RAJAPPAN Vs. VEERARAGHAVA IYER
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) THE question to be decided in this case depends upon the true effect of Ex. P 1 dated 17-8-1964 executed by the defendant in favour of the plaintiff.
(2.) THE plaint A schedule property comprises an extent of 45 3/4 cents of land and a cinema theatre standing thereon by name 'pioneer theatre' in Irinjalakuda. THE suit is for preventive injunction to restrain the defendant from entering into the plaint A schedule property and conducting cinema shows in the Pioneer THEatre and for mandatory injunction directing him to hand over the movables mentioned in the plaint B schedule to the plaintiff. THE plaintiffs case is that by Ex. P 1 the defendant was given a personal privilege to conduct cinema shows in the 'pioneer THEatre' for which purpose the theatre along with the movables mentioned in the plaint B schedule were entrusted to him. Since the term of three years in Ex. P 1 is over it is alleged by the plaintiff that the defendant is no longer entitled to conduct the shows. THE defendant's plea is that Ex. P 1 is a lease and that he is not a mere licensee and that therefore the suit is not maintainable. It is further contended by the defendant that he has constructed a booking office, installed a rectifier and also provided the theatre with additional furniture.
The trial court denied the prayer of the plaintiff for mandatory injunction but allowed the preventive injunction prayed for. The district Judge dismissed the appeal filed by the defendant and allowed the cross-appeal filed by the plaintiff against the refusal of the trial court to grant the mandatory injunction. The result is that the plaintiff's suit was decreed in toto by the learned District judge. The second appeal is therefore filed by the defendant.
The learned counsel for the defendant raised before me broadly two contentions; (1) that Ex. P 1 is a lease and (2) that the relief for mandatory injunction in respect of plaint B schedule property is not maintainable.
(3.) TO appreciate the first ground it is necessary to examine the terms of Ex. P-1. Ex. P 1 is called a karar and executed by the defendant in favour of the plaintiff. It is not registered. It is executed for a term of three years. The consideration fixed in Ex. P 1 is Rs. 4200/-for one year which has to be paid in monthly instalments of Rs. 350/-before the 16th of every month. The defendant has agreed in Ex. P1 that on 15-8-1967 at the expiry of three years he would pay the balance of consideration, if any remaining due on that date and also entrust back the theatre building and the equipments in good running condition and the movable properties described in Ex. P1 after taking a receipt from the plaintiff. The defendant has also undertaken to pay the electric charges, entertainment tax etc. , except the municipal tax due on the buildings. Ex. P. 1 provides that except during the time when films are exhibited in the theatre the plaintiff will have the right of inspection of the building. The defendant has agreed not to sublease or give on rent the theatre, the equipments and the furniture. Ex. P1 further states that the defendant has no other right except the possession as a licensee, in the theatre and the equipments mentioned in Ex. P1. It is recited in Ex. P1 that if any alteration is necessary to the theatre building for conducting the shows as per the directions of the Government it is the duty of the plaintiff to effect the same and the defendant cannot do such work. These are in main the terms of Ex. P1.
The question of interpretation of Ex. P1 was argued by both sides at considerable length with reference to a number of decided cases. It is a trite saying that interpretation of a document has to be on its own particular facts. I do not think it necessary to discuss all these cases because as pointed out by Lord Wright, M. R. in Clore v. Theatrical Properties, ltd, (1936) 3 All E. R. 483 "now, it is perfectly true that the construction of one contract is not necessarily a guide to the construction of another contract, and that is true certainly when there are differences of language in the documents to be construed, but where there is no such difference in language as would justify a court of law refusing to apply to the documents the construction which the court applied to the other cases, then the court should apply that construction. ";
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