Decided on April 02,1997

C. Baljees Respondents


P.K.PALLI, J. - (1.)BOTH these revision petitions (C.R. No. 50/97 and C.R. No. 92/97) are being disposed of finally on merits at the admission stage itself with the consent of the learned counsel appearing for the parties.
(2.)IN both these revision petitions challenge has been made to the order passed by the learned appellate Authority (II), Shimla affirming the order passed by the learned Rent Controller (II), Shimla wherein fair rent of the building No. 26, The Mall Shimla, (hereinafter referred to as 'the premises in question') has been fixed at Rs. 5,600/- per month as on 25th May, 1989 and after allowing the statutory increase of 10% from 18th August, 1992, it has been worked out to Rs. 6160/- per month. Civil Revision No. 50/97 has been filed by the landlords whereas Civil Revision No. 92/97 has been filed by the tenant. The parties, hereinafter in the judgment, shall be referred to as 'landlords' and 'tenant'.
A petition under Sections 4 and 5 of the Himachal Pradesh Urban Rent Control Act, 1987 for the fixation of fair rent of the premises in question was filed by the landlords against the tenant C. Baljees, Baljees Restaurant, 26, The Mall, Simla with the averments that a part of the premises is being used for running a restaurant, a portion of it for the purpose of running a hotel and residential portion has already been converted into non-residential premises as hotel. The building is said to be five storeyed and the rent that was being charged was Rs. 627.83 per month whereas water and electricity charges are to be paid directly by the tenant to the Municipal Corporation, Simla. It has been averred that the building was constructed much before 25.1.1971 and the premises were let out to the tenant on 8.1.1953. It is also said in the petition that the tenant is running two restaurants and a residence in the building including a sweet shop. The total area of the building in occupation of the tenant is stated to be about 6000 sq. feet and the rent prevailing in the locality for such and similar type of buildings let out to the new tenants during the calendar year of 1971 is stated to be Rs. 12,000/- per month, i.e. at the rate of Rs. 2/- per square foot and in this manner, an amount of Rs. 12,000/- was claimed as fair rent besides the statutory increase of 10% after every five years right from 1971 till the filing of the petition and, thus, the fair rent for the entire building was worked out at Rs. 15,972/- per month.

(3.)IN the reply filed on behalf of the tenant, it has been said that previously the rent was Rs. 5,200/- which was enhanced to Rs. 5,900/- and then to Rs. 6,000/- in the year 1972 and thereafter it was again enhanced to Rs. 7,534/- per annum. As the rent was enhanced in the year 1972 itself which was the final increase, the landlords are not entitled to claim anything over and above this amount. The user of the premises for residential and nonresidential purposes has not been denied. It has also been stated in the reply that the area given by the landlords in respect of the tenanted premises is not correct and it is wrong that the rent prevailing in the locality for same or similar buildings let out to the new tenants during the calendar-year of 1971 was Rs. 12,000/- per month. It is stated that the landlords are not entitled for any statutory increase on the alleged arbitrary amount of Rs. 12,000/- claimed by them. Periodic increase is not permissible legally and the same has nothing to do with the fair rent prevailing for the such or similar type of buildings in the year 1971. Lastly, it was stated that the rent which is being charged by the landlords is already much more than fair rent of the premises in question and the rent in no situation was more than Rs. 3,000/- per annum in the year 1971.

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