1. This is a rule calling upon the opposite party to show cause why the order of the Kent Controller should not be set aside. The Rent Controller held that the contract of tenancy was void as the house was let out for immoral purpose and the Rent Act did not apply.
2. It has bean argued by the learned Vakil appearing for the petitioner that the mere fact that the tenanted house is occupied by prostitutes as sub-lessees does not necessarily affect the validity of the contract between the landlord and tenant. With that I agree. There is a finding, however, on the part of the Rent Controller from which it appears that he is quite satisfied that it has been established that the premises have long been used as a brothel and are so still, that there are other brothels in the neighbourhood and that the premises were let out to the applicant for the purpose of continuing the brothel there, the applicant's mother being according to the finding, herself an elderly prostitute or bari wali. It is argued that there is no foundation to be discovered in the evidence upon which such a finding could be arrived at. But this, I am satisfied, is not so. On the contrary I think there is evidence on the record from which the Rent Controller could have come to the conclusion that he has.
3. Then it is also said that suits have been filed in the High Court and also in the Small Cause Court for rent and ejectment upon the footing of the valid tenancy existing between the parties. That to my mind has nothing to do with the present application.
4. It is also argued that if the agreement is void as being contrary to public morale, that is a fact which cannot be relied upon by the opposite party as an advantage to himself as was decided in the case of Bani Muncharam v. Regina Stranger (1908) 32 Bom. 581. That, however, was a suit for ejectment and it seems to be quite a different matter whereas in the present case the question is whether or not the Rent Controller ought to intervene on an application of a party for fixing standard rent.
5. In my opinion the rule should be discharged with costs. Hearing-fee one gold mohur.
6. I agree.