High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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VARINDER KAUR & Ors v. RAVINDER PAL SINGH - CR-4809-2005  RD-P&H 172 (5 October 2005)
Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
Date of decision: 16.9.2005.
Varinder Kaur and others ...Petitioner
Ravinder Pal Singh ...Respondent
Present: Mr Amit Rawal, Advocate.
S.S. SARON, J.
Notice of motion.
Mr PK Dutt, Advocate for the respondent accepts notice.
Heard learned counsel for the parties.
With the consent of the parties, this revision petition is taken up for final disposal.
This petition under Section 15(5) of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act 1949 (Act for short) has been filed by the tenants- petitioners against the order dated 16.8.2005 passed by the learned Rent Controller, Ludhiana.
Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
The landlord-respondent filed a petition under Section 13 of the Act seeking ejectment of the petitioners from the demised premises as detailed in the head note of the petition. The ejectment has been sought on the ground of non-payment of rent. It is alleged that the tenants-petitioners have neither paid nor tendered the arrears of rent w.e.f. 1.1.1997 @ Rs 3200/- per month along with house tax which is their responsibility. The learned Rent Controller after consideration of the matter and in accordance with the law, laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Rakesh Wadhawan v. M/s Jagdamba Industrial Corporation AIR 2002 SC 2004, assessed and fixed provisional rent in respect of the demised premises @ Rs 2600/- per month which has been held to be payable from 1.1.1997.
Accordingly, the tenants-petitioners have been held liable to pay rent from 1.1.1997 uptil the date @ Rs 2600/- per month. The rent already paid in the earlier petitions has been deducted and the balance has been ordered to be paid which is payable upto 19.9.2005, failing which the ejectment order would be passed.
Mr Amit Rawal Advocate, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners has submitted that the landlord-respondent had earlier filed three ejectment petitions claiming that Tarlochan Singh, husband of petitioner No.1 and father of petitioner Nos.2 to 4 was in arrears of rent since 1.1.1997 which was due and payable @ Rs 3200/- per month. The case of the tenant is that the rate of rent was Rs 1200/- per month which had been tendered in Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
the respective petitions as and when claimed. Therefore, further rent beyond that was fixed, is not liable to be paid and cannot be claimed in the 4th
ejectment petition. It is further contended that petitioner No.1 is a widow and petitioner Nos.2 to 4 are minors and they are unable to pay such a heavy amount in this short notice and this rent cannot be claimed in the present petition thereby rendering the earlier petitions as more or less infructuous.
In response, Mr PK Dutt, Advocate, learned counsel for the landlord-respondent has submitted that the rent is due and payable by the petitioners-tenants as has been assessed by the learned Rent Controller and this is in accordance with the dictum of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Rakesh Wadhawan v. M/s Jagdamba Industrial Corporation (supra). Therefore, it is contended that provisional rent is liable to be paid as has been assessed.
I have given my thoughtful consideration to the respective contentions of the learned counsel for the parties.
It is appropriate to note that the respondent-landlord initially filed a petition dated 10.4.1999 under Section 13 of the Act for ejectment of Tarlochan Singh, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners from the demised premises. It was alleged that the tenant was in arrears of rent w.e.f.
1.1.1997 @ Rs 3200/- per month along with house tax, etc. It was also alleged that initially the rate of rent was Rs 2600/- per month but thereafter Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
it was mutually increased to Rs 3200/- per month in the year 1994. In the said petition, another ground that was taken was that the landlord- respondent required the presmises for his own use and occupation and for use and occupation of his family members. In the said petition, it was the stand of Tarlochan Singh (deceased) tenant, that the rent @ Rs 1200/- stood paid upto 31.12.1998 and it was tendered w.e.f. 1.1.1999 to 30.4.1999. The said tender was made on 2.3.2001. Accordingly, the statements were made in this regard before the Rent Controller on 2.3.2001. The landlord- respondent accepted the tender without prejudice to his rights as the tender was made by the then tenant Tarlochan Singh (deceased). It was stated that the same was short and invalid and not made on the first date of hearing. It was also stated that the rate of rent was Rs 3200/- per month.
The landlord-respondent then filed a second ejectment petition in which again rent was claimed to be due and payable from 1.1.1997 @ Rs 3200/- per month. The then Tenant Tarlochan Singh (deceased) tendered rent @ Rs 1200/- per month for the period from 1.5.1999 to 31.8.2001. This tender was made on 21.8.2001. The said rent petition is also pending.
