HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) The questions which arise for consideration in these O.P. (RC)s are:
i. Whether a compromise entered into before the Lok Adalat between the landlord and the tenant in a Rent Control Petition can be executed by the Civil Court if so, whether it should be before the Munsiff's Court or before the Sub Court having pecuniary jurisdiction over the amount involved in the decree
ii. Whether attachment of immovable property is compulsory before the court auction sale and whether such an objection can be raised by the judgment debtor before the sale
The petitioners and others filed a Rent Control Petition before the Rent Control Court, Tirur, against the 1st respondent under S. 11(3) of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Act"). Originally, the Rent Control Petition was filed before the Rent Control Court, Parappanangadi and it was transferred to the Rent Control Court, Tirur. The parties to the Rent Control Petition settled their disputes before the Lok Adalat, organised by the Taluk Legal Services Committee, Tirur. The tenant agreed to vacate the petition schedule building in the Rent Control Petition. The landlords (revision petitioners) agreed to re-pay to the tenant, a sum of Rs. 4,75,000/-, the amount being the advance taken at the time of entering into the lease transaction. The landlords paid a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- to the tenant before the Lok Adalat itself. The balance amount was agreed to be paid in the event of the tenant vacating the premises within six months. It was also agreed that if the landlords failed to pay the amount within the time stipulated, it would carry interest at 6% per annum.
(2.) In terms of the compromise, the tenant vacated the building. However, the landlords did not pay the amount payable to the tenant. Therefore, the tenant filed an Execution Petition before the Munsiff's Court, Tirur, for realisation of Rs. 3,75,000/- together with interest. The landlords raised a contention that the petition schedule building being situated within the territorial limits of the Munsiff's Court, Parappanangadi, the Execution Petition was maintainable only before that court. Accordingly, the Execution Petition was returned for presentation before the court having jurisdiction. The tenant filed Execution Petition before the Munsiff's Court, Parappanangadi. That Execution Petition was returned stating that the amounts claimed in the Execution Petition exceeded the pecuniary limits of the jurisdiction of the Munsiff's Court. Thereafter, the tenant was compelled to file the Execution Petition before the Sub Court, Tirur.
(3.) The landlords (respondents in the Execution Petition) raised a contention that the award passed by the Lok Adalat is not an executable decree and the Sub Court, Tirur has no jurisdiction to proceed with the execution. The executing court dismissed the Execution Petition by the order dated 06.07.2011. The executing court, relying on the decision of a learned Single Judge in Govindankutty Menon v. Shaji, 2010 1 KerLT 43), held thus:
"The Rent Control Court has jurisdiction to pass an order either eviction or dismissal in a petition. The Rent Control Court has no jurisdiction to pass any amount for payment of compensation or amount. If so, the award passed by the Lok Adalat to pay Rs. 4,75,000/- to the petitioner in a matter referred from Rent Control Court is beyond jurisdiction. Further if the Award passed by the Lok Adalat is executable, the petitioner has to file Execution Petition before the Munsiff Court.";
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