Witliam v. SomamnAcram
1968 Present: H. N. 6. Fernando, C.J., and WijayatUake, J.P. WILLIAM, Petitioner, and S. SOMASUNDERAM and 3 others,
S. C. 195 j67-—Application for a Mandate in the nature of a Writ of
Certiorari and [or Mandamus
Rent-controlled premises—Sub-division of ■ premises—Subsequent re-consolidation—
Authorised rent—Computation—Rent Restriction Act, as amended by Act.
No. JO of 1961, as. 5 (/), 16A, 21 (It).
Certain premises which were assessed for rates in 1941 were subsequentlysub-divided into two separate premises. Thereupon, both the landlord andthe tenant made applications to the Rent Control Board to fix the rent of thotwo premises as separately assessed. The Rent Control Board made orderon 27th July 1963 fixing the authorised rent of each of the two premises. * Anappeal to the Board of Review from the order of the Rent Control Board wasdismissed in October 1963. In 1964 the two premises were again consolidatedinto one for the purpose of assessment of rates, and one new asses ment forthe premises was then made by the Municipal Council. Subsequently, thequestion of determining the authorised rent of the consolidated premises arosebefore the Rent Control Board and, on appeal, the Board of Review. '
Held, that section 21 (11) of the Rent Restriction Act debarred the RentControl Board as well as the Board of Review from altering the order of27th’ July 1963. Accordingly the authorised rent of the consolidated premiseswas the total of the former authorised rents of the premises, as separatelyassessed.
“ The new Section 16A does not empower the Rent Control Board to fixthe authorised rent of any premises, but only to determine the authorised rent,that is to say, to ascertain what according to law is the authorised rent of anypremises. ”
A.PPUCATION for a writ of certiorari and/or mandamus.
N.E. Weerasooria, Q-C., with M. S. M. Nazeem and M. T. M. Sivardeen,for the Petitioner. ,
No appearance for the 1st to 3rd Respondents.
C. Ferera, for the 4th Respondent.
H. N. O’. FERNANDO, C. j.—William v, Somatunderaiii
October. 22, 1968. H. N. G. Fernando, C.J.—
The premises to which this application relates were assessed forrates in 1941. At some time thereafter the premises were sub-dividedinto two separate premises bearing assessment numbers 308 and '308A,Deans Road, Maradana. In consequence of this sub-division andseparate assessment into two premises, both the landlord and the tenantmade applications under the proviso to Section 5 (1) of the RentRestriction Act to the. Rent Control Board to fix the rent of the twopremises as separately assessed. Upon these applications the RentControl Board made order on 27th July, 1963, fixing the authorized rentof No 308 at Rs. 71,50 per month and No. 308A at Rs. 8‘93 per month.
The order did not specify what the 1941 assesement had been orwhat the value of the improvements effected thereafter had been, butthe Board stated in its order that it accepted the evidence of two witnessesthat improvements and additions had been effected to the premises,and it is quite clear that the total amount of Rs. 80*43 for the two premiseswhich was fixed by the Board was in excess of the 1941 rent, and thisfor the reason that the board accepted the landlord’s evidence as to thevalue of improvements made between 1941 and 1963. An appeal tothe, Board of Review from this order was dismissed in October 1963.
It appears that in 1964 the two premises were again consolidatedinto one for the purpose of assessment of rates and one new assessmentfor the premises was then made by the Municipal Council. Subsequently,the tenant made an application to the Rent Control Board under thenew Section 16A of the Rent Restriction Act, for the Board to determinethe authorised rent of the consolidated premises. It should be notedthat the new Section 16A does not empower the Rent Control Board tofix the authorised rent of any premises, but only to determine theauthorised rent, that is to say, to ascertain what according to law is theauthorised rent of any premises.In this particular case there had been a
previous order of the Rent Control Board and the appeal against thatorder was dismissed by the Board of Review ; in the result, under Section21 (11) of the Act, the decision of the Board of Review affirming theauthorised rent as fixed by the Rent Control Board in 1963 became finaland conclusive. That being so, even if another Rent Control Board hadagain power under Section 16A of the Act to determine the authorisedrent of the premises, that Board was then bound, in determining therent, to give effect to the prior final and conclusive order.
Counsel for the tenant has argued that because two premises, whichhad been separately assessed in 1963, were consolidated for the purposesof assessment in 1964, the authorised rent of the consolidated premisesis not merely a sum equal to the authorised rent of the former two premisesbut can be fixed afresh by the Board. As I have pointed out, the Boardhas only power under Section 16A to ascertain what is the proper rentin law, and there is nothing in the Act whiQh declares that the authorised
Perm v. Maihupali
rent of two separate premises which are consolidated into one for thepurpose of assessment is to be determined in any manner otherwisethan by the addition together of the former authorised rents of thepremises, as separately assessed.
The Rent Control Board in the present case has in its order of 18thApril, 1966, correctly determined the authorised rent by having regardto the former order of the earlier Board made on 27th July, 1963. TheBoard of Review in disregarding the former order of July, 1963, has erredin law because Section 21 (11) of the Act declares that order to befinal and conclusive.
For these reasons we quash the order of the Board of Review madeon 23rd February, 1967, with costs. The order of the Rent ControlBoard made on 27th July, 1963, will therefore be restored.
WijayathiAke, J.—I agree.
P. WILLIAM, Petitioner, and S. SOMASUNDERAM and 3 others, Respondents