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Arun Brothers Vs. Sakti Prasanna Chaterjee - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rule No. 2946 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1983Cal129,87CWN70
ActsWest Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules, 1956 - Rules 6 and 16; ;West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 - Sections 21, 21(1), 21(2), 26, 29 and 42; ;Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 29(5), 151 and 152; ;Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantArun Brothers
RespondentSakti Prasanna Chaterjee
Appellant AdvocateNirmala Kumari Chaturvedi, ;H.K. Chaturvedi, ;Sambhu Nath Roy, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateTarun Chatterjee and ;Bijan Majumdar, Advs.
Cases ReferredProvabati v. Satyendra
Excerpt:
- ramendra mohan datta, j. 1. this matter has come up before this special bench as a result of the difference of opinion expressed by the bench of s. k. datta and h. n. sen, jj. in the above matter with another division bench decision of this court in manick chand durga prosad & bros. v. bulakidas baheti, reported in : air1969cal104 .2. the interesting point on which the above two division beaches have expressed their divergent views is whether the kent controller has the power to correct a rent control challan by which a tenant deposits rent with the rent controller in accordance with the provisions of the west bengal premises tenancy act, 1956. to be more precise, the point involved is whether the rent control challans, with which the rents have been deposited in the wrong name of the.....
Judgment:

Ramendra Mohan Datta, J.

1. This matter has come up before this Special Bench as a result of the difference of opinion expressed by the Bench of S. K. Datta and H. N. Sen, JJ. in the above matter with another Division Bench decision of this Court in Manick Chand Durga Prosad & Bros. v. Bulakidas Baheti, reported in : AIR1969Cal104 .

2. The interesting point on which the above two Division Beaches have expressed their divergent views is whether the Kent Controller has the power to correct a rent control challan by which a tenant deposits rent with the Rent Controller in accordance with the provisions of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. To be more precise, the point involved is whether the rent control challans, with which the rents have been deposited in the wrong name of the landlord Sakti Prosad Chatterjee in the place and stead of Sakti Prosanna Chatterjee, could be corrected by the Rent Controller. The point has to be decided on the basis of the law as stands and as is provided by the said West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. One would be tempted to ask --what, if 'Prosad' is corrected to read 'Prosanna' But the question has to be decided on the basis of whether or not the Rent Controller has been vested with the power to do so. What is the nature of the power which is exercised by the Rent Controller in the matter of such corrections Is it his administrative function or is it quasi-judicial Can he have inherent power to correct the challan

3. Besides the decision in Manick Chand Durga Prosad v. Buiakidas Baheti : AIR1969Cal104 (supra) there have been several pronouncements of this Court and the views expressed therein appear to be unanimous on the point that there is no express provision in the said statute, viz. West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 empowering the Rent Controller to correct such challans and, as such, the Kent Controller, Dot being a Court, could not have, in his administrative capacity, exercised such powef. The only view that has been expressed against the preponderance of the authorities, has been expressed by the Bench of S.K. Datta and H.N. Sen, JJ. in the above matter, inter alia, in the following words:

'The Division Bench consisting of D.N. Sinha, C. J. and A.K. Mukherjea, J. observed as follows (at p. 107):

'In any case, aay order of delegation even if such order existed would, in our opinion, be useless, for, there is nothing in the Act which gives any power even to the Controller himself to make corrections in challans and vary the appropriation of the rent to a month other than what is mentioned in the application.'

'It was obvious that their Lordships were of opinion that under the provisions of law no power was given to the Rent Controller to correct a challan.'

'In our opinion, the question whether the Rent Controller under the provisions of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 has any power to correct the challan is a matter of general importance and, prima facie, we are unable to subscribe to the view taken by the Division Bench. Accordingly, it is desirable that the matter should be considered by a larger Bench. We, accordingly, refer the matter to the learned Chief Justice for appointing a Special Division Beach for hearing the question of law involved in this case under the second provision of R. 1 of Chap. II of the Appellate Side Rules.'

4. The matter arose out of an application in Misc. Case No. 404 of 1973 filed to fore the Rent Controller who rejected such application for correction of challans. The tenant filed an appeal to the District Judge, 24 Parganas m Appeal No. 21 of 1974 andthe same was dismissed by order dated June 18, 1974. Thereafter a Rule was issued in the Civil Revisional Jurisdiction of this Court calling upon the opposite party to show cause why the order should not be set aside, and an ad interim order of stay of the hearing of the application under Section 17 (3) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 was granted for two months with liberty to apply for extension of the stay. Thereafter by an order dated April 30, 1975 the matter was referred to the Division Bench in view of the fact that it involved public importance. By the aforesaid order dated Nov. 5, 1976 the Division Bench referred the matter to the learned Chief Justice for constituting a Special Division Bench for hearing the question of law involved in this case.

5. The facts of this case briefly are that the petitioner is a monthly tenant under the plaintiff-opposite party in respect of a flat in premises No. 101, Jodhpur Park. Calcutta at a monthly rental of Rs. 200/- payable according to English calendar month. According to the petitioner on refusal to accept rent by the landlord the petitioner started depositing rent with the office of 'the Rent Controller with effect from the month of April, 1970 and went on so depositing till the month of November, 1970. In this case the plaintiff-landlord filed a suit for eviction before the Munsiff, 3rd Court, Alipore on the ground of reasonable requirement for his own use and occupation. The tenant filed the written statement denying the allegation and, inter alia, challenging the legality and validity of the ejectment notice.

6. In connection with the said suit the plaintiff-opposite party filed an application under Section 17 (3) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. In the written objection filed by the petitioner tenant, 8 challans showing deposit of rent with the office of the Rent Controller in connection therewith were filed. It was noticed that the name of the landlord appearing in the said challans was shown as 'Sakti Prasad Chatterjee' instead of 'Sakti Prasanna Chatterjee'. At the time the same was detected the challans had already been exhibited and marked as Exts. A to A7 in the Ejectment proceedings. On the application of the petitioner-tenant the same were ordered to be returned to the petitioner after expunging the same from the list of exhibits and directing the petitioner to refile the same after necessary corrections. In the meantime as hearing of the application under Section 17 (3) of the Act was postponed.

7. In May, 1973 the petitioner filed an application before the Rent Controller, Calcutta for correction of the said Rent Control Challans after issuing the notice upon the landlord-opposite party in Notice Case No. 45 of 1973. On June 16, 1973 the Registrar, Rent Control Court, rejected the application holding that the case did not come under the purview of the Notice case. On June 29, 1973 the petitioner filed another application before the Rent Controller for making necessary corrections in the challans in the name of the landlord. The same was registered as Misc. Case No. 404 of 1973. The landlord-opposite party filed an objection thereto on or about Oct. 29, 1973. The Rent Controller by his judgment and order dated Jan. 15, 1974 rejected the same. The petitioner thereupon preferred a Rent Control Appeal being Appeal No. 2 of 1974 before the 3rd Additional District Judge, 24 Parganas. The same was also dismissed on contest with costs. Thereupon the petitioner-tenant came up in Civil Revisional Jurisdiction of this High Court and the matter ultimately came up before the Bench of S.K. Datta and H. N. Sen, JJ. who referred the matter to the learned Chief Justice for appointing a Special Division Bench for the hearing of the question of law involved therein, as set out hereinabove.

