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Kuppana Chettiar and anr. Vs. K. Ramachandran - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1981)1MLJ136
AppellantKuppana Chettiar and anr.;nanjappa Chettiar and ors.
RespondentK. Ramachandran;k. Subba Rao
Cases ReferredIn Aravamudha Chettiar v. M. Adbul Khader Rowther
Excerpt:
- - 991 and 992 of 1979, order dated 29th june, 1979. the petitioners in each of these cases are cultivating tenants against whom orders of eviction have been passed by the authorised officer consequent on their failure to deposit the arrears of rent as ordered to be paid by them within the stipulated time. 9,000 on or before 7th august, 1979, and further held that failure to deposit the amount as directed would result in an order of eviction being passed. 3,300 on or before 31st july, 1979, and further stated that failure to deposit the amount would result in an order of eviction being passed. thus it may be seen that an uniform view has not been taken on the question whether a tenant, against whom an order of eviction has been passed for his failure to deposit the arrears of rent.....orderm.m. ismail, c.j.1. these two civil revision petitions, whose facts are similar, have come up before us on a reference made by natarajan, j., in view of the conflict between the decision of gokulakrishnan, j., in mahalinga voikkaran v. sellithammal (1972) 2 m.l.j. 17 : : (1972)2mlj17 . and that of mohan, j. in sivasankara devarayar v. prakash (minor) and anr. c.r.p. nos. 991 and 992 of 1979, order dated 29th june, 1979. the petitioners in each of these cases are cultivating tenants against whom orders of eviction have been passed by the authorised officer consequent on their failure to deposit the arrears of rent as ordered to be paid by them within the stipulated time. c.r.p. no. 2113 of 1979 arises out of c.t.p. no. 44 of 1978 on the file of the authorised officer, erode, while.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.M. Ismail, C.J.

1. These two civil revision petitions, whose facts are similar, have come up before us on a reference made by Natarajan, J., in view of the conflict between the decision of Gokulakrishnan, J., in Mahalinga Voikkaran v. Sellithammal (1972) 2 M.L.J. 17 : : (1972)2MLJ17 . and that of Mohan, J. in Sivasankara Devarayar v. Prakash (Minor) and Anr. C.R.P. Nos. 991 and 992 of 1979, Order dated 29th June, 1979. The petitioners in each of these cases are cultivating tenants against whom orders of eviction have been passed by the Authorised Officer consequent on their failure to deposit the arrears of rent as ordered to be paid by them within the stipulated time. C.R.P. No. 2113 of 1979 arises out of C.T.P. No. 44 of 1978 on the file of the Authorised Officer, Erode, while C.R.P. No. 2142 of 1979 arises out of C.T.P. No. 43 of 1978 on the file of the officer.

2. The respondent, in G.R.P. No. 2113 of 1979, who is the landlord, filed the petition for eviction of the petitioners under Section 3(4)(a) of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants, Protection Act, 1955(hereinafter referred to as the Act) on the ground that they had committed wilful default in the payment of rent for the years 1976-77 and 1977-78. The petitioners filed a counter on 21st November, 1978. On 19th June, 1979, both the parties made a joint endorsement and the petitioners agreed to deposit a sum of Rs. 9,000 in full satisfaction of the rent for the two years, on or before 7th August, 1979, and that in default thereof eviction could be ordered. The Authorised Officer passed orders in terms of the joint endorsement on the next day, i.e., 20th June, 1979, and directed the petitioners to deposit a sum of Rs. 9,000 on or before 7th August, 1979, and further held that failure to deposit the amount as directed would result in an order of eviction being passed. The direction was not complied with and hence the respondent-landlord filed a petition on 7th August, 1979, for an order of eviction being passed in terms of the earlier order dated 20th June, 1979. On 4th September, 1979, the Authorised Officer passed an order of eviction, and it is against that order G.R.P No. 2113 of 1979 was filed before this Court. The said revision petition was filed on 20th September, 1979 and the petitioners sought an interim stay of the execution of the order of eviction in C.M.P. No. 9536 of 1979. This Court granted an order of interim stay of the execution of the order of eviction on condition that the petitioners deposited the sum of Rs. 9,000 in the Court below within two weeks. This order was complied with and this resulted in the order of interim stay being made absolute till the disposal of the civil revision petition.

