HERAT, J.—Gunarcdne v. Per era
1962Present: Herat, J.
GUNARATNE, Appellant, and U. L. P. PERERA, Respondent
Application in Revision in C. R. Colombo, 72154
Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 1961—Section 13(3)—“ Proceedings ”—
Inapplicability of the term to an application for a writ of ejectment.
Where a landlord applied on 14th September 1961 for a writ of ejectmentin respect of a decree entered in an action which was instituted by him on 31stJanuary 1969 for recovery of possession of certain rent-controlled premises onthe ground that the tenant was in arrears of rent for more than one monthafter such rent fell due—
Held, that the application for writ of ejectment could not come within tliophrase “ proceedings instituted after the 20th of July, 1960 ” m section 13 (3)of the Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, No. 10 of 1961.
Held further, that the application for writ made on 14th September 1961'could not come within the words “ is or are pending on the day inmediatelypreceding the date of commencement of this Act ”, which would be either30th April 1961 or 19th July 1960.
Application to revise an order of the Court of Requests, Colombo.
D. R. P. Ooonetilleke, for the Defendant-Petitioner.
C. Ranganathan, with M. L. de Silva, for the Plaintiff-Respondent.February 1, 1962. Herat, J.—
In this case action was filed for the recovery of possession of certainpremises coming within the Rent Restriction Law on the ground thatthe tenant was in arrears of rent for more than one month after suchrent fell due. The action was filed on the 31st of January, 1959. Decree
HERAT, J.—Gunaralnc v. Perera
was entered in favour of the landlord and from that decree the tenantappealed and the appeal was dismissed on the 13th of September, 1961.Inthe meantime Act No. 10 of 1961 (Rent Restriction Amendment) had,come into force. The Act came into operation on the 1st of May, 1961but with regard to section 13 of that Act, that section came into operationon the 20th of July, 1960, having retrospective effect granted to it. Thelandlord applied for writ on the 14th of September, 1961. The tenantraised certain objections, but the learned Commissioner of Requestsallowed the application for writ. This application by way of revisionby the tenant to this Court is for an order to revise the refusal to stayAvrit made by the learned Commissioner.
The legal grounds on which the tenant-petitioner asks for relief arebased on an interpretation of section 13(3) of the aforesaid RentRestriction (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 1961. Mr. Goonetilleke’sargument is placed on a tAvo-fold basis. He says that the applicationfor Avrit comes under the Avord “ proceedings ” in sub-section-3 of section13 and also argues that section 13(3) applies.
Noav, sub-section 3 of section 13 reads as folloAvs :—
“ Where any action or proceedings instituted in any Court on orafter the 20th day of July, 1960, for the ejectment of a tenant fromany premises to Avhich the principal Act applies on any ground otherthan a ground specified in sub-scction 1 of this section is or arepending on the day immediately preceding the date of commencementof this Act such action or proceedings shall be deemed at all timesto have been and to be null and void.”
Mr. Goonetilleke’s argument is that the application for the writ comesunder the term “ proceedings ” and Avas made on the 14th of September,1961. Those proceedings Avcre instituted after the? 20th day of July,1960, and void under sub-section 3, and therefore the order grantingwrit and the refusal to stay Avrit are bad. But even accepting Mr.Goonetilleke’s argument that the application for writ made on the 14thof September, 1961, constitutes “ proceedings ” Avithin the meaning ofsub-section 3 of section 13 and Avere instituted after the 20th of July,1960, sub-section 3 requires a further condition before it can be saidthat they are null and void within the meaning of that sub-section.That further condition is laid doAvn in the Avords “ is or are pending onthe day immediately preceding the date of commencement of this ActNoav, as I said earlier, the Act itself commenced on the 1st of May, 1961,and this sub-section is effecti'e from the 20th of July, 1960. Whicheverdate is taken, it cannot be said that the application for Avrit made on the14th of September, 1961 comes Avithin the Avoids “ is or are pendingoil the day immediately preceding the date of commencement of thisAct ”, which Avould be cither the 30th of April, 1961, or the 19th of July,1960. Therefore, even assuming that the application for Avrit comes
Jafferjee v. Commissioner of Inland Revenue
under the term te proceedings instituted after the 20th of July, 1000”,sub-section 3 cannot be availed of and it cannot be said that the appli-cation for writ is null and avoid as stated in sub-section 3 aforesaid.
Mr. Benganathan for the landlord-respondent has brought to mynotice the judgment delivered by His Lordship, Mr. Justice Weerasooriyain S.C. No. 166 J'60 (RjR) C. R. Colombo No. 72S0S (vide Supreme CourtMinutes of 17th January, 19G2)1, where His Lordship says, referring tothe Interpretation of section 13, “In my opinion, neither proceedingsat the trial nor at the stage when the decree is sought to be executed areproceedings of the kind contemplated under section 13(1) as requiringthe authorization of the Board.” No doubt, His Lordship was dealingwith the interpretation of sub-section 1 of section 13, but neverthelessthe point made in the judgment was that an application for writ wasnot “ the institution of either an action or a proceeding ” but the con-tinuation of something already commenced. I would respectfullyfollow the same reasoning, and as a further ground for rejecting thisapplication hold that the application for writ of ejectment made in theinstant case does not come within the phrase “ proceedings institutedafter the 20th of July, I960 ”.
The application is dismissed with costs.
D. GUNARATNE , Appellant, and U. L. P. PERERA, Respondent