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Bhutnath Mukherjee Vs. Bhupati Lall Karmakar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rule Nos. 1701 and 1702 of 1952
Judge
Reported inAIR1954Cal76
ActsWest Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950 - Section 9(1)
AppellantBhutnath Mukherjee
RespondentBhupati Lall Karmakar
Appellant AdvocateA.D. Mukherjee and ;Sushil Kumar Biswas, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateDwijendra Nath Basu and ;Indu Bhusan Sarkar, Advs.
Cases ReferredBata Shoe Co. Ltd. v. Narayan Das Mullick
Excerpt:
- .....rent was fixed at rs. 14/- per mensem. the tenant opposite party filed two applications before the rent controller for standardisation of the rent of these two premises. the application filed in respect of the shop room was numbered as case no. 1576 (c) of 1950 and the application in respect of the residential room was registered as case no. 1577 (c) of 1950.the rent controller standardised the rent of the shop-room at rs. 8/4 per month and the rent of the residential room at rs. 6/0/9p, per month. both the cases were governed by one judgment. two appeals were preferred against the decision of the rent controller which were heard by a judge of the court of small causes, presiding over the 4th bench. both the appeals were dismissed by the appellate judge and so the landlord has filed two.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Renupada Mukherjee, J.

1. These two rules were issued at the instance of one Bhutnath Mukherjee who is landlord of opposite party Bhupatilal Karmakar in respect of two rooms forming part of premises No. 63, Pathuria-ghata Street, Calcutta. One of these rooms is a shop room, the contractual rent whereof was Rs. 16/- per mensem and the other room is used for residential purposes, and its contractual rent was fixed at Rs. 14/- per mensem. The tenant opposite party filed two applications before the Rent Controller for standardisation of the rent of these two premises. The application filed in respect of the shop room was numbered as Case No. 1576 (C) of 1950 and the application in respect of the residential room was registered as Case No. 1577 (C) of 1950.

The Rent Controller standardised the rent of the shop-room at Rs. 8/4 per month and the rent of the residential room at Rs. 6/0/9p, per month. Both the cases were governed by one judgment. Two appeals were preferred against the decision of the Rent Controller which were heard by a judge of the Court of Small Causes, presiding over the 4th Bench. Both the appeals were dismissed by the appellate Judge and so the landlord has filed two revisional applications under Section 32 (4), West Bengal Premises Rent Control Act, 1950. The cases were heard together in this Court also.

2. I shall deal with the two Revisional applications one after another. Civil Revision case No. 1702/52 is concerned with the standardisation of the rent of the shop-room. It was contended by the learned Advocate for the petitioner that this room was let out in December 1941 as part of a. bigger room at a rent of Rs. 30/- per mensem and that fact should have been taken into consideration by the Rent Controller for the purpose of fixing the standard rent. From the judgment of the Rent Controller I however find that he did not place any reliance on the collection book of the landlord. Moreover, it cannot be said that the premises the rent whereof is the subject-matter for consideration in Case No. 1576 (C) of 1950 were let out in December 1941.

According to the admission of the landlord himself the shop-room was let out in December 1941 along with another adjoining room and that these two rooms comprised one big room, at that time. It is thus clear that the disputed room of this case was not let out in the same condition or shape in December 1941. Following therefore the principles, laid down in -- 'Bata Shoe Co. Ltd. v. Narayan Das Mullick', A. I. R. 1953 Cal 234 (A), I am of opinion that the rent of the disputed room of this case cannot be fixed with reference to the rent which was paid in respect of one big room in December 1941.

It was contended, however, by Mr. Mukherjee on behalf of the petitioner that even if the rent of this room cannot be standardised with reference to the rent for the entire bigger room which was paid in December 1941, the Rent Controller should have proceeded under Section 9 (1)(e), West Bengal Premises Rent Control Act for the purpose of ascertaining what rent would have been reasonably payable for the disputed room if let out on 1-12-1941.

On a perusal of the judgment of the Rent Controller I find that this is exactly what he has done. It may be that the materials produced before the Rent Controller were not quite adequate or sufficient for the purpose of finding what rent was reasonably payable on the date mentioned above but the Rent Controller made the best use of the materials which the parties produced before him, and I cannot say that his decision is in any way arbitrary or illegal. In this view of the matter I am of opinion that the standard rent in Case No. 1576 (C)/50 has been determined by application of correct principles of law. That being the case, there is no ground for interference, so far as C. Revision Case No. 1702 of 1952 is concerned.

3. Rent Control Case No. 1577 (C/50 out of which C. Rev. 1701/52 has arisen however stands on a different footing. It was the case of the landlord before the Rent Controller that this room which is admittedly used for residential purposes was let out to one Gobinda Chandra Chatterjee on 1-12-41 at a rent of Rs. 12/- per month. It appears that in support of this contention the landlord produced a collection book before the Rent Controller and one Monoranjan Chatterjee, son of Gobinda Chandra Chatterjee, also produced the counter-foil of a receipt for showing that his father paid rent at Rs. 12/- per month for this room. These documents were rejected by the Rent Controller as he was unable to place any reliance upon them. The reasonings given, for rejection of the documents do not appear to be sound.

The Rent Controller observed that the landlord did not place his collection book before the Inspector who made an inspection in the locality. Neither any law nor any order of procedure required the landlord to produce the collection book before the Inspector who held a local inspection. The book was produced in Court. The landlord also made a statement in his written objection that the room in question was let out in December 1941. This fact was not denied by the tenant in his deposition. In these circumstances there is no reasonable ground on the part of the Rent Controller to hold that the collection boob of the landlord was a spurious document. This finding was arrived at by reasonings which are wholly inadequate and unsatisfactory. In these circumstances I hold that the landlord satisfactorily proved that this residential room was let out in December 1941 at a rent of Rs. 12/- per month. That being the case, the rent of this room should have been standardised by the Rent Controller according to the provisions of Section 9 (1) (a) read with Schedule A, West Bengal premises Rent Control Act, 1950. The standard rent should therefore be fixed at Rs. 12/- plus l/10th of Rs. 12/- i.e., Rs. 13/3/3 in all. The Rent Controller was not justified in fixing the standard rent at Rs. 6/0/9 which he evidently did by following the provisions of Section 9 (1) (g) of the Act. C- Revision 1701/52 will therefore be made absolute.

4. In the result I pass the following order in these two revision cases:

5. The Rule in C. Revision 1702/52 is discharged.

6. The Rule issued in C. Revision 1701/52 is made absolute and the orders of the Courts below are modified to the extent that the standard rent in Case No. 1577 (C/50 in the Court of the Rent Controller is fixed at Rs. 13/3/3 instead of Rs. 6/0/9 per mensem. The excess rent paid by the tenant over the standard rent will be adjusted towards future rent. The tenant applicant will not get any costs of the courts below from the landlord in Case No. 1577(C)/50.

7. Parties will bear their own costs in this Court in both the Rules.


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