Padmini Jesudurai, J.
1. The above civil revision petition is by the tenant under an order of eviction passed by both the Courts below under Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 18 of 1960, as amended by Act 23 of 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).
2. Proceedings relate to a shop bearing door No. 6, in door No. 157, Strahans Road, Perambur Barracks, Madras 12. The respondent as landlord filed an application under Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act. H.R.C. No. 193 of 1983 before the Rent Controller (XIII Court of Small Causes, Madras) seeking eviction of the tenant on the averment that he had purchased the petition premises as also the other portions of door No. 157, Strahans Road, under a sale deed for the purpose of accommodating his present business which he was carrying on in rented premises in the same road. The above action of the respondent was resisted by the petitioner on the averment that he did not admit the above need of the respondent for the premises for his own use and occupation and also that he did not admit that the respondent was carrying on business in rented buildings and does not own any other shop.
3. Before the Rent Controller, the respondent examined himself as P.W. 1 and had Exs. P1 to P9 marked on his side. The respondent filed M.P. No. 114 of 1984 for appointment of an advocate-commissioner to inspect the premises No. 3/1, Babu Naicken St. Perambur, Madras wherein the respondent was carrying on his business of book-binding; under the name and style M/s. Sri Venkateswara Binding Works and on orders being passed on the above application, an advocate commissioner was appointed by the Rent Controller who after due notice to the respective parties visited the business premises and submitted a report which was marked as Ex. C. 1.
4. On the materials placed before him, the learned Rent Controller found that the averment that the respondent was carrying on business under the name and style M/s. Sri Venkateswara Binding works, was true and that the above business was carried on at door No. 3/1, Babu Naicken St, Perambur and that the above premises did not belong to the respondent and that therefore, the requirements of Section 10(3)(a)(iii) were satisfied and ordered eviction. The petitioner filed R.C.A. No. 662 of 1985 before the VIII Court of Small Causes, Madras (Appellate Authority) who concurred with the findings of the learned Rent Controller and confirming the order of eviction, dismissed the petitioner's appeal. The tenant has preferred the present revision.
5. Thiru A. Ramanathan, the learned Counsel for the petitioner made two submissions : (1) That there was perversity in the appreciation of oral and documentary evidence by both the Courts below and the findings arrived, not being on a proper appreciation of facts, had to be set aside by this Court under its revisional powers. (2) That while the present revision was pending before this Court, a similar petition for eviction filed by the respondent in respect to a shop adjacent to the petition premises bearing door No. 7 had been ordered and even the revision petition filed by the tenant in that case viz., C.R.P. No. 710 of 1985 had been dismissed by this Court and that therefore, the respondent had an order of eviction as against a tenant in the immediately adjacent shop and this subsequent event had also to be taken into consideration by this Court for the purpose of holding that the need of the respondent for the petition premises even if it had existed at the time of the commencement of this proceeding could not be said to exist now, that therefore, the respondent was not entitled to have an order of eviction of the petitioner herein.
6. Per contra, Thiru R. Sundararajan, the learned Counsel for the respondent submitted that the findings of facts arrived at by both the Courts below both regarding the business carried on by the respondent and also regarding the fact that the present premises where the respondent was carrying on business, was rented premises, had been arrived at on a proper appreciation of the oral and documentary evidence and this Court under revisional jurisdiction could not upset those findings of fact. The second contention put forth by the learned Counsel for the petitioner was answered by the learned Counsel for the respondent by relying upon certain decisions of the Supreme Court as well as this Court, which I shall refer to later and even if the subsequent event of the respondent having obtained a decree for possession of the neighbouring shop bearing door No. 7 was taken into consideration, it would not disentitle him from getting an order of eviction of the present premises, since the respondent was in need of door Nos. 6 and 7 for his business and had simultaneously initiated eviction proceedings against the two tenants of door No. 6 as well as door No. 7 under Section 10(3)(a)(iii), of the Act on the averment that the above premises were required for his business now carried on in rented premises.
