BRITISH MEDICAL STORES Vs. L BHAGIRATH MAL
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
BRITISH MEDICAL STORES
L BHAGIRATH MAL
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(1.) THESE (in Civil Revisions Nos. 243, 267 to 273, 274 to 292, 293 to 295 and 296 to 298 of 1951) are several rules which have been obtained by the landlord against the various tenants and in Civil Revision No. 243 a rule is obtained by the tenants against the landlord, and they are all directed against appellate orders of District Judge Dulat dated the 15th Jan 1951 varying the orders of the Rent Controller.
(2.) THE landlord Bhagirath Mal, owns four sets of buildings of Chandni Chowk. They are chemists' Market which is also called Medicine Market, Jai Hind Buildings, Prem Buildings and deepak Mahal. Civil Revisions Nos. 243 and 274 to 292 relate to Chemists' Market, Civil revisions Nos. 267 to 273 to Jai Hind Buildings, Nos. 293 to 295 to Prem Buildings and 296 to 298 to Deepak Mahal. All these buildings arc situate in what is called Bhagirath Colony. On the 30th of July 1948 nine tenants of nine shops in Chemists' Market dealing in radios or electrical goods made an applications to the Rent Controller for fixation of rent under Section 7-A read with Schedule IV of the Delhi Rent Control Act. The Rent Controller on the 12th August without indicating in the order that he was as a matter of fact satisfied as to the excessive nature of the rent fixed between the parties and without there being any indication that that was his objective view issued a notice to Bhagirath Mal saying that a summary enquiry will be held and directing him to attend at his office on the 16th August along with all relevant records, plans, account-books vouchers, etc. , and notice was also given to the nine applicants. The notice was in regard to these nine tenants only. It appears that after several adjournments the parties appeared and on the 19th of November some proceedings were taken and statement of Kundan Lal on behalf of the landlord was recorded. On the 3rd December 1948 a notice was issued to the landlord that the Rent Controller would inspect the premises on the 6th December 1948, but the landlord informed him that he would not be in Delhi on that date. On the I2th December 1948 the Rent Controller inspected the premises in the absence of the landlord and on the 10th of January 1949 he fixed the standard rent for eighteen shops at Rs. 335/-per mensem. He has noted in this order about the quality of the building. The value of the land was calculated at Rs. 275/- per square yard, but he allowed only one-third of the value as the building is only one-storeyed and not a three-storeyed one and he calculated the value of the plinth area at Rs. 9/8/- per square foot and the standard rent fixed including ten per cent, for repairs but excluding house tax and charges for consumption of water and electricity was Rs. 335/- p. m. On appeal being taken to the District Judge the monthly rent was increased from Rs. 335/-to Rs. 670/- allowing the full value of the land, Both parties are dissatisfied with this order and have come up to this Court in revision.
(3.) THE Rent Controller has hot only fixed the rent of the shops for which application was made but has also fixed the rent of the shops occupied by other persons who never applied and there-fore could not be parties to the proceedings and also of the vacant shops, and with regard to these shops no notice seems to have been given. The objection taken by the landlord is that section 7-A read with Schedule IV is discriminatory inasmuch as it provides a different tribunal and procedure for determining the standard rent with regard to premises the construction of which was not completed before the commencement of the Act which was on the 24th March 1947 and that the method provided by Schedule IV laid down no principles and were vague, indefinite and unreasonable, that the Rent Controller had no jurisdiction to decide whether the buildings were completed before or after March 1947 nor could he reduce the rent at which the premises were first Jet and that in this particular case he had made private enquiries and had invited no evidence from the contestants and the calculations which he made for fixing the rent were not shown to the parties for rebutting them if they thought it necessary, and therefore the order of the Controller was vitiated as it was contrary to the principles of natural justice.;
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