Decided on October 30,1963

BUHARI Respondents


- (1.)The only question in this O. P. filed by the landlord of a non residential building is of the constitutional validity of the proviso added to S.11(3) of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1959 by Act XXIX of 1961. The said proviso which is impugned as offending Art.14, 19(1)(f) and (g) & 31 of the Constitution reads:
''Provided further that the Rent Control Court shall not give any direction to a tenant to put the landlord in possession, if such tenant is depending for his livelihood mainly on the income derived from any trade or business carried on in such building and there is no other suitable building available in the locality for such person to carry on such trade or business."

(2.)The Act, which is of a short duration is recited in its preamble to be designed, inter alia, to prevent unreasonable eviction of tenants of buildings and S.1 specifies the area to which it is applicable and confers a power on the Government to apply the Act or any of its provisions to any other area on request of the local authority concerned. As observed in AIR 1958 SC 538 it must be presumed that the legislature understands and correctly appreciates the need of its own people, that its laws are directed to problems made manifest by experience and that its discriminations are based on adequate grounds. It is now well established that Art.14 of the Constitution does not forbid reasonable classification for the purposes of legislation, provided the classification is founded on an intelligible differentia between persons or things grouped under it and others left out of it and the differentia has a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved by the statute in question. The object of the impugned proviso is obviously to safeguard the tenants depending for their livelihood on the trade or business carried on by them in a rented building from eviction from such building until a suitable building in the locality is available to them to carry on their trade or business. As pointed out in AIR 1957 SC 510 in regard to the Rajasthan (Protection of Tenants) Ordinance, 1949, the fact that the impugned statute is an emergency legislation of a temporary character has to be taken into account in judging its reasonableness. The acute shortage in housing accommodation in this thickly populated State is too well known. The complaint that the impugned proviso offends the petitioner's right of property in its absoluteness ignores the power of the State, reserved in clauses (5) and (6) of Art.19 to legislate in the interests of social justice.
(3.)In the light of all the facts and circumstances mentioned above, we do not find a violation of any constitutional principle in the aforesaid proviso. The petition fails and is dismissed. No costs.

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