Decided on December 11,1968



- (1.) A ticklish point of procedural importance is raised in this revision petition. The impact of the decision on that point may be wider than may appear on its face and so I requested the members of the bar present to help, with their light, solve the question as amicus curiae. However, there is not much to be said one way or the other, and the scope for elaborate arguments being restricted in the nature of the language of the statute, one has to be guided largely by the object of the legislation and the letter of the law. In view of the present temporary legislation, will an appeal by a landlord for arrears of rent be entertainable at all or will it only be stayed after it is taken on file
(2.) The Kerala Stay of Eviction Proceeding Act, Act 9 of 1967, - called the Act, for short - is obviously designed to interdict and intercept litigations against tenants and kudikidappukars where the relief claimed is eviction or recovery of arrears of rent. Where the litigation has not been instituted, the statute inhibits it and where it has already been commenced, the statute freezes it. The policy behind the measure, therefore, appears to be that till the legislature enacts a comprehensive legislation there should be a sort of moratorium. That construction of the statute which serves as a disincentive for the landlords to come to Court is to be preferred from that standpoint. Even apart from this consideration, if the eventual legislation forbids eviction or wipes out or pares down arrears of rent, such newly filed suit or appeal would prove a vain forensic enterprise involving wasted litigation costs for the landlord and avoidable litigation harassment for the tenant. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
(3.) Bearing in mind these factors as background material, let us study the actual provision. The case with which I am directly concerned in the revision petition is an order of return of an appeal by the District Judge on the ground that the subject matter is one relating to recovery of arrears of rent and is therefore, "a proceeding hit by S.5 of Act 9 of 1967". The question is whether the appeal should be entertained and stayed, or not be entertained at all.;

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