3. The facts in C.R.P. No. 2142 of 1979 are practically similar.

4. In that case the landlord filed the petition for eviction of the petitioners herein on the ground of wilful default, in the payment of rent for the years 1976-77 and 1977-78. The petitioners filed a counter, but on 26th June, 1979, a joint endorsement was made by both the parties, and the respondent agreed to receive a sum of Rs. 3,300 in full quit of his claim, for Rs. 4,000 and the petitioners agreed to pay the said sum. The joint endorsement did not, however, make any reference to the time within which the amount should be paid. On 29th June, 1979, the Authorised Officer passed orders on the basis of the joint endorsement and directed the petitioners to deposit the sum of Rs. 3,300 on or before 31st July, 1979, and further stated that failure to deposit the amount would result in an order of eviction being passed. The petitioners not having deposited the amount as directed, the respondent took out an application on 7th August, 1979, for an order of eviction being passed and that application was allowed by the Authorised Officer on 4th September, 1979. It was against this order that the petitioners filed C.R.P. No. 2142 of 1979 on the file of this Court. Along with the civil revision petition, they filed C.R.P. No. 9652 of 1979 and sought interim stay of the execution of the order of eviction. This Court granted interim stay on condition that the petitioners deposited the sum of Rs. 3,300 in the Court below within two weeks. That direction was duly complied with and hence the order of interim stay has been made absolute till the disposal of the civil revision petition.

5. When the civil revision petition came up for disposal before Natarajan, J., on behalf of the petitioners in these two civil revision petitions it was contended that the order of eviction passed by the Authorised Officer in each of these cases need not be considered on merits, since the petitioners were entitled to have the order set aside on another ground. According to the petitioners, the revision proceedings must be treated as a continuation of the proceedings under the Act, that inasmuch as the petitioners have deposited in these proceedings the amount that they were directed to deposit, by the Authorised Officer, it must be held that they have complied with the orders of the Authorised Officer and that therefore the order of eviction passed against them should be set aside. In support of this contention they relied on the decision of Gikulakrishnan, J., referred to above namely, Mahalinga Voikkaran v. Sellathammal (1972) 2 M.L.J. 17 : : (1972)2MLJ17 . The learned Counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, relied on a judgment of Mohan, J. in Sivasankara Devarayar v. Prakash (Minor) and Anr C.R.P. Nos. 991 and 992 of 1979, Order dated 29th June, 1979. It was against this set up that the learned Judge referred to the observations contained in the judgment of both the learned Judges and pointed out that there was a conflict, and observed:

Thus it may be seen that an uniform view has not been taken on the question whether a tenant, against whom an order of eviction has been passed for his failure to deposit the arrears of rent within the time given to him by the Authorised Officer can seek condonation of his default by remitting the amount later on, as per the directions given to him by this Court in revision proceedings pending before it. In order to set at rest the controversy effectively and also to resolve the conflicting views taken in M. Voikkiran v. Sellathammal (1972) 2 M.L.J. 17 : : (1972)2MLJ17 and Sivasankara Devarayar v. Prakash (Minor) and Anr. C.R.P. Nos. 991 and 992 of 1979, Order dated 29th June, 1979 I think it is necessary that these two revisions should be heard and disposed of by a Division Bench. The questions which need determination are:

1. Whether a revision preferred to this Court under Section 6-B of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants, Protection Act will amount to a continuation of proceedings initiated before the Revenue Court as known and understood in law?

2. Whether a payment of arrears of rent in compliance with an order of this Court during the pendency of the revision proceedings will be tantamount to compliance of a conditional order passed by an Authorised Officer? and

3. Whether payment of arrears of rent for obtaining an order of stay of eviction during the pendency of the revision proceedings can be treated as payment made in compliance with the original conditional order passed by an Authorised Officer?

I therefore direct the papers to be placed before my Lord the Chief Justice for orders regarding the petitions being referred to a Bench for decision.

