SANSONI, J.—Kalandmkutty v. Wanasinghe
1958Present: Sansoni, J.
P. K. KALANDANKUTTY et al, Appellants, and 0. W. WANASINGHE,
S. 0.128—0, R. Ratnapura, 5,645
■Rent Restriction Act—•Sub-letting—Continuity of cause of action—Res judicata.
Where there is a continuing breach by a tenant of the statutory prohibitionagainst sub-letting, a decree entered in an earlier action instituted by the land-lord cannot operate as res judicata in a second action.
J^LPPEAL from a judgment of the Court of Requests, Ratnapura.
ThiUainathan, for the Defendants-Appellants.
W. Wimcdachandm, with M. 8. A. Hassan, for the Plaintiff-Respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
October 13, 1958. Sansoni, J.—
Two grounds were urged in this appeal. They were (1) that the decreein the earlier action No. 5498 was res judicata ; (2) that there was no proofof sub-letting. In my opinion both grounds fail.
With regard to the question of sub-letting, there was documentaryevidence that the 1st defendant was the licensee of the eating-housecarried on in these premises until 1950. From 1950 the 2nd defendantwas the licensee and he continued to be that up to and including the year, 1956, as shown by the extract from the licence register P2. The plaintiff
Seeran v. Minister of Defence and External Affairs
in his evidence stated that the 3rd defendant was presently in occupationof the premises and was running a tea boutique there. There was nocontradiction from the defendants’ side of any of the evidence led for theplaintiff, and it was therefore open to the learned Commissioner to findthat the 2nd and 3rd defendants were sub-tenants of the 1st defendant.
The plea of res judicata would have been a good one if the sub-lettinghad ceased with the termination of action No. 5498 in October 1955. Itwould not have been open to the plaintiff, in that event, to sue again onthe earlier sub-letting. But the sub-letting has been shown to havecontinued in spite of the earlier decree. There was thus a continuingbreach by the 1st defendant of the statutory prohibition against sub-letting, which enabled the plaintiff to institute a fresh action in respectof the subsequent breach, for such breach constituted a now cause ofaction. .
For these reasons I dismiss this appeal with costs.
P. K. KALANDAKUTTY et al., Appellants, and C. W. WANASINGHE, Respondent