8. Basically, the scheme of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 including the amendments thereof aims at the protection of the tenants from eviction except on the grounds provided therein. Such protection has been denied to the tenants if the tenants would fail to pay or deposit the rent in the manner provided by the said statute, In case of deposit of rent with the Rent Controller the tenants are required to observe certain formalities as provided in the Act and as prescribed by the Rules framed thereunder, so that there might not be any impediment on the part of the person or persons claiming to be entitled thereto to withdraw the same from the office of the Rent Controller. The tenant can deposit the vent with the Rent Controller. The tenant can deposit the rent with the Rent Controller under Section 21 of the Act when the landlord does not accept the rent tendered to him or where there is bona fide doubt as to the person or persons to whom the rent is payable. Accordingly, if the deposits are made in wrong names or in respect of wrong months, serious complications might arise hi the matter of such deposit and withdrawals. Strictly speaking such deposits would not be deposits as provided by thestatute and in the Rules. Such being the position, the deposits have to be made in such a manner that the same might be withdrawn without any impediment and the formalities attached to it must be strictly observed.

9. By the Amending Act (30 of 1969), the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act was amended with the modification that a Controller, an Additional Controller or a Deputy Controller, whether in Calcutta or outside, might be a member of the Indian Administrative Service, or the Executive or the Judicial Branch of the State Civil Service or the State Junior Civil Service or be a Sub Magistrate and Sub-Collector. That being so, the Rent Controller is not a person who must essentially be a member of the Judiciary but he may be an Administrative Officer. The Act has provided for dual functions to be performed by the Rent Controller. In respect of certain provisions he has the administrative functions to perform and in respect of certain others he has to perform quasi-judicial functions.

10. Section 2 (b) defines a Controller as meaning a Controller appointed under sub-Section (1) of Section 26 and includes Additional Controller and a Deputy Controller appointed under Sub-section (2) of Section 26. Under Section 26 the State Government has been empowered to appoint by notification a person to be the Controller for any area or part of an area to which this Act extends to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the Controller in accordance with the provisions of that Act in such area or part. Under Sub-section (5) of Section 26 the Controller may transfer any case, pending before him for disposal, to the Additional Controller or Deputy Controller or may withdraw any case pending before any such officer and dispose of the same himself or transfer such case for disposal to any other Additional Controller or Deputy Controller. Section 26 provides for administrative powers and functions of the Controller and the officers under him as mentioned therein.

11. Chapter IV of the Act deals with the deposit of rent by the tenant It provides that where the landlord does not accept any rent tendered by the tenant within the time referred to in Section 4 or where there is a bona fide doubt as to the person or persons to whom the rent is payable, the tenant may deposit such rent with the Controller in the prescribed manner. Sub-section (2) of Section 21 provides that the deposit shall be accompanied by an application supported by an affidavit by the tenant stating the particulars as provided by Clauses (a) to (d) thereof Clause (c) of Sub-section (2) provides that in such affidavit by the tenant the name and address of the landlord, or the person or persons claiming to be entitled to such rent have to be stated. Sub-section (4) thereof provides that on such deposit of rent being made, the Controller shall send in the precribed manner the copy or copies of the application to the landlord or persons claiming to be entitled to the rent with an endorsement showing the date of the deposit, such endorsement being authenticated by the seal of his office and the signature of the Controller or some other officer authorised by him. Such authenticated copy of the application shall be admissible in evidence in all Courts of law. Sub-section (5) of Section 21 is relevant for our consideration in this case and the same is, accordingly, set out;

'(5) If an application is made for the withdrawal of any deposit of rent, the Controller shall, if satisfied that the applicant is the person entitled to receive the rent deposited, order the amount of the rent to be paid to him in the manner prescribed:

Provided that no order for payment of any deposit of rent shall be made by the Controller under this Sub-section without giving all persons named by the tenant in his application under Sub-section (2) as claiming to be entitled to payment of such rent an opportunity of being heard and such order shall be without prejudice to the rights of such persons to receive such rent being decided by a Court of competent jurisdiction.'

12. It would seem that a deposit is made accompanied by an application supported by an affidavit by the tenant with the Rent Controller and the Rent Controller in accepting the same would perform his administrative functions. Under Sub-section (4) also the Controller acts in discharge of his administrative functions. In Sub-section (5), which deals with the withdrawal of deposit of rent, the question of satisfaction of the Controller would come in. He has to apply his mind to find out that the applicant is the proper person entitled to receive the rent so deposited and upon such satisfaction he would pass an order directing payment of the amount of rent to him in the manner prescribed. He has to give an opportunity of being heard to all persons named by the tenant in his application under Sub-section (2) as claiming to be entitled to payment of such rent.

13. As observed hereinabove, in Sub-section (6), provision has been made for crediting the deposit amount to Government as a lapsed, deposit under circumstances mentioned therein. In this respect also the Controller would act in his administrative capacity.

14. Then again, under Sub-section (9) the Controller has to act in his quasi-judicial capacity. He has been empowered to levy on the landlord a fine if he is satisfied that the landlord without any reasonable cause refused to accept rent though tendered to him within the time provided therein and may further order that a sum out of the fine realised would be paid to the tenant as compensation. This involves giving hearing to the landlord and being satisfied that the landlord without any reasonable cause refused to accept the rent.

15. Section 22 of the Act provides what is valid deposit for the purpose of Clause (i) of Sub-section (1) of Section 13 of the Act. It refers to Section 13 (1) (i) whereunder the protection given to the tenant against his eviction is sought to be lifted where the tenant would make a default in payment of rent for twc months within the period of 12 months or for two successive period in cases where rent is not payable monthly. Section 22 (2), inter alia, provides that if the tenant would wilfully or negligently make any false statement in his application for depositing the rent, the deposit would not be a valid deposit. For the purpose of Section 13 (1) (i), Sub-section (3) of Section 22 provides that such a deposit would be a valid deposit and would constitute payment of rent to the landlord.

16. There is another provision in the Act which requires careful consideration. Section 29 (5) provides that a Controller or an Appellate Officer shall in dealing with proceedings under this Act be deemed to be a Court for the exercise of powers under Section 151 or Section 152 or O. XLVII of the Civil P. C., 1908. Sub-section (6) thereof provides that the provisions of the Civil P. C. 1908, shall apply to all suits and proceedings referred to in Section 20 except suits or proceedings which lie to the High Court. Under sub section (3) the procedure for filing an appeal, and the powers to be exercised and the procedure to be followed by an Appellate Officer in admitting and dealing with an appeal shall be the same as in the case of appeals from orders under the Civil P. C., 1908.

