SHANKARLAL NADANI VS SOHANLAL JAIN

SHANKARLAL NADANI VS SOHANLAL JAIN Case


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2816 OF 2022
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO. 2455 OF 2022)
SHANKARLAL NADANI .....APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
SOHANLAL JAIN .....RESPONDENT(S)
W I T H
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2817 OF 2022
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO. 3937 OF 2022)
J U D G M E N T
HEMANT GUPTA, J.
1. This judgment shall dispose of two appeals arising out of judgment
dated 16.12.2021 passed by the High Court of Judicature of Rajasthan,
Jodhpur whereby the tenant’s revision petition against the decree for
possession was dismissed.
2. For the sake of convenience, the facts in Civil Appeal No. 2816 of 2022
(Shankarlal Nadani v. Sohanlal Jain) are mentioned hereinafter.
3. The appellant’s father was the tenant of Shop No. 4 situated at Jain
1
Katla, Bikaner Road, Suratgarh since 1982, whose owner was the father
of the respondent herein at that time. The premises were let out on
lease for monthly rent of Rs.583.33. After the death of the appellant’s
father, the shop was continuing for monthly tenancy of the appellant.
The premises in question was not in the urban area when the suit for
possession was filed on 18.4.2013 after serving a notice of termination
of tenancy under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 18821
.
During the pendency of the suit, the State Government issued a
notification on 11.7.2014 extending the provisions of the Rajasthan
Rent Control Act, 20012
 w.e.f. 11.5.2015.
4. The Civil Court passed the decree for possession against the appellants
on 28.5.2015 even though the Act became applicable to the area in
question w.e.f. 11.5.2015. Aggrieved against the said judgment and
decree, the appellants filed first appeal before the Additional District
Judge, Suratgarh which was dismissed on 5.10.2021. In the second
appeal before the High Court, the appellants relied on the Division
Bench judgment of the Rajasthan High Court reported as K.
Ramnarayan Khandelwal v. Shri Pukhraj Banthiya
3 wherein it has
been held that the decree in civil suit could not be passed after the
applicability of the Act to the area in question. The High Court in the
impugned judgment found that such judgment has been stayed by this
Court in Special Leave Petition, therefore, the judgment is not binding.
1 For short, the ‘TP Act’
2 For short, the ‘Act’
3 2017 SCC OnLine Raj 4178
2
In view of the said fact, the High Court held that the decree in civil suit
could be passed as the same view was adopted by another co-ordinate
Bench of the High Court in another case4
 and consequently, dismissed
the appeals filed by the appellants.
5. Learned counsel for the appellants argued that the Special Leave
Petition arising out of the Division Bench judgment of the Rajasthan
High Court in K. Ramnarayan Khandelwal and other similar cases
are pending final disposal before this Court and that, therefore, the
present appeals should also be heard along with the said matters. But
we do not think so. Though, ideally all cases in which the same or
similar questions are pending, are taken up together, but there is no
bar for us to deal with the matters that come up before us. Once the
question of law is answered in one matter, all other matters, pending
at various stages, will follow suit. In any case, we find that the interest
of the appellants is materially different from the interest of the
petitioners in the Special Leave Petition(s) which are pending. In the
present case, the appellants are tenants whose interest is in continuing
to be in possession whereas the petition(s) pending before this Court
are preferred on behalf of the landlord. We have heard Mr. Gopal
Sankaranarayanan, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants
assisted by Mr. Deepak Prakash, learned Advocate on Record on the
legal question as to whether the decree passed by the civil court after
4 Mohd. Rafiq v. Hanuman Sahai & Ors. (SBCWP No. 16681 of 2019)
3
the Act is made applicable to the area in question can be executed.
6. The Act was applicable in the first instance to such of the municipal
areas which were comprising of the District Headquarters in the State
and later on to such of the other municipal areas having a population
exceeding fifty thousand as per 1991 census as the State Government
may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify from time to time as
per Section 1(2) of the Act. Section 18 of the Act deals with jurisdiction
of Rent Tribunal whereas Section 32 repeals the Rajasthan Premises
(Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950. The relevant provisions from
the Act read thus:
“1. Short title, extent and commencement.—(1) This Act
may be called the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001.