6. Thus it will be seen that it is not merely the three questions extracted above that have been referred to the Bench for decision, but the entire civil revision petitions themselves have been posted before the Bench for disposal. Consequently for the purpose of understanding the conflict referred to by the learned Judge, and the questions extracted above, it is necessary to refer to the decision of Gokulakrishnan, J., as well as that of Mohan, J. The decision of Gokulakrishnan, J., as already pointed out, is Mahalinga Voikkaran v. Sellathammal (1972) 2 M.L.J. 17 : : (1972)2MLJ17 . In that case the landlord filed a petition under Section 3(4) (a) of the Act before the Revenue Court, Thanjavur, for eviction of the tenant from the petition-mentioned land alleging that the tenant had defaulted in the payment of rent due to him for fasli 1379. On 31st October, 1970, the Revenue Court passed a preliminary order directing the tenant to pay the admitted arrears of rent of Rs. 214-40 on or before 20th November, 1970; the same order mentioned that in the event of default an order of eviction would follow. The Presiding Officer of the Revenue Court, who passed the said order, did not continue, and there was a vacancy in the post during the months of November and December, 1970. Later, when the post was filled up by a new officer, the case came up for hearing on 2nd Mach, 1971. On that day, it was stated, the counsel for the tenant and the counsel for the landlord were present and on the learned Counsel making an endorsement to the effect that the tenant had not paid the arrears, the Revenue Court ordered eviction of the tenant, It was against that order the tenant preferred the civil revision petition. In that case also, during the pendency of the civil revision petition, there was a petition to stay the execution of the order of eviction, and this Court passed an order of interim stay conditional upon the tenant paying the arrears due. The tenant complied with that direction and thereafter the order of interim stay was made absolute. It was with reference to these interim orders that the argument that was advanced before the learned Judge on behalf of the petitioner was that as per the interlocutory order passed in the civil revision petition the tenant had paid the arrears due and that as such this Court could excuse the delay in the payment of the arrears due to the landlord and thereby allow the revision petition. In support of this contention the learned Counsel for the tenant relied on the decision of Ramanujam, J., in Venkatachila Padayachi v. Rajammal G.P.P. No. 1156 of 1970. It is admitted that the learned Judge had simply observed in that case that, in view of the payment of the entirety of his liability towards arrears of rent fixed by the Revenue Court, there could not be any eviction of the petitioner from the leasehold lands 'in view of the provisions of Section 3 of the Act'. Reliance was also placed before the learned Judge on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Rama Iyer v. Sundaresa Ponnapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 . and a judgment of this Court (Alagiriswami, J.) in Rasu Moopanar v. Ramamurthy Iyer (1967) 1 MIJ 287. and Aravamudha Chettiar v. M. Abdul Khader Rowther : AIR1953Mad268 .

7. After referring to these decisions and the decision cited on behalf of the respondent-landlord, the learned Judge observed as follows:

As for as the present case is concerned it is not only the cause of justice, but the powers of the High Court, when it exercises its revisional jurisdiction conferred upon it under Section 6-B of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, read with Section 116, Civil Procedure Code, are involved.

It is clear from the decision reported in Rama Iyer v. Sundaresa Ponnapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 . and Aravamudha Cheltiar v. M. Abdul Khader Rowther : AIR1953Mad268 that the revisional powers of the High Court are wide enough to uphold the spirit of legislative enactments when dealing with cases under such enactments in revision.

While the revision petition was pending, the tenant has paid the arrears as per the interlocutory order of this Court. As on date, it cannot be considered that there is any default on the part of the petitioner in the matter of payment of rent. Considering that 'revision' is a continuation of the proceedings under the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act initiated before the Revenue Court, I am of the opinion that the High Court has ample powers in its revisional jurisdiction to afford an opportunity to the tenant in proper cases for the purpose of complying with the directions of the Revenue Court in the matter of payment of arrears of rent. In this case, the tenant was given an opportunity to pay the arrears during the pendency of this revision proceedings. In view of the fact that the tenant has complied with such direction, I do not find there is any question of 'default' in this case to entitle the landlord to evict the tenant.

