AUTO TRANSPORT UNION P LTD Vs. CARDAMOM MARKETING CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
AUTO TRANSPORT UNION (P) LTD.
CARDAMOM MARKETING CO. LTD.
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(1.) THESE two appeals are directed against the decrees of the court below in O. S. Nos. 45 of 1961 and 39 of 1964 on the file of the additional District Court, Parur. The allegations in the plaint in O. S. No. 45 of 1961 were as follows: The defendant-company had taken three buildings situate within the Municipality, Alwaye, on a monthly rent of Rs. 350 from one neelakanta Iyer and had executed a rent deed on 30-3-1124 (M. E. ). The buildings were sold to the plaintiff and the defendant-company executed, on the date of the sale deed, a rent deed in favour of the plaintiff agreeing to pay a rent of Rs. 2co per mensem for the buildings. The defendant-company failed to pay rent due to the plaintiff. The plaintiff, therefore, filed the suit seeking to recover arrears of rent from 24-3-1959 to 24-9-1961.
(2.) O. S. No. 39 of 1964 is a suit filed for recovery of arrears of rent of the same buildings for the period from 24-3-1961 to 23-10-1964.
The court below decreed the suits. The defendant preferred two appeals before this court,. namely, A S. Nos 159 and 160 of 1966 from, the decrees. In the appeals it was contended that since the application filed by the defendant for the fixation of the fair rent of the buildings has been "finally disposed of by this Court in C. R. P. No. 38 of 1966 fixing the rate of fair rent at Rs, 116. 20 per mensem, the lower court should be directed to consider the matter afresh and pass fresh decrees in the light of fair rent fixed in C. R. P. No. 38 of 1966. It was also urged that the defendant was not liable for interest on the arears of rent before the suits and for the costs of the suits. The two cases were remanded directing the court below to consider the matter afresh and pass fresh decrees.
The court below thereafter decreed the suits at the rate specified in CRP. No. 38 of 1966. It decreed interest on the arrears of rent at that rate before the suits at 6 per cent annum and also awarded proportionate costs to the plaintiff. These two decrees are being challenged in these appeals.
(3.) THE questions that arise for consideration in these appeals are: (1) whether the court below was justified in awarding interest on the arrears of rent before the suits; and (2) whether the court below went wrong in awarding proportionate costs to the plaintiff.
On the first question it was argued by Mr. Mahalinga iyer appearing for the appellant that under the Kerala Buildings (Lease and rent Control) Act, 1965 (Act 2 of 1965), hereinafter referred to as the Act, the liability of a tenant is only to pay the fair rent and the appellant is not liable to pay any amount in excess thereof. Counsel relied on the provisions of s. 5, 8 and 11 (2) of the Act to substantiate his contention that a tenant is bound to pay only fair rent to the landlord and no amount by way of interest on the arrears of rent before the suits should have been decreed. Under S. 5 of the act, the Rent Control Court is bound on an application of a tenant or landlord of a building to fix the fair rent for such building. Under S 8 (1) when the Rent Control Court has determined the fair rent of a building, the landlord shall not claim, receive or stipulate for payment of any premium or other like sum in addition to such fair rent, or save as provided in S. 6 or S. 7, anything in excess of such fair rent; and according to S. 8 (2) if fair rent has not been determined, then also the landlord can claim nothing more than the maximum rent that may be fixed by the Rent Control Court under S. 5 (2) or the agreed rent, whichever is less. In this case, we are concerned with a case where fair rent has been fixed by the court. It is clear that the landlord is entitled only to claim the fair rent as fixed. But the question is whether the landlord is entitled to claim interest on the arrears of rent which had accrued due before the dates of the suits.;
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