Decided on June 27,1961



- (1.) THIS is an appeal under section 15 of the Letters Patent arising out of a suit for eviction of a tenant from the property specified in schedule to the plaint being a portion of premises No. 134/1/a, ashutosh Mukherjee Road. Originally the suit property belonged to the plaintiffs Nos. 2 and 3 and the defendant No. 1 was a tenant under them. A portion of the suit property consisting of a two-storeyed building having two rooms on each floor and described in the schedule kha to the plaint was conveyed to the plaintiff No. 1 by a kobala dated April 30, 1955. The plaintiffs Nos. 2 and 3 however continue to be the owners of the remaining portion of the suit property described in schedule go to the plaint. Inspite of this purchase by the plaintiff No. 1 the integrity of the tenancy was not broken. The plaintiffs Nos. 1, 2 and 3 as joint landlords gave to the defendant No. 1 the requisite notice to quit and thereafter on October 7, 1955 instituted this suit asking for ejectment of the defendant No. 1 from the entirety of the suit property specified in schedule ka.
(2.) THE courts below have concurrently found that the plaintiff No. 1 reasonably requires the portion of the premises specified in schedule kha for her own occupation and also that the plaintiffs Nos. 2 and 3 reasonably require the portion of the premises specified in schedule ga for building and re-building. On this finding the trial court held that the plaintiffs have made out the ground for ejectment specified in clause (h) of the proviso to section 12 (1) of the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950. The trial court accordingly decreed the suit. The first appellate court affirmed this decree. On second appeal Renupada Mukherjee, J. , set aside the judgments and decrees of the courts below and dismissed the suit. The plaintiffs have preferred the present appeal. The question in this case is whether the tenant is protected from eviction by the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950. The solution of the question depends upon the true construction of the clause (h) of the proviso to section 12 (1) of that Act.
(3.) MUKHERJEE, J. held that the suit must fail as all the landlords were not jointly interested either in the occupation of the kha portion of the premises or in the building or re-building of the ga portion of the premises. He held that the landlords cannot get the benefit of the clause (h) of the proviso to section 12 (1) unless it is proved that all the landlords are interested in the ground of requirement on which the claim for eviction is based. He thought he should follow the principle underlying the case of Mclntyre and another v. Hardcastle, (1) (1948) 2 K. B. 82, a decision given under the English Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions (Amendment) Act, 1933. I find however that the ground upon which Mukherjee, J. based his decision can no longer be sustained. In Tarak Chandra Mukherjee and Ors. v. Ratanlal Ghosal, (2) 1959 C. L. J. 136, K. C Das Gupta and B. K. Guha, JJ. held that we should not guide ourselves in matters of this kind by the views of English Judges interpreting the English statutes and that where out of a number of persons constituting the body of the landlords, one landlord reasonably requires the premises for his own use and occupation, that should be considered to amount to a requirement on the part of all the landlords. This decision was followed by another Division Bench consisting of Renupada Mukherjee and K. C. Sen, JJ. in F. A. 188 of 1959 (3) (M. Levi V. Dinendra Nath Das and anr.) an unreported case decided on 8-1-1960. In the last case Renupada Mukherjee, J. expressed an opinion which is contrary to the ruling given by him in the judgment under appeal. It is true that where there are more than one landlord, the word "landlord" in clause (h) of the proviso to section 12 (1) must be read as "landlords" and the expression "for his own occupation" therein must be read as "for their own occupation. " ; nevertheless in the light of the decisions of this Court the word "their" in the last expression must be read as meaning "of them or of any one or more of them" so that the requirement of the premises by the landlords for the occupation of one or more of them is sufficient to bring the case within the clause.;

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