17. That brings us to the question whether the correction of the challans by the Controller cones within the meaning of theexpression 'proceedings' under this Act. If it is a proceeding and if the Controller would be dealt with in the exercise of powers under Section 151 or 152 or Order XLVII of the Civil P. C. This becomes a relevant consideration inasmuch as if the Controller would be acting only as an administrative officer in his administrative capacity he would not be dealing with any proceedings under the Act and if he would not be dealing with the proceedings under the Act he would not come within the deeming provision to be a Court for the purpose of exercising powers under the said provision of the Code. In such event, the question of correcting challans by making an order under Section 151 or 152 would not be of any avail. Such sections would not have any application in respect of the Controller exercising the administrative functions.

18. After due consideration of all the above provisions and generally the scheme of the entire statute as enacted, it is quite clear that the Legislature intended that the expression 'deposit of rent with the Rent Controller' has a special significance inasmuch as it strikes at the root of the protection of the tenant or his eviction, as the case might be. It has to be given a strict meaning. It is so woven into the various sections of the Act that unless a strict meaning as provided by the statute is given to the expression, it may lead to chaos and create anomalies and complexities.

19. Our attention has been drawn to some of the Rules in West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules, 1956. Rule 6 (1) provides that the deposit of rent under Section 21 may be made in the office of the Controller either by the tenant himself or by any person on his behalf. It has to be accompanied by a challan prepared in triplicate furnishing particulars referred to in Form No. II, The first column of the challan refers to location of the premises. The second column requires the particulars of name and address of the person or persons on whose behalf the money is tendered. The third column requires the particulars of the name and address of the landlord or person or persons to whose credit the amount is to be placed in deposit. The fourth column requires the particulars of the person or persons in the case of bona fide doubt is to whom such rent would be payable. There are two subdivided headings in column five which refers to the particulars of receipt; sub-col. 5A relates to the specification of the premises in respect of which the deposit is made and sub-col. 58 relates to the period for which the rentis deposited. Column 6 has been sub-divided into three sub-columns. Sub-columns 6 (a) relates to rent, 6 (b) relates to process fees or other charges and 6 (c) relates to the total sum. The last column being column 7 relates to the remarks, if any. On the left hand bottom a space has been provided for signature of the Chief Ministerial Officer and for inserting therein the date. On the right hand bottom a space has been indicated for signature of the person tendering the money. In the said Form No. II there are part II, Part III and Part IV which are to be used by the Clerk-in-Charge of the Controller's office. There are printed writings viz. Treasury/Reserve Bank of India and Controller's office respectively which are to be filled in by the Controller or by the other officers mentioned therein.

20. Form No. 1 provides for a Form giving guidance of how an application for deposit of rent under Section 21 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 has to be made Such form provides for particulars which are required to be furnished by the applicant, inter alia, by stating therein the name and address of the landlord or the person or persons claiming to be entitled to such rent and has to be verified and signed in the manner as provided therein.

21. Form No. IV provides for General Notice to be given under the signature of the Controller intimating, inter alia, the deposit of rent by the tenant in favour of the landlord and that the same not having been withdrawn have become due for forfeiture under the provisions of Sub-section (6) of Section 21 thereby giving notice that if no application for withdrawal would be made within 30 days from the date of the publication of the notice the amount in deposit would be forfeited to the State Government.

22. Rule 7 of the Rules of 1956 similarly provides that on receipt of deposit, the Controller shall cause a copy or copies of the application for deposit to be sent by registered post with acknowledgment due to the person to whom the rent was last paid as also to the person or persons mentioned in the application. It would appear that both Rules 6 and 7 involve ministerial act on the part of the Controller or the officers concerned.

Rule 16 runs as follows:

'A fee of 4 annas shall be payable on every application for correction of a challan depositing rest.'

23. Miss. Chaturbedi appearing on behalf of the tenant-petitioner contends that underthis R. 16 provision has been made for correction of a challan depositing the rent and on that basis the challan should be allowed to be corrected. In my opinion, such a rule, could not have been framed under the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules, 1956 since the parent Act being the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 which is toe foundation of such Rules does not itself provide for such correction of a challan for depositing rent. Accordingly, such a rule cannot stand on its own and Miss Chaturbedi cannot take advantage thereof in support of her contention.

24. Such being the provision of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 and the Rules framed thereunder being the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules, 1956 (as amended from time to time), to my mind, the Rent Controller has not been given any power to correct the challan in any manner when the same would be filed by or on behalf of the applicant making the deposit. In my view, the Rent Controller acts ministerially in exercise of his administrative function while receiving the money as deposit under S- 21 of the Act on the basis of the challans supported by an application in respect thereto. The Rent Controller thereupon is required to send a copy of the application to the landlord or persons claiming to be entitled to the rent with an endorsement showing the date of the deposit, such endorsement being authenticated by the seal of his office and the signature of the Controller or some other officer authorised by him. In the matter of receiving such deposit, the Rent Controller does not function as a Court and the statute being silent in giving him powers to correct the challans he could not assume jurisdiction to allow any correction to be made in such challans. That being the position, the Rent Controller, not being a Court, cannot also exercise powers under Section 151 of the Code to permit any suchcorrection to be made in such challans. In the absence of any such power being conferred by the statute, the Rent Controller could not have any jurisdiction to entertain such application. In any event, the practical difficulty that is bound to result from such correction, would be that only one copy lying with the Rent Controller might be corrected but not the copies which have already been despatched. Similarly, the application containing the particulars would continue to contain the incorrect particulars and, as such, such correction could not be effected in the records of the Treasury or the Reserve Bankof India wherein entries in their books would be made on the basis of the said challans and the application in connection therewith. Such correction if permitted would lead to! anomalies and serious complications and the amount cannot be withdrawn on behalf of the landlord, in a sense, by committing such mistakes or errors or defaults in entering the correct particulars in the challans, the tenant would, be allowed to create serious prejudice to the landlord in the matter! of withdrawing such sums.

