Decided on September 27,1954



- (1.) The facts leading to this petition are as follows. The petitioner Jagat Bahadur Singh is the owner of a building once called the Ranzor Hall but for many years past known as the Rivoli Cinema, which is occupied by Badri Parshad Seth respondent as a tenant and run by him as a cinema. The building was leased to the respondent by the petitioner's father as long as 1940, and on each occasion when the lease was renewed the rent was increased, with the result that by the time the lease was last renewed by the petitioner's father in the year 1947 the rent had become Rs. 14,000 per annum as compared with the original rent of Rs. 7,000. In the year 1950 the petitioner expressed his intention of terminating the tenancy and not renewing the lease for any further period as he wanted to run the cinema business himself. He was, however, prevailed upon to renew the lease for a further period of two years from the 1st of March, 1950 to the 29th of February, 1952 at the same annual rent of Rs. 14,000 and in the preamble of the lease-deed the following passage was inserted - "Whereas the premises known as the 'Ranzor Hall' also known as the 'Rivoli Theatre' together with all its furniture, fixtures and effects described in the schedule hereto were rented by the tenant from the landlord for the period ended on the 14th March, 1950; and Whereas the landlord desirous of running the cinema himself issued a notice to the tenant on the 16th March, 1950 asking him to vacate the said premises and to hand over the possession of the same to the landlord; but Whereas the tenant asked for a further extension of the lease for the period ending 29th February, 1952 vacating the premises and handing them back to the landlord on the 1st March, 1952 to which request the landlord agreed."
(2.) In the beginning of October, 1951 the petitioner sent a notice to the respondent intimating to him that he did not intend to renew the lease and that he intended to resume possession of the premises in accordance with the agreement of March 1950, no reply to this notice being sent by the respondent. He did not, however, vacate the premises on the 1st of March, 1952 and shortly thereafter the petitioner filed a petition in the Court of the Rent Controller at Simla under section 13 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act III of 1949 for the ejectment of the respondent on the ground that he required the premises for his own use for the purpose of running the cinema business. The petition was resisted by the tenant who alleged that it was not bona fide . He alleged that in fact before the expiry of the tenancy he had asked the landlord to reduce the rent for the next lease period but that the landlord had demanded that the rent should be increased to Rs. 18,000 per annum. His case was that the landlord did not require the premises for his own use as he was already running the business of the Mayfair Motor Works and of the Burmah Shell Agency, and that he was only pretending that he wanted to start up the cinema business himself in order to rack rent the tenant. The Rent Controller came to the conclusion that the allegation of the tenant were correct and therefore dismissed the landlord's petition and the learned District Judge upheld this finding and dismissing the landlord's appeal. The present petition is being filed in this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution.
(3.) It may also be mentioned that after the landlord's petition had been filed in the Court of the Rent Controller the tenant also filed a petition for the fixation of the standard rent, and by an order passed in the same day on which he rejected the landlord's petition, the Rent Controller fixed the standard rent for the premises in dispute at Rs. 9,750 per annum plus taxes.;

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