R.K. Varma, J.
1. This is an appeal under Section 32 of the M. P. Accommodation Control Act filed by the L.Rs. of the deceased landlord Deshasingh against the order dated 23-2-1988 passed by the Addl. Judge to the Court of the District Judge, Martdsaur, Nee-much in Civil Misc. Appeal No. 119/87, affirming the order of the Rent Controlling Authority dated 3-11-87 passed in case No. 1-A/90 (1) 83-84, whereby the objection of the appellants-landlord that the provisions regarding rent contained in Chapter II of the M. P. Accommodation Control Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') were inapplicable to the accommodation in question has been overruled and the proceeding in the application of the respondent-tenant to fix standard rent have been maintained.
2. The facts giving rise to this appeal, briefly stated, are as follows: --
The respondent-tenant filed an application on 3-10-1984 before the Rent Controlling Authority for fixation of standard rent under Section 10 of the Act in respect of one portion of the house 'Laxmi Bhavan' at CRPF Road Neemuch, which is in occupation of the respondent as tenant on rent of Rs. 200/- per month. The appellants by an interim application disputed the maintainability of the respondent's application for fixation of standard rent on the ground that Section 10 was not applicable since the tenanted accommodation in question is not covered by the provisions of Chapter II of the Act inasmuch as the construction of the accommodation was still not completed and, therefore, there had been no occasion to notify to the local authority the completion of the construction in which the respondent-tenant was occupying a small portion.
3. It was contended that the provisions of Section 5 to Section 11 contained in Chapter II of the Act were wholly inapplicable to the instant case since section 4 of the Act mandatorily exempts from application of the provisions of Chapter II which includes Section 10 providing for fixation of standard rent any such accommodation or part thereof, construction of which was completed before or after the commencement of the Act, for a period of five years from the date on which completion of such construction was notified to the local authority concerned.
4. The learned Rent Controlling Authority rejected the aforesaid contention, holding that Section 4 of the Act did not override the provision of Section 10 relating to fixation of standard rent by the Rent Controlling Authority and accordingly dismissed the said interim application of the appellants-landlords by order dated 1-11-1987.
5. Being aggrieved by the order of the Rent Controlling Authority, the appellants filed appeal under Section 31 of the Act before the learned Additional Judge to the Court of the District Judge, Mandsaur, Neemuch, who by the impugned order dated 23-2-1983 dismissed the appeal.
6. The landlords-appellants have, therefore, filed the appeal under Section 32 of the Act.
7. The learned counsel for the appellants has contended that Section 4 of the Act envisages that Chapter II which includes Section 10 of the Act, shall not apply to a newly constructed accommodation or part thereof for a period of five years from the date on which completion of such construction was notified to the local authority concerned and that since the local authority was not notified about completion of construction of the accommodation in question, the statutory period of five years cannot be said to have commenced and much less elapsed so as to give jurisdiction to the Rent Controlling Authority to determine standard rent under Section 10 of the Act in respect of the said accommodation.
8. The contention on behalf of the appellants, therefore, is that since the completion of the construction of the accommodation was not notified to the local authority concerned, the application of the respondent-tenant under Section 10 of the Act for fixation of standard rent by the Rent Controlling Authority was not maintainable and the Rent Controlling Authority has no jurisdiction to proceed with the case for determining standard rent.
9. The learned counsel for the respondent-tenant has submitted that the house belonging to the appellants, a portion of which is tenanted accommodation was assessed to annual letting value and taxes under the M.P. Municipalities Act after its completion about 17 or 18 years ago as is appearent from the written-statement filed by the appellants-landlords. In the circumstances, it should be deemed that the concerned municipality had been notified about completion of construction of the accommodation in question.
10. The learned counsel cited a decision of the Allahabad High Court in Hirdayram v. Harbhajan Singh Kochar, AIR 1977 NOC 357, in which it was held that even though the landlord had admitted that the building was completed in September, 1966 the date of completion of the building under Section 2(2) Expl. of U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act would be I -4-67 when the building was for the first time assessed to house and water-taxes by the Municipal Board under the U. P. Municipalities Act. Another case cited of Allahabad High Court is Tilak Raj v. S. Devendra Singh, AIR 1977 NOC 184 wherein it is held on the basis of legal fiction provided in the said Section 2(2) of the U.P. Act, that the relevant date of completion of building is the date of first assessment.
11. Section 2(2) of the U.P. Act is as under:
"2. Exemptions from opertion of Act.-
(2) Except as provided in Sub-section (2) of Section 24 or Sub-section (2) of Section 29 nothing in this Act shall apply to a building during a period of ten years from the date on which its construction is completed.
Explanation:-- For the purposes of this Section.