25. As observed hereinabove, there have been several decisions on the point relating to the correction of the challan by the Rent Controller or the officer functioning under him. In some cases such corrections were refused in respect of the months for which the deposits were made. In some others the corrections were to be made in the names of the landlords, and some of the cases also deal with the application for correction of the addresses of the landlords. In the case of Manick Chand Durga Prosad & Bros. v. Buiakidas Beheti, : AIR1969Cal104 , the Division Bench of this Court held that the rent control challans could not be corrected to change or alter the month or months for which the deposits were made. At the hearing it appeared that the defendant had made double payment in respect of payment of rent for the month of Jaistha 2031 S. Y. After filing of the suit the defendant deposited the rent for the month of Sravan 2015 S. Y. in Court within the time after service of summons was effected on him. The learned Judge in granting adjournment observed that the legal effect of correction, if the challans were corrected, would be considered in due course and on that basis he gave an opportunity to the defendant to apply for correction. Thereafter on the application of the defendant the challans were corrected by the Rent Controller and the same after correction came up before the learned Judge and on the basis of the evidence adduced by and on behalf of the defendant the learned Judge held, inter alia, that the defendant was not a defaulter. That showed that the learned Judge accepted the correction and had appropriated the payment of rent notionally to the months that had been inserted in the chalfans by the corrections and on that basis came to the finding that the defendant was not a defaulter. The learned Judge also indicated that if the corrections had not been made there would have been defaults in respect of about seven months. The matter came up before the Division Bench and itwas held that the trial Judge had neither power nor authority to allow the notional adjustments which were sought to be made on the basis of the corrected challans. In that case the question of delegation of power by the Rent Controller to the Deputy Registrar and the effect thereof were considered by the said Bench but, in any event, it was observed by the said Bench that any order of delegation even if such order existed would be useless because there was nothing in the Act which gave any power even to the Controller himself to make corrections in the challans and to vary the appropriation of the rent to a month other than what was mentioned in the application. It is observed that before rents would be deposited with the Rent Controller, the same is always required to be accompanied by applications showing certain particulars which are specified in subsection (2) of Section 21 of the Act of 1956. One of the particulars which is required to be furnished is about the name and address of the landlord or person or persons claiming to be entitled to such rent and the period for which the rent is sought to be deposited. The other particulars are with regard to the premises for which the rent would be deposited with the description sufficient for identifying the premises; and the fourth particular is with regard to the reasons and circumstances for the application for deposit of the rent. The Bench also has considered the provision of Sub-section (4) of Section 21 of the Act of 1956 whereby the Controller is required to send the copy or copies of the application to the landlord or persons claiming to be entitled to the rent with an endorsement showing the date of the deposit and such endorsement has to be authenticated by the seal of the Court and the signature of the Controller or the other officer authorised by him. The said Sub-section (4) provides that such authenticated copy of the application would be made admissible in evidence in all Courts of law. The Bench also has noted the various difficulties that would crop up if such corrections would be allowed in the matter of making a valid deposit as required by law. I shall have occasion to deal with this case more in detail, hereafter, after discussing the other decisions of this Court. Suffice it to say, that the appeal was allowed and the judgment and decree of the trial Judge was set aside and a decree was passed In favour of the plaintiff for khas possession on the basis that the defendant had committed defaults in payment of rent practically for all the months subsequent to Jaistha 2013 S. Y.

26. In the case of Bengal Tent Factorie v. Amiya Prova Das Gupta, 64 Cal WN 342, the formalities to be complied with for deposit of rent with the Rent Controller under the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act XVII of 1950 were considered by a Bench of this Court That was a case of default in payment of rent which deprived the tenant of the protection given under the said Act of 1950. The deposits from July, 1952 to August, 1953 with the Rent Controller had been made in the name of M/s. Amiya Prova Das Gupta in the place and stead of Mrs. Amiya Prova Das Gupta. It was held in the circumstances of that case that the deposits were not valid deposits and it was also held to be a case of deliberate and designed act calculated to prevent the landlord from withdrawing the particular deposit or deposits within the meaning of Section 20 (2) of the said Act of 1950. In that case the Division Bench strictly construed the question of a valid deposit under the provisions of Ss. 19 and 20, for the purposes of Section 12 of the said Act of 1950. Accordingly, the defendant-tenant could not avail of the protection granted by the said Act of 1950.

27. In the unreported decision in Matter No. LPA 16 of 1973 Smt Sibani Bala Adhikary v. Nagendra Nath Ghose, another Division Bench of this Court by its judgment and order dated June 27, 1980 held the same view. That was also a case where the Additional District Judge found that such deposits with the Rent Controller were invalid not only on the ground that no fresh tender had been made by the defendant-tenant after the dismissal of the previous second appeal but also on the ground that the defendant-tenant had wrongly given the address of the plaintiff-landlord in his rent control challans from August, 1957. The landlord's residence was at 80A, Pipe Road but in the rent control challans the defendant-tenant had wrongly given the landlord's address sometime as 2A, Harisabha Street and sometime as 2A, Hari Ghose Street. It was, accordingly, held that all such deposits were invalid. In that case the plaintiff-landlord had withdrawn the rents up to the month of July, 1956. The Bench, however, held that the deposits made by the defendant-tenant in the office of the rent controller for the month of August to December, 1957 add January to March, 1958 were not valid. It was the defendant-tenant who in such rent control challans did not give the correct address of the plaintiff-landlord's premises. It was observed by the Bench that the name and theaddress of the landlord for the person to whose credit the amount was to be placed in deposit were required to be stated both in the application form No. 1 and in the challans in form No. 2 prescribed by Rule 6 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules. Such discrepancies have already been mentioned hereinabove. The provision of subsection (2) of Section 22 of the Act 1956 was considered by the said Division Bench and on the basis thereof it was found on the facts thereof that the deposits made by the tenant were so made by making wilful or negligent wrong statements and as such the same were not valid deposits. The Bench relied on the aforesaid decision in the case of Bengal Tent Factories Ltd. v. Amiya Prova Das Gupta (supra). The said Bench also considered the decision in the case of Manick Chand Durga Prosad v. Bulaki Das Baheti : AIR1969Cal104 (supra).

28. In the case of Provabati Chakrabarti v. Satyendra Nath Chatterjee, 1978 (1) Cal LJ 629, my brother Chittatosh Mookerjee, J. sitting singly, considered a case where the name of Section R. Chatterjee was written in the challans in the place and stead of the plaintiff No. 1 S. N. Chatterjee. On that basis the landlord made an application under Section 17 (3) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 stating, inter alia, that the defendant-tenant had not complied with the provisions of Section 17 (1) of the said Act and the tenant was not paying or depositing the amount which was the equivalent of the rent. In that proceeding the defendant-tenant also filed an application under Section 151 of the Code stating, inter alia, that such deposits were duly made in the office of the Rent Controller. In respect of the wrong name in which the deposits were made, the tenant claimed that the same were bona fide typing mistakes and that steps were being taken for the correction of the challans. In that application she prayed for condonation of the mistake made in the said challans. The trial Court rejected the said tenant's application under Section 151 of the Code. The matter then came up before my brother Mookerjee, J. in the Civil Revisional Jurisdiction.

29. The matter has been elaborately discussed from all its aspects. It was pointed out therein that the tenant had been making deposits in the office of the Rent Controller through different persons at different times. Rents up to 1975 were deposited in the name of S.N. Chatterjee and the other co-plaintiff-landlords did not object to that and obtained withdrawals thereof. In respect of the challans for 1966-67 the tenants depositedthe said sums in the name of S. R. Chatter-fee in place of S. N. Chatterjee, but stated that the same were bona fide typing mistakes. The tenant was directed to produce the challans by the Court below, but the same was not complied with. Thereafter, the plaintiff No. 2 was examined as a witness in the said application under Section 17 (3) but the defendant did not cross-examine him nor did she depose herself. On that basis the trial Court made an order in the landlord's application and dismissed the application made by the tenant under Section 151 of the Code. The relevant provisions of the amended West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act being West Bengal Act XXXIX of 1965 as also the various decisions of this Court were considered by my brother Mookerjee, J.

