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Nagammal Vs. C.R. Govindarajulu Naicker - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1958)1MLJ286
AppellantNagammal
RespondentC.R. Govindarajulu Naicker
Excerpt:
- .....decree for eviction against the tenant, the tenant was not entitled to the benefits of the madras city tenants protection act. the act was amended in 1955 so as to have its benefits extended to tenants in the position of the tenant with whom we are concerned in these petitions. in september, 1956, the tenant filed three petitions under the amended city tenants protection act, in ejectment suit no. 235 of 1953. in m.p. no. 2082 of 1956, the tenant prayed for an order directing the landlord to sell the land to the tenant for a price to be fixed by the court. in m.p. no. 2084 of 1956, the tenant prayed that an order be passed against the landlord directing him to pay compensation for the superstructure which the tenant had built on the land. in m p. no. 2083 of 1956, the tenant prayed that.....
Judgment:

Subrahmanyam, J.

1. These Civil Revision Petitions arise out of the orders passed by the Third Judge, Court of Small Causes, Madras, in M.P. Nos. 2082 to 2084 of 1956 in Ejectment Suit No. 235 of 1953 on his file. The suit was instituted by the landlord against the tenant of a parcel of land in Komaleeswaranpet. An order for ejectment was passed in the suit on 9th. September, 1953. The tenant was given two months' time for surrendering vacant possession. The tenant then instituted O.S. No. 1948 of 1953 on the file of the City Civil Court, Madras, for a declaration that the landlord was not entitled to an order for eviction. That suit was instituted under Section 47 of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act. The suit was dismissed on 27th January, 1955. The appeal preferred by the tenant against the decree dismissing the suit was transferred by this Court to the City Civil Court and has been dismissed by the City Civil Court on 26th April, 1957.

2. When the landlord obtained the decree for eviction against the tenant, the tenant was not entitled to the benefits of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act. The Act was amended in 1955 so as to have its benefits extended to tenants in the position of the tenant with whom we are concerned in these petitions. In September, 1956, the tenant filed three petitions under the amended City Tenants Protection Act, in Ejectment Suit No. 235 of 1953. In M.P. No. 2082 of 1956, the tenant prayed for an order directing the landlord to sell the land to the tenant for a price to be fixed by the Court. In M.P. No. 2084 of 1956, the tenant prayed that an order be passed against the landlord directing him to pay compensation for the superstructure which the tenant had built on the land. In M P. No. 2083 of 1956, the tenant prayed that fair rent be fixed under Section 7-A of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act. In M.P. No. 2082 of 1956, the Judge of the Small Causes Court was of the opinion that the tenant was not entitled to an order that the landlord be directed to sell the land and dismissed that application. In M.P. No. 2084 of 1956, the learned Judge was of the opinion that the tenant was not entitled to an order for compensation and on that finding dismissed that petition. In M.P. No. 2083 of 1956, the learned Judge took the view that the tenant was entitled to an order fixing fair rent. The tenant has filed, C.R. P. Nos. 1080 and 1079 of 1957 against the orders passed in M.P. Nos. 2082 and 2084 of 1956 and the landlord has filed C.R.P. No. 525 of 1957 against the order passed by the learned Judge in M.P. No. 2083 of 1956 on his file.

3. I shall first deal with the application by the tenant for an order that the landlord be directed to sell the land for a price to be fixed by the Court. When the application was filed, a decree for ejectment has been passed against the tenant. An application for an order that the landlord be directed to sell the land has to be made under Section 9 of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act. Section 10(1), as amended by the amending Act of 1955, enacts that Section 9 shall apply to suits in which decrees for ejectment have been passed but have not been executed before the coming into force of the amending Act. Section 9 thus became applicable to the tenant with whom we are concerned in these petitions. But under Section 9, an application for an order that the landlord be directed to sell the land had to be made within one month after the coming into force of amending Act of 1955. The tenant's application, M.P. No. 2082 of 1956, had not been made within that period of one month. The learned Advocate for the tenant states that the rule that the application should be made within one month is a mere rule of pleading which need not, be enforced, if the judge to whom the application is made, thinks that, in the particular case, enforcement of the rule would work hardship or injustice. I hold that the rule is a rule of limitation, which the Court does not have power to relieve a person against, in the absence of express jurisdiction conferred on the Court to grant such relief for sufficient cause. No such jurisdiction is conferred on the Court to extend the time for applying for relief under Section 9. The learned Judge's order dismissing M.P. No. 2082 of 1956 is correct and C.R.P. No. 1080 of 1957 is dismissed with costs.

4. The next application we have to deal with is the application made by the tenant for compensation for the superstructure which he had constructed on the land. In the ejectment proceedings, the tenant had pleaded that he was entitled to compensation. That claim was gone into and the judge gave a finding that the tenant was not entitled to compensation. But the law which was applied to that .claim was the general law of contracts and tenancy and not the general law as modified by Sections 3, 4, 10 and 12 of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act. The claim made by the tenant subsequent to the Amending Act of 1955 had to be decided with reference to these sections. The learned Small Cause Judge was wrong in his view that the tenant's claim was barred by res judicata by reason of the order that had been made in Ejectment Suit No. 235 of 1953. C.R.P. No. 1079 of 1957 is allowed and the order in M.P. No. 2084 of 1956 is set aside. The learned Judge will restore the petition to its original number on his file and will dispose of it afresh with reference to the rights if any, allowable under Sections 3, 4, 10 and 12 of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act. The parties will be free to adduce evidence in relation to their respective contentions of that claim of the tenant. Costs in this revision petition will abide and be provided for in the order to be passed by the Judge of the Small Causes Court.

5. The last application we have to deal with is M.P. No. 2083 of 1956 in which the tenant prayed that fair rent be fixed. That application was made under Section 7-A of the City Tenants Protection Act. Section 8 of the Act makes it clear that an order under Section 7-A could be passed only in a case where the tenant might, in law, be entitled to continue in possession. Where an order for eviction has been made, the tenant would not be entitled to continue in possession and, therefore, would not ordinarily be entitled to an order fixing fair rent under Section 7-A. In this case, if the tenant's claim to compensation be rejected, the landlord would be entitled to immediate possession and, therefore, the tenant would not be entitled to an order fixing fair rent. On the other hand, if the tenant's claim for compensation is allowed and the landlord does not pay such compensation immediately, with the result that by the operation of Section 4 of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act, the tenancy continues, then the tenant would become entitled to an order fixing fair rent. C.R.P. No. 525 of 1957 is allowed and the order in M.P. No. 2083 of 1956 is set aside. The learned Judge will pass orders in that petition in the light of the observations made above. The costs in this revision petition also will abide and be provided for in the order to be passed by the Judge of the Court of Small Causes.

6. Mr. G.T. Ramanujachari, for the tenant, states that the amount directed by this Court to be paid before 26th October, 1957, will be paid within a month from this date.


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