(a) the construction of a building shall be deemed to have been completed on the date on which the completion thereof is reported to or otherwise recorded by the local authority having jurisdiction, and in the case of a building subject to assessment, the date on which the first assessment thereof comes into effect and where the said dates are different, the earliest of the said dates and in the absence of any such report record or assessment, the date on which_it_is actually occupied (not including occupation merely for the purposes of supervising the construction of guarding the building under construction) for the first time:
Provided that there may be different dates of completion of construction in respect of different parts of a building which are either designed as separate units or are occupied separately by the landlord and one or more tenants or by different tenants ;
12. The period of 19 years under Section 2(2) of the U. P. Act commences w.e.f. the date on which the construction of building is completed and in order to determine the date of completion without leaving scope for constroversy and to meet various situations, the explanation to Section 2(2) comprehensively provides for a legal fiction for determining the date of completion so that the date of completion could be fixed even if the owner fails to report completion to the local authority. Such a deeming provision for determining the date of completion of construction as is provided in the explanation to Section 2(2) of the U.P. Act, even though desirable and called for, does not find place in the M.P. Municipalities Act, 1961.
13. Learned counsel for the appellant-landlord has submitted that there is no such provision in the M. P. Municipalities Act, 1961 analogous to Section 2 (2) explanation as is to be found in the U. P. Act as aforesaid. As such, a building cannot be deemed to have been completed by reason of assessment for actual occupation of the building in the absence of notice delivered by the owner to the Municipality reporting completion.
14. The learned counsel has referred to Sections 187 and 191 of the M. P. Municipalities Act, 1961. Section 187 provides that no person shall erect or reerect or construct or build or commence to erect or reerect or construct or building any building without the sanction of the Council, and before beginning to erect any building shall give to the council notice thereof and that no person who becomes entitled to proceed with any intended work shall commence such work after the expiry of the period of one year from the date on which he first became entitled so to proceed therewith.
15. Section 191 provides for completion certificate and permission to occupy or use the building and reads as under :--
191. Completion certificate and permission to occupy or use.-
(1) Every person who-- (i) erects or reerects any buildings; or (ii) makes any material external alteration in or addition to any existing building; or (iii) constructs or reconstructs any projecting portion of a building which the council is empowered under Section 184 to require to be set back or is empowered to give permission to construct or shall within one month of the completion of the work, deliver to the council at its office a notice, in writing, of such completion and shall give to the council all necessary facilities for the inspection of such work.
(2) No person shall occupy or permit to be occupied any such building or use or permit to be used by any worker until permission has been granted by the council in this behalf in accordance with the bye-laws made under this Act:
Provided that if the Council fails, within a period of fifteen days after the receipt of notice of completion under Sub-section (1), to communicate its refusal to grant such permission, such permission shall be deemed to have been granted.
16. From the above provision, the person erecting a building is required to report completion of the work by delivering a notice in that behalf to the council and that no person shall occupy any such building or part thereof until permission is granted or deemed to have been granted by the Council in this behalf. In the instant case, the accommodation in question after being built, was occupied about 17-18 years ago. A lapse of 17 or 18 years since the construction of the accommodation in question, and the fact of its occupation by the owner or his tenant and the fact of assessment of the accommodation to taxes by the concerned Municipality lead to the only conclusion that the local authority concerned stood informed about the completion of the construction of the accommodation in question years ago.
17. The provision of Section 4 on the basis of which it was contended that Chapter II containing the provisions regarding the rent were not applicable to the accommodation in question reads as under : --
"4. "Provision of the Chapter not to apply to certain accommodation for specified period.-- Nothing in this Chapter shall apply to any accommodation or part thereof, construction of which, was completed before or after the commencement of this Act for a period of five years, from the date on which completion of such construction was notified to the local authority concerned."
18. It has been contended that the expression 'Notified' to the local authority concerned' in the aforesaid section means a notice required to be delivered to the Council reporting completion of the work as contained in Section 191 of the M. P. Municipalities Act, 1961 and since there is no proof of a notice having been delivered by the appellant-landlord to the Municipal Council as required by Section 191 of the M. P. Municipalities Act, the period of 5 years contemplated in Section 4 of the M. P. Accommodation Control Act, 1961 has not commenced.
19. I do not agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the landlord. The word 'Notified' has not been used in Section 191 of the M. P. Municipalities Act, 1961 and it has also not been defined in the M.P. Accommodation Control Act, 1961. As such the dictionary meaning of the word should be ascertained for construing the true meaning of the word.
20. The word 'notify' according to Concise Oxford Dictionary means inform or give notice to (a person), make known; announce or report (a thing)". The fact that the accommodation has been assessed to taxes by the concerned Municipality, necessarily gives rise to the inference that the Municipality stood informed that the construction of the accommodation had been completed before the date of assessment and, therefore, the statutory period of five years contained in section 5 of the M.P. Accommodation Control Act, had elapsed long before the application for fixing standard rent was filed by the respondent-tenant. As such the tenants application for fixation of standard rent is maintainable and the Rent Controlling Authority has jurisdiction to decide the same. The contention raised on behalf of the landlord-appellants disputing the maintainability of the application is rejected.
21. In view of the discussion aforesaid, this appeal has no force and is hereby dismissed. There shall, however, be no order as to costs.