1. This rule has been obtained by the defendant against an order allowing the plaintiff to amend his plaint.
2. The facts are these. The plaintiff instituted a suit in ejectment against the defendant when the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1948, was not in force. His suit was based on a notice to quit and the bar to the recovery of possession which had been laid down in the Calcutta Rent Ordinance, 1916, then in force was sought to be removed by the plea that the plaintiff required the premises bona fide for his own use and occupation. While the suit was pending, the present Act (The West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1948) came into force. Section 12 (3) of the present Act lays down that if a tenant fails for three consecutive months to pay or deposit in accordance with the provisions of this Act any rent payable by him in respect of any premises which has accrued due after the commencement of this Act, the interest of the tenant in such premises shall on such failure be ipso facto determined and he shall no longer be deemed to be a tenant. The plaintiff applied to amend his plaint by an averment to the effect that the defendant had failed to pay rent for three consecutive months and that by reason of the provisions of Section 12 (3) of the aforesaid Act the tenancy had terminated ipso facto. This prayer for amendment was resisted, but the Court below had allowed it.
3. Learned advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner contends that this amendment should not be allowed as it changes the nature of the suit and that it introduces a new cause of action and he has cited certain cases before me in support of this view. In my opinion each case must be decided upon its own particular facts. The general rule is that amendments should be generously allowed unless such amendments would cause prejudice to the defendant by reason of surprise or by reason of the fact that the amended claim had become barred by limitation or similar other reasons. I do not wish to lay down any general principle or state any exhaustive list of conditions under which an amendment may be allowed or disallowed. I would say that in the present case the amendment does not alter the plaintiff's case at all. The plaintiff has sued in ejectment and the suit still remains a suit in ejectment. The cause of action has also not been altered. The plain-tiff's cause of action in the original suit was the termination of the tenancy. The plaintiff is relying upon the same cause of action. He is only adding an additional ground in support of his case that the tenancy has ceased. In the original plaint his case was that the tenancy had been terminated by a notice to quit. In the present case by an amendment he wishes to add another ground upon which the tenancy has been terminated namely the ground of non-payment of rent for three consecutive months. Whether this ground can be allowed to prevail or not is a matter which will be decided in suit. I express no opinion on that point. I can, however, see no reason why the plaintiff should be prevented from stating this ground in his plaint by way of amendment. It is suggested by learned advocate for the petitioner that the suit should be fought out upon the original ground alleged in the plaint and that if the plaintiff fails, he may be entitled to file a fresh suit on the additional ground now sought to be taken by way of amendment. I think that to accede to this prayer would be to encourage multiplicity of suits. This should be avoided wherever possible.
4. In these circumstances I uphold the decision of the Court below and discharge this rule with cos's.