Decided on July 23,1970



- (1.) THIS appeal is at the instance of the owner of a house against a judgment and decree passed by an Arbitrator at Birbhum by which the reference was rejected. The appellant is the owner of a house being holding No. 390 of Anandapur Ward within Suri Municipality. By an carder dated ll th December, 1957, the State requisitioned this house and possession was taken on the 10th of January, 1958. The amount of compensation could not be fixed by agreement and so the State government appointed Mr. D. P. De, additional District Judge at Birbhum as arbitrator. The requisition was made under the West Bengal Premises Requisition and Control (Temporary provisions) Act, 1947 (West Bengal Act v of 1947), hereinafter referred to as the Act and the Arbitrator was also appointed under the provisions of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 11 of the aforesaid Act. The State offered a sum of Rs. 68. 73 as the fair compensation per month and the owner refused to accept it. The learned arbitrator was of the opinion that this rate would be the fair compensation and declined to interfere. Hence this appeal.
(2.) THERE was a dispute between the parties as to whether this particular portion of the ground floor which has been requisitioned was tenanted at the time of the requisition or not. According to the owner only three rooms now requisitioned were let out at a rental of Rs. 68. 73. According to the State the entire portion which has now been requisitioned was let out at a rental of rs. 68. 73. We have gone through the evidence in this case and we are of opinion that the entire ground floor as now requisitioned was let out at a rental of Rs. 68. 73. We are not impressed by the evidence of P. W. 1 in this connection who could not produce the rent counterfoils to show that only three rooms were let out at a rental of rs. 68. 73. Reference may be made in this connection to exhibit 5 which will bear out also the case of the State. We, therefore, hold that immediately before the requisition this portion had been let out at a rental of Rs. 68. 73.
(3.) THE learned Arbitrator seems to have been of the opinion that as this house bore this rental at the time of requisition he cannot go beyond that of look into the rents of similar houses ill the locality and must confine himself to this rent specially as there was no evidence to show that this rent was unduly low. We think that the learned arbitrator was in error in this view. Clause (e) of sub-section (1) of section 11 of the Act runs as follows: "the arbitrator in making his award, shall have regard to the matters referred to in clauses (a), (b) and (c) of section 12". Section 12 runs as follows : "in determining the amount of compensation which may be fixed by agreement under clause (a) of subsection (1) of section 11, the Collector shall take into consideration (a) the rent payable in respect of the premises including, where the premises are requisitioned with any furniture therein, the charges for the use of such furniture"; We need not quote clauses (b) and (c) of section 12 as these are not relevant.;

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