8. With reference to this judgment of Gokulakrishnan, J., Mohan, J., stated:

First of all I have my grave doubt as to whether a revision could be considered to be a continuation of the proceedings under the Madras Cultivating Tenants, Protection Act initiated before the Revenue Court. The learned Judge relied upon a decision of Govinda Menon. J., in Aravamudha Chettiar v. M. Abdul Kider Rowther : AIR1953Mad268 . to lay down this proposition, but I find therein what the learned Judge held was as extracted below:

During the pendency of an appeal against an order made by the Rent Controller for eviction as a result of non-payment of rent, it is open to the appellate Court to condone the delay. An appeal is continuation of the proceedings in the Court of first instance and the appellate Tribunal can condone the default for non-payment of rent. That decision relates only to an appeal and not to a revision. The Revenue Court as in the instant case is not a civil Court. The question whether it is continuation of proceedings cannot arise at all. Even otherwise one question may be raised. What happens to a revision under Article 227 of the Constitution? It is an independent one. Under such circumstances, could it be said that it is the continuation of proceedings of the Court below? The answer should be in the negative. The whole question in my view, as rightly contended by Mr. Srinivasan is whether there was any justification for the petitioner not to comply with the orders of the Revenue Court to pay the arrears on or before 26th February, 1979. If there is no justification the orders of eviction must be upheld. The fact that he complied with the interim orders of this Court is no ground to hold in my considered view that the orders of the Revenue Court had been complied with.

(Italics supplied).

9. We are of the opinion that the decision of Gokulakrishnan, J., calls for one or two comments. In the first place the decisions in Rama Iyer v. Sundaresa Ponnapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 . and Aravamudha Ghettiar v. M. Abdul Kkader Rowther : AIR1953Mad268 . did not hold that the revisional powers of the High Court were wide enough to uphold the spirit of the legislative enactments when dealing with cases under such enactments in revision. As a matter of fact, the decision of the Supreme Court in Rama Iyer v. Sundaresa Ponnapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 . dealt with a different situation altogether. That was a case which arose under the Madras Cultivating Tenants, Protection Act, 1955, and an application was filed for a declaration that the amount deposited by the respondent therein represented the correct amount of rent due from him. There was a controversy whether the respondent was a cultivating tenant at all. The Revenue Court held that the respondent was not a cultivating tenant of the appellant and could not claim the benefit of Section 3(3) of the Act and dismissed the application. The respondent filed a petition in revision before the High Court under Section 6-B of the Act read with Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The High Court came to the conclusion that the respondent was a cultivating tenant of the appellant and therefore allowed the revision petition and declared that the amount deposited by the respondent represented the correct amount due from him to the appellant. In the appeal before the Supreme Court the question that was argued was that the finding of the Revenue Court that the respondent was not a cultivating tenant was a finding of fact and that the High Court had no jurisdiction to set it aside on revision. It was that contention which was considered by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court considered the provisions of Section 6-B of the Act and Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure and observed:

In the present case, no question of revision under Sub-section (c) of Section 115 arises and we are concerned only with the power of revision under Sub-sections (a) and (b) of Section 115. Sub-section (a) empowers the High Court to correct an erroneous assumption of jurisdiction; Sub-section (b) empowers the High Court to correct an erroneous assumption of jurisdiction; Sub-section (b) empowers it to correct an erroneous refusal of jurisdiction. The decision of the Subordinate on all questions of law and fact, not touching its jurisdiction is final and,............however erroneous such a decision may be, it is not revisable under Sub-sections (a) and (b) of Section 115. On the other hand, if by an erroneous decision on a question of fact or law touching its jurisdiction, e.g., on a preliminary fact upon the existence of which its jurisdiction depends, the subordinate Court assumes a jurisdiction not vested in it by law or fails to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, its decision is not final, and is subject to review by the High Court, in its revisional jurisdiction under Sub-sections (a) and (b) of Section 115. The question is on which side of of the line the present case lies, and whether the decision of the Revenue Divisional Officer that the respondent is not a cultivating tenant of the appellant is subject to review by the High Court in its revisional jurisdiction. The Revenue Divisional Officer is an inferior Court of limited jurisdiction functioning under the Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act 1955. To ascertain the limit and extent of its jurisdiction, we must examine the provisions of the Act.