30. It was held therein that the deposit of rent under Section 21 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act was based on the contractual obligation of the tenant to pay rent. My learned brother noted in that judgment that not only the deposits were not made in the names of all the landlords but the tenant purported to deposit only in the wrong name of S. R. Chatterjee as her landlord. It was held in the facts of that case that there was considerable force in the argument advanced on behalf of the landlord that such inaccuracy would disentitle the four plaintiffs to withdraw those deposits from the office of the Rent Controller when the same were deposited in the wrong name of S.K. Chatterjee. It was held that such deposit in one name by omitting the names of the other landlords and by mentioning a wrong description of the plaintiff No. 1 therein clearly invalidated the deposits made by the defendant in the office of the Rent Controller.

31. It was also noted therein that the assertion of the plaintiffs that the deposits were so made in the wrong name deliberately to put the plaintiffs in trouble, was not traversed on behalf of the defendant. It wat held, accordingly, that such deposits in the name of S. R. Chatterjee as landlord in the office of the Rent Controller were not capable of being corrected either by the Rent Controller or by the learned Munsiff hearing the ejectment suit. It was held that such deposits were made with the Rent Controller in contravention of Section 17 (1) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act. It is, however, open to the Court to hold whether deposit made with the Rent Controller is valid or not.

32. With respect, I agree with the said decision and the reasons given therein.

33. Our attention has been drawn to the Delhi High Court decision of Rohatgi, J. in the case of Gurditta Mal v. Shri Bal Swamp, reported in (1980) 1 Ren CJ 500 where it was held that even though the Rent Controller was not a Court, but a Tribunal, the Rent Controller had power to recall or vacate his own order on the ground that it was inherent in the constitution of every such Tribunal to exercise such powers. That case is clearly distinguishable from the facts of the case before us. That decision is also distinguishable on the ground that the same has considered the power of the Controller under Section 151 of the Code to set aside an eviction order. The proceeding therein was judicial or at least quasi-judicial in nature. Whereas Section 21 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act does not contemplate any judicial proceeding before deposits are made in the office of the Rent Controller. The Controller is not required to satisfy himself that any of the reasons mentioned in Section 21 (1) of the Act really exists or not, before the Rent Controller accepts deposits of rent. Here the Rent Controller is not supposed to correct his own mistake in his inherent power. The matter before us involves the correction of a rent control challan which contained a mistake committed by the applicant depositing the rent with the Rent Controller. Moreover, that case was decided on the basis of some provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 which are not in pan materia with the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. In my opinion, the Delhi case has no application to the facts of the case before us.

34. For all these reasons, as stated above, I am of the view that the Rent Controller has no power to correct the challans, however, much it may act harshly on the tenant, inasmuch as the statute does not provide for any such power for correction of any such mistake by the Rent Controller. The Rent Controller, not being a Court, cannot even correct the challans under Section 151 of the Civil P. C. which is not available to him in the exercise of his administrative function.

35. I am of the view that the Division Bench decision of D. N. Sinha, C. J. and A. K. Mukherjea, J. in the case of Manick chand Durgaprosad & Bros. v. Balukidas Baheti, reported in : AIR1969Cal104 , has correctly laid down the law on this point and the view expressed by the referring Bench of S. K. Datta and H. N. Sen, JJ. does not express the correct legal position.

36. I decide the matter accordingly.

37. The Rule is accordingly discharged with no order as to costs.

38. Let the records be sent down as ex-peditiously as possible.

P. K. Banerjee, J.

39. I agree.

Chittatosh Mookerjee, J.

40. I agree with the answer proposed by his Lordship Hon'ble Mr. Justice R. M. Datta but having regard to the importance of the question, I would prefer to separately record my reasons. The Revisional Application under Article 227 of the Constitution previously came up for hearing before S. K. Dutta and H. N. Sen, JJ. but they were unable to agree with the earlier decision of the Division Bench consisting of D. N. Sinha, C. J. and A. K. Mukherjea, J. in Manickchand Durgaprosad & Bros. v. Balukidas Baheti, : AIR1969Cal104 , Accordingly, S. K. Datta and H. N. Sen, JJ. under R. 1 (ii). Chap. II of the Appellate Side Rules made reference and the learned Chief Justice has constituted the Special Bench for hearing the following question of law arising in the said revision case:

'Whether or not the Rent Controller appointed under Section 26 (1) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956, has any power to allow corrections to be made in the challans by which a tenant deposits rent with the Controller under Section 21 (1) of the said Act.'

41. M/s. Arun Brothers, the petitioner in this Civil Rule, claimed to be a monthly tenant under the plaintiff-opposite party in respect of a flat in the ground floor of premises No. 101, Jodhpur Park, P. S. Tollygunge at a rent of Rs. 200/- per month payable according to English calendar. The petitioner had purported to deposit under Section 21 (1) of the West Bengal premises Tenancy Act rent of the said premises from the month of April, 1970 to November, 1970, inter alia, on the allegation that the opposite party-landlord did not accept the rent tendered to him. It appears that the petitioner in the said rent control challans had described the landlord as Saktiprasad Chatterjee instead of Sakti Prasanna Chatterjee.

42. On 14th Sept., 1970 the plaintiff-opposite party had instituted Title Suit No. 122 of 1970 in the 3rd Court of Munsif at Alipore for ejectment of the petitioner, inter alia, on the allegation that the plaintiff reasonably required the suit premises for his own use and occupation. The present petitioner had been contesting the said ejectment suit. The plaintiff-opposite party had filed an application under Section 17 (3) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act for striking offthe petitioner's defence against delivery of possession, presumably on the ground that the petitioner did not comply with the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 17 of the Act by depositing or paying rent for the period for which it had committed default. In support of its objection to the said application under Section 17 (3) of the Act, the petitioner had filed in the said ejectment suit challans showing deposits of rent for the aforesaid period April, 1970 to November, 1970, to the credit of Sakti Prasad Chatterjee.

