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OM PRAKASH Versus ASHWINI KUMAR BASSI

Appeal and application – Limitation - petitioner filed an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act for condonation, delay in filing the application which was dismissed by the Rent Controller - Rent Controller had not been conferred with power under Order 9 Rule 13 C.P.C. to recall an ex parte order - Rent Controller being a creature of statute can only act in terms of the powers vested in him by statute and cannot, therefore, entertain an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Ac .....

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, J.P. Singh, A.S. Bahar, R.C. Kaushik, Advocates, for the Petitioner. S/Shri S.S. Rana, Vikrant Rana, Mrs. Bindra Rana, Ms. Sanatombi Koijam and Ms. Pooja Thakur (for S.S. Rana & Co.), Advocates, for the Respondent. [Judgment per : Altamas Kabir, J.]. - This Special Leave Petition is directed against the judgment and order dated 5th October, 2007, passed by a learned Single Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, dismissing Civil Revision Petition No. 29 of 2007 which had been filed b .....

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s in question under Section 13-B of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, hereinafter referred to as the 1949 Act . Notice of the application was issued to the petitioner/tenant in the prescribed form asking him to appear before the Rent Controller within 15 days from the date of service of the notice and to apply for leave to contest the petition. The tenant was served with the summons of the eviction petition on 19th May, 2005. The 15 days period indicated in the notice for filing .....

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e eviction petition. In dismissing the Petitioner s application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the Rent Controller, relying on certain judgments of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, held that the provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act were not applicable in proceedings before the Rent Controller, particularly, for condoning the delay in filing an application for leave to contest the eviction petition. 3. The said decision of the Rent Controller, Ludhiana, was questio .....

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able for trial of eviction petitions under the 1949 Act and by virtue of Section 17 of the Small Causes Courts Act, the Code of Civil Procedure has been made applicable to eviction proceedings as well. It was also contended that it was, therefore, obligatory upon the part of the Rent Controller to have considered the merits of the eviction petition and to direct the landlord to lead evidence to prove the grounds for eviction taken by him. It was also urged before the High Court that mere rejecti .....

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rties, the High Court took the view that the provisions of Section 18-A of the 1949 Act have an overriding effect on all other laws inconsistent therewith and that Sub-section (7) of Section 18-A of the 1949 Act and Section 17 of the Presidency Small Causes Courts Act, 1882, were not attracted to the facts of the case or in a situation where leave to contest has been declined for any reason whatsoever. The High Court further held that under the circumstances, there was no statutory obligation up .....

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e petitioner s Revision Petition, that the present Special Leave Petition has been filed. 6. As indicated hereinbefore, the case of the Petitioner is that both the Rent Controller and the High Court had erred in law in holding that the provisions of the Limitation Act would not apply in a proceeding before the Rent Controller and that Section 18-A of the 1949 Act would have an overriding effect over Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act, 1963. It was reiterated that by virtue of Sub-section ( .....

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) 5 SCC 5], wherein a similar question had arisen with regard to the power of the Appellate Authority under Section 18 of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965, to condone the delay in filing an appeal after expiry of the period of limitation prescribed under the Act. This Court held that the conditions for applicability of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act were satisfied since Section 18 is a special law and in the absence of any provision under the Limitation Act, for filin .....

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e, entitled to resort to Section 5 of the Limitation Act. It was further held that the Appellate Authority constituted under Section 18 of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965, functions as a Court and as a result the period of limitation under the said provisions governing appeals would be computed keeping in view the provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act, 1963. Reference was made to a decision of this Court in Gaya Prasad Kar v. Subrata Kumar Banerjee [(2005) .....

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context of the 1949 Act, in which it was held that subsidiary rules of interpretation envisage, that in case of ambiguity, a provision should be so read as to avoid hardship, inconvenience, injustice, absurdity and anomaly. It was held that since a statute can never be exhaustive, courts have jurisdiction to pass procedural orders, though not specifically contemplated by statute and that such innovation is permissible on the basis of authority supported by the principles of justice, good sense a .....

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om the date on which the Non-Resident Indian became the owner of such building. It was contended that the provisions of the 1949 Act and, in particular, Section- 13-B thereof, would have to be very strictly construed on account of the object with which it had been enacted. In this regard reference was made to a decision of this Court in Prithipal Singh v. Satpal Singh (Dead) through its LRs. [(2010) 2 SCC 15], where an ex parte eviction order based on ground of bona fide requirement of landlord .....

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ule 23 of the aforesaid Rules could not be applied in view of Section 25-B which is a special code and provides for a specific and exhaustive procedure for eviction of a tenant by a landlord on ground of bona fide requirement. The order of the High Court was, therefore, set aside and that of the Rent Controller was restored. 11. Reference was also made to a Bench decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in Ashwani Kumar Gupta v. Siri Pal Jain [1998 (2) RCR 222], in a Civil Revision, .....

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has to be made within 15 days from the date of service of the summons. In this case, the application for leave to contest the application was made one day after the said period had expired. The issue for consideration before us is whether the Rent Controller was right in rejecting the application on the ground that he had no jurisdiction to condone the delay under the Act. The matter was considered at length by the High Court, which, as indicated hereinabove, came to the conclusion that Section .....

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he view that Section 25-B of the Delhi Rent Control Act was a complete Code by itself and other provisions could not, therefore, be brought into play in - such proceedings. In the instant case, the same principle would apply having regard to the fact that the Rent Controller had not been conferred with power under Order 9 Rule 13 C.P.C. to recall an ex parte order passed earlier. 14. Apart from the above is the view taken by this Court in Prakash H. Jain v. Marie Fernandes [(2003) 8 SCC 431 .....

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s of this case. In the facts of the said case, it was the District Judges who were discharging the functions of the Appellate Authority and being a Court, it was held that the District Judge, functioning as the Appellate Authority, was a Court and not persona designata and was, therefore, entitled to resort to Section 5 of the Limitation Act. That is not so in the instant case where the Rent Controller appointed by the State Government is a member of the Punjab Civil Services and, therefore, a p .....

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