(2) It shall extend in first instance to such of the municipal areas
which are comprising the District Headquarters in the State and
later on to such of the other municipal areas having a population
exceeding fifty thousand as per 1991 Census as the State
Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify
from time to time.
xx xx xx
18. Jurisdiction of Rent Tribunal.—(1) Notwithstanding
anything contained in any other law for the time being in force,
in the areas to which this Act extends, only the Rent Tribunal and
no civil court shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide the
petitions relating to disputes between landlord and tenant and
matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto, filed under
the provisions of this Act:
Provided that Rent Tribunal shall, in deciding such
petitions to which provisions contained in Chapters II and III of
this Act do not apply, have due regard to the provisions of
Transfer of Properties Act, 1882 (Act 4 of 1882), the Contract Act,
1872 (Act 9 of 1872), or any other substantive law applicable to
4
such matter in the same manner in which such law would have
been applied had the dispute been brought before a civil court
by way of suit…
xx xx xx
32. Repeal and Savings.—The Rajasthan Premises (Control of
Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950 (Act, 1950 (Act 17 of 1950) shall
stand repealed with effect from the date notified under subsection (3) of Section 11 of this Act.
(2) The repeal under sub-section (1) shall not affect—
(a) anything duly done or suffered under the enactment so
repealed; or
(b) any right, title, privilege, obligation or liability acquired or
incurred under the enactment so repealed; or
(c) any fine, penalty or punishment incurred or suffered uder the
provision of the enactment so repealed.
(3) Notwithstanding the repeal under sub-section (1)—
(a) xxx xxx
(b) xxx xxx
(c) xxx xxx
(d) xxx xxx
7. The argument of learned counsel for the appellants is that after the
notification of the State Government issued on 11.7.2014, became
operative from 11.5.2015, it was the Rent Tribunal alone which would
have jurisdiction to hear and decide the petitions related to disputes
between landlord and tenant and not the civil courts. Therefore, the
decree of possession could not be passed by the civil court as it can be
5
passed only by the Rent Tribunal. Reliance was placed upon nonobstante clause with which sub-section (1) of Section 18 of the Act
starts so as to give overriding effect to the Act in question.
8. The civil court ceases to have jurisdiction to hear and decide the
petitions as only the Rent Tribunal would have jurisdiction to decide
such dispute but it does not deal with the suits and proceedings
initiated and pending on the date of applicability of the Act to the
municipal area. There is no express or implied provision in the Act in
respect of the decrees passed prior to the applicability of the Act to the
area in question. The notification issued cannot have any retrospective
application or the Act contemplates the applicability of the Act with
retrospective effect.
9. We are of the opinion that whether or not the decree of eviction can be
passed after the Act became applicable would depend upon the
language of the statute.
10. A short resume of the various judgments of this Court on the
maintainability of decree by the civil court may be noticed. Under the
Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and
Eviction) Act, 19725
, the Act is not applicable for a period of ten years
from the date of construction of the building. Section 20 of the U.P.
Rent Act restricts the right of a landlord to evict a tenant which reads
thus:
5 For short, the “U.P. Rent Act”
6
“2. Exemptions from operation of Act.—(1) Nothing in this Act
shall apply to [the following, namely]:—
(1) xxx xxx
(2) [Except as provided in sub-section (5) of Section 12, subsection (1-A) of Section 21, sub-section (2) of Section 24,
Sections 24-A, 24-B, 24-C or sub-section (3) of Section 29,
nothing in this Act shall apply to a building during a period of ten
years from the date on which its construction is completed]:
20. Bar of suit for eviction of tenant except on specified grounds.
—(1) Save as provided in sub-section (2), no suit shall be
instituted for the eviction of a tenant from a building,
notwithstanding the determination of his tenancy by efflux of
time or on the expiration of a notice to quit or in any other
manner:
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall bar a suit
for the eviction of a tenant on the determination of his tenancy
by efflux of time where the tenancy for a fixed term was entered
into by or in pursuance of a compromise or adjustment arrived at
with reference to a suit, appeal, revision or execution
proceeding, which is either recorded in court or otherwise
reduced to writing and signed by the tenant.”
