Bank o India Vs Km. Chandra Govindji  INSC2
(8 November 2000)
Babu, & D.P. Mohapatra. U D G M E N T RAJENDRA BABU, J.
The respondent is owner of a premises at Kasia Road, Deoria which was tenanted to the appellant-Bank. The land in which the
said premises is situated measures approximately 12,000 square feet and the
built area under the occupation of the appellant-Bank as a tenant is
approximately 2,933 square feet at a rent of Rs. 300/- per month. In the said
building the appellant-Bank had located its branch for several decades.
Subsequently the rent was sought to be enhanced at Rs. 1,350/- per month from
01.10.1984 to 30.09.1989 with a further renewal on increase of rent @ 25% on
the rent of Rs. 1,350/-. However, this proposal of the respondent was not
accepted by the appellant. The respondent apart from filing a civil suit for
eviction of the appellant also filed an application for enhancement of rent under
Section 21(8) Proviso I thereto of U.P.
Urban Building (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972. The
respondent relied upon a valuation report given by Shri J.P. Aggarwal dated
11.12.1985 assessing the market value of the building at Rs.
On the basis of this report the respondent claimed a rent of Rs. 13,750/- per
month from 01.01.1986.
appellant-Bank resisted the said claim by contending that the premises in
question was 70 years old and was in dilapidated condition and its depreciated
value would not exceed Rs. 1 lakh. The respondent filed her own affidavit and
that of Shri J.P. Aggarwal, the Valuer, in support of her case. On 29.10.1992
the appellant-Bank sought for an adjournment by filing an application on the
ground that the Advocate had to go out of station for medical treatment and
consequently the matter was adjourned on payment of costs.
date fixed for hearing was 11.11.1992, when the Rent Controller did not hold
the sittings and the matter was adjourned to 13.11.1992. On that date certain
documents were produced alongwith photostat of the Valuers report dated
11.7.1988 showing the value of the building at Rs.
and the matter was adjourned for further hearing to 24.11.1992. On 24.11.1992
Advocate for the appellant filed an application stating that on account of
compelling personal reasons he had to go out of station and sought for an
adjournment. However, the adjournment was not granted on that application and
the same was dismissed 24.11.1992.
the matter was set down for orders on 30.11.1992.
meanwhile, on 28.11.1992 the appellant-Bank filed an application seeking to
recall the order made on 24.11.1992 on the ground that the Advocate having
taken ill had gone to Gorakhpur for medical examination on
24.11.1992. However, this application was not taken note of by the Rent
Controller. On 30.11.1992 the appellant-Bank filed application before the Rent
Controller which was kept on file and the matter was set down for arguments on
filed earlier were not heard. By its order made on 21.1.1993 the Rent
Controller allowed the application filed by the respondent and fixed the rent
at Rs. 13,750/- per month. Against the said order an application was preferred
to the District Judge who dismissed the same and affirmed the order of the Rent
Controller. The matter was carried to the High Court. The High Court also
dismissed the civil miscellaneous writ petition filed by the appellant-Bank. Hence
Salve, the learned Solicitor General appearing for the appellant-Bank,
submitted that in the facts and circumstances of this case there is hardly any
justification for the Rent Controller to have refused to adjourn the case on
24.11.1992 which was explained to be one beyond the control of the appellants
Advocate as he had fallen ill and had to go to Gorakhpur for medical
examination on 24.11.1992.
Prasad, the learned Senior Advocate appearing for the respondent, submitted
that the Rent Controller, the learned District Judge and the High Court having
examined the matter and having found that the appellant-Bank had not availed of
the reasonable opportunity provided from stage to stage and having not adduced
evidence, it was not permissible now to contend that they did not have
reasonable opportunity to put forward their case.
High Court in the course of its order noticed that the application for
adjournment on 24.11.1992 having been dismissed, fate of another application
filed on 30.11.1992, need not be examined. It further noticed that the
authority had given a clear finding that repeated opportunities had been given
to the appellant but it had not availed of the same to adduce any evidence. In
view of this, the contention to the contrary has no merit.
ascertaining whether a party had reasonable opportunity to put forward his case
or not, one should not ordinarily go beyond the date on which adjournment is
sought for. The earlier adjournments, if any, granted would certainly be for
reasonable grounds and that aspect need not be once again examined if on the
date on which adjournment is sought for the party concerned has a reasonable
mere fact that in the past adjournments had been sought for would not be of any
materiality. If the adjournment had been sought for on flimsy grounds the same
would have been rejected. Therefore, in our view, the High Court as well as the
learned District Judge and the Rent Controller have all missed the essence of
that view of the matter, we set aside the order made by the Rent Controller as
affirmed by the District Judge and the High Court and remit the
matter to the Rent Controller for a fresh consideration
from the stage when the matter was set down on 24.11.1992 and after notice to
the parties proceed to dispose of the matter as expeditiously as possible.