7. The question that arises for consideration is whether the order of the learned Appellate Authority suffers from any illegality or perversity calling for interference by this Court under its revisional jurisdiction and whether the relief, to be granted to the respondent, even when moulded in the light of the subsequent events, would still entitle him to get an order of eviction as against the petitioner.
8. Taking the first contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner, it is seen that the petition premises which is a shop bearing door No. 6 as also the other shops located in the building bearing door No. 157, Strahans Road, have been purchased on 22.9.1982 by the respondent under a common sale deed. It is one building in which some shops are located. The petition premises and door No. 7 are really twin shops. It is the case of the respondent that he has been carrying on business in book-binding for the last 25 years. He had been in service and had later obtained voluntary retirement for the purpose of taking up his business full time. M/s. Sri Venkateswara Binding works were originally located in door No. 157, Strahans Road, part of which is the petition premises and the respondent himself had been carrying on his present business in door No. 157 itself. He was residing in a house just opposite to door No. 157. It is seen from Ex. P7 that the then landlord filed H.R.C. No. 5678 of 1981 before the Court of Small Causes, Madras, against the different tenants and sub-tenants and the respondent in the above petition. It has been averred that respondents 6 to 9 are doing business in different portions of door No. 157 as unauthorised sub-tenants. It is the evidence of P.W. 1 that when eviction was ordered from the above premises, he shifted to 3/1, Babu Naicken Street and had since then been doing business there. It is thereafter that the respondent had purchased these very same properties bearing door No. 157 under a sale deed dated 22.9.1982. He has stated that he had purchased this property for the purpose of his occupation and for the purpose of having his business shifted there. In proof of the fact that he was doing business, the respondent had produced certain documents, the earliest of which is Ex. P8 dated 13.10.1978. XXX XXX XXX XXX
The discussion of facts is omitted : Ed.
Both the Courts below therefore have rightly found that the ingredients of Section 10(3)(a)(iii), of the Act are satisfied and the respondent would be entitled to have possession of the petition premises, I am unable to accept the contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner to the contrary. The above point is answered against the, petitioner.
9. On the next submission of the learned Counsel for the petitioner that in view of the fact that the respondent has an order of eviction in respect of the adjacent shop bearing door No. 7 in the same building, the need of the respondent has not been proved to continue to exist at the time when the matter is being heard by this Court and that therefore in view of the subsequent event the respondent would not be entitled to an order of eviction as against the petitioner, The learned Counsel placed reliance upon a decision of the Supreme Court reported in Variety Emporium v. V.R.M. Mohd. Ibrahim Naina . In that case, the landlord sought eviction of 7 different tenants, four of whom occupied the shop premises on the ground floor and the other three occupied residential premises on the first floor of a building situate in Madras. The premises were bought for under Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act to the averment that the landlord who was the respondent in the Supreme Court, and who was carrying on wholesale business in textiles in rented premises in Godown Street, could not survive in the business competition there and he intended to close down the wholesale business in Godown Street and start a retail business in his premises and that therefore, the seven tenants therein had to be evicted. All the three Courts below had ordered eviction. The Supreme Court found that since subsequent to the initiation of eviction proceedings, the landlord had obtained decrees for possession against three out of the four tenants on the ground floor and one out of the three tenants on the first floor, there was no justification for evicting the remaining tenant who was the appellant before the Supreme Court since the landlord's requirement would be more than adequately met by the eviction of those four tenants. Finding that the need of the landlord would thus be met, the Supreme Court held that the respondent could not be evicted.