11. In Om Prakash Gupta v. DIG Vijendrapal Gupta
6
, a question arose
whether the Rent Act would be applicable to a building which was
constructed prior to the applicability of the Rent Act and whether the
exemption granted to newly constructed buildings would be available
to such building. It was held that the Rent Act is not applicable to a
building which does not have a standing for ten years, even if the
building was constructed prior to the applicability of the State Urban
Rent Act to the area in question. However, in a later judgment
6 (1982) 2 SCC 61
7
reported as Vineet Kumar v. Mangal Sain Wadhera
7
, it was held
that under the U.P. Rent Act, even if the suit was filed within the
exemption period and if the decree is not passed, the decree would be
not executable after the Rent Act will became applicable. This Court
held as under:
“17. The appellant in the present case only seeks the protection
of the new Rent Act which became applicable to the premises in
question during the pendency of the litigation. We see no reason
why the benefit of the new Rent Act be not given to the
appellant. Section 20 of the new Rent Act provides a bar to a suit
for eviction of a tenant except on the specified grounds as
provided in the section. Sub-section (4) of Section 20 stipulates
that in any suit for eviction on the grounds mentioned in clause
(a) to sub-section (2) viz. the arrears of rent, if at the first
hearing of the suit the tenant in default pays all arrears of rent to
the landlord or deposits in court the entire amount of rent and
damages for use and occupation of the building due from him,
such damages for use and occupation being calculated at the
same rate as rent together with interest thereon at the rate of
nine per cent per annum and the landlord's cost of the suit in
respect thereof after deducting therefrom any amount already
deposited by the tenant under sub-section (1) of Section 30, the
court may, in lieu of passing a decree for eviction on that
ground, pass an order relieving the tenant against his liability for
eviction on that ground. Sections 39 and 40 of the new Rent Act
also indicate that the benefit of the new Act will be given to the
tenant if the conditions contemplated in those sections are
satisfied. Section 39 also indicates that the parties are entitled to
make necessary amendment in their pleadings and to adduce
additional evidence where necessary.”
12. However, the said judgment was explained in a later judgment
reported as Nand Kishore Marwah & Ors. v. Samundri Devi
8
wherein it was held as under:
7 (1984) 3 SCC 352
8 (1987) 4 SCC 382
8
“14. …. This is put in Chapter IV with the heading “Regulation
and Eviction” and the section starts with title which is printed in
bold “Bar of suit for eviction of tenant except, on specified
grounds” and again in the wording of the section itself it
provides: “No suit shall be instituted for eviction”. This clearly
indicates that the restriction put under Section 20 is to the
institution of the suit itself and therefore it is clear that if the
provisions of this Act applies then no suit for eviction can be
instituted except on the grounds specified in the sub-sections of
this section. Keeping in view the language of this section if we
examine the provisions contained in sub-section (2) of Section 2
it will be clear that for a newly constructed building the
provisions of this Act will not apply for 10 years and therefore so
far as the restriction under Section 20 is concerned they will not
apply and therefore it is clear that within 10 years as provided
for in sub-section (2) of Section 2 restriction on the institution of
suit as provided for in Section 20 sub-section (1) quoted above
will not be applicable and it is thus clear that during the
pendency of the litigation even if 10 years expired the restriction
will not be attracted as the suit has been instituted within 10
years and therefore restriction as provided for in Section 20
cannot be attracted.”
13. Later in Ramesh Chandra v. III Additional District Judge & Ors.
9
,
a three-Judge Bench of this Court held as under:
“12. Yet another contention urged by the learned counsel for the
tenant on the strength of Vineet Kumar v. Mangal Sain
Wadhera [(1984) 3 SCC 352] is that inasmuch as the statutory
period of ten years expired during the pendency of the suit, the
Act became applicable and the suit must be disposed of only in
accordance with the provisions of the Act and in particular subsection (2) of Section 20. This decision has, however, been
explained in a subsequent decision in Nand Kishore
Marwah v. Samundri Devi [(1987) 4 SCC 382] wherein it has
been held that the law applicable on the date of the institution of
the suit alone governs the suit and the mere fact that the
statutory period of 10 years expires during the pendency of the
suit/appeal/revision, the Act does not become applicable. It was
held that the suit has to be tried and decided without reference
to the Act. We are in respectful agreement with the view
expressed in Nand Kishore Marwah [(1987) 4 SCC 382].”