43. The learned Munsif in whose Court the said ejectment suit against the petitioner was pending had returned the said rent control challans to enable the petitioner to apply before the Rent Controller for making necessary corrections therein. The Registrar, Rent Controller's office had initially rejected the petitioner's application for correcting the said rent control challans. Thereafter, the petitioner filed another application before the learned Rent Controller for making necessary corrections with regard to the name of the landlord which accordingly to the petitioner through bona fide mistake and inadvertence had been given as Sakti Prasad instead of Sakti Prasannna Chatterjee. The same was registered as Misc. case. The landlord-opposite party opposed the said prayer of the petitioner. The learned Rent Controller by his order dated 15th Jan., 1974 had rejected the said application. Being aggrieved, the petitioner preferred an appeal under Section 29 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act. The learned Additional District Judge dismissed the said appeal holding, inter alia, that in view of the Division Bench decision in Manickchand Durgaprosad's case : AIR1969Cal104 (supra), the Rent Controller had rightly refused to correct the challans in question. The Rule obtained by the petitioner from a learned single Judge of this Court was referred to the Division Bench. S. K. Datta and H. N. Sen, JJ., as already stated, referred to Special Division Bench the aforesaid question of law relating to the power, if any, of the Rent Controller to allow correction of Rent Control Challans.

44. The State Government by notification under Section 26 (1) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act. 1956 appoints a person to be the Controller for any area or part of an area to which the said Act extends, to exercise the powers and to discharge the duties of the Controller. The State Government has been authorised by S. 26 (2) of the said Act to also appoint an Additional Controlleror a Deputy Controller or Registrar or a Deputy Registrar. An Additional or Deputy Controller, according to Sub-section (3) of Section 26 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 exercises such function of the Controller as may subject to the control of the State Government be assigned to him by the Controller. A Registrar or a Deputy Registrar shall exercise such of the functions of the Controller relating to the rent deposit under Section 21 as may be delegated to him by the Controller in writing. After Section 26 of the said Act was amended by the West Bengal Premises Tenancy (Amendment) Act (Act 30 of 1969) a Controller, an Additional Controller or a Deputy Controller appointed under the said section shall be a member of the Indian Administrative Service or the Executive or the Judicial Bench of the State Civil Service or the State Junior Civil Service or to be a Sub-Magistrate or Sub-Collector.

45. Under Sub-section (1) of Section 21 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 the tenant may deposit rent with the Rent Controller in the prescribed manner in the following two circumstances:

(a) where the landlord does not accept any rent tendered by the tenant within the time referred to in Section 4, or

(b) where there is a bona fide doubt as to the person or persons to whom the rent is payable.

46. The Sub-section (2) of Section 21 of the said Act lays down that the deposit of rent shall be accompanied by an application supported by an affidavit by the rent stating the particulars set out in Causes (a) to (d) of the said Sub-section (2). When reasons and circumstances for making deposit remain the same, no affidavit is required for making deposits of rent for successive months (vide proviso to Section 21 (2) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956).

47. The tenant's application for such deposit is required by Section 21 (3) of the Act to be accompanied by true copies along with prescribed fees for sending copy or copies to the landlord or landlords by registered post with acknowledgement due, The Controller under Sub-section (4) of Section 21 of the Act sends in the prescribed manner the said copy or copies of the application to the land-lord or the person claiming to be entitled to the rent with an endorsement showing the date of deposit. Sub-section (4-A) of Section 21 dispenses with the necessity of making tender of rent before depositing rentfor each month under Section 21 (1) of the Act and the view taken by a Division Bench to Kabiraj v. Baijnath, : AIR1968Cal56 , on the point is no longer good law. Rules 6 and 7 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules prescribe the detailed procedure for deposit of rent under Section 21 of the Act In the office of the Controller. The Form No. 1 and Form No. 2 under the said R. 6 prescribe respectively the manner of making an application for deposit and the specimen challan which is to be filled in by the payer.

48. Neither the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 nor the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules, 1956 expressly confer any power upon the Rent Controller to allow correction of the aforesaid application or the challan after the same have been already filed in the Rent Controller's Office. In the absence of any such power to allow correction of the said application or the challan, the provision of Rule 16 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules prescribing a fee of 4 As. payable on every application for correction of a challan depositing rent is of no consequence. Only in case the Controller enjoys express or implied power to allow correction of a challan, the Rule 16, which is merely procedural hi nature, could be given effect to. Undisputedly, there is no specific provision for filing of any such application for correction of a challan and there is no provision of vesting the Controller or any other authority with power to entertain such application. Therefore, the question of payment of court-fees upon such application could not arise.

49. Miss Chaturvedi, learned advocate for the petitioner, has, however, submitted that under Sub-section (5) of Section 29 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 the Rent Controller or an Appellate Officer 'in dealing with the proceedings under this Act' is 'deemed to be a Court for the exercise of powers under Section 151 or Section 152 or Order XLVII of the Civil P. C, 1908'. Therefore, according to Miss Chaturvedi, in the exercise of his inherent powers under Section 151 of the Code the Rent Controller may in appropriate cases allow a tenant to correct an application. I am unable to accept the above submissions. The Rent Controller is not a Court for all purposes within the meaning of the Civil P. C. Even in relations to his judicial powers, be has been often described as a persona designata or as a Court of Special Jurisdiction. Only while conducting the proceedings under the Act, the Controller is deemed to be aCourt for the exercise of the aforesaid powers under the Code of Civil Procedure.

50. It is settled Jaw that 'the inherent, power has not been conferred on the Court; it is a power inherent in the Court by virtue of its duty to do justice between the parties before it' (vide observations of the Supreme Court in Manoharlal v. Seth Hiralal, : AIR1962SC527 see also Arajun Singh v. Mohinder Kumar, : [1964]5SCR946 , M/s. Ram Chand and Sons Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd. v. Kanhayalal Bhargava, : [1966]3SCR856 . The view expressed by their Lordships Wood-roff and Mookerjee, JJ. in the well-known case of Hukum Chand Boid v. Kamalanand Singh, (1906) ILR 33 Cal 927, on the inherent power of the Court has now become Locus Classicus. Their Lordships pointed out that the Civil Procedure Code was not exhaustive and it did not affect previously existing powers unless the Code had taken them away; in matters with which it does not deal a Court will exercise an inherent jurisdiction to do that justice between the parties which is warranted under the circumstances and which the necessities of the case require.

51. Courts have now recognised that tribunals and quasi-judicial authorities also possess by implication all powers and duties incidental and necessary to make the exercise of the powers expressly conferred upon them fully effective. Thus, the Supreme Court in the case of The Income-tax Officer, Cannonofe v. M. K. Mohammad Kunchi, AIR 1969 SC 430, upheld the view of the Kerala High Court that Section 255(5) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 empowered the appellate tribunal to regulate its procedure. But it was doubtful if the power of stay could be spelt out from that provision. But the appellate tribunal must be held to have the power to grant stay as incidental or ancillary to its appellate jurisdiction.

52. It is equally well-settled that administrative authorities do not possess inherent powers like Courts, tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies. A person or authority exercising executive powers act within the bounds of its authority conferred by Statutes, Rules, Directions etc. as the case might be. The doctrine of power to act Ex Debito Justitiae is not an attribute of administrative authorities but of Courts which enjoy such inherent powers to do that real and substantial justice for the administration of which they alone exist.

