P.B. Mukherji, J.
1. This Rule is directed against the order of the Small Cause Court Judge made on 16-8-1951 under Section 14 (4), Rent Act of 1950. The order that he made was in these terms:
'Parties present as before. Parties heard, through pleaders. Parties do not examine themselves. The rents in arrears amount to Rs. 469/1/-. The defendant to deposit this sum within 31-8-51 to 1-9-51 for order.'
2. It is said now on behalf of the petitioner-tenant that the order to deposit rev t was made on the basis of the contractual rent of Rs. 60/- per month including electricity. This, it is contended, is illegal, because in this particular case on 16-8-1951 when the Judge made the order there was a standard rent fixed by the Rent Controller at Rs. 21/4/-. It is, therefore contended that he should have required the tenant to deposit at the rate of this standard rent. It is the case of the petitioner that he had been depositing rent with the Rent Controller for at least ten months before the suit for ejectment by the opposite party was instituted.
3. In answer to this argument the learned Advocate on behalf of the opposite party contends that the language used in Section 14(4) of the Rent Act of 1950 is 'to deposit month by month rent at a rate at which it was last paid'. It is said that there is a distinction made throughout the Rent Act between 'payment' and 'deposit'. That such a distinction is made in the Act in some of the sections there can be no doubt. The question, however, is, is that distinction to be applied in interpreting Section 14(4) of the Rent Act. It is contended, as the last payment was to the landlord, the rate of payment should be on the basis of Rs. 60/- per month.
4. To concede to this argument and to uphold this contention will mean that at a time when standard rent was operating it is within the competence of a Civil Court in an ejectment action to order rent to be deposited under Section 14(4) at a rate higher than the standard rent. The result will be not only severe on the tenant but will cut across other 'different sections of the Act which make recovery or claim of rent higher than the standard rent illegal. Section 3(1) of the Rent Act provides that subject to the provisions of this Act any amount in excess of the standard rent of any premises shall be irrecoverable notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary. Under Section 10 of the Act the provision is made whereby the 'Controller specifies the date on which such standard rent is to take effect By the next section which is Section 11 of the Act it is clearly provided that nothing in the provisions of this Act shall entitle the landlord to claim rent from the tenant at a rate different from that at which it is being paid at the time, except by agreement with the tenant, valid in law including this Act, or unless a different rate is fixed under Section 9. Now, the rate fixed under Section 9 by the Rent Controller here is quite clear and that is Rs. 21/4/- per month with effect from 1-7-1950. Section 17 of the Rent Act goes on to provide that such portion of the rent as exceeds the standard rent determined according to the provisions of this Act shall be irrecoverable from the month of the tenancy next after the month in which this Act comes into force. Having regard to these provisions it is quite clear that to permit under Section 14(4) the Court by an order to demand any deposit of rent at a rate higher than the standard rent will be to fly in the face of these statutory provisions.
5. In this case the fact further is that the last payment of rent before the suit was by deposit with the Rent Controller and not by payment to the landlord. I would, therefore, hold that the rent that the tenant could be called upon to deposit, once a standard rent is fixed under the Act of 1950, can under no circumstances be even under Section 14(4) of the Act a rent higher than the standard rent.
6. On behalf of the landlord opposite party it is contended that on 18-6-1951 when the order complained of was made an appeal was pending against the standard rent fixed by the Controller. Therefore, it is argued that there being an appeal it made the whole of the standard rent at large. An ordinary appeal from an order or a judgment of Court might endorse this argument that the lower Court's order is at large, and the decision is at large until the appellate Court comes to its final decision. Such an analogy, however, is inapplicable to a case like this where the statute itself provides that the Rent Controller's standardisation will be final subject to its being revised or modified in the manner laid down in the statute. Specially this is so having regard to Section 17 (1) of the Rent Control Act of 1950. Until the new standard rent is fixed by the Appellate Authority under the Act the standard rent fixed by the Rent Controller remains good, valid and effective. Therefore, the rent standardised at the rate fixed by the Rent Controller was the ruling standard rent on 16-8-1951 when the order complained of was made, although there was a pending appeal against the order of the Rent Controller.
7. For these reasons the Rule is madeabsolute and order of the learned Judge madeon 16-8-1951 is set aside. There will be noorder as to costs.