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Mahalinga Voikkaran Vs. P.R.S. Sellathammal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1972)2MLJ17
AppellantMahalinga Voikkaran
RespondentP.R.S. Sellathammal
Cases Referred and Aravamudha Chettiar v. M. Abdul Khader Rowther
Excerpt:
- .....revision petition. the landlord, respondent herein, filed a petition under section 3(4)(a) of the madras cultivating tenants protection act, (xxv of 1955) 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, 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 vacancy in the post during the months of november and december, 1970. later, when the post was.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.R. Gokulakrishnan, J.

1. The tenant is the petitioner in this revision petition. The landlord, respondent herein, filed a petition under Section 3(4)(a) of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, (XXV of 1955) 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, 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 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 on for hearing on 2nd March, 1971. On 2nd March, it is stated, the Counsel for the tenant and the Counsel for the landlord were present and on the landlord's counsel making an endorsement to the effect that the tenant had not paid the arrears as directed, the Revenue Court ordered eviction of the tenant. Aggrieved by the said order, the tenant has preferred this revision petition.

2. Thiru R. Ganesan, the learned Counsel for the tenant-petitioner submitted that as per the interlocutory order passed in this revision petition, his client has paid the arrears due and as such this Court can excuse the delay in the payment of the arrears due to the landlord and thereby allow the revision petition. In Venkatachala Padayachi v. Rajammal C.R.P. No 1156 of 1970, Ramanujam, J. had allowed the revision on the ground that the petitioner-tenant therein paid the arrears while the revision petition was pending in the High Court. The learned Judge had observed in view of the payment of the entirety of his liability towards arrears of rent fixed by the Revenue Court, there cannot be any eviction of the petitioner from the leasehold lands' in view of the provisions of Section 3 of the said Act (Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act'.)

3. In Rama Iyer v. Sundaresa Ponntapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 the Supreme Court has considered the powers of the High Court under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code when it exercises revisional jurisdiction vested in it by virtue of Section 6-B of the Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act (XXV Of 1955) The Supreme Court, after discussing the provisions of the Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act, came to the conclusion that the High Court has power to enquire into the correctness of the decision of the Tribunal as regards the finding as to whether a person is a 'cultivating tenant' or not. The Supreme Court further held that since the enquiry by the Tribunal to find out whether a person is a 'cultivating tenant' or not, is summary, and since there is no provision of appeal from its decision, the Legislature could not have intended that the decision of the Tribunal on this preliminary fact involving a a question of title would be final and not subject to the overriding powers of revision by the High Court

4. In Raso Moopanar v. Ramamurthy Iyer (1967) 1 M.L.J. 287, Alagiriswami, J., has held:

It is no doubt true that Revenue Courts under the Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act are not civil Courts and they cannot normally have any inherent powers as such apart from those specifically conferred on them by the statute creating them. But even such Tribunals can be held to have certain powers by implication, even though not expressly conferred by the statute, where such powers are necessary for the proper and effectual performance of the work entrusted to them by the statute.

The Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act is a piece of beneficial legislation intended to protect cultivating tenants from eviction. A tenant who has been evicted from his holding in pursuance of an order of Court, which has been subsequently set aside, cannot be without a remedy to get back possession. Though the Revenue Court has no inherent power to order restitution and though the Act does not confer such a power on the Revenue Court it is proper to infer that the Revenue Court would have the power to restore possession to the tenant who has been evicted in pursuance of an order, which has been subsequently set aside.

It has been further observed in the said decision:

As the Act shows that the Legislature Was so particular about protecting the rights of cultivating tenants, it would be reasonable to infer that the Legislature did not intend that a cultivating tenant who had been evicted from his holding in pursuance of an order of Court which is subsequently found to be wrong, should be left helpless and without any remedy to get possession of the holding from which he had been so evicted.

5. In Aravamudha Ghettiar v. M. Abdul Khader Rowtker : AIR1953Mad268 , Govinda Menon, J. has held (in a revision case arising from the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act:

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.

6. From all these decisions, the learned Counsel for the revision-petitioner would urge that the High Court has wider jurisdiction under Section 6-B of the Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act and that in view of the fact there is no 'appeal' provided for against the decision of the Revenue Court, the 'revision' under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code must be construed to be a continuation of the petition filed under the Madras Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act before the Revenue Court. Considering the decision of the Supreme Court in Rama Iyer v. Sundarsa Ponnapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 , the analogy can be extended for the purpose of giving wider powers to the High Court to give a chance to the tenant to pay the arrears of rent in order to protect his holding, thereby upholding the spirit of the legislation.

7. Thiru Rathinam, the learned Counsel for the respondent cited before me the decision in Keshaderdeo v. Radha Kishen : [1953]4SCR136 wherein the revisional powers of a High Court under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code have been considered. I find that the said decision arose out of execution proceedings and as such it does not deal with the broader aspects of revisional jurisdiction conferred upon the High Court by virtue of later enactments.

8 Thiru Rathinam also cited the decision in David v. Thiagarajan I.L.R. : AIR1966Mad89 , and stated that the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court is limited to questions of irregular exercise or non-exercise or illegal assumption of jurisdiction and that errors of subordinate Courts, however gross and palpable they may be, would escape correction in the Court of revision, and the cause of justice cannot prevail, as it has no place in the framework of the revisional power.

9. As far 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 115, Civil Procedure Code, are involved.

10. It is clear from the decisions reported in Rama Iyer v. Sundaresa Pqnnapoondar : [1966]3SCR474 , and Aravamudha Chettiar 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.

11. 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 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.

12. In this view, the civil revision petition is allowed. But there will be no order as to costs.


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