Thereafter, the landlord filed a third ejectment petition claiming rent @ Rs 3200/- per month w.e.f. 1.1.1997. In this also, the then tenant Tarlochan Singh (deceased) tendered rent @ Rs 1,200/- per moth for the period from 1.19.2001 to 30.11.2002. This tender was made on 17.9.2004 and statements of the parties were recorded. It is during this period that Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
Tarlochan Singh, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners died on 6.10.2004. The petitioners, it is stated, were dependent upon Tarlochan Singh (deceased). After the demise of Tarlochan Singh, the landlord- respondent filed the 4th
ejectment petition on 5.11.2004 which was registered on 9.11.2004. In this petition, the landlord-respondent again claimed rent for the period from 1.1.1997 @ Rs 3200/- per month. During the pendency of this petition, the learned Rent Controller assessed the provisional rent @ Rs 2600/- per month which the tenants-petitioners were asked to deposit w.e.f. 1.1.1997.
In the circumstances, it is to be seen whether the petitions which are already pending and in which rent has been tendered can be taken into account for the purposes of tendering the rent in the subsequent petition which, in the present case, is the 4th
petition filed by the landlord-
respondent. The provisions of Section 13(2)(i) of the Act, which are relevant for the decision of the present petition, may be noticed:- "13(2)(i) that the tenant has not paid or tendered the rent due by him in respect of the building or rented land within fifteen days after the expiry of the time fixed in the agreement of tenancy with his landlord or in the absence of any such agreement, by the last day of the month next following that for which the rent is payable:
Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
Provided that if the tenant on the first hearing of the application for ejectment after due service pays or tenders the arrears of rent and interest at six per cent per annum on such arrears together with the cost of application assessed by the Controller, the tenant shall be deemed to have duly paid or tendered the rent within the time aforesaid." A perusal of the above shows that in terms of the proviso to Section 13(2)(i) of the Act, it is provided that if the tenant on the first hearing of the application for ejectment after due service pays or tenders the arrears of rent and interest at 6% p.a. on such arrears together with the cost of application assessed by the Controller, the tenant shall be deemed to have duly paid or tendered the rent within the time aforesaid. In the case in hand, the dispute with regard to the earlier tender of rent i.e. for the period from 1.1.1997 to 10.4.1999, 1.5.1999 to 31.8.2001 and 1.9.2001 to 30.11.2002 is already the subject matter of other connected petitions and evidence in this regard is also to be led. Therefore, it is to be seen in the said petitions whether the due rent has been paid in accordance with the rent fixed or claimed. In other words, the rent which is in dispute is to be determined in the said petitions and therefore, by making provisional assessment of the rent which are already subject matter of dispute in the connected petitions and in which evidence has also been led would be improper. In the circumstances, I am of the view that the rate of rent which is subject matter in the earlier Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
petitions cannot be assessed provisionally in the petition which has now been filed which, in the present case, is the 4th petition. It would in fact be
quite improper for the Rent Controller to transgress into a matter which is subject matter of dispute in another case and is being pursued by the parties.
It is for that authority alone i.e. the authority before whom the case is pending to consider and decide the dispute on the basis of pleadings and evidence led before it. The dispute cannot be nullified or finished by resorting to filing a fresh petition and claiming rent even in respect of the period which is already under trial.
In the circumstances, the order of the Rent Controller is modified and it is held that the rate of provisional rent fixed at Rs 2600/- per month would be operative from 1.12.2002 onwards i.e. after the tender had been made of the rent which are subject matter of dispute in the earlier three petitions. Consequently, this Civil Revision is disposed of and the order of the Rent Controller is modified and the provisional rent which is fixed by the Rent Controller shall be payable from 1.12.2002 onwards which the tenants-petitioners shall be liable to tender in accordance with the provisions of the Act. In the circumstances of the case and keeping in view the fact that petitioner No.1 is a widow and petitioner Nos.2 to 4 are minors, the date for tendering the rent which was fixed by the learned Rent Controller as 19.9.2005 is enlarged and shall be fixed afresh by the Rent Controller.
Civil Revision 4809 of 2005
16.9.2005 ( S.S.SARON )
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