9 (1992) 1 SCC 751
9
14. In Mani Subrat Jain v. Raja Ram Vohra
10
, the provisions of East
Punjab Rent Restriction Act, 194911 were being examined. It was a
case where a consent decree was passed by the civil court but before
the decree could be executed, the Punjab Rent Act was extended to the
urban area of Chandigarh. Section 13 of the said Act is to the effect
that a tenant in possession of a building or rented land shall not be
evicted therefrom in execution of a decree passed before or after the
commencement of the Act or otherwise, before or after the termination
of the tenancy, except in accordance with the provisions of this
section. Considering the said provision, this Court held that a person
who has suffered a decree of the civil court continues to be tenant and
since he was in possession on the date when the Punjab Rent Act was
extended to Chandigarh, therefore, the tenant is not liable to be
evicted after the commencement of the Punjab Rent Act. Such
judgment was in view of Section 13 of the Punjab Rent Act which bars
the execution of a decree passed before or after the commencement of
the Punjab Rent Act which reads thus:
“13. Eviction of tenants. - (1) A tenant in possession of a
building or rented land shall not be evicted therefrom in
execution of a decree passed before or after the
commencement of this Act or otherwise and whether before or
after the termination of the tenancy, except in accordance with
the provisions of this Section, [or in pursuance of an order
made under Section 13 of the Punjab Urban Rent Restriction
Act, 1947, as subsequently amended].”
10 (1980) 1 SCC 1
11 For short, the “Punjab Rent Act”
10
15. The Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 197312 provides
that a tenant in possession of a building or a rented land shall not be
evicted therefrom except in accordance with the provisions of this
section. The relevant provisions of the said Act read thus:
“1. xx xx xx
(3) Nothing in this Act shall apply to any building the
construction of which is completed on or after the
commencement of this Act for a period of ten years from the
date of its completion.
xx xx xx
13 (1) A tenant in possession of a building or a rented land shall
not be evicted therefrom except in accordance with the
provisions of this section.”
16. A perusal of the said provisions goes to show that the tenant cannot be
evicted except in accordance with the provisions of the said Act.
Considering the said provisions, this Court in a judgment reported as
Atma Ram Mittal v. Ishwar Singh Punia
13
 held that if the suit has
been filed within the exemption period of ten years, the decree could
be executed. This Court held as under:
“8. It is well-settled that no man should suffer because of the
fault of the court or delay in the procedure. Broom has stated the
maxim “actus curiae neminem gravabit” — an act of court shall
prejudice no man. Therefore, having regard to the time normally
consumed for adjudication, the ten years' exemption or holiday
from the application of the Rent Act would become illusory, if the
suit has to be filed within that time and be disposed of finally. It
is common knowledge that unless a suit is instituted soon after
the date of letting it would never be disposed of within ten years
12 For short, the “Haryana Rent Act”
13 (1988) 4 SCC 284
11
and even then within that time it may not be disposed of. That
will make the ten years holiday from the Rent Act illusory and
provide no incentive to the landlords to build new houses to
solve problem of shortages of houses. The purpose of legislation
would thus be defeated. Purposive interpretation in a social
amelioration legislation is an imperative irrespective of anything
else.
9. xxx xxx If the immunity from the operation
of the Rent Act is made and depended upon that ultimate
disposal of the case within the period of exemption of ten years
which is in reality an impossibility, then there would be empty
reasons. In our opinion, bearing in mind the well-settled principle
that the rights of the parties crystallise to (sic on) the date of the
institution of the suit as enunciated by this Court in Om Prakash
Gupta v. Digvijendrapal Gupta [(1982) 2 SCC 61 : (1982) 3 SCR
491] , the meaningful construction must be that the exemption
would apply for a period of ten years and will continue to be
available until suit is disposed of or adjudicated. Such suit or
proceeding must be instituted within the stipulated period of ten
years. Once rights crystallise the adjudication must be in
accordance with law.”

17. In a three-judge Bench judgment reported as Shri Kishan & Ors. v.
Manoj Kumar & Ors.
14
, the judgment of this Court in Vineet Kumar
was specifically overruled. This Court held as under:
“20. Thus it is seen that this Court has been consistently taking
the view that a suit instituted during the period of exemption
could be continued and a decree passed therein could be
executed even though the period of exemption came to an end
during the pendency of the suit. The only discordant note was
struck in Vineet Kumar v. Mangal Sain Wadhera [(1984) 3 SCC
352] . We have noticed that several decisions subsequent
thereto have held that Vineet Kumar [(1984) 3 SCC 352] is not
good law. We have already construed the relevant provisions of
the Act and pointed out that there is nothing in the Act which
prevents the civil court from continuing the suit and passing a
decree which could be executed.”
