authority having jurisdiction

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Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings ( Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972-s. 2(2)-Suit for eviction of tenanted premises-Seeking exemption of applicability of the Act-Claiming the premises to be new construction falling within exemption provision-Trial Court holding that the Act was not applicable as the premises would be deemed to be newly constructed-Revision application in terms of Provincial Small Cause Courts Act-High Court holding that the Act was applicable-Supreme Court setting aside the judgment of High Court and remitting for fresh consideration-High Court denied adduction of additional evidence and refused to interfere with the question regarding applicability of the Act in exercise of revisional jurisdiction-On appeal, held: The Act was not applicable as in the facts of the case, the construction would be deemed to be new-Adduction of additional evidence rejected on valid grounds-High Court rightly refused to interfere with the finding of fact in exercise of revisional jurisdiction-Provincial Small Causes Courts Act-s. 25. Provincial Small Causes Courts Act-s. 25-Revisional jurisdiction under-Scope of-Held: Such jurisdiction can be exercised only when a question of law arises-A pure finding of fact based on appreciation of evidence may not be interfered with-But, if such finding is based on irrelevant factors, it can be interfered with-Revisional jurisdiction under the Act is wider than the jurisdiction u/s 115 CPC-Code of Civil Procedure, 1908-s. 115. Pleadings-Inadequate pleadings-Effect of-Held: When parties go into trial knowing fully well about the issues involved, the judgment based on inadequate pleadings would not have effect. Appellant was the tenant and respondent was the landlord of the premises in question. Respondent filed a suit for eviction, rather than filing an application under Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, on the ground that the premises being a new construction, the Act was not applicable to the same under exemption provision i.e. Section 2(2) of the Act. One of the issues was with regard to applicability of the Act to the premises. Trial Court held that the property in question would be deemed to be newly constructed and hence the Act was not applicable on the same. Appellant filed Revision Application thereagainst in terms of Section 25 of Provincial Small Causes Courts Act. High Court though approved finding of fact by trial Court, but relying on a judgment, held that the Act would be applicable as period of 10 years [the exempted period by Section 2 (2)] have lapsed during the pendency of the suit. In appeal Supreme Court set aside the order holding that the judgment relied on by the High Court, had been overruled by another decision. The matter was remitted to High Court for disposal in accordance with law. Before High Court, appellant filed an application for adduction of additional evidence in terms of Order 41 Rule 27 CPC. High Court refused to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction stating that the requirements of the said provision had not been fulfilled and regarding applicability of the Act, it held that the finding of fact arrived at by the Court below, cannot be interfered with in exercise of revisional jurisdiction. Hence the present appeal. =Dismissing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1.1. Appellant’s application for adduction of additional evidence has been rejected on valid grounds by the High Court. It, for cogent and sufficient reasons, refused to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction. There is no reason to interfere therewith. Even if the purported admission made by the respondent, a subsequent pleading was to be taken into consideration, still then the respondent was required to be cross-examined. Another round of litigation would have started. [Para 19] [109-D-E] 1.2. The revisional jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Causes Courts Act is wider than Section 115 CPC. But the fact that a revision is provided for by the statute, and not an appeal, itself is suggestive of the fact that ordinarily revisional jurisdiction can be exercised only when a question of law arises. However, that does not mean that under no circumstances finding of fact cannot be interfered therewith. A pure finding of fact based on appreciation of evidence although may not be interfered with but if such finding has been arrived at upon taking into consideration irrelevant factors or therefor relevant fact has been ignored, the revisional court will have the requisite jurisdiction to interfere with a finding of fact. Applicability of the provisions of Section 2(2) of the Act may in that sense involve determination of mixed question of law and fact. [Paras 20 and 21] [109-E-H] Suresh Kumar Jain v. Shanti Swarup Jain and Ors., [1997] 9 SCC 298, Sudha Rani Garg (Smt.) v. Jagdish Kumar (Dead) and Ors., [2004] 8 SCC 329 and Sanjay Kumar Gulati v. N.P. Singh and Anr., [2005] 12 SCC 396, relied on 2.1. What would amount to a new construction, being essentially a question of fact, would depend upon the nature and extent of the additions and alterations made in the whole building. It does not confine to a floor where the tenanted premises is situate. Where several tenants are inducted in different parts of the same building, it would be difficult to hold that one part of the building shall be governed by the Act and the other part would not be. Clause (c) of the Explanation I makes the legal position absolutely clear. [Para 18] [109-A-C] 2.2. The allegation contained in the plaint that the constructions were made in the year 1975 and tax was assessed with effect from 1.4.1978, being the issue involved in the suit, have been gone into by the trial court at great details. A finding of fact has been arrived at with reference to clause (c) of explanation 1 of Section 2(2) of the Act. Such a finding was based on the appreciation of evidence. [Para 26] [112-E-G] 2.3. The provisions of Section 2(2) contain a deeming provision. By reason thereof, a legal fiction has been created. It therefore, must be given its full effect. [Para 28] S.M.S.Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Neeta Bhalla and Anr., [2007] 4 SCC 70, Ramesh Chandra Sharma v. Punjab National Bank and Anr., (2007) 8 SCALE 240, referred to. 2.4. It is true that respondent could have made more elaborate pleadings; but no grievance was made in regard thereto. The parties knew the stand taken by the other. The issue involved in the suit was a simple one namely whether the construction was an old one or a new one. Even in the revision application, no such question was raised. Such a ground was taken before this Court for the first time. There is also nothing to show that the appellant has been prejudiced in any manner whatsoever. It is a well settled principle of law that when parties have gone into trial knowing fully well the issue involved, inadequate pleading, if any, may not be sufficient to set aside the judgment. [Para 29] [113-C-E] Raju Ramachandran, Mohit Choudhary and Dr. Kailash Chand for the Appellant. Jaideep Gupta, Pramod Dayal and Nikunj Dayal for the Respondents.

CASE NO.: Appeal (civil) 4348 of 2007 PETITIONER: Shri Mundri Lal RESPONDENT: Smt. Sushila Rani & Anr DATE OF JUDGMENT: 18/09/2007 BENCH: S.B. Sinha & Harjit Singh Bedi JUDGMENT: J U D G M E N T CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4348 OF 2007 [Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 84 of 2007] S.B. SINHA, J … Continue reading

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