MONORANJAN BASU Vs. REBECCA MUKHERJEE
LAWS(CAL)-1970-1-17
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on January 20,1970

Monoranjan Basu Appellant
VERSUS
Rebecca Mukherjee Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Ramendra Nath Dutt, J. - (1.) The Petitioner is the tenant under the opposite party from August 1964 in respect of the ground floor of premises No. 85 Bondel Road. From the inception of the tenancy the Petitioner used to get constant supply of filtered water from an overhead tank through a distribution system from the tank. But the opposite party with a view to eject the Petitioner stopped the supply of water from May 30, 1960. The Petitioner, thereafter, made an application to the Rent Controller under Sec. 31 of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956. The opposite party opposed the application and contended that the Petitioner had never got supply of water from the overhead tank, but the Petitioner's source of supply as part of his tenancy was the Corporation's tap water in the ground floor. The Rent Controller by his order dated February 10, 1969, found that the Petitioner used to get constant supply of filtered water from the overhead tank, but the opposite party had stopped it from May 30, 1968. The Rent Controller, therefore, fined the opposite party Rs. 100 and also directed the opposite party to restore supply of water to the Petitioner within seven days. The opposite party preferred an appeal and obtained a stay of the operation of the Rent Controller's order till the disposal of the appeal. The appeal was subsequently dismissed by an Additional District Judge at Alipore on June 5, 1969, who affirmed the order of the Rent Controller.
(2.) The Petitioner filed this application on August 4, 1969, alleging that the opposite party had failed to restore supply of water from the overhead tank to the Petitioner till then and had thus willfully disobeyed the order of the Rent Controller as merged in the order of the Additional District Judge. It was said that she had thereby rendered herself liable to be dealt with under the Contempt of Courts Act. The opposite party has opposed this application and in her affidavit she has said that in compliance with the order of the Additional District Judge she restored supply of water from the overhead tank to the Petitioner on June 8, 1969.
(3.) From the affidavits there is no doubt that the opposite party had failed to comply with the order of the Rent Controller as merged in the order of the Additional District Judge. The Petitioner's case before the Rent Controller was that constant supply of filtered water from the overhead tank was a part of his tenancy -Opposite party's case was that the Petitioner had never used to get supply of filtered water from the overhead tank. Both the Rent Controller and the Additional District Judge have found that supply of filtered water from the overhead tank was part of the Petitioner's tenancy. May be, there is no 'constant' supply in the strict sense of the term because at times the overhead tank may fall empty or at times there may not be sufficient water in the underground tank. But what was meant and understood was that there should be normal supply of filtered water from the overhead tank. It appears that on June 19, 1969, the Petitioner wrote a letter to the opposite party saying that since June 16, 1969, the opposite party had deliberately and in order to frustrate the order of the Rent Controller, adopted devices of supplying water for a very limited period for a few minutes in the morning which could not fill up two buckets. Obviously, this indicates that after the order of the Additional District Judge the opposite party had partially supplied water from the overhead tank to the Petitioner. It is common case that after May 30, 1968, no water was supplied from the overhead tank. But, either from June 8, 1969, as the opposite party contends, or from June 16, 1969, as is admitted by the Petitioner, there was some supply of water at least for some days. But the Petitioner's affidavit says that after a few days this little supply was again stopped. The opposite party has contended that she has restored normal supply of filtered water from June 8, 1969, but the Petitioner has, in support of his application, annexed several statements recorded by several respectable persons who happened to come to the Petitioner's premises on some days after the alleged restoration of normal supply (annexes. A to K). These show that those respectable persons found no supply of water from the overhead tank to the Petitioner's premises on different dates after June 16, 1969. Some of the persons have even filed affidavits saying that on some dates after June 16, 1969, they found no water supplied through the overhead tank. On the materials on record, therefore, I am not prepared to accept the contention of the opposite party that she had restored normal supply of water from the overhead tank on June 8, 1969, or thereafter, in compliance with the order of the Rent Controller as merged in the order of the Additional District Judge. On the other hand, I feel that the opposite party had made a show of compliant with the said order just to frustrate the order. Thus, I find that the opposite party had willfully disobeyed the order of the Rent Controller as merged in the order of the Additional District Judge directing her to restore normal supply of water from the overhead tank.;


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