FIRM RATANCHAND DARBARILAL SATNA Vs. RAJENDRA KUMAR KHOOBCHAND
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
FIRM, RATANCHAND DARBARILAL, SATNA
RAJENDRA KUMAR KHOOBCHAND
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(1.) THE questions of law referred to the Full Bench are:
" (1) Where the landlord's suit under Section 12 of the M. P. Accommodation Control Act, 1961, is dismissed and he prefers an appeal, is such appeal governed by Section 13 of the Act? (2) Where a decree for ejectment is passed against the tenant on any of the grounds referred to in Section 12 of the Act, and the tenant prefers an appeal from that decree, is such appeal governed by Section 13 of the Act?"
(2.) THE Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1961, which repealed and replaced the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1955, according to its long title is "an Act to provide for the regulation and control of letting and rent of accommodation and the eviction of the tenants therefrom," Restriction on eviction of tenants is imposed by Section 12 which enacts that notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law or contract, no suit shall be filed in any civil Court against a tenant for his eviction except on one or more of the grounds mentioned in Clauses (a) to (b) of Sub-section (1), Then follows Section 13, which has given rise to this reference. The section is worded as follows:
"section 13. When tenant can Ret benefit of protection against eviction.-- (1) On a suit or proceeding being instituted by the landlord on any of the grounds referred to in Section 12, the tenant shall, within one month of the service of the writ of summons on him or within such further time as the Court may, on an application made to it, allow in this behalf, deposit in the Court or pay to the landlord an amount calculated at the rate of rent at which it was paid, for the period for which the tenant may have made default including the period subsequent thereto upto the end of the month previous to that in which the deposit or payment is made and shall thereafter continue to deposit or pay, month by month, by the 15th of each succeeding month a sum equivalent to the rent at that rate, (2) If in any suit or proceeding referred to in Sub-section (1), there is anv dispute as to the amount of rent payable by the tenant, the Court shall fix a reasonable provisional rent in relation to the accommodation to be deposited or paid in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section (1) till the decision of the suit or appeal. (3) If, in any proceeding referred to in Sub-section (1), there is any dispute as to the person to whom the rent is payable the Court may direct the tenant to deposit with the Court the amount payable by him under Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2), and in such a case, no person shall be entitled to withdraw the amount in deposit until the Court decides the dispute and makes an order for payment of the same. (4) If the Court is satisfied that any dispute referred to in Sub-section (3) has been raised by a tenant for reasons which are false or frivolous, the Court may order the defence against eviction to be struck out and proceed with the hearing of the suit. (5) If a tenant makes deposit or payment as required by Sub-section (1)or Sub-section (2), no decree or order shall be made by the Court for the recovery of possession of the accommodation on the ground of default in the payment of rent by the tenant, but the Court may allow such cost as it may deem fit to the landlord, (6) If a tenant fails to deposit or pay any amount as required by this section, the Court may order the defence against eviction to be struck out and shall proceed with the hearing of the suit. "
(3.) THREE constructions of this section were suggested at the bar: (A) An appeal being a continuation of the suit, it must be taken to be included within the word 'suit' in Sub-section (1) and the tenant is bound to continue to deposit rent till the disposal of all appeals arising in a suit instituted by the landlord on any of the grounds referred to in Section 12 irrespective of whether the appeal is by the landlord or by the tenant; (B) An appeal is neither a 'suit' nor 'proceeding' and is not at all included within Sub-section (1) and a tenant is not bound to deposit any rent in appeal whether the appeal be by the landlord or by the tenant; and (C) An appeal is a 'proceeding' and falls within that word as it occurs in sub-sections (1) and (2) and if an appeal is by the landlord for obtaining a decree on any of the grounds referred to in Section 12, the provisions of Section 13 are attracted and the tenant is required to make deposit of rent as provided in Sub-sections (1) and (2 ). But an appeal by a tenant although a proceeding is not ''a proceeding instituted by the landlord" and does not fall within Sub-section (1) and therefore, the tenant is not required to deposit rent in such appeal which falls outside the purview of section 13.;
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