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AhamuddIn and ors. Vs. Banku Behary Dutt and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Cal305
AppellantAhamuddIn and ors.
RespondentBanku Behary Dutt and ors.
Cases Referred and King v. York
Excerpt:
- 1. this rule was issued upon the opposite party to show cause why the order of the rent controller in standard case no. 3 of 1926, dated the 10th april 1926, should not be set aside or such other order made as to this court might seem fit and proper. the facts relevant to the pre3ent case are that the premises belonged to the opposite party representing the estate of one raj narain dutt, deceased. the present petitioner became the tenant under the opposite party in 1925 in respect of the premises no. 29/1, phear lane. these premises were in the occupation of tenants previously and in 1921 one of the sub-lessees applied for standardization of rent to the rent controller against his sub-tenant and the rent was fixed at a certain figure under the rent act. in the present case the petitioner.....
Judgment:

1. This Rule was issued upon the Opposite Party to show cause why the order of the Rent Controller in Standard Case No. 3 of 1926, dated the 10th April 1926, should not be set aside or such other order made as to this Court might seem fit and proper. The facts relevant to the pre3ent case are that the premises belonged to the Opposite Party representing the estate of one Raj Narain Dutt, deceased. The present petitioner became the tenant under the Opposite Party in 1925 in respect of the premises No. 29/1, Phear Lane. These premises were in the occupation of tenants previously and in 1921 one of the sub-lessees applied for standardization of rent to the Rent Controller against his sub-tenant and the rent was fixed at a certain figure under the Rent Act. In the present case the petitioner applied to the Rent Controller for fixing the standard rent in the presence of the landlord. The Rent Controller was of opinion that the rent of these premises being once fixed the matter cannot be re-opened and he has rejected the petitioner's application.

2. It is argued before us in support of the Rule that the order of the Rent Controller fixing the standard rent in 1921 was not passed in the presence of the landlord (the Opposite Party in the Rule) and therefore it was not binding on him or any of his tenants or sub-tenants. It has been held that a decision fixing the standard rent attaches to the premises and not to the person or parties to the suit and therefore such a decision is a judgment in rem and not in personam : see the cases of Chapsey Umersey v. Keshavjidamji A.I.R. 1921 Bom. 224 and King v. York [1919] W.N. 29. The passage in the English case above quoted is:

The Act applied to house and not to person. The Act operated in rem and not in personam. It stereotyped the rent of a house.

3. The order passed by the Rent Contoller in 1921 - it does not matter on whose application - was an order which affected the house, and it is therefore one which operates as a judgment in rem and the question cannot be re-opened on the application of a subsequent tenant. The proposition pressed before us on behalf of the petitioner that a decision fixing the standard rent may be reopened, if accepted, will lead to disastrous results. Any new tenant who from time to time happens to be on the premises may apply for standardization of rent of premises of which standard rent might have been fixed by the Rent Controller. Such a state of things cannot be tolerated. The present petitioner came to be a tenant of the Opposite Party four years after the standard rent had been fixed by the Rent Controller on the application of the then occupier of the premises. We have been referred to several sections of the Calcutta Rent Act to show that the standard rent can be altered or varied. There is no doubt that it can be done under certain circumstances, for instance, when there has been any alteration in the premises or an additional burden has been cast upon the landlord or similar circumstances. that does not show that the judgment fixing the standard rent is not a judgment in rem and that it can be re-opened at any subsequent time.

4. Lastly, it is argued that the application of the petitioner having been made before the Rent Controller under Section 15 of the Calcutta Beat Act, he was bound to fix the standard rent, even at the figure which was fixed in 1921 and to issue a certificate to the applicant which would enable him under Section 18 of the Bent Act to go to the President of the Tribunal to revise the order. Section 15 of the Calcutta Bent Act contemplates a decision of the Bent Controller fixing the standard rent. If on an application by a party the Bent Controller fixes the standard rent, he should issue a certificate certifying the rent so fixed by him and under Clause (5) of that section a certified copy of the order should be affixed to a conspicuous part of the premises to which it relates; and under Clause (6) any person affected by any order of the Controller shall be entitled to be furnished with a copy thereof. There is no doubt that what the section means is that if the standard rent is fixed by tb.9 Controller he shall issue a certificate to that effect and affix a copy thereof in some conspicuous part of the premises and also furnish a copy thereof to any person affected by it. In the present case the Controller has fixed no standard rent. He says that he cannot re-open the question, the standard rent having already been fixed in 1921. The petitioner, if he thinks that he is entitled to it, may apply for a copy of the standard rent fixed in 1921.

5. In this view of the matter the application fails and the Rule is discharged with costs, three gold mohurs.


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