Decided on September 10,1952

KALURAM Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



Sharma, J. - (1.)THIS is an application for revision by Shambhu Singh defendant in a case for recovery of arrears of rent, decided by the Small Cause Court Judge, Jaipur City.
(2.)THE plaintiff claimed Rs. 124/- as arrears of rent for the period beginning from 17th November, 1948, and ending on the 2nd of February, 1950. THE rent was Rs. 8/- per mensem, and the rent-note was executed by the defendant on the 17th of July, 1946. THE defendant's case was that he left the house on the 16th of November, 1948, and thereafter the plaintiff let it out to one Pahlad Singh. He was, therefore, not liable for the rent of the period in suit.
The learned Judge, Small Cause Court, found that the defendant occupied the house during the period in suit, and consequently awarded a decree for the sum claimed to the plaintiff. It is against this decree that the defendant has come in revision to this Court.

I have heard the learned counsel for both the parties. It has been argued by the learned counsel for the applicant that the learned Judge ignored very important admissions in the evidence of the plaintiff which supported the defendant's theory that he did not occupy the house during the period in suit, but it was Pahlad Singh who occupied it. The statement of the plaintiff has been referred to, where he has said that the defendant had been living in Lalita Prasad's house for the last 8 or 10 months. This statement was made by the plaintiff in April, 1950. According to this admission the defendant could not be occupying the house in suit up to February, 1950. The plaintiff also admitted that he made an application before the Rent Controller in February, 1950, in which he sard that Pahlad Singh had vacated the house a week or so before the date of application. On behalf of the opposite party, it has been argued that a Judge of Small Causes is a final Judge of facts, and once he has given a finding of fact, this Court cannot interfere with it in revision.

It is true that in a revision under sec. 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, a revisional court does not ordinarily interfere with a finding of fact recorded by the Small Cause Court Judge. When, however, a finding is based upon a misinterpretation or brushing aside of a very valuable piece of evidence, it is not only permissible but necessary for the High Court to vacate that finding in the interest of justice. I quite agree with the observations of the Additional Judicial Commissioner of the late Judicial Commissioner's Court of Nagpur in Harakchand Bhatey vs. G. I. P. Railway Company (1) (A. I. R. 1927 Nagpur 77.) that - "a Judge of a Small Cause Court fills a very important position of responsibility and owes a duty to the litigant world to dispose of cases in a proper and judicial manner, disclosing proper appreciation of evidence much of which is heard rather than recorded by him. It is on this account that a Court of revision is reluctant to interfere with his findings unless they are based on misinterpretation of evidence. " In that case the decree of the Small Cause Court Judge was vacated because he failed to properly appreciate the evidence and give sufficient attention to the several matters apparent from the record. The learned Judicial Commissioner observed that under the circumstances there was no alternative but to ignore the findings of the lower court, and decide the case himself on the material on record. In the case of Damri Choudhry and another vs. Nathuni Mia and others (2) (A. I. R. 1933 Patna 145.) it was held by Kulwant Sahay, J. that "in an application under sec. 25, Prov. S. C. C. Act, the High Court will not generally interfere with findings of fact; but where it is shown that the findings are such as could not have been arrived at upon the state of the evidence on the record, it is open to the High Court to interfere in revision. " In the present case I would not have been willing to vacate the decree of the lower court only on the ground that there were no reasons to disbelieve the evidence produced by the defendant as argued by the learned counsel for the applicant, but when I find that there are important admissions of the plaintiff himself, one of which has been totally ignored by the learned Small Cause Court Judge, and the other not satisfactorily explained, I cannot help brushing aside the findings arrived at by the learned Judge. On a careful reading of the plaintiffs two admissions along with the evidence produced by the defendant, the only just conclusion which I can come to is that the defendant left the house before the period in suit, and that it was Pahlad Singh and not the defendant who was occupying the house during that period. The learned lower court has simply acted on surmises in saying that Pahlad Singh must be occupying the house under the defendant.

I cannot uphold the decree of the learned Small Cause Court Judge. The application is allowed, the decree of the lower court is set aside, and the suit is dismissed. The successful defendant shall get his costs throughout from the plaintiff. .

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