18. Thus, under the Punjab Rent Act, the provision is explicit that no decree
14 (1998) 2 SCC 710
12
for eviction passed before or after the commencement of the Act can
be executed whereas under the Haryana Rent Act, a tenant cannot be
evicted except in accordance with the provisions of the Haryana Rent
Act. It has also been held in the judgments referred to above that in a
suit filed within the exemption period, the decree could be passed by
the civil court even if the premises are located within the urban area to
which the Act is applicable. The consistent view of this Court is that
the decree can be validly executed if the suit was filed within the
exemption period, except Vineet Kumar, which was specifically held
to be not laying good law.
19. It would be relevant to refer to one judgment of this Court reported as
Mansoor Khan v. Motiram Harebhan Kharat & Anr.
15 which dealt
with an identical question wherein after filing of the suit, by virtue of a
notification, a municipality was established. The landlord filed a suit
for possession on 2.5.1985 whereas Risod, District Yavatmal was
notified to be a municipality on 9.10.1989. This Court held as under:
“5. So long as the provisions of the Order are not applicable to
any premises, the rights and obligations of landlord and tenant
are governed by the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act.
Once the Order becomes applicable, a landlord cannot give
notice to a tenant determining the lease nor can initiate
proceedings for recovery of possession from the tenant except
with the previous written permission of the Controller in
accordance with clause 13 of the Order. What is prohibited by
the Order is initiation of the proceedings by the landlord. In the
present case, the proceedings were initiated by filing suit before
a civil court, much before the provisions of the Order became
applicable to the suit premises. There is nothing in the Order
15 (2002) 5 SCC 462
13
which makes it applicable to the pending suit for eviction of the
tenant.
6. The learned counsel for the appellant tenant has placed
reliance on a decision of this Court in Nandlal v. Moti Lal [(1977)
3 SCC 500 : AIR 1977 SC 2143] . The said decision is an authority
for the proposition that the Order becomes applicable to any
area which is notified to be a municipality from the date of such
notification because the Order was already applicable in the
Province of C.P. and Berar. However, this Court has very
specifically held that the provisions of the Order would become
applicable from that date i.e. the date on which a particular area
within which the suit premises are situated, is notified to be a
municipality. The Order is not retrospective in operation. It does
not affect the validity of the proceedings initiated before the
date on which the Order became applicable. Clause 13 of the
Order does not restrain the court from exercising its power to
pass a decree of eviction. All that clause 13 provides is to impose
a restriction on the right of the landlord to initiate the
proceedings for eviction. Inasmuch as the proceedings for
eviction were already initiated and the Order is not retrospective
in operation, it does not affect the validity of the previously
instituted proceedings nor does it take away the power of the
court to pass a decree of eviction in the pending suit.”
20. Out of the various judgments referred to by the learned counsel for the
appellants, the judgment relied upon in Rajender Bansal & Ors. v.
Bhuru (Dead) through Legal Representatives & Ors.
16
 was
dealing with Haryana Rent Act. The landlords were the appellants who
had filed suit for eviction of the respondents, their tenants. The suit
was filed in the civil court. The premises in question were outside the
ambit of rent legislation on the day the suit was filed. However, during
the pendency of the suit and before it could be finally decided, the
area in question was brought within the sweep of rent legislations by
16 (2017) 4 SCC 202
14
requisite notifications. This Court concluded the issue against the
tenants wherein it was held as under:
“18. From the aforesaid discussion in Atma Ram Mittal [Atma
Ram Mittal v. Ishwar Singh Punia, (1988) 4 SCC 284] , Vineet
Kumar [Vineet Kumar v. Mangal Sain Wadhera, (1984) 3 SCC
352] , Ram Saroop Rai [Ram Saroop Rai v. Lilavati, (1980) 3 SCC
452] , Ramesh Chandra [Ramesh Chandra v. III Addl. District
Judge, (1992) 1 SCC 751] and Shri Kishan [Shri Kishan v. Manoj
Kumar, (1998) 2 SCC 710] cases, the apparent principles which
can be culled out, forming the ratio decidendi of those cases, are
as under:
18.1. Rights of the parties stand crystallised on the date of the
institution of the suit and, therefore, the law applicable on the
date of filing of the suit will continue to apply until the suit is
disposed of or adjudicated.
18.2. If during the pendency of the suit, the Rent Act becomes
applicable to the premises in question, that would be of no
consequence and it would not take away the jurisdiction of the
civil court to dispose of a suit validly instituted.
18.3. In order to oust the jurisdiction of the civil court, there
must be a specific provision in the Act taking away the
jurisdiction of the civil court in respect of those cases also which
were validly instituted before the date when protection of the
Rent Act became available in respect of the said
area/premises/tenancy.
