KURIAKOSE KURIAN Vs. SARAMMA CHACKO
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.)The question involved in this appeal depends on the construction of the expression "the Rent Control Court" in S.11(2)(b) of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1959. The facts are not disputed and they may be stated.
(2.)The 1st respondent, the landlord, filed an application against the appellant tenant for evicting him from a building under the Travancore Cochin Buildings (Lease & Rent Control) Order, 1950, on the ground that the tenant kept rent in arrears. The Rent Controller passed an order of eviction on 16th September 1958, which was confirmed in appeal by the appellate authority, the Subordinate Judge, on 20th December 1958. The tenant filed a revision petition before the District Judge, which was also dismissed by order dated 31st March 1959. Pending revision the Kerala Buildings (Lease & Rent Control) Ordinance III of 1959 came into force and the Ordinance was later on replaced by the Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act (Act 16 of 1959). The provisions of the Ordinance and the Act are the same and under S.11 of the Act some new rights were conferred on the tenants, one of the rights being the right to deposit arrears of rent within one month of the order of eviction passed on the ground of arrears of rent and get the said order vacated. Within three days of the dismissal of the revision petition by the District Judge the tenant filed an application for vacating the order of eviction making the necessary deposit. The original Rent Control Court allowed the application, but on appeal the appellate authority reversed the order. This order was confirmed by the District Judge in revision and the tenant filed a writ petition before this Court for quashing the orders of the appellate authority and the revisional authority. Our learned brother, Vaidialingam, J., dismissed the petition and the tenant has filed the appeal. Due to the importance of the question involved, the appeal is referred to a Full Bench.
(3.)The expression "the Rent Control Court" as defined by S.2(5) means the court constituted under S.3. S.3 confers power on the Government to appoint by notification in the gazette a person, who is or is qualified to be appointed, a Munsiff, to be the Rent Control Court; and the original Rent Control Court concerned in this case was constituted under this power. The relevant part of S.11, with which we are mainly concerned in this case, may be noted. Sub-s.2(a) of the section provides that a landlord, who seeks to evict his tenant, shall apply to the Rent Control Court for direction in that behalf and if the Rent Control Court is satisfied that the tenant has not paid or tendered the rent in respect of the building within 15 days of the expiry of the time fixed in the agreement of tenancy or in the absence of any such agreement by the last day of the month next following that for which the rent is payable, it shall make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building. There is a proviso attached to this clause which is not material in the present case. Clause (b) of the sub-section with which we are directly concerned may be extracted in full.
"The order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building shall not be executed before the lapse of one month from the date of the order of the Rent Control Court and if the tenant deposits arrears of rent with interest and cost of proceedings within a month of such order or such other period as may be allowed by the Rent Control Court, it shall vacate that order."
It is not necessary to refer to the provisions of the other sub-sections of the section.
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