fair rent, the learned government pleader has raised several interesting questions of law turning on the interpretation of section 3(5) of the madras buildings (lease and rent control) act of 1949. his contention, if i understood him right, was that in the case of buildings taken over by the state under section 3 ol the act, there cannot be at any time any application for the fixation of fair rent. section 3(5) inter alia says that if the building is required for any of the purposes specified m sub-section (3) the landlord shall deliver possession of the building to the authorised officer and the state government shall be deemed to be tenant of the landlord from the date on which the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.V. Rajamannar, C.J.

1. Though the application for fixation of fair rent was disposed of on the lacts and this Court cannot interfere with the finding arrived at by the learned Judge regarding the quantum of fair rent, the learned Government Pleader has raised several interesting questions of law turning on the interpretation of Section 3(5) of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act of 1949. His contention, if I understood him right, was that in the case of buildings taken over by the State under Section 3 ol the Act, there cannot be at any time any application for the fixation of fair rent. Section 3(5) inter alia says that if the building is required for any of the purposes specified m Sub-section (3) the landlord shall deliver possession of the building to the authorised officer and the State Government shall be deemed to be tenant of the landlord from the date on which the authorised officer received notice under Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2). In such a case, the terms of the tenancy shall be such as may be agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant. In default of an agreement the terms may he determined by the City Civil Court in the City of Madras and elsewhere by the Subordinate Judge's Court and where there is no Subordinate Judge s Court, by the District Court. To this Sub-section there are three provisos of which the first is the material one. It runs thus:

Provide that the rent payable shall be the fair rent, if any, fixed for the building under the provisions of this Act; and if no fair rent has been so fixed, such fair rent as may be determinded by the Court aforesaid in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

The learned Government Pleader's contention was that this proviso has no application when the rent is agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant, that is, the otaie Government. This contention is evidently based upon the assumption that rent is one 01 the terms of the tenancy and the main Sub-section declares that the terms of me tenancy would be such as may be agreed upon between the landlord and the State Government. According to him, once the rent has been agreed upon, it would not ue open to the landlord to have recourse to an application for fixing of fair rent am unable to agree with this contention. Assuming that ordinarily the rate of ren is one of the terms of the tenancy, the proviso specifically deals with that term and as ine proviso has to be read in conjunction with the main Sub-section, the result is mat the proviso takes out the rent from the operation of the main Sub-section. io give an instance, suppose the State Government in ignorance of a prior final order ot the Controller fixing the fair rent for a building agrees with the landlord to pay lent at a higher rate the logical result of the learned Government Pleader's argument win be that the State Government would be precluded from having resort to the Controller to get the fair rent fixed. The Government would be compelled to go on paying at the higher rate agreed upon, though it may be an unfair rent. I am clearly ot opinion that this is not a correct interpretation of Section 3(5) read with the first proviso. 1 he position is very simple. If fair rent has been fixed for the building-concerned, under the provisions of the Act, then that is the only rent which is payable even when the State Government are agreed upon a particular rate of rent and the landlord and the Government are agreed upon a particular rate of rent and the landlord.continues to receive rent at that rate, then per se there is nothing invalid. mit it will be always open to the landlord or the tenant to file an application for the location of fair rent if n is felt that the rent being paid is not a fair rent. Only in the case ol buildings taken over by the State Government it is not the Controller who fixes, lie fair rent but the City Civil Court in the City of Madras and the Subordinate Judges Court elsewhere, and where there is no such Court, the District Court.

2. There is, however, one lacuna in the Act, that is there is no provision for an appeal against an order of the City Civil Court or the Subordinate Judge 's Court or the District Court fixing fair rent. It is doubtful if any of these Courts would fall within the definition of Controller. In any event this may be clarified by Government when any amendments are undertaken at a subsequent date.

3. I find no ground on which I can interfere with the order of the learned Judge in this case. The Civil Revision Petition is dismissed.


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