(1) This is an application under S. 115 C. P. C. to revise the order of the learned District Judge, Coimbatore in C. R. P. 1052 of 1962. The learned District Judge allowed a revision by the landlord against the judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge, Ootacamund in C. M. A. 2 of 1962 by which the learned Subordinate Judge reversed the order of the House Rent Controller in H. R. C. 69 of 1960 and held that there was no wilful default by the tenant justifying his eviction. The learned District Judge came to the conclusion that there was wilful default and so allowed the revision. Realising the limitations of S. 115 C. P. C., Mr. A.K. Sriraman learned counsel for the petitioner, has urged that the learned District Judge in so far as he differed from the Subordinate Judge and held that there was wilful default in the payment of rent by the tenant was either exercising a jurisdiction not vested in him or acted with material irregularity and therefore this Court in exercise of its powers under S. 115 C. P. C. should interfere.
(2) I am afraid the arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner as to the ambit of S. 25 of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act are not justified by the wording of that section. He has referred me to two decisions of this Court, one of Rajagopala Aiyangar J. in C. R. P. No. 1420 of 1954 (Mad) and another by Rajamannar C. J. in Sasivarna Thevar v. Ponnu, 1957-1 Mad LJ 158. In the case decided by Rajammnar C. J. he extracts with approval a paragraph from the judgment of Rajagopala Aiyangar J. which reads thus:
"The only proper way of defining the relative jurisdiction of the appellate and revisional authorities constituted under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act is to hold that while an appellate authority is entitled to examine every question of fact and law dealt with in, or arising out of, an order of the Rent Controller, a revisional authority, while undoubtedly can interfere with the question of law, where the Rent Control Act or any provision has been misconstrued, cannot normally interfere with findings of fact unless (a) there were no other materials on which such a finding could be based: or (b) the finding has been reached by a consideration of irrelevant or inadmissible matter; or (c) it is so perverse that no reasonable person could have reached that conclusion; or (d) the finding had been reached by an erroneous understanding of the law applicable to the matter. To hold that a revisional authority could interfere with findings of fact of an appellate authority without regard to these limitations would be to convert a revision into a regular appeal and to obliterate the distinction between appeals and revisions which the Act has taken care to provide".
With great respect to the learned Judges, I cannot help feeling that both their Lordships have not considered the words of Section 12(b) of the old Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 1949 or S. 25 of the present Act, which enable the District Court in the case of mofussil cases and the High Court in cases arising in the city to consider the lower court's order with regard to its legality propriety and regularity. There is no reference in either of the two judgments to the exact implications of these words.
(3) The implications of the word "propriety" have been considered by the Supreme Court in Raman and Raman v. Govt. of Madras thus:
"The word 'propriety' has nowhere been defined in the Act and is capable of a variety of meanings. In the Oxford English Dictionary Vol VIII, it has been stated to mean 'fitness: appropriateness: aptitude; suitability; appropriateness to the circumstances or conditions, conformity with requirements; rules or principle, rightness, correctness, justness, accuracy'. 'If the State Government was of the opinion that respondent 2 had better facilities for operation than the appellant and their services to the public would be more beneficial it could not be said that the State Government was in error in thinking that the order of the Board confirming the order of the Regional Transport Authority was improper' "
Now the last sentence (originally underlined but here in ' ' Ed.) would show that from the same set of circumstances, it is open to an authority exercising a power similar to the one under consideration to consider the propriety of an order made by a subordinate authority and come to a different conclusion from the subordinate authority. In Motiram v. Suraj Bhan, the Supreme Court points out that under Section 15(5) of the Punjab Act (which was the section under consideration in that case) the High Court has jurisdiction to examine the legality or propriety of the orders under revision and that would clearly justify the examination of the propriety or legality of a finding made by the authorities about the requirement of the landlord under S. 13(3)(a)(iii).
(4) Now, reading the above statement of the law along with that contained in Raman and Raman v. Govt. of Madras. it is obvious that a court like the District Court in the present case has the power to come to a conclusion different from that arrived by the subordinate court on the same set of circumstances. Mr. Sriraman urged that it was not open to a conclusion different from the Subordinate court. It is not as though the subordinate court in this case was the trial court. It has often been observed while meeting the arguments advanced in appeals that an appellate court should not lightly interfere with a finding of fact arrived at by a trial judge who had the opportunity of hearing witnesses and observing their demeanour that while the trial court, which has had such an opportunity might be in a better position to assess the credibility of the witnesses and, therefore be in a better position in coming to a conclusion as to a finding of fact it does not stand in a better position than an appellate court with regard to the conclusion to be drawn from the proved facts and in that in such a case an appellate court is in as good a position as the trial court to draw its own conclusions. What the learned District Judge has done in this case is not to differ from the learned Subordinate Judge and to come to his conclusions as regards facts, but to draw his own conclusions on the facts proved and I am unable to agree with the learned advocate for the petitioner that this was something which the learned District Judge was not competent to do. It follows that the judgment of the learned District Judge, in, so far as he reversed the judgment of the Subordinate Judge falls clearly within the ambit of S. 25 of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. As such, there is no room for exercise of revisional powers of this court. This petition is dismissed with costs. Time for vacating six months.
(5) Petition dismissed.