1. This Rule was granted at the instance of the petitioner calling upon the opposite party and the' Rent Controller under the Calcutta Rent Act to show cause why the order of the Rent Controller dated the 25th April 1921 should not be set aside. The material facts are shortly as follows: The petitioner on or about the 2nd January 1920, entered into an agreement with the trustees of the late Baboolal Agarwalla for a lease of premises No. 10 Greek Lane for a period of three years from the 16th January 1920 with an option in the petitioner to renew his tenancy for a further period of three years at the expiration of the first three years. Correspondence passed but no agreement was actually signed nor has any lease been actually executed. Under the agreement of the 2nd January the petitioner entered into possession of premises. Under this agreement rent was payable at the rate of Rs. 400 a month, the previous rental of the premises having been Rs. 150 a month. The petitioner paid at the rate of Rs. 400 for a short period, but upon the Rent Act coming into force on the 5th May 1920, he claimed to pay rent only at the rate of Rs. 150 a month plus an additional 10 per cent. The trustees refused to accept rent at this rate and accordingly at the instance of the petitioner, an application was made to the Rent Controller to fix a standard rent. On the 25th April, 1921, the Rent Controller made the order complained of in which he said that the lease was for a period of six years having regard to the fact that there was an option for renewal.
2. The only point, therefore, which arises in the rule is whether the Rent Controller is right in holding under the circumstances that this was a lease entered into before the commencement of the Act for a period of five years or upwards.
3. The opposite party contends that upon the true construction of the lease and of the provisions of Section 4, Sub-section (3) of the Kent Act, the Rent Controller was right in holding that this was a lease for a period of five years and upwards within the meaning of Clause (4), Sub-section (3). It is further contended on behalf of the opposite party that this case does not fall within the provisions of Section 115 of the C.P.C. inasmuch as even if the Rent Controller was wrong, all that he has done is to wrongly construe the provisions of Section 4, Sub-section (3) and that this does not give this Court jurisdiction to interfere under the provisions of Section 115. So far as the first point is concerned we think that the demise was clearly for a period of three years and the fact that there was option for renewal for a further period of three years after the expiration of the first three years, does not make it a lease for five years and upwards within the meaning of Section 4, Sub-section (3). So far as the second point is concerned it seems to us that what the Rent Controller has done is to refuse to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon him by the Calcutta Rent Act, and accordingly this is a proper case for the interference of the Court under the provisions of Section 115. We should add that we have read the explanation furnished by the Rent Controller.
4. In the result the Rule is made absolute with costs, the hearing-fee being assessed at three gold mohurs.