53. In Sub-section (5) of Section 29 of the Act the term 'proceeding' has been used in its meaning--'as step in an action', i.e.,'a legal process to enforce a right' (vide Words and Phrases Legally Defined, 2nd Edn. Vol. IV, pages 182-184). 'It indicates a prescribed mode in which judicial business is transacted' (vide Babulal v. M/s. Hazarilal, : [1982]3SCR94 ). In our view, the expression 'dealing with the proceeding' in Sub-section (5) of Section 29 clearly refers only to the judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings before the Controller or an appellate officer. Therefore, the Controller and the appellate officer are deemed to be Courts for the exercise of powers under Section 151 or Section 152 of the Code in relation to judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings before them. The implication does net indicate any intention on the part of the legislature to depart from the well-settled principle that only Courts and tribunals discharging judicial and quasi-judicial functions enjoy inherent or incidental or implied powers to do justice. Therefore, the power of the Rent Controller under Sub-section (5) of Section 29 of the Act ought to be confined to the proceedings before him which are judicial or quasi-judicial in nature.

54. We have already referred to Section 26 of the Act which deals with appointment of Controller and other officers. An examination of the different provisions of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act indicates that the Controller has been vested with both administrative or executive and judicial or quasi-judicial powers. Some of the proceedings before him are judicial in nature and the Controller in conducting them shall be deemed to be a Court for the purposes of exercise of powers under Sections 151 and 152 or Order 47 of the Civil P. C., 1908. It is significant that the Controller under Sub-lection (5) of Section 29 even in respect of the said proceedings shall not be deemed to be a Court for all purposes but only for the exercise of powers under the said three provisions of the Code specified in Sub-section (5). The use of the expression 'deemed' in subsection (5) of Section 29 is also significant because the same has been used for creating a statutory fiction for the purposes of making the Controller a Court only for certain limited purposes. Judicial Committee in Commr. of Income-tax, Bombay Presidency v. Bombay Trust Corporation Ltd., AIR 1930 PC 54, with reference to Sections 42 and 43 of the Income-tax Act, 1922 had observed when a person is deemed to be something, the only meaning possible is that whereas he is not in reality that sometbing, the Act requires him to be treated as if he were' (see also Income-tax Commr. v. Teja Singh, : [1959]35ITR408(SC) and East End Dwelling Co. Ltd. v. Finsbury Borough Council, 1952 AC 109 (132)).

55. We are of the view that the said deeming provision of Sub-section (5) of Section 29 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 cannot be applied when the Controller is not dealing with any of the proceedings under the Act but he is functioning administratively or in his ministerial capacity.

56. We may now mention some of the proceedings which the Controller is required to conduct in a judicial or quasi-judicial manner:--

(1) Controller's power under Section 7 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 to order the landlord to refund rent or premium which is not recoverable under the Act (In this connection see observations of Dasgupta and Lahiri, JJ. in Ram Prosad Rajgbaria v. British Insulated Calender's Cables Ltd., : AIR1954Cal13 with reference to Section 7 of the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950 holding that the Rent Controller is not a Court within the meaning of Civil P. C. but he had power to order restitution).

(2) Controller's power to fix, increase and rerevise of fair rent under Sections 8 to 12 of the Act.

(3) Controller's power under proviso to Sub-section (3-A) of Section 13 of the Act permitting institution of a suit under Clause (f) or (ff) of Section 13 (1) before expiration of the period of three years from title date of the landlord acquiring interest in the premises.

(4) Controller's powers under Sub-section (3) of Section 16 of the Act declaring a subtenant as a tenant directly under the landlord and fixing the rent payable by him.

(5) The Controller's power under Section 18 of the Act to order restoration of a tenant who had been evicted under a decree obtained by the landlord under Clause (f) or (ff) of Section 13 (1) of the Act but the latter fails to commence building or re-building or addition or alteration or fails to occupy the premises as the case might be within six months of the eviction of the premises by such tenant or landlord having occupied the premises again relates within 10 years.

(6) Controller's power under Sub-section (2) of Section 18-A to order restoration to a tenant who had been ejected under Section 13 (1) (f) of the Act on completion of the building or re-building or addition or alteration.

(7) Controller's power under Section 21 (5) Of the Act to allow withdrawal of any de-posit or rent by tbe person entitled to receive the rent deposited.

(8) Controller's power under Sub-sections (8) and (9) of Section 21 of the Act respectively to punish a tenant who deposits rent with material untrue statements and the landlord who without reasonable cause had refused to accept rent though tendered to him.

(9) Controller's power under Section 25-A of the Act to fix fair rent and number of ledgers in hotels and lodging houses and to award punishment under Section 25-P of the Act.

(10) Controller's power under Section 30 of the Act to inflict penalties for contravention of Section 5, Clauses (a) and (b), Section 6. Section 14 (1), Section 15, Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 16, contravention of Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 18. Controller's power under Section 31 to impose penalty for disturbances of easements or interference with supply and service etc.

(11) Controller's power under Sections 34 and 35 regarding repairs, and taking measures for maintenance of essential services.

(12) Controller's power to allow the tenant to get supply of electricity to the premises.

57. In order to conduct the aforesaid proceedings the Controller has been vested with some of the powers of the Court and he is also required to act judicially and/or quasi-judicially. These proceedings commence by filing an itpplicalion or complaint. The Controller is required to give notice and/or opportunity of hearing to the parties before passing his orders in the said proceedings. Final orders passed by the Controllers in these proceedings have been also made appealable under Sub-section (1) of Section 29 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. This Court under Article 227 of the Constitution also exercises its powers of superintendence and control over the Controller and the appellate authority in respect of these quasi-judicial proceedings. It may be noted that this Court no longer exercises administrative control and superintendence over the Controller and other officers mentioned in Section 26, who are appointed by the State Government.

58. The Rent Controller, however, does not act judicially or quasi-judicially in the matter of deposits of rent by tenant under Section 21 (1) of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act. The tenant can deposit under Sub-section (1) of Section 21 rent with the Controller in the prescribed manner. But the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act and theRules made thereunder do not lay down that before allowing the tenant to deposit the rent, the Controller would conduct any proceeding. There is no provision for giving opportunities of hearing to the tenant and the person to whom the rent is payable before the Controller would allow a tenant to deposit rent in his office- Therefore, before accepting deposit of rent, the Controller does not quasi-judicially decide whether or not the landlord had refused the rent tendered by the tenant within the prescribed time or whether or not there was any bona fide doubt as to the person or persons to whom the rent is payable. The Sub-section (2) of Section 21 of the Act similarly does not lay down that before allowing the tenant to deposit rent, the Controller would adjudicate whether or not all or any of the particulars stated in the application of the tenant were untrue or false. On deposit of rent being made, the Controller under Sub-section (4) in the exercise of his administrative powers sends in the prescribed manner copy or copies of the application of the tenant by registered post with acknowledgment due.

