SIRIMANE, J.—Brohier v. Saheed
1968Present: Sirimane, J.
Mxb. N. E. BROHIER, Appellant, and H. M. S. A. 8AHEEF*.
.s'. C. 2111967—C. R. OaUe, 34282
Conciliation Boards Act, No. 10 of 1968, as amended by Act No. 12 of 1963, as. 2, 3,6,14 (a)—Civil dispute—Averment that a certain area falls within the operationof the Act—Proof—Jurisdiction of Conciliation Board in a tenancy action—Scope.
In a civil case it is not nocassary to produce the Gazette which containsthe Minister’s Order bringing an area within the operation of the ConciliationBoards Act, when the other evidence led by the party which avers that fact-in not disputed.
An action instituted by a landlord to have his tenant ejected from the rentedpremises falls within the ambit of section 6 of the Conciliation Boards Act.The provisions of section 14 (1) (a) of the Act would be applicable to the case ifthe tenancy agreement was entered into prior to the date when the Act nameinto operation in the area in question but the dispute in respect of the contractarose after that date.
A.PPEAL fit>n) a judgment of the Court of Requests, Galle.
U.W. Jayewardene, Q.C., with L. W. AthuUuhmudali and Ben
Eliyatamby, for the plaintiff-appellant.
W. D. Chmasekera. for the defendant-respondent.
Our. adv. vult.
September 19,1968. Sjbimakk, J.—
This is an action filed by a landlord (the plaintiff) for ejectment of histenant (the defendant) from certain premises situated in Ward number 1of the Galle Municipal Council. The defendant resisted the plaintiff'sclaim, mainly on three grounds :
(а)that the notice to quit was invalid in law,
(б)that he was protected by the provisions of the Rent Restriction
Act, which he alleged applied to these premises.
(c) that the plaintiff could not maintain this action as she had notobtained a certificate from the Chairman of the Panelof Conciliators as required by section 14 (1) (a) of the ConciliationBoards Act 10 of 1958 as amended by 12 of 1963, hereinafterreferred to as the Act.
SUIIMANE, J.—Brohier v. Sahetd
The learned District Judge held against the defendant on the firsttwo grounds set out above but in his favour on the third ground, anddismissed the action.
The plaintiff has appealed.
Mr. Jayewardene, for the plaintiff, urged firstly, that there was noproof that the premises were situated in an area where the Act was inoperation,—as the plaintiff had failed to produce the Gazette in which theMinister’s Order under section 2 of the Act had been published. In theanswer, the defendant pleaded that the provisions of section 14 of theAct had to be complied with by the plaintiff, and at the trial raised anissue based on that plea. The plaintiff did not raise an issue as to whetheror not that Act applied to the area in which these premises are situated.The defendant called as a witness the Chairman of the Conciliation Boardwho said that Ward number 1 was within his jurisdiction. This evidencewas not challenged. A Panel of Conciliators is constituted by aMinisterial Order under section 3 of the Act. It is obvious that a panelis constituted for a Conciliation Board area, after that area is determinedby an order under section 2 of the Act. The defendant, in fact, producedthe Gazette containing the Order by which the Panel of Conciliators wasconstituted for Ward number 1 and certain other wards which Orderreferred by number and date to the Gazette in which the Order undersection 2 had been made. The plaintiff herself stated in cross-examination that there was “a Conciliation Board in Galle ”, meaningobviously that the area in which the premises were situated was one inwhich a Conciliation Board functioned.
Though no express admission had been recorded, I think it is quiteclear that the parties proceeded to trial on the basis that the premiseswere situated in an area to which the Act applied, and the evidence onthe point was not challenged.
In a civil case it is not necessary to produce the Gazette which containsthe Minister’s Order bringing an area within the operation of the Act,when the other evidence led by the party which avers that fact is notdisputed. The first submission on behalf of the plaintiff, therefore,foils.
The second ground urged by Mr. Jayewardene was that this disputewas not one to which section 6 of the Act applied.
For the purposes of this appeal it is only necessary to noticethat section 6 applies to—
(a) any dispute in respect of any immovable property wholly or partlysituate in a Conciliation Board area;
/hi any dispute in respect of any matter that may be a cause of actionarising in that Conciliation Board area for the purpose of theinstitution of an action in a civil court:
(c) any dispute in respect of a contract made in that Conciliation Boardares.
Adatnjee Lukmanjte 4c Sons Ltd. v. The Controller of Import#153
Mr. Jayewardene submitted that (a) and (c) did not apply, and that thedispute between the parties was in regard to the validity of the notice toquit, and the question whether the defendant was protected by the RentRestriction Act and that neither of these was “ a matter that may be acause of action ” as stated in section 6 (b). I cannot agree. The disputebetween the parties was the refusal of the tenant to quit the premisesand the landlord’s demand that he should do so. The tenant’s reasonson which he sought to justify his refusal to quit do not constitute thedispute itself.
I am also inclined to agree with the submission of Mr. Gunasekera forthe defendant , that the action is one to recover possession of immovableproperty and the dispute would also fall under section 6 (a).In the case of Samarasinghe v. Saniarasinghe1 this Court wasof the view that in a tenancy action the dispute was one fallingwithin one or more or all of the classes (a), (b) and (c) set out above.
The tenancy agreement in this case was entered into in 1963, and theAct came into operation in the area in question in 1964. But the disputein respect of the contract of tenancy admittedly arose only in 1966. Thiscase, therefore, can be distinguished from the case of E. Coates 4k Co., Ltd.r. A. F. Jones 4k Co., Ltd. 8 where the dispute had arisen before the wardsof the Galle Municipal Council were declared to be a ConciliationBoard area.
I think the learned District Judge was right in holding that theplaintiff could not maintain this action as she had failed to comply withthe provisions of section 14 (1) (a) of the Act.
The appeal is dismissed with costs.
1 (1967) 10 N. L. R. 276.
s (1968) 70 N. L. R. 369.
Mrs. N. E. BROHIER, Appellant, and H. M. S. A. SAHEED, Respondent