H. N. G. FERNANDO, J.—Silva v. Senanayaka
1983Present: EL N. G. Fernando, J.
T. D. Y. SILVA, Appellant, and A. W. F. SENANAYAKA,
S. C. 235/1961—C. B. Colombo, 79879/R. E.
Court of Requests—Trespass—Title to premises in question not in dispute—Jurisdiction of Court of Requests to hear action for ejectment—Landlord andtenant—Death of tenant—Unlawful4 occupation thereafter by tenant's son—Remedy of landlord—Forum—Courts Ordinance, s. 75.
Under section 75 of the Courts Ordinance a Court of Requests has jurisdictionto hear and determine an action for ejectment of a trespasser from premisestitle to wh ich is not in dispute (if the damages olaimed by the plaintiff do notexceed Rs. 300).
The plaintiff sued the defendant for ejectment from certain premises averringthat the premises had been let to the father of the defendant, that the fatherhad died, and that the defendant continued in unlawful occupation olaimingto be the tenant of the plaintiff. A sum of Rs. 283 was also claimed by theplaintiff as damages.
Held, that, inasmuch as the defendant admitted the title of the plaintiff andthe Court was not called upon to adjudicate any dispute as to title, the Courtof Requests had jurisdiction to determine whether or not the defendant was atenant under the plaintiff.
Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Requests, Colombo.
B. P. Goonetitteke, for the Defendant-Appellant.
J. Fernando, for the Plaintiff-Respondent.
Cur. adv. vuli.
April 5, 1963. H. N. G. Fernando, J.—
The plaint in this action for ejectment averred that the premises inquestion had been let to the father of the Defendant, that the fatherhad died on 7th March 1961, and that the Defendant continues in occupa-tion claiming to be the tenant of the Plaintiff. The Defendant tooktwo different pleas in his answer, firstly that he had been a partnerwith his father in the business carried on in the premises and was quapartner a tenant and as such entitled to continue in occupation, andsecondly that under seotion 18 of the Rent Restriction Act he hadbecome the tenant after his father’s death. Both these pleas wererejected by the learned Commissioner, whose findings of fact cannot bechallenged having regard to the evidence.
But counsel for the Defendant has raised on appeal a point which wasneither pnt in issue at the trial nor mentioned in the petition of appeal,and which has been met with ability by Plaintiff’s counsel. The point
H. iJ. Q. EERNAHEO, S.—Silw. <t. SmanaeoJko
raised is that if the Defendant is, as fee Plaintiff avers, not a tenant,but a trespasser, the Plaintiff oan only succeed upon proof of his titleto the premises, and having regard, to the value of the premises that titlecannot be proved in the Const of Bequests.
Several decisions were cited during the argument, but I do not findit necessary to refer to them. Under section 75, a Court of Requestshas jurisdiction in an action in which the debt, damage or demand doesnot exceed Rs. 300, and in the present action the damages claimed wereRs. 283. Under the same section, the Court would have no jurisdictionin an action in which tide to land is in dispute, if the value of the landexceeds Rs. 300. But the title to the premises is not in dispute, for theDefendant’s substantial plea was that he is a tenant under the Plaintiff,and the only question in dispute was this allegation of tenancy. Inother words, the Defendant’s answer admitted the title of the Plaintiff,and the Commissioner was not called upon to adjudicate any disputeas to title. I would hold therefore that the Commissioner did havejurisdiction to determine whether or not the Defendant was as claimeda tenant under the Plaintiff.
The appeal is dismissed with costs.
T. D. Y. SILVA, Appellant, and A. W. F. SENANAYAKA, Respondent.