After having made the above observations in paragraph 4 of the judgment, the Supreme Court referred to the provisions of the Act in paragraph 5, and observed in paragraph 6:

The Act gives generous protection to cultivating tenants from eviction, and severely restricts the right of landlords to resume possession of their lands from their cultivating tenants. In case of disputes between the landlord and the cultivating tenant, the Revenue Divisional Officer is authorised to entertain and decide applications by the landlord for eviction and resumption and possession and by the cultivating tenant for restoration of possession and to impose penalties on the landlord or the tenant for infraction of Section 4-B. To attract the jurisdiction of the Revenue Divisional Officer, there must be a dispute between a landlord and cultivating tenant. The existence of the relation of landlord and cultivating tenant between the contending parties is the essential condition for the assumption of jurisdiction by the Revenue Divisional Officer in all proceedings under the Act. The Tribunal can exercise its jurisdiction under the Act only if such relationship exists. If the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is challenged, it must enquire into the existence of the preliminary fact and decide if it has jurisdiction. But its decision on the existence of this preliminary fact is not final; such a decision is subject to review by the High Court in its revisional jurisdiction under Section 6-B. The enquiry by the Tribunal is summary, there is no provision for appeal from its decision, and the Legislature could not have intended that its decision on this preliminary fact involving a question of title would be final and not subject to the overriding powers of revision by the High Court.

10. Thus it is clear that the Supreme Court decided the case only with in the four corners of Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and pointed out that any finding of an inferior Tribunal whether on facts or on law, touching its jurisdiction, would be subject to review by the High Court, because a finding one Way or the other would have enabled the Tribunal either to assume jurisdiction or to refuse to exercise jurisdiction, and consequently attracting Clause (a) or (b) of Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. We are of the opinion that beyond that the Supreme Court did not lay down anything further.

11. In Aravamudha Chettiar v. M. Adbul Khader Rowther : AIR1953Mad268 . the only passage relied on by the learned Judge (Gokulakrishnan, J.) is:

During the pendency of an appeal against an order made by the Rent Controller for eviction as a result of non-payment of rent, it is open to the appellate Court to condone the delay. An appeal is a continuation of the proceedings in the Court of first instance and the appellate Tribunal can condone the default for non-payment of rent.

It is not possible to draw a general inference from the above observations, because they refer to the condonation of delay and also condonation of default for non-payment of rent. In what situation those observations were made has not been made clear in the judgment of Gokulakrishnan, J., himself. Under these circumstances, we have necessarilly to fall back upon the provisions of the Cultivating Tenants, Protection Act as well as Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

12. The relevant provision of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants, Protection Act, 1955, is Section 3(4). That provision reads as follows:

Section 3(4). Every landlord seeking to evict a cultivating tenant falling under Sub-section (2) shall, whether or not there is an order or decree of a Court for the eviction of such cultivating tenant, make an application to the Revenue Divisional Officer and such application shall bear a court-fee stamp of one rupee.

(b) On receipt of such application, the Revenue Divisional Officer shall, after giving a reasonable opportunity to the landlord and the cultivating tenant to make their representations, hold a summary enquiry into the matter and pass an order either allowing the application or dismissing it and in a case falling under Clause (a) or Clause (aa) of Sub-section (2), in which the tenant had not availed of the provisions contained in Sub-section (3) the Revenue Divisional Officer may allow the cultivating tenant such time as he considers just and reasonable, having regard to the relative circumstances of the landlord and the cultivating tenant for depositing arrears of rent payable under this Act inclusive of such costs as he may direct. If the cultivating tenant deposits the sum as directed, he shall be deemed to have paid the rent under Sub-section

(3). (b). If the cultivating tenent fails to deposit the sum as directed, the Revenue Divisional Officer shall pass an order for eviction:

Provided that the Revenue Divisional Officer shall not direct the cultivating tenant to deposit such arrears of rent as have become time-barred under any law of limitation for the time being in force.