18.4. In case the aforesaid position is not accepted and the
protection of the Rent Act is extended even in respect of suit
validly instituted prior in point of time when there was no such
protection under the Act, it will have the consequence of making
the decree, that is obtained prior to the Rent Act becoming
applicable to the said area/premises, unexecutable after the
application of these Rent Acts in respect of such premises. This
would not be in consonance with the legislative intent.
xx xx xx
23. When we apply the principles laid down above to the instant
case, we find that this case would fall in the category of Atma
15
Ram Mittal [Atma Ram Mittal v. Ishwar Singh Punia, (1988) 4 SCC
284] and Mansoor Khan [Mansoor Khan v. Motiram Harebhan
Kharat, (2002) 5 SCC 462] , etc. as under the scheme of the Rent
Act, no protection to the ex-tenants is provided and no provision
is made excluding the jurisdiction of the civil courts in respect of
pending cases, expressly or impliedly. On the other hand, in the
facts of the present case, it needs to be highlighted again that
the respondents had not only sublet the premises but had not
paid rent for a period of 14 years. His defence was struck off by
the civil court and ultimately the suit was even decreed. It is only
during the pendency of the appeal that the notification was
issued covering the area where the suit premises are situate
under the Rent Act. It will be travesty of justice if the appellant
landlords are deprived of the fruits of the said decree.
24. We are, thus, unable to accept the view taken by the High
Court. Accordingly, this appeal is allowed and the judgment of
the first appellate court as well as the High Court is set aside. As
the only contention which was taken by the respondents before
the first appellate court, challenging the decree of the trial court,
was that the civil court ceased to have jurisdiction, the said first
appeal preferred by the respondents stands dismissed thereby
restoring the decree passed by the trial court. There shall,
however, be no order as to costs.”
21. In the aforesaid case, the Haryana Rent Act provided that no decree
could be executed after the commencement of the Haryana Rent Act
whereas, the Act herein has no such or similar provision. Therefore,
this Court in the said judgment held that decree for eviction can be
executed if suit has been filed when the Act was not applicable to the
premises in question. We have our reservations in respect of such
finding in the context of Haryana Rent Act but such question may be
examined in an appropriate case. The Haryana Rent Act was enacted
after repeal of Punjab Rent Act, which provides that a tenant in
possession of a building shall not be evicted except in accordance with
16
the provisions of Section 13 of the said Act.
22. Mr. Sankaranarayanan has referred to Shree Chamundi Mopeds Ltd.
v. Church of South India Trust Association CSI Cinod
Secretariat, Madras
17
 to contend that the stay granted by this Court
would not wipe off the order passed by the Division Bench of the High
Court holding that the decree could not be passed by the civil court.
The said question need not be answered in the present case as the fact
remains that the High Court has taken a view that the decree of the
civil court could be validly passed to which we agree.
23. Another judgment referred to is Pandurang Ramchandra Mandlik &
Anr. v. Shantibai Ramchandra Ghatge & Ors.
18 wherein the issue
was maintainability of the suit filed by the appellants under the
Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948. The finding
returned was that the said Act is not applicable to the land in question
as only natural grass grew thereon. The issue was whether the civil
court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit or the competent
authority under the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948
would have the jurisdiction to decide the suit. The question was
regarding the jurisdiction of the civil court and the revenue court not
that whether the decree passed by the civil court could be executed.
24. Reference has been made to Dilip v. Mohd. Azizul Haq & Anr.
19
wherein Section 13-A of the C.P. and Berar Letting of Houses and Rent
17 (1992) 3 SCC 1
18 1989 Supp (2) SCC 627
19 (2000) 3 SCC 607
17
Control Order, 1949 as amended on 26.10.1989 barred the passing of a
decree of eviction in a suit for proceedings filed and pending. The
relevant clause reads as under:
“13-A- no decree for eviction shall be passed in a suit or
proceeding filed and pending against the tenant in any court or
before any authority unless the landlord produces a written
permission of the Controller as required by sub-clause (1) of
clause 13”
25. The dispute in the said case was in respect of an open plot. As per the
landlord, the tenancy was deemed to have expired on 10.4.1986 in
view of Section 106 of the TP Act before Section 13-A of the C.P. and
Berar Letting of Houses and Rent Control Order, 1949 came into force.
