SOBHANADRESWARA RICE MILL COMPANY Vs. BRAHMACHARI BAVAJI MUTT VIJAYAWADA
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
SOBHANADRESWARA RICE MILL COMPANY
BRAHMACHARI BAVAJI MUTT, VIJAYAWADA
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(1.) The defendant in O. S. No. 85 of 1967, on the file of the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Vijayawada is the appellant in this appeal. The plaintiff-respondent is Sri Brahmachari Bavaji Math, Vijayawada represented by the Executive Officer, appointed by the Commissioner for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments. The suit was laid for possession of land consisting of two items of the extent of 1260 and 681/2 square yards, for damages for use and occupation from 1-5-1964 till 30-5-1967 and for future damages. The case of the plaintiff was that the land belonged to the Math which was under the management of the Executive Officer appointed by the Commissioner for Endowments. The defendant firm was the lessee of the first item under a registered lease dated 24-5-1944 for a period of five years from 1-4-1944 to 30-6-1949. The rent stipulated was Rs. 55.00- per month. The defendant also annexed the second item and for the both the items the defendant was paying a consolidated rent of Rs. 73.50 per month. After the expiry of the original period of lease the defendant continued as a tenant holding over. As the rent originally stipulated was very low, in order to safeguard the interests of the Math, the plaintiff issued a notice on 29-4-1964 terminating the defendants tenancy and demanded delivery of vacant possession. The defendant admitted the tenancy but refused to vacate the land. The plaintiff had, therefore, to file the suit to recover possession. The plaintiff claimed damages at the rate of Rs. 300.00- per month.
(2.) The defendant filed a written statement contending the suit. The right of the Executive Officer to maintain the suit was questioned. It was pleaded that the tenancy of the defendant was not terminable, that it was a tenancy by prescription, and that the defendant had a right to renew the lease at its option. There was no valid notice to quit as the lease was one for a manufacturing purpose and hence the tenancy could not be determined with fifteen days notice. The learned Subordinate Judge overruled the pleas of the defendant and decreed the suit for ejectment. The learned Subordinate Judge also held that the defendant was liable for damages for use and occupation from 1-11-1966. The profits were directed to be determined in a separate proceeding under O. XX, Rule 12, Civil Procedure Code. The defendant has appealed.
(3.) Sri Babulu Reddy, learned counsel for the appellant, contended that the Executive Officer was not competent to maintain the suit as the scheme under which he was appointed as Executive Officer by the Commissioner could not be considered to be in force any longer after the coming into force of Act 17 of 1966. In any case, the scheme was void as it offended Article 26 of the Constitution. He also contended that the defendant had acquired by prescription the right of permanent tenancy and no decree for eviction could, therefore, be passed against the defendant. Lastly he submitted that there was no proper notice to quit.;
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