59. The Controller's power to punish the tenant for making materially untrue statements in his application regarding reason and circumstances for deposit is no doubt quasi-criminal in character. The proceeding under Sub-section (9) of Section 21 regarding the complaint against the landlord that without reasonable cause he had refused to accept rent though tendered in time is also a quasi-criminal proceeding. After the Special Bench decision in Sethia Properties v. T. R. Bhavnani, : AIR1961Cal199 , the Rule 10 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act was substituted, inter alia, that in case of enquiries relating to offences, the Controller shall follow the Criminal P. C., 1898 for the trial of the cases. In this connection, also see Triloknath v. Malati, : AIR1967Cal145 . But the Controller even under Sub-sections (4) and (9) of Section 21 of the Act does not determine the questions which the Civil Court may adjudicate in a suit for eviction under Section 13(1) of the Act.

60. The Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 22 of the Act clearly indicate that while trying a suit or proceeding for recovery of possession under any of the Clauses of subsection (1) of Section 13 of the Act, it it the Civil Court which shall adjudicate whether or not deposits of rent made under Section 21 of the Act should be considered as validly deposited. When deposit is within time and the same does not contravene Sub-section (2) of Section 22 of the Act, the deposits constitute payment of rent to the landlord and amounts to valid legal tender ofrent. The use of the expression 'for the purpose of Clause (i) of Sub-section (1) of action 13' in Sub-section (1) of Section 22 of the Act and nearly similar expression in Sub-section (2) of Section 22 indicate jurisdiction has been conferred not upon the Controller hut upon the Civil Court trying an ejcetment suit/appeal to determine whether deposit or deposits of rent are within time or whether or not the tenant had wilfully or negligently made any false statement in his application under Section 21 of the Act for depositing the rent and whether the landlord had withdrawn the amount and had thereby waived the same under Section 24 of the Act.

61. Any other interpretation of the above provisions would lead to anomalies and complications which would be difficult to resolve. In the first place, we have already pointed out that the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act and the Rules made thereunder do not provide for conducting any proceeding by the Controller before accepting deposits of rent. In fact, it is common knowledge that a large number of deposits are received in his office. Therefore, it would have been almost impossible for the Controller to adjudicate before accepting such deposits of rent in, his office. The Court and not the Controller has been given jurisdiction under Section 13 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 to pass decrees or orders for eviction of tenants enjoying protection under the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act. Therefore, it is meet and proper that not the Controller but the Court should decide whether or not the defendant is a defaulter and liable to be ejected under Section 13 (1) (i) of the Act by not paying or validly depositing rent. Whether or not any deposit or deposits in the office of the Rent Controller constitute payment to the landlord and amount to legal tender are to be considered by the Civil Court before determining whether or not the deposit or deposits were made within the prescribed time and whether or not in his application the tenant had wilfully or negligently made any false statement. If on the other hand, it was held that both the Controller and also the Civil Court independently decide the above questions, then there might be conflict of decisions resulting in serious anomalies. In this reference, we have not been called upon to decide the Civil Court's power to allow correction in relation to payment of depositsmade under Sub-sections (1)(2) and (2-A) after the institution of a suit.

62. For the foregoing reasons, my conclusion is that the Controller does not conduct any proceeding within the meaning of Sub-section (5) of Section 29 when the said officer accepts deposits of rent made under Section 21 of the Act. For the same reasons, the Controller cannot be deemed to be a Court exercising powers under Section 151 or 152 of the Code in the matter of acceptance of deposit of rent made under Section 21 (1) of the Act. Therefore, no application lies before the Rent Controller for making corrections of any of the statements contained in an application referred to in Sub-section (2) of Section 21 rend with Rule 6 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Rules. There is no basis for the apprehension that this view of the law is likely to create serious difficulties for a tenant who bona ride makes any error in his application or challan under Section 21 of the Act. The Sub-section (2) of Section 22 invalidates a deposit when a tenant wilfully or negligently makes any false statement in his application. Therefore, in a given case when the landlord alleges before the Civil Court that the tenant had made any false statement in his application, the tenant may establish the said statement even if false, was neither wilful nor negligent. The Court is required 10 judicially consider whether any of the said statements are false and secondly whether or not the tenant had made such statements wilfully or negligently. We add that it is not necessary for us to decide whether or not the tenant petitioner had wilfully or negligently described in the applications under Section 21 the landlord as Sakti Prasanna Chatterjee. The said question, as already slated, may be decided by the competent Court of law in accordance with law.

63. I conclude that the Controller has not inherent power to allow the tenant to correct, the application and challans already riled by a tenant for making deposit of rent under. Section 21 (1) of the Act. We, further hold that the case of Manickchand Durgaprosad : AIR1969Cal104 (supra), was correctly decided D.N. Sinha. C. J. and A.K. Mukherjea, J., in Manickchand Durgaprosad's case (supra), allowed an appeal preferred by the plaintiff-landlord against the judgment and decree of the learned Judge, 3rd Bench City Civil Court, Calcutta dismissing its suit for eviction of the tenant defendant on the ground of default in payment of rent For deciding the case it was necessary for theDivision Bench to determine whether or not deposits of rent with effect from the month of Jaistha, 2013 S. Y. made by the defendant-tenant in the office of the Rent Controller were valid. After obtaining adjournment in the ejectment suit, the defendant-tenant applied before the Rent Controller for correction of the rent control challans and the Deputy Registrar of the office of the Rent Controller had purported to correct the column of the said challans relating to the period to which the particular deposit of rent related by altering the name of the month. The Division Bench held that neither the Deputy Registrar nor the Controller could make corrections in the challans and vary the appropriation of rent to a month other than what was mentioned in the application. Sitting singly while deciding the case of Provabati v. Satyendra, 1978 (1) Cal LJ 629, I have followed the Division Bench decision in Manickchand Durgaprosad's case : AIR1969Cal104 (supra). I am unable to agree with the observations of the learned referring Judges that the aforesaid findings of the Division Bench in Manickchand Durgaprosad's case (supra), were obiter merely on the ground that the Division Bench in Manickchand Durgaprosad's case (supra), alternatively found that the tenant had deposited the said rents without first tendering them to the landlord and, therefore, the deposits were invalid also on the said ground.

64. For the foregoing reasons, I agree with my learned brother R. M. Datta, J. that the reference be answered by holding that the Rent Controller appointed under the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 has BO power to allow corrections to be made in the challans by which a tenant deposits rent under Section 21 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act.

65. Therefore, there was no jurisdictional error either in the order of the learned Rent Controller or in the order of the appellate authority. Accordingly, the Rule obtained by the tenant-petitioner must fail. The Civil Rule be discharged without any order as to costs. Let the records be sent down ex-peditiously.

The Court:

66. Miss Chaturvedi, appearing on behalf of the tenant-petitioner, orally prays for a certificate for appeal to the Supreme Court. We have considered the arguments and are of the view that no substantial question of law of any general importance which needbe decided by the Supreme Court, is involved herein. Accordingly, we reject her prayer.


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