. In the first of these cases, the landlord had sought possession of his premises in the occupation of his tenant for the purpose of setting up a clinic since subsequent to the lease, he had become qualified as a medical practitioner obtaining M.B.B.S. Degree. During the pendency of the proceedings, a partition had been effected between the landlord arid his brothers and the petition premises came to be allotted to a brother of the landlord. Also during the pendency of the proceedings, the landlord had come into possession of another shop which could meet his requirement. The Supreme Court on the basis of the above two facts also that the landlord at the time when the matter came up for final hearing, has no subsisting interest in the petition premises and could not therefore seek eviction and also in view of the fact that the landlord had come into possession of another premises suited for the clinic, could not be said to be in need of the petition premises. His requirements had been fully satisfied and he was not entitled to an order of eviction against the tenant. In the second of the decisions referred to above, viz. Hasmat Rai v. v. Raghunath Prasad , eviction proceeding were initiated against
different tenants of a building on two grounds. One was for enabling the landlord to start business as Chemists and Druggists and open a medical shop there and the other was for the purpose of repair and re-construction which could not be carried out without evicting the tenants. When the matters came before the High Court in second appeal, it appeared that a tenant against whom also eviction proceedings had been started, had been evicted by order of Court and the landlord had taken possession. It was contended that since the landlord had already obtained actual possession of a substantial portion of the building, he could not seek eviction of the other tenant sine the requirement of the landlord was satisfied. The landlord admitted that he had in his possession a shop measuring 18 feet X 90 feet plus 7 feet X 68 feet in the same building All that remained with the tenant was a small portion measuring 7 feet X 22 feet. Desai, J., speaking for himself and Venktaramiah, J. has observed as follows:
The landlord has not stated that so much space with 18 feet frontage is not reasonably suitable for starting his business as Chemists and Druggists. In that view of the matter the plaintiff's suit for eviction on the ground mentioned in Section l2(1)(f) must fail and this is being done by not disturbing any finding of fact but relying upon the admission of the plaintiff himself.
Pathak, J. (as he then was) in a separate judgment, dissenting on another point observed:
The High Court was bound to take the fact into consideration because, as is well settled now, in a proceeding for the ejectment of a tenant on the ground of personal requirement under a statute controlling the eviction of tenants, unless the statute prescribes to the contrary the requirement must continue to exist on the date when the proceeding is finally disposed of, either in appeal or revision, by the relevant authority. That position, to my mind, is indisputeable....
If the respondent has obtained possession of that portion, and that does not seem to be disputed, it becomes a serious question for decision whether the respondent needs the front portion of the building for his medicine shop and, if so, according to the dimensions proposed by him.
11. It follows therefore that the subsequent event of the respondent having obtained a decree of eviction against the tenant in adjacent shop No. 7 has to be taken into consideration and the further question, as to whether the need of the respondent, even after getting a decree, as against the neighboring tenant, could be taken to have been satisfied, so as to disentitle him from getting an order of eviction against the petitioner, has also to be considered.
12. The twin, shops forming part of the same building, door No. 157, have been purchased under a common sale deed for the purpose of housing his business and eviction proceedings have been more or less simultaneously initiated against the two tenants since it would be impossible for him to house his present business in either one of the two shops. Shifting his business to door No. 157 would be possible only if he gets possession of both the shops 6 and 7. It is true as pointed out by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that in the petition for eviction, there is no reference to eviction proceedings being started against the tenant in the adjacent shop No. 7. However, as rightly contended by the learned Counsel for the respondent, the petitioner has not been taken by surprise since even in the petitioner's counter, in paragraph No. 3, the petitioner had stated that the respondent has filed H.R.C No. 126 of 1983 for eviction of one Gopalan Nair (of shop No. 7) and if the respondent needs any shop, that shop would be sufficient. This aspect therefore has been very much in issue between the parties during the enquiry before the Rent Controller. It therefore has to be seen whether the need of the respondent could be said to be satisfied if he gets possession of door No. 7 alone. The respondent examined as P.W. 1 has stated that he needs not only the petition premises bearing No. 6, but also the adjacent shop (tea shop) and that he issued notices to them and he