DULAL CHANDRA SAHA Vs. MONMOTHA NATH BANERJEE
LAWS(CAL)-1960-3-33
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on March 24,1960

Dulal Chandra Saha Appellant
VERSUS
Monmotha Nath Banerjee Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) In these two appeals against ejectment decrees by tenant Appellant, we are concerned with the question whether the appeals were rightly presented before and entertained by the Chief Judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court. The ejectment suits were filed after the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956, had come into force, and under the provisions of Section 20 of that Act and the Schedule of the Act, the ejectment suits were filed before the Calcutta Small Causes Court. The Chief Judge transferred both the suits to another Judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court, namely, Shri B. Pal and Shri B. Pal passed decrees for ejectment in both the suits. The value of the suit in each case being below Rs. 2,000, the appeals were preferred before the Chief Judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court and the appeals were entertained and heard by him. It may be mentioned that the appeals were dismissed. But it has been urged before us that under the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956, as amended by the City Civil Court and the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Amendment Act of 1957. the Chief Judge had no jurisdiction to entertain or hear the appeals.
(2.) Under the West Bengal Premises Rent Control Act of 1950, in view of the provisions of Section 16 and Schedule B thereto, ejectment suits in respect of premises the rent of which did not exceed Rs. 500 per month would be filed before the Chief Judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court and could be heard by the Chief Judge or any other Judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court to whom the suit was transferred. There was a special provision for appeal contained in the Rent Control Act of 1950 itself, vide Section 32 Sub-section (6) of the Act, namely, where the value of the suit did not exceed Rs. 5,000 the appeal would lie to a Bench consisting of the Chief Judge and another Judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court. Accordingly, so long as the Rent Control Act of 1950 was in force, there was no confusion about the law and appeals from ejectment decrees up to the value of Rs. 5,000 were entertained by the Appellate Bench consisting of the Chief Judge and another Judge of the Calcutta Small Courses Court.
(3.) The West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act of 1956 which replaces the Rent Control Act of 1950 contains provisions similar to Section 16 and Schedule B of the 1950 Act as regards entertainment of ejectment suits, vide Section 20 and the schedule, but it does not contain any provision similar to Section 32 Sub-section (6) of the 1950 Act relating to appeals, in other words, there is no special provision made for appeals from ejectment decrees; but it is provided in Section 29 Sub-section (6) that the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply to all suits and proceedings referred to in Section 20 of the Premises Tenancy Act. Section 20 of the Act as already mentioned refers only to suits and proceedings by the landlord against the tenant for recovery of possession of premises. It does not refer to appeals. Before the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act of 1956 was enacted, the City Civil Court Act of 1953 had been passed although it had not been brought into force; it was brought into force in February 1957. There was a Schedule in the City Civil Court Act was put into operation. Therefore, when Calcutta Rent Control Act of 1950 and providing that the ejectment suits which under the provisions of Rent Control Act of 1950 could be entertained by the Calcutta Small Causes Court, would lie instead to the City Civil Court. But the City Civil Court Act did not contain any reference to the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956, which had come into force before the City Civil Court Act was put into operation. Therefore, when the City Court began functioning, a confusion arose as to the proper forum of ejectment suits; and that was sought to be clarified by the City Civil Court and the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Amendment Act of 1957, which was published in the Gazette and came into force on 13th January, 1958. It purported to amend the Schedule of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act and provided that where the value of the suit for ejectment did not exceed Rs. 10,000, the ejectment suit would lie in the City Civil Court, in other words, the jurisdiction of the Calcutta Small Causes Court to entertain such suits was taken away; but there was a saving proviso as follows: "Provided further that any suit, appeal or proceeding instituted in the Calcutta High Court or in the Court of the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes of Calcutta under the provisions of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956, and pending on the date of the commencement of the City Civil Court and the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Amendment Act of 1957 shall be continued as if this amendment had not been made". In other words, the proviso saved all ejectment suits and all appeals from decrees in finch suits which were pending in the Calcutta Small Causes Court on the date of the commencement of the Amendment Act, namely, on 13th January, 1958.;


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