CORPORATION OF CALCUTTA Vs. JUGAL KISHORE DHANDHANIA
LAWS(CAL)-1976-4-33
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on April 22,1976

CORPORATION OF CALCUTTA Appellant
VERSUS
JUGAL KISHORE DHANDHANIA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Anil Kumar Sen, J. - (1.)This appeal under section 183 (3) of the Calcutta Municipal Act, 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) arises out of a proceeding under the said Act for assessment of the annual value in respect of premises No. 138. Ram Dulal Sarkar St., Calcutta (hereinafter referred to as the disputed premises) for imposition of consolidated rate for the, period commencing from the second quarter of 1961-62 and is directed against the judgment and order dated the 24th of Jan., 1964 passed by the learned Judge, Court of Small Causes, Calcutta in Municipal Appeal No. 105 of 1963. By the aforesaid judgment and order the learned Judge set aside the annual value as assessed on revision by the appellant, Corporation of Calcutta and restored the existing annual value in respect of the disputed premises.
(2.)Certain facts are not in dispute. In a proceeding under Sec. 9 of the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950 (hereinafter referred to as the Rent Control Act of 1950) between the landlord respondent and his tenant, the standard rent in respect of the disputed premises was fixed at Rs. 247.50 per month with effect from Nov., 1955 by the Rent Controller, Calcutta. The disputed premises, however, being requisitioned by the State of West Bengal under the provisions of Sec. 3 (1) of the West Bengal Premises Requisition and Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as Requisition Act of 1947), compensation payable under the said Act to the respondent was fixed at Rs 514.00 per month. In the proceeding for assessment of the annual value for imposition of the consolidated rate for the period commencing from the second quarter of 1955-56 the appellant assessed the annual value not on the basis of the standard rent fixed by the Rent Controller, Calcutta, but on the basis of the monthly compensation of Rs. 514.00 fixed under the provisions of the Requisition Act of 1947 and made payable to the respondent. The respondent objected to such an assessment and in an appeal under Sec. 183 (1) of the said Act, the respondent disputed the right t of the appellant to assess the annual value on the basis of the monthly compensation so fixed when the standard rent in respect of the disputed premises had already been fixed at Rs. 247.50 under the provisions of the Rent Control Act of 1950. Learned Judge, Court of Small Causes, Calcutta allowed the said appeal by the respondent and fixed the annual value for the said period on the basis of the standard rent of Rs. 247.50 by an order dated March 1, 1957 and overruled the appellant's claim then put forward to the effect that it could assess the annual value on the basis of the monthly compensation notwithstanding the standard rent fixed by the Rent Controller. In the background of the aforesaid admitted facts in the next sexennial assessment for the period commencing from the second quarter of 1961-62 the appellant again assessed the annual value of the disputed premises on the basis of the monthly compensation of Rs. 514.00 fixed under the provisions of the Requisition Act of 1947 and payable to the respondent by the State of West Bengal. The respondent again disputed the validity of such assessment and raised an objection that the standard rent in respect of the said premises having been fixed under the Rent Control Act of 1950, the annual value must be assessed on the basis of the standard rent so fixed and not on the basis of the monthly compensation as aforesaid. This objection having been overruled by the Special Officer, the respondent preferred an appeal under section 183 (1) of the said Act. The appeal was allowed by the learned Judge, Court of Small Causes. Calcutta who held that in view of the judgment and order dated March 1, 1957 in the previous municipal appeal, it is no longer open to the appellant to claim that it could still assess the annual value on the basis of monthly compensation and not on the basis of the standard rent fixed under the provisions of the Rent Control Act of 1950, inasmuch as such an issue must be deemed to be concluded as against the appellant on principles of res judicata. Learned Judge accordingly revised the annual value as assessed by the appellant and refixed the same on the basis of the standard rent with the result that the old annual value was restored. This decision of the learned Judge, Court of Small Causes, Calcutta is the subject matter of challenge in this appeal now before us.
(3.)In support of this appeal, Mr. Ajay Kumar Basu, learned Advocate has first contended that the learned Judge, Court of Small Causes, Calcutta is in error in holding that the issue as to whether the appellant can assess the annual value on the basis of the monthly compensation as aforesaid is concluded by principles of res judicata when the period under assessment is wholly different from that in dispute in the earlier municipal appeal. On the merits Mr. Basu, learned Advocate has next contended that though the standard rent in respect of the disputed premises had been fixed under the Rent Control Act of 1950, yet when the respondent is receiving a monthly compensation of Rs. 514.00 and when the said amount represents the reasonable rent payable in respect of the disputed premises, the appellant is justified in ignoring the standard rent fixed by the Rent Controller and in making the assessment on the basis of the monthly compensation. Mr. Basu relies on the provisions of Sec. 11 of the Requisition Act of 1947 and further contends that proviso to Sec. 168 (1) of the said Act cannot override the appellant's right to make the assessment on the basis of reasonable rent as represented by the monthly compensation fixed under the provisions of the Requisition Act of 1947.
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