Section 6-B which refers to Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, reads as follows:

The Revenue Divisional Officer shall be deemed to be a Court subordinate to the High Court for the purposes of Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908(Central Act V of 1908), and his orders shall be liable to revision by the High Court under the provisions of that section.

A reading of these provisions will clearly show that under Section 3(4)(b) of the Act, once a cultivating tenant has failed to comply with the direction to deposit the rent into the Revenue Court within the time given by the Revenue Divisional Officer, the Revenue Divisional Officer has no option but to pass an order for eviction. If, for any reason, the tenant was not able to deposit the rent within the given time, certainly he should have approached the Revenue Divisional Officer for extension of time, and, if he unreasonably refused to extend the time, the tenant may then have a grievance with respect thereto. But once a date has been fixed for the deposit of the rent, and within the time the amount has not been paid and there has been no application for extension of time by the tenant before the Revenue Divisional Officer, the Revenue Divisional Officer is under an obligation to pass an order for eviction, because, in such a situation, Section 3(4)(6) says that 'the Revenue Divisional Officer shall pass an order for eviction'. When the Revenue Divisional Officer has passed such an order for eviction, and a revision petition is preferred to this Court against that order, this Court can only examine whether the Revene Divisional Officer has committed any error of jurisdiction so as to attract either Clause (a) or Clause (b) or Clause (e) of Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. In this particular case before us, there is no contention that any one of these clauses is attracted with reference to the order of the Authorised Officer. As a matter of fact, in neither of the judgments, namely, in the judgment of Gokulakrishnan, J., or the judgment of Mohan, J., this question had been approached from the point of view of the scope of the jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

13. Gokulakrishnan, J., would appear to have proceeded on the basis that, since revision proceedings area continuation of the original proceedings initiated before the Revenue Court, this Court will have power to extend the time for making the deposit. It was only with reference to this aspect, that question No. 1 in the order of Natarajan, J., has been framed. We are of the opinion that the question, whether a particular proceeding pending before the High Court is a continuation of the original proceedings or not, is not decisive of the matter in this case. In one sense a revision or appeal preferred to this Court can be said to be a continuation of the original proceedings, because a revision is preferred against the order passed in the original proceedings just as an appeal is preferred against the judgment and decree passed in the original proceedings. But that certainly will not help to decide the question of the scope of the power of the High Court as a revisional Court or appellate Court. It may be that the High Court exercises its revisional jurisdiction only because of its general status as a superior Court having appeallate jurisdiction over the subordinate Courts. But that does not equate the scope of the appellate power of the High Court. The power which the High Court can exercise has to be found within the four corners of the statutory provisions under which the jurisdiction of the High Court has been invoked. When the jurisdiction of the High Court has been invoked under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the exercise of its power by the High Court is certainly in terms of Section 115 itself. When the High Court exercises its appellate power, a mere disagreement with the trial Court on the appreciation of evidence or findings of fact is sufficient to clothe the appellate Court with the right to interfere with the judgment and decree of the trial Court. On the other hand, when the High Court exercises its revisional power under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a mere disagreement with the appreciation of evidence or findings of fact of the trial Court will not be sufficient to enable it to interfere with the order of the trial Court and it has to further find whether the order of the trial Court comes within the scope of that section or not; only if the order of the trial Court is vitiated by errors of jurisdiction enumerated in that section, the revisional Court will have the power to interfere with that order and not otherwise. In view of this, in these cases the High Court will have to first find out whether the orders of the Revenue Divisional Officer suffer from any of the vitiating factors mentioned in Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and if they do not so suffer, the High Court cannot interfere with those orders and consequently any interim order that might have been passed by the High Court will not have the effect of destroying or negativing the orders passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer. Therefore, it may not be strictly necessary for the purpose of disposal of these cases to consider whether the revisional jurisdiction exercised by the High Court under Section 6-B of the Act read with Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, is a continuation of the proceedings initiated before the Authorised Officer, because even assuming that it is a continuation of those proceedings, still the High Court cannot exercise its powers outside Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

14. In this case, from what we have pointed out already, it will be seen that the Authorised Officer passed the order under Section 3(4)(6) of the Act on the failure of the tenant to deposit the rent within the time stipulated by the earlier order. From this point of view, the order of the Authorised Officer is unexceptionable. As a matter of fact, the petitioners did not make any complaint against the order of the Authorised Officer on the merits. So long as the order of the Authorised Officer is unexceptionable and is not vitiated by any one of the factors enumerated in Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, this Court will have no jurisdiction to interfere with hat order.

