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R. Sivagnanam and anr. Vs. Everest Boarding and Lodging by Its Managing Partner R. Manoharan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1969)1MLJ101
AppellantR. Sivagnanam and anr.
RespondentEverest Boarding and Lodging by Its Managing Partner R. Manoharan
Excerpt:
- .....j.1. these petitions by the tenants of the ground floor arise out of petitions for fixation of fair rent. two matters are argued : (1) regarding the enhanced market value fixed by the court below for the site on which the building stands, and (2) regarding the distribution of the entire market value of site over the ground floor ignoring the first, second and third floors. the finding on the first question is factual and the learned counsel for the petitioners himself realising this position did not and could not press it. but his contention on the second point is of substance. he says, quite justifiably, that the cost of the land on which the whole building is situate should not be solely assigned to the ground floor in arriving at the fair market value for that floor.2. section 4.....
Judgment:

K. Veeraswami, J.

1. These petitions by the tenants of the ground floor arise out of petitions for fixation of fair rent. Two matters are argued : (1) regarding the enhanced market value fixed by the Court below for the site on which the building stands, and (2) regarding the distribution of the entire market value of site over the ground floor ignoring the first, second and third floors. The finding on the first question is factual and the learned Counsel for the petitioners himself realising this position did not and could not press it. But his contention on the second point is of substance. He says, quite justifiably, that the cost of the land on which the whole building is situate should not be solely assigned to the ground floor in arriving at the fair market value for that floor.

2. Section 4 of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent) Control Act, 1960 provides for fixation of fair rent and the procedure to be followed for the purpose. Section 4 (2) (a) (ii) of the Act is in point to the present case. The fair rent for any residential building is to be at 6 per cent. gross return per annum on the total cost of such building. The market value of that portion of the site on which the residential building is constructed is component of the total cost of the building. A building for the purpose of the Act is defined as one let or to be let separately for residential or non-residential purposes. But this definition does not prevail if the context is repugnant, for the definition in the section opens with the words ' unless the context otherwise requires '. It is true having regard to this definition of a building under Section 30, the Act would be inapplicable to the first, second and third floors because they are used as lodging rooms. But the ground floor, it is not in controversy is governed by the provisions of the Act. That means the Rent Controller will have jurisdiction and should exercise his power to fix the fair rent for the ground floor.

3. Mr. Mathrubutham for the respondent argues that because the first, second and third floors are outside the purview of the Act, in the computation of fair rent it would not be competent for the Rent Controller to take into account the first, second and third floors and that the entire market value of the site on which the ground floor stands should be taken into account in fixing the cost of the building. Apart from the fact that the argument involves a gross injustice, I am inclined to think that the Court is not driven to accept that construction. It is a principle of interpretation in regard to jurisdiction of judicial and quasi-judicial forums that, if in order to give relief, which is within its competence it is necessary to touch upon and deal with a matter outside the purview of the forum it would be quite lawful to deal with such a matter as ancillary to the jurisdiction Vested in the forum in respect of the relief within its jurisdiction. Further, the language 'the market value of that portion of the site on which the residential building is constructed ' has to be construed in a liberal way and building in that expression is the entire building, not merely that part of the building which is within the purview of the Act. If a part of a building is within the purview of the Act and the rest of it is outside it, and the Rent Controller is called upon to fix a fair rent for the ground floor necessarily the entire building will have to be valued and for doing so, in my opinion, the Rent Controller will have jurisdiction. In order to fix the fair rent for the portion within the purview of the Act, he has necessarily to take the entire building which is an ancillary matter. A building is not to be cut up in the manner in which the respondent wants to do so as to inflate the cost of the ground floor. Further there is nothing in the Act which requires in such circumstances, to assign the entire land cost to the ground floor alone.

4. The petitions are allowed with costs, one set Counsel's fee Rs. 25 in each. The matters are remitted to the Rent Controller for revising the fair rent in the light of this judgment.


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