K. Veeraswami, C.J.
1. This appeal is from a decree of Kunhamed Kutti, J., who directed payment to the plaintiff of a sum of Rs. 55,500 by way of damages for use and occupation of the building in question for the period from 1st April, 1962 to 30th April, 1964. It appears that the suit was filed originally in the City Civil Court, but later transferred to the Original Side of this Court. The premises was leased out to the defendant, South Indian Corporation Agencies (P.) Ltd., under a lease deed dated 28th November, 1957. The monthly rent provided was Rs. 750 and the lease was for a period of five years. There was a clause in the lease deed giving an option to renew the lease for a period of five years. But that was conditional or the lessor's consent thereto. The defendant wanted a renewal after expiry of the period of five years. But there was RO agreement on the rent to be paid after renewal. The result was that the suit, out of which this appeal arises was filed by. the respondent. He sought to recover possession and also mesne profits, past and future at the rate of Rs. 2,500 per month. At the time when the suit was instituted, the building which fetched a rent of more than Rs. 400 per month was outside the purview of the Rent Control Act. When the suit was pendirg, the defendant-appellant surrendered possession on 30th April, 1964. It is also not in dispute that rent had beer paid up to 31st March, 1962. The fact of surrender of possession was recorded by the learned Judge himself. Damages were decreed at the rate of Rs. 1,500 per month.
2. In this appeal it is not contended that there was anything wrong in the decree for possession because, as a matter of fact, possession had been delivered. But the appeal is confirmed to the propriety of granting damages in excess of Rs. 750 which was the rent payable when the lease was current. On this matter, Kunhamed Kutti, J., after reviewirg the oral evidence a id the prevailing rent ii the neighbourhood, thought that Rs. 1,500 per month would be reasonable. It was on that basis he gave a decree for Rs. 55,500 as damages.
3. We have carefully considered the evidence which bears on the quantum of damages. The learned Judge himself was not very much impressed with the evidence directed by the plaintiff in this behalf. Actually, when the claim was for Rs. 2,500 per month, the evidence turned out to be that the monthly rent prevalent in the neighbourhood for similar premises was Rs. 2,000 per month. But there is no evidence in the light of which a comparison of the premises in question could be made with those for the neighbourhood for which the rent was said to be Rs. 2,000 per month. But on the whole, on a reading of the entire evidence, we feel that fixation of Rs. 1,500 per month would be excessive. We are inclined to think that Rs. 1,000 per month as rent would be fair and reasonable. We may point out that this fixation is a rough and ready one, as in this state of evidence no arithmetical accuracy in respect of exact quantum of rent appears to be possible.
4. We, accordingly, modify the decree by reducing the damages per month from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 1,000. The appeal is allowed to that limited extent with proportionate costs.