15. The fact that during the pendency of the civil revision petitions the tenants applied for and obtained orders of interim stay of the execution of the order of eviction on condition of the deposit of the rent and did deposit the rent, will not in any way invalidate the order passed by the Authorised Officer. From this point of view, we are unable to agree with the observation of Gokulakrishnan, J.;

As on date, it cannot be considered that there is any default on the part of the petitioner in the matter of payment of rent.

The question that has to be considered, in respect of the default is, not with reference to any date subsequent to the order of the Authorised Officer, but with reference to the date fixed by the Officer prior to his passing the order for eviction. The section itself contemplates the Revenue Divisional Officer giving an opportunity to the tenant to deposit the arrears of rent within such time as he considers just and reasonable and only if the cultivating tenant fails to deposit the same as directed, the Revenue Divisional Officer can pass an order for eviction. Consequently, the default in such cases must have occurred prior to the Revenue Divisional Officer passing an order for eviction and in terms of an earlier order either independent or conditional. In view of this, the default contemplated by the statutory provision is one occurring and existing on the date of the passing of the order for eviction by the Revenue Divisional Officer himself and not at any stage subsequent to the said order. If the cultivating tenant does not deposit the rent as directed, default has occurred and there is no question of that default being cured or wiped out by the tenant depositing the rent pursuant to any interim order of this Court during the pendency of the proceedings in the High Court pursuant to an interim order of the High Court will be one in compliance with the interim order of the High Court and can never be a deposit in compliance with the original order of the Revenue Divisional Officer. As a matter of fact, the High Court is not concerned in such proceedings with the original default committed by the cultivating tenant in payment of the rent to the landlord. It is because of original default, the Revenue Divisional Officer directs the tenant to deposit the rent into the Court before a particular date and the subject-matter of the civil revision proceedings in the High Court therefore will not be the original default, but only the failure of the tenant to comply with the direction of the Divisional Officer. Once that failure is admitted and the consequential order of the Revenue Divisional Officer is unexceptionable, there will be no occasion for the High Court to give an opportunity to the cultivating tenant to comply with the original direction of the Revenue Divisional Officer to deposit the amount, because the original direction no longer stands and that direction has worked itself out in the form of the final order for eviction, which, on merits, is not challenged. If the matter is understood in this manner, certainly any deposit made by the, tenant in terms of the interim order of stay passed by this Court staying the execution of the order for eviction passed by the Authorised Officer can never be tantamount to compliance with the conditional order passed by the Authorised Officer.

16. We make it clear that, if the tenants had applied to the Authorised Officer for extension of time for the payment of the rent (in the present cases in C.R.P. No. 2113 of 1979 that question will not arise because even the date for payment of arrears of rent had been agreed to between the parties under a joint endorsement and the order has been passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer only in terms of the said joint endorsement and the Revenue Divisional Officer himself may not have power to extend the time for payment except with the consent of the respondents), and the Authorised Officer had declined, and the tenants had complained against such order, this Court may, in proper cases, have power to interfere with the order complained against, and extend the time for payment; that is far different from saying that the payment made pursuant to a conditional order of interim stay passed by this Court will be payment made in compliance with the directions already given by the Authorised Officer before he passed the final order for eviction against the petitioners herein, though such payment may be taken into account in cases indicated by us above, namely, where the tenant approaches the High Court complaining that the Revenue Divisional Officer has unreasonably or illegally declined to extend the time applied for by him for the deposit of the amount.

17. Under these circumstances, we are clearly of the opinion that the orders passed by the Authorised Officer in these cases, which are admittedly in accordance with the provisions of Section 3(4)(b) of the Act, cannot be interfered with by the High Court under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The revision petitions accordingly fail and they are dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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