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Lingappa Gounder Vs. Palaniswami Gounder - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1968)2MLJ181
AppellantLingappa Gounder
RespondentPalaniswami Gounder
Excerpt:
- .....court for fixation of fair rent and fair rent was fixed at rs. 1,100. he filed an appeal to the rent tribunal against that order. he applied for the appointment of a commissioner to make a local inspection. it was contended on behalf of the respondent-landlord that there was no provision in the madras cultivating tenants (payment of fair rent) act, for the appointment of a commissioner, that the petitioner had applied for local inspection and the rent court had made a local inspection on 30th december, 1966, and that there was no necessity to issue a fresh commission when there was already a report with regard to the condition of the property. the rent tribunal holding that the provisions in the civil procedure code for the appointment of a commissioner is not applicable to rent.....
Judgment:

A. Alagiriswami, J.

1. This is a petition to revise the order of the learned District Munsif, Tiruppur, as the Rent Tribunal, dismissing the petitioner's application for appointment of a Commissioner. The petitioner applied in the Rent Court for fixation of fair rent and fair rent was fixed at Rs. 1,100. He filed an appeal to the Rent Tribunal against that order. He applied for the appointment of a Commissioner to make a local inspection. It was contended on behalf of the respondent-landlord that there was no provision in the Madras Cultivating Tenants (Payment of Fair Rent) Act, for the appointment of a Commissioner, that the petitioner had applied for local inspection and the Rent Court had made a local inspection on 30th December, 1966, and that there was no necessity to issue a fresh commission when there was already a report with regard to the condition of the property. The Rent Tribunal holding that the provisions in the Civil Procedure Code for the appointment of a Commissioner is not applicable to Rent Tribunal, dismissed the petition. It also held that when a local inspection had also been made by the Rent Court, there was no necessity to issue a commission again for making a local inspection. It is ture, there is no provision for appointment of a Commissioner under the Madras Cultivating Tenants (Payment of Fair Rent) Act and Rules, 1956. Under Rule 4 (i), every Rent Court and Rent Tribunal constituted under the Act shall have the powers exercisable by a civil Court in the trial of suit and in appeals. Under Sub-rule (ii) the proceedings of the Rent Court and the Rent Tribunal shall be summary and shall as far as possible be governed by the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code with regard to the issue and service of summons, the examination of parties and witnesses, the production of documents, the amendment of pleadings, addition of parties, the passing of ex parte orders and setting them aside for good cause, ordering dismissal for default of appearance and setting aside such orders for good cause, the reviewing of orders pasted on ground of apparent error, local inspection, and the passing of orders. Thus, it would be seen that there was no express provision for appointment of a Commissioner even though there is a power to make local inspection. But under Rule 8, in hearing an application under the Act, the Rent Court shall have also power to depute any officer of the Revenue Department not lower in rank than a Revenue Inspector to make local enquiry and inspection and to collect relevant data. The officer so deputed shall submit a report of such enquiry and inspection in writing and this report shall be part of the evidence of the case. This in substance amounts to power to appoint a Commissioner. The petitioner's application for appointing a Commissioner need not have been literally construed and rejected on the ground that there is no power to appoint a Commissioner. What matters is the substance of a request and not the term in which it was couched or the name given to it. The question always is whether the Court has got the power to do in substance what is wanted by a petitioner. There is no doubt that if the Rent Court thought it necessary, it had the power to depute an officer under Rule 8 for making local enquiry and inspection. An officer so deputed would in substance be a Commissioner and the provision of that rule makes it clear that even in respect of his report, the opportunity to file objections is similar to the procedure regarding the filing of objections to a Commissioner's report. Thus, though it is true that the provision of rule (i) which enables the Rent Court and Rent Tribunals to exercise the power exercisable in a civil Court in the trial of suit and in appeals does not enable them to appoint Commissioner, the power under Rule 8 tantamounts the power to appoint a Commissioner. But the power could be exercised only by a Rent Court and not by a Rent Tribunal as in this case. There is further the fact that in this case the Rent Court had already made an inspection and that was one of the circumstances which was taken into consideration by the Rent Tribunal in refusing the petitioner's request for appointment of a Commissioner. In the circumstances of this case, even if the Rent Tribunal had the power to depute an officer under Rule 8, it should be held that it has exercised its discretion properly in refusing to appoint a Commissioner or depute an officer under Rule 8.

2. The Civil Revision Petition is, therefore, dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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