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D.D. Barbar Vs. I.W.C. Dabenham and. anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1926Cal469
AppellantD.D. Barbar
Respondenti.W.C. Dabenham and. anr.
Cases ReferredWells v. Dickinson
Excerpt:
- .....charge' but excluding the cost of electric current. an application was subsequently made to the rent controller, by the petitioner to fix the standard rent of the premises and the rent controller on the 20th august (sic) fixed the standard rent at rs. 232 per month, holding that the fans, electric lights and fittings formed part of the premises.2. an appeal was preferred against this order to the president of the tribunal who held that a standard rent under the rent act could not be made to cover fans, light or any other thing not forming part of a building or hut.3. he arrived at the same figure as the rent controller for the standard rent of premises exclusive of fans, lights, etc.4. the decision of the president was based on the definition of premises in section 2(e) of the.....
Judgment:

Greaves, J.

1. By an agreement in writing, contained in two letters, dated respectively the 29th and 31st, August 1923, the first of which was addressed by the petitioner to the respondent Debenham and the second by Debenham to the petitioner, the respondent Debenham agreed to let and the petitioner agreed to take for a period of 21 months from the 1st September 1923 with an option of renewal as therein mentioned, the lower flat of No. 4, Rawdon Street, comprising the following accommodation: sitting room with one electric fan and lights, three bedrooms with bathrooms, each bedroom with one electric fan and lights, also lights in the bathrooms, south verandah, with space under stairs with electric lights and other accommodation as therein mentioned, at a rental of Rs. 320 per month inclusive o taxes and without any other extra charge' but excluding the cost of electric current. An application was subsequently made to the Rent Controller, by the petitioner to fix the standard rent of the premises and the Rent Controller on the 20th August (sic) fixed the standard rent at Rs. 232 per month, holding that the fans, electric lights and fittings formed part of the premises.

2. An appeal was preferred against this order to the President of the Tribunal who held that a standard rent under the Rent Act could not be made to cover fans, light or any other thing not forming part of a building or hut.

3. He arrived at the same figure as the Rent Controller for the standard rent of premises exclusive of fans, lights, etc.

4. The decision of the President was based on the definition of premises in Section 2(e) of the Calcutta Rent Act and he held that the word 'premises' could not cover fans and lights, etc., as they did not form part of the building.

5. Against the order of the President of the Tribunal the present Rule was obtained on the 24th April 1925. Premises in Section 2(e) of the Calcutta Rent Act are defined as meaning 'any building or hut let separately for residential, charitable, educational or public purposes or for the purposes of a shop or an office' and by Section 15 of the Act the Rent Controller is empowered to certify the standard rent of any premises.

6. In Sewell v. Angerstein [1868] 18 L.T. 300, Wills, J., held that gasalier formed part of the freehold. The finding was arrived at in the case of a lease which was conveyed or assigned by the defendant to the plaintiff and included in the conveyance or assignment were the fixtures which were held to include the gasalier attached by screws to the gas pipes.

7. In Smith v. Maclure [1884] 32 W.R. 459 Pearson, J., held that gas fittings, gasaliers and a table lamp screwed to a pipe were fixtures and that this expression included whatever articles were substantially part of the house so that they could not be removed without depriving the building of that which was intended to be used with it.

8. I cite these authorities, not as authorities for showing what are or are not fixtures, as what are deemed fixtures in England may not be fixtures according to Indian law and vice versa, but as showing that it depends on the intention of the parties and on the nature of the agreement to be gathered from the same whether such things as fans and lights are intended to go with and to form part of the premises or building demised.

9. I think that in the present case the fans and lights which were attached to the part of the building demised and which were intended to be used with it must be taken according to the intention of the parties to be part of the demised building for the purposes of the Rent Act and that it was open to the Rent Controller to fix a standard rent which comprised these.

10. The case of Wells v. Dickinson : AIR1924Cal868 to which we were referred has in my opinion no bearing on the present case. In that case a furnished flat was demised and it was held that although the Rent Controller had jurisdiction under the Act to fix a rent for the premises apart from the furniture, he had no jurisdiction to fix a standard rent which included the furniture.

11. That case is distinguishable as clearly the furniture could by no stretch of imagination have been intended to form part of the building for the purposes of the letting, whereas in the present case the fans and lights which were attached to the building formed part of the building for the purposes of the demise according to the true intention of the parties as indicated in the agreement. I would make the Rule absolute with costs 5 gold mohurs. The matter will now go back to the President of the Tribunal in order that he may consider what is the standard rent of the premises including the fans and lights.

B.B. Ghose, J.

12. I agree.


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