The High Court held that no appeal was pending against the tenant
when Section 13-A was introduced. This Court remanded the matter
back to the High Court as the High Court has not examined the
question as to whether the amendment was retrospective or
prospective. This Court held as under:
“8. The High Court further concluded that the amendments
have no retrospective effect. The provision came into force when
the appeal was pending. Therefore, though the provision is
prospective in force, has “retroactive effect”. This provision
merely provides for a limitation to be imposed for the future
which in no way affects anything done by a party in the past and
statutes providing for new remedies for enforcement of an
existing right will apply to future as well as past causes of action.
The reason being that the said statutes do not affect existing
rights and in the present case, the insistence is upon obtaining
of permission of the Controller to enforce a decree for eviction
and it is, therefore, not retrospective in effect at all, since it has
only retroactive force.
xx xx xx
18
10. The High Court further took the view that the expression
“premises” in the Act (sic Order) does not state as to when the
amendment was to be effective as it does not state whether the
amendment was retrospective or prospective. The same is on
the statute-book on the date on which the suit or proceeding is
pending for purpose of eviction and cannot ignore the provision
on the statute-book. Therefore, the view of the High Court on
this aspect of the matter also, is incorrect. The arguments
advanced on behalf of the respondents that these amendments
are retrospective in character and could not have been made in
the absence of an authority under the main enactment by virtue
of which such order is made are untenable.”
26. The facts of the said case do not go to the extent to say that the
decree of the civil court cannot be executed if the Act has been
extended to an urban area.
27. Mr. Sankaranarayanan has also referred to the judgment of this Court
reported as Subhash Chander & Ors. v. Bharat Petroleum
Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) & Anr.
20
 wherein the landlord had filed a
civil suit for possession though the premises was situated in the urban
area governed by the Haryana Rent Act. It has been held that such
civil suit is not maintainable as the remedy lies under the Haryana Rent
Act. This Court held as under:
“25. In the given circumstances, we are of the considered view
that no error was committed by the High Court in arriving to a
conclusion that even after the expiry of the lease term of the
lease deed, the respondents became a statutory tenant and
jurisdiction of the Civil Court is impliedly barred and could be
evicted only under the provisions of the Act 1973.”
28. Under the Act in question, Section 18 does not talk about the validity of
20 2022 SCC OnLine SC 98
19
any decree of the civil court but only restricts the jurisdiction of the
civil court from the date the Act became applicable. The Act has come
into force in respect of the premises in question on 11.5.2015 i.e., after
the civil suit was filed, therefore, the decree could validly be passed
and executed. After the applicability of the Act to the area in question,
the landlord and tenant dispute can be raised only before the Rent
Tribunal but not before the civil court. However, a suit filed before the
civil court prior to the applicability of the Act has to be decided by the
civil court. A decree passed by the civil court is valid and executable
which is not interdicted by the applicability of the Act to the area in
question. The Act is applicable to the area in question from the date
the notification came into force and it does not bar the decree of the
civil court or the pendency of such civil suit.
29. Still further, one of the principles is that the rights of the parties have
to be determined on the date when lis commences i.e., on the date of
filing of the suit. The plaintiff is entitled to decree on that day when he
initiated the proceedings, therefore, rights of the parties have to be
examined as on the said day. Recently, this Bench in a judgment
reported as ECGC Limited v. Mokul Shriram EPC JV21
 was examining
the question as to whether the condition of deposit while filing appeal
under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 would be applicable or the
provisions as it existed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 when
the complaint was filed would be applicable. This Bench considering
21 2022 SCC OnLine SC 184
20
the Constitution Bench judgments in Garikapati Veeraya v. N.
Subbiah Choudhry & Ors.
22
, Vitthalbhai Naranbhai Patel v.
Commissioner of Sales Tax, M.P., Nagpur
23 and Hardeodas
Jagannath v. The State of Assam24
 held that the provisions of the
Consumer Protection Act, 2019 would not be applicable to the
complaints filed prior to the commencement of the 2019 Act.
Therefore, the Judgement and Decree passed in the suit for possession
does not suffer from any illegality.
30. In view of the above, we do not find any error in the order passed by
the High Court. Consequently, the appeals are dismissed.
.............................................J.
(HEMANT GUPTA)
.............................................J.
(V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN)
NEW DELHI;
APRIL 12, 2022.
22 AIR 1957 SC 540
23 AIR 1967 SC 344
24 AIR 1970 SC 724
21

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