IN THE HIGH COURT JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED : 9-8-2007 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE M.CHOCKALINGAM C.R.P.NPD No.2212 of 2007 and MP No.1 of 2007 Vijaya Rohini .. Petitioner vs P.Ravikumar .. Respondent Civil revision petition preferred under Sec.25 of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 18/60 as amended by Act 1/80 against the judgment and decree dated 10.3.2006 made in RCA No.106 of 2005 on the file of the Court of the Rent Control Appellate Authority cum III Additional Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore, confirming the fair and decreetal order dated 22.6.2005 made in I.A.No.418 of 2004 in RCOP No.190 of 2002 on the file of the Court of the House Rent Controller cum I Additional District Munsif, Coimbatore. For Petitioner : Mr.C.Chinnasamy Senior Counsel for Mr.S.Thangavel For Respondent : Mr.Ravichandran for Mr.T.R.Rajaraman ORDER
Challenge is made to an order of the Rent Control Appellate Authority, namely the III Additional Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore, made in RCA No.106 of 2005 affirming an order of the Rent Controller of the said place in I.A.No.418 of 2004 in RCOP No.190 of 2002, a petition filed by the revision petitioner-landlady for fixation of fair rent.
2.The Court heard the learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner and also the learned Counsel for the respondent.
3.The said RCOP was filed by the revision petitioner-landlady for fixation of fair rent alleging that the respondent herein is the tenant occupying the premises mentioned in the petition, having an extent of 695 sq. ft. from February 1985 onwards; that the rental what was actually agreed upon between the parties at the time of the filing of the RCOP, was Rs.7,400/-; that applying the provisions of law, it should be Rs.20,850/-, and hence, the same has got to be fixed by the Rent Controller. However, the counter was filed, and pending the same, the tenant filed I.A.No.418/2004 alleging that he was forcibly evicted from the premises, and hence, his possession has got to be restored. On contest, the application was ordered. That order was challenged by the landlady before the appellate forum in RCA No.106 of 2005. The appellate forum affirmed the order of the Rent Controller. Under the circumstances, this revision has been brought forth by the landlady before this Court.
4.The only contention urged by the learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner, is that the application seeking for restoration of possession in the proceedings for fixation of fair rent, was not maintainable, and apart from that, the said I.A. itself is one invented in order to escape from the payment of the rent for the period mentioned therein; that under the circumstances, both the forums below have not adverted to the position either legal or factual, but have ordered the same, and hence, the orders have got to be set aside.
5.The Court heard the learned Counsel for the respondent on the above contentions.
6.After careful consideration of the submissions made, this Court is of the considered opinion that the irresistible conclusion is that the orders of the forums below are wrong, and they are liable to be set aside. It is not in controversy that the respondent herein is a tenant under the revision petitioner-landlady. Now, for the fixation of fair rent, RCOP No.190 of 2002 was filed by the landlady. The respondent-tenant filed the counter. It was pending enquiry. Added circumstance is that another petition was filed by the landlady for eviction on the ground of willful default in RCOP No.192/2002, and the same is also pending before the Rent Controller. At that juncture, alleging that the respondent-tenant was forcibly evicted from the petition mentioned premises on 7.11.2003, I.A.No.418 of 2004 was filed by the tenant seeking re-delivery of possession. The lower Court on enquiry allowed the application. This Court is of the view that for more reasons than one, the orders of the authorities below have got to be set aside.
7.RCOP No.190 of 2002 is only for fixation of fair rent, and it was under contest. Thus, it would be quite clear that pending that RCOP, the instant application has been taken. According to the learned Senior Counsel for the revision petitioner, the application itself is only to escape the payment of rental for the relevant period, and if there was actually any forcible eviction of the tenant by the landlady, the course open to him is not to file an application like this in the pending proceedings for fixation of fair rent. It is pertinent to point out that the RCOP for eviction was also pending during the relevant time. Under the circumstances, the instant application, which was filed in the pending proceedings for fixation of fair rent, was not at all maintainable. This Court is of the considered opinion that it is a fit case where the orders of the forums below have got to be set aside. Accordingly, they are set aside.
8.The observation made above, or the order passed herein, will not stand in the way of the respondent working out his remedy, if so advised. At that juncture, the petitioner has got all her defence to be put forth in the proceedings if laid by the opposite party namely the tenant. Accordingly, this civil revision petition is allowed. No costs. Consequently, connected MP is closed.
1.The Rent Control Appellate Authority III Additional Subordinate Judge Coimbatore
2.The Rent Controller I Additional District Munsif, Coimbatore