P.N. Mookerjee, J.
1. This Rule arises out of a proceeding for standardisation of rent and raises a short question.
2. The petitioners are the landlords and the opposite party the tenant under them in respect of the disputed premises which comprise only a shop room (shop room No. 8) in the ground floor of Municipal Premises No. 29, Strand Road, Calcutta. The detailed circumstances, under which this tenancy originated, are not material for purposes of the present Rule and it is enough to state that, in a suit (Suit No. 3211 of 1951) for recovery of possession of the disputed premises brought by the present petitioners against the opposite party and another person on the Original Side of this Court on certain allegations, there was a consent or compromise decree on March 26, 1952, whereunder the opposite party became the petitioners' tenant in respect of the said premises, namely, Shop Room No. 8, mentioned above, at a rental of Rs. 550 p.m. This agreed or contractual rent was to take effect from the beginning of March 1952 which was to be taken as the commencement of the above tenancy.
3. Thereafter, however, on April 30, 1953, the opposite party applied before the Rent Controller for standardisation of rent and other consequential reliefs by way of refund or adjustment of excess payments, the application being headed as one under Sections 7, 9 and 10 of the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1950. The application was actually registered as Case No. 551A of 1953. This action on the part of the tenant-opposite party naturally embittered the feelings between the parties and the landlords-petitioners in their turn, brought Suit No. 2688 of 1953 against the opposite party after service of a notice to quit claiming his ejectment upon allegation inter alia of default in the payment of rent. This suit was brought on the Original Side of this Court on August 1, 1953.
4. The rent standardisation proceeding, namely, Case No. 551A of 1953 came up for final hearing before the Rent Controller towards the end of January, 1954, and the hearing was concluded on February 1, 1954, when order was reserved till the 6th. In the meantime, however, namely, on 5th February, 1954, the ejectment suit (No. 2688 of 1953) was decreed ex parte and this fact was brought to the notice of the Rent Controller before he actually passed his final orders in the standardisation case (No. 551A of 1953), the present petitioners contending inter alia in their application, filed for the purpose, that, by reason of the above ejectment decree, the present opposite party who was the applicant in the case before the Rent Controller had lost his status of a tenant and consequently his locus standi to maintain or continue the same and so the case should be dismissed. This contention was overruled by the Bent Controller who by his order, dated February 6, 1954, standardised the rent at Rs. 254-3-0 p.m. with effect from May 1953 and also allowed adjustment of excess payments, if any, against future rents on that footing. Against the above order of the Rent Controller both sides appealed, the petitioners contending that the standardisation application should fail and the opposite party claiming reduction of the figure (Rs. 254-3-0) at which the rent had been standardised by the Rent Controller. Both the appeals, however, were eventually dismissed and against this order of the learned Appellate Judge the petitioners (landlords) obtained the present Rule. The opposite party, however, appears to have accepted the appellate order affirming the standardisation of rent at the above figure of Rs. 254-3-0 p.m.
5. In support of the Rule the only point that has been urged by Mr. Mitter (who appears for the petitioners) is that, by reason of the ejectment decree, passed as aforesaid during the pendency of the rent standardisation case, the same case should have been dismissed by the Rent Controller. That contention, however, as it appears to us, is opposed to the decision of this Court in the case of Deoki Prosad Khaitan v. Duli Chand Asopa, : AIR1954Cal532 , which seems to cover the present case but against which nothing could be urged by Mr. Mitter. The learned Advocate, however, sought to distinguish that case from the present by pointing out that, in the case cited, there was no decree for rent or mesne profits for a period, covered by the Rent Controller's order, at a rate different from the Rent Controller's standardised figure, and he argued that the passing of the above decree robbed the opposite party of his locus standi to maintain and/or continue the rent standardisation application before the Rent Controller and robbed the latter also of his jurisdiction to proceed with the same or fix the standard rent at a different rate. Mr. Mitter pointed out that otherwise there would be conflict between the standard rent as fixed by the Controller and the Civil Court decree for rent and mesne profits.
6. We are unable to accept Mr. Mitter's contention as we do not think that it is sound in law. Standardisation of rent is within the exclusive jurisdiction or competence of the Rent Controller and the Civil Court has no say in the matter. There can be no question that the application for standardisation of rent was properly made in this case. At the date of that application, namely, on 30th April, 1953, the relationship of landlord and tenant was admittedly subsisting between the parties. In no view did that relationship cease before, at least, the expiry of the notice to quit which was the end of July, 1953, The application for standardisation of rent was, therefore, competently made and the Rent Controller had full jurisdiction to entertain and proceed with it. The cessation of the tenancy during the pendency of the said application did not make the same incompetent or disentitle the applicant from maintaining or proceeding with the same. That has been held by this Court in the case, already cited, namely, : AIR1954Cal532 , and, as stated already, nothing could be urged against the correctness of that decision. The Civil Court again could not by passing meanwhile a decree for rent or mesne profits at a rate different from the figure at which the rent was eventually standardised by the Rent Controller rob the latter of his jurisdiction or tie down his hands in the matter and no such decree could affect the proceedings before the Bent Controller which was in respect of a matter within his exclusive jurisdiction and outside the competence of the Civil Court and in respect of which therefore, no question of res judicata or any other legal bar can possibly arise by reason of the Civil Court decree. There is undoubtedly some conflict between the decree of the Civil Court and the standard rent as fixed by the Rent Controller, but that conflict, as already stated, cannot have any effect on the standardisation proceedings before the Rent Controller over which he had exclusive jurisdiction under the law. How the conflict is to be resolved or what will be the ultimate result of the two conflicting decisions on the rights of the parties is not a matter now before us, but this much at least is clear from what we have stated above that the Civil Court decree offers no obstacle to the Rent Controller's standardising the rent under his exclusive and special jurisdiction under the Rent Control law. It is true that neither in Karnani Industrial Bank Ltd v. Satya Niranjan Shaw, 55 Ind App 344: (AIR 1928 PC 227) (B), nor in this Court's decision, cited above, namely, : AIR1954Cal532 , was there truly speaking, any such conflict as apparently exists in the present case and to which Mr. Mitter has drawn our particular attention but that in our opinion, does not affect the propositions, laid down in those cases on the point, now before us, or the applicability of the same hereto.
7. In the above view, we discharge this Rule though, in the circumstances, we would make no order for costs in this Court.
P.K. Sarkar, J.
8. I agree.