1. This is a petition for revision of an order of an appellate court in a matter relating to the fixation of standard rent.
2. An application was made to the Rent Controller for fixation of standard rent of a room on the first floor of premises No. 14/2, Old China Bazar Street, Calcutta which was let at a monthly rental of Rs. 80/-.
3. It seems clear that this room was not let separately on December 1, 1941 and therefore the provisions of Section 9 (1) (e) of the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act applied. The Rent Controller had to ascertain the basic rent, that is, the rent which would have been reasonably payable for the premises if they were separately let on December 1, 1941.
4. The tenant produced no evidence of rents of similar rooms on the first floor in the vicinity. He relied upon the rent payable for rooms on the second floor of these premises. These rooms were measured and the rent worked out at the rate of 1 anna 6 pies per square foot. The Rent Controller thought that that was a reasonable rate of rent for the first floor and he fixed the standard rent accordingly.
5. It is notorious that rents of business premises in the business quarters of Calcutta vary with the position of the rooms let. The first floor is very much more advantageous than the second floor and the rent of a room on the second floor cannot be a reasonable guide for assessing the rent of a room on the first floor.
6. On appeal the appellate Court was of opinion that the rent payable for rooms on the second floor could not be used as a true guide for ascertaining the rent payable for rooms on the first floor and with that view I entirely agree. There was no other evidence of any kind. That being so it appears to me that there was no material upon which the Rent Controller could arrive at a basic rent as required by Section 9 (1) (e). As the tenant had not produced any evidence the application should have been dismissed.
7. That being so the view of the appellate court must be upheld, and the petition fails and is dismissed with costs.
8. The Rule is discharged.
9. I agree.