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Dr. N.P. Tripathi vs Sri Sri Thakurji And Anr. on 1 May, 1969

Patna High Court
Dr. N.P. Tripathi vs Sri Sri Thakurji And Anr. on 1 May, 1969
Equivalent citations: 1969 (17) BLJR 854
Bench: N Untwalia, B Jha


JUDGMENT

N.L. Untwalia and B.N. Jha, JJ.

1. The petitioner is occupying about 96% of the total space in the building in question as a tenant under respondent No. 1. The annual municipal Valuation of the whole building earlier was Rs. 840.00. In the revised assessment of 1959-60, it was increased to Rs. 1,200.00. Thereupon, the landlord applied for redetermination of fair rent, as previously fair rent had been determined payable by the petitioner at Rs. 70.00 per month. The controller under the Bihar Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act, 1947 (Bihar Act III of 1947) -hereinafter called “the Act”-by his order dated the 26th April, 1965, a copy of which is annexure “1” to the writ application, fixed the fair rent payable by the petitioner at Rs. 84.00 per month. The landlord went up in appeal. The tenant did not file any appeal. The Collector, by his order dated the 10th March, 1967 (Annexure “2” redetermined the fair rent at Rs. 90.00 per month. Again, the tenant did not go up in revision before the Commissioner, the landlord went up in revision to him. The Commissioner of Patna Division, by his order dated the 12th August, 1967 (Annexure “3”) has redetermined the monthly fair rent payable by the petitioner for the portion of the building in his occupation at Rs. 115.00. Another tenant, who is occupying a small portion of the building according to the Kanungo’s report is said to be paying to the landlord Rs. 30.00 per month. The Collector thought that the rent for the whole building should be Rs. 120.00 per month, being 1/10th of the annual municipal valuation, that is, Rs. 1,200.00, and since the other tenant was paying Rs. 30.00 per month, the rent payable by the petitioner should be Rs. 90.00 per month. The learned Commissioner has not accepted this reasoning of the Collector. The petitioner has come up to this Court for grant of a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Commissioner (Annexure “3”).

2. In our opinion, the view taken, by the Commissioner is correct in law. Strictly speaking, it was not a case where the landlord will be entitled to increase the rent under Section 8A of the Act, When the facts were placed before us, we thought that the landlord should be entitled to a proportionate increase in the rent in proportion to the increase in the annual municipal valuation in accordance with Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 8A of the Act. But it was rightly pointed out by. learned; Counsel for respondent No. 1 that this is a case of redelermination for the fair rent in accordance with Section 7 of the Act. The municipal assessment of the building as defined in the explanation to Section 8, has been revised within the meaning of Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 7 of the Act. That being so, the Controller had the power to redetermine the fair rent of the building. While so redetermining the fair rent, in accordance with the explanation appended to Section 8, the proportionate annual value of such portion of the building as is occupied by a particular tenant could be determined by the controller and consequently by the Collector and the Commissioner in appeal or in revision. The mere fact that another tenant occupying a small portion is paying Rs. 30.00 per month is no ground for not determining the fair rent payable by the petitioner in accordance with law and proportionate to the space which he is occupying in the building. It will be open to the other tenant to go to the Controller for fixation or redetermination of fair rent payable by him in respect of the space occupied by him. It will be for the Controller to decide that application in accordance with law as he thinks fit and proper. But what we want to emphasise in this case is that, merely because another tenant is paying allegedly excessive rent for the portion in his occupation the petitioner is not entitled to a proportion ate reduction in the quota of his fair rent. In our opinion, therefore, the order of the Commissioner is not fit to be interfered with, either under Article 226 or 227 of the Constitution of India.

3. The application, therefore, fails and is dismissed; but, in the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.

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