1. This is a Rule obtained at the instance of the landlords and directed against an order passed by the Rent Controller on the 25th September 1924 purporting to fix a standard rent of the premises in suit.
2. The material facts are as follows. On the 21st March 1922 the tenants applied for standardization of rent and a written statement was filed by the landlords on the 27th April in that year. On the 8th June the tenants' case before the Rent Controller was dismissed for default. On the 29th. April 1922 the landlords served a notice to quit on the tenants and the determination of the tenancy was to take place as from the 1st June 1923. In the following December the landlords commenced a suit on the Original Side of this Court for ejectment for non compliance with the notice and for arrears of rent and mesne profits. Subsequent to this on the 20th June 1923, the tenants whose previous application before the Rent Controller had been dismissed, again applied for standardization of rent. On the 29th June 1923, the landlords' suit for ejectment was decreed ex parte. But the suit was subsequently restored and was again heard on the 24th July 1924 when the suit was decreed on contest and an order was made for possession to be given within four weeks. The rent for the five months, January to May 1922, was fixed at a sum of Rs. 250 for the five months and mesne profits were decreed at the rate of Rs. 220 per month.
3. The question before us is whether the Rent Controller was entitled to fix standard rent of the premises on the 24th September 1924. In our opinion he clearly had no jurisdiction to deal with the matter on this date. The suit for ejectment had been decreed on the 24th July 1924 and thereby the notice to determine the tenancy on the 1st June 1922, was held to be a valid notice. Consequently, at the time the tenants' application was made for fixing a standard rent, namely, on the 20th June 1923, and on the date when the Rent Controller purported to fix a standard rent, namely, the 5th September 1924, there was no tenancy in existence and consequently there was nobody who could, as a tenant, apply to the Rent Controller for fixing standard rent. Consequently, in our opinion, the whole of the proceedings before the Rent Controller was incompetent and the order purporting to fix a standard rent on the 25th September 1924 was without jurisdiction. Some suggestion is made that there was a statutory tenancy under the Rent Act in existence until the suit was decreed on the 24th July 1924 but it does not seem that there is any substance in this argument and we do not see how this contention can really be raised.
4. In the circumstances, therefore, we make the Rule absolute and the landlords, the petitioners, will be entitled to their costs which we assess at five gold mohurs.