has filed eviction petitions against both of them and that when door Nos. 6 and 7 are put together, he will get a width of 16 feet and he would have to accommodate his binding works cutting machine, punching machine and two other machines. During cross-examination when he has been specifically asked as to whether either one of the shops would satisfy his requirement, P.W. 1 has stated that even if he gets possession of the shop of Gopalan Nair (door No. 7) it would not be sufficient for him and it would be impossible for him to have his four machinery there and his workers to do the work of binding. He has further stated that the machinery will not go into the shop with the dimension 8 feet X 6-1/2 feet and that therefore, he needs both the shops for his business. Though the petitioner has examined himself as R.W. 1, he has not stated that the machinery of the petitioner could be accommodated in door No. 7 alone. It is significant that the petitioner has been examined on 21.3.1985 long after the inspection of the advocate-commissioner on 31.3,1984 and the petitioner admits that he Was also present along with his advocate at the time when the advocate-commissioner inspected 3/1, Babu Naicken St., and that he also saw the various items of machinery found in the above premises and he was also present when the commissioner made a list of the machinery. If therefore the petitioner had really felt that the entire machinery housed in 3/1, Babu Naicken Street, could be accommodated in shop No. 7, one would have expected some such statement from him during his oral evidence. Added to that, we have the report of the Commissioner Ex. C1 giving the actual measurements of the premises in 3/1, Babu Naicken St. The business is carried on in a big hall measuring 15 feet X 22-1/2 feet divided by a partition. In one portion, a cutting machine, a punching machine, a tool box and other articles have been found. In the next room, three adults and one boy were engaged in the work of binding. Besides this big hall, there is also a small room in which also certain articles for binding were found. The exact measurement of this room is not available. Apart from this, a hard press machine was also found at the entrance. It therefore follows that the dimension of the place wherein the respondent is at present carrying on business could never be equated to the dimension of shop No. 7. It is also seen from the evidence of P.W. 1 that the two shops 6 and 7 are separatead only by a partition wall of one brick construction.
13. The learned Counsel for the petitioner took objection to relying upon the measurements of the premises in 3/1, Babu Naicken St. as given in Ex. C1 on the ground that the Commissioner made his inspection after proceedings started, that the appointment of. Commissioner was without jurisdiction since 3/1, Babu Naicken St. did not constitute the petition premises and that therefore, no reliance could be placed on Ex. C1. I am unable to accept the above contention. Section l8-A if the Act provides for the appointment of a Commissioner, investing the Rent Controller with the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, Order 26, Rule 9 of the Code is not confined to appointment of a Commissioner for local inspection of a suit property alone. Local investigation, considered by the Court, to be requisite or proper for the purpose of elucidating any matter in dispute is permitted. In fact, the respondent had filed M.P. No. 114 of 1984 for appointment of a Commissioner to inspect 3/1, Babu Naicken St. It is seen that no counter had been filed to the above M.P. No. 114 of 1984. The petitioner has fully participated in the commission and has not chosen to file any objection to Ex. C1.
14. The Supreme Court in the case referred to above, Variety Emporium v. R.M. Mohd. Ibrahim Naina (S.C.), has considered
the question as to whether the requirement of the landlord would be met by the eviction of four out of the seven tenants and finding that it would be adequately met, denied eviction of the remaining tenant. Applying the same test to the instant case, it is found, as already indicated by me above, that the requirement of the respondent would not be adequately met even if he gets possession of shop No,7. His requirements would be met only if he gets possession of both the shops 6 and 7. When facts disclose that his present business cannot be housed in either one of the shops, his requirement will last until he gets possession of both the shops. Only then can his requirement be said to have been adequately met as pointed out by the Supreme Court in Variety Emporium v. R.M. Mohd. Ibrahim Naina , I therefore
find that this subsequent event when considered, would still entitle the respondent to an order of eviction as against the petitioner. The point is answered against the petitioner.
15. In the result, the revision fails and is dismisseds. No costs. The learned Counsel for the petitioner requests three months' time for vacating the premises. The learned Counsel for the respondent was also heard. The petitioner is given time till 15.4.1987 to vacate the premises on his filing an affidavit of undertaking on or before 29.1.1987 to the effect that he would hand over vacant possession to the respondent without compelling him to resort to execution proceedings, and meantime would continue to pay the rent and arrears if any, without default.