Weerakoon v. Weerapana
v.WEERAPANA AND ANOTHER
COURT OF APPEAL.
S. N. SILVA , J.
C. A. No. 210/89.
July 10, 1990.
Rent Act – Landlord and tenant – Permission to demolish – Demolition order ■ Rent Act s.18 A (i) as amended by Act No. 55 of 1980 – Compensation – Certiorari.
Permission to demolish was granted because the premises were 50 years old and neededfor more efficient utilization of the land for its development. On the question of compensation.
Under section 18 (A) (2) (6) (ii) the minimum compensation that should be ordered is 3years authorised rent of the premises.
APPLICATION for writ of certiorari to quash the order permitting demolition made by theCommissioner foi National Housing.
W. P. Gunatilake with C. Gamage for the petitioner.
Bimal Rajapakse with Yasalal Kodituwakku for 2nd respondent.
Sri Lanka Law Reports
11990] 1 Sri L.R.
July 10, 1990.
S. N. SILVA, J.
The Petitioner has tiled this application for a Writ of Certiorari to quashthe order dated 10.11.88 (marked P3 made by the 1st Respondent). Bythe said order the 1st Respondent permitted the owner of the premises(the 2nd Respondent) to demolish the premises subject to the terms andconditions that are contained in that order.
The 2nd respondent to this application being the owner of premisesNo. 252, 254 and 256, Hospital Road. Kalubowila made an applicationto the 1 st Respondent in terms of section 18 (A) (i) of the Rent Act, No.7 of 1972 as amended by Act No. 55 of 1980. The application was madeon the basis that the premises has been constructed at least 50 yearsprior to the date of the application and an order should be madeauthorising its demolition.
Persuant to the said application being made, the Commissioner heldan inquiry at which the owner of the premises and the 3 tenants werepermitted to lead evidence and to make representations. Inquiry was heldon 10 days from 17.2.86 to 9.1.87. Thereafter the order marked P3 wasmade permitting the demolition subject to the conditions that are stipulated.One condition is that each tenant be paid compensation in a sum of Rs.10,000/-. The 2nd condition is that, the applicant owner, should constructresiding units according to the plan that had been submitted, within aperiod of one year. ,
Two of the tenants affected by the order who were in occupation ofpremises No. 254 and 256 accepted the compensation that was orderedand vacated their premises. The petitioner is tenant of premises No. 252and he has challenged the order by way of this application.
Mr. W. P. Gunatilake, Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner didnot dispute that the premises are 50 years old. It was also not disputedthat the premises should be demolished tor re development and for themore efficient utilization of the land. Mr. Gunatilake relied on 2 groundsto challenge that order.
that the Commissioner's order does not specify the number ofresiding units that should be constructed as required by section 18(A) (2) (a) of the Act.
that the Commissioner's order directing that a sum ofRs.10,000/- be paid as compensation is unreasonable.
Weerakoon v. Weerapana (Silva, J.)
Counsel for the Respondent submitted that in terms of section 18 (A),.
the decision of the Commissioner shall not be called in question in anyyCourt in proceedings under that section.
I have considered the 2 grounds that were urged by learned Counselfor^the petitioner. As regards the 1st ground that the Commissioner hasfailed to specify the number of residing units that should be constructed;l note that the Commissioner’s order is that residing units should beconstructed according to the plan that was submitted. The plan wasproduced in evidence marked P7 and was available to the Petitioner.(Page 14 of the proceedings of 13.10.86). According to the evidence theplan was for 3 residing units. In these circumstances I do not see any meritin the submission of the learned Counsel.
The second ground is with regard to the reasonableness of thecompensation that had been ordered. It is conceded the authorised rentof the premises is Rs. 40/- per month. On that basis the compensationthat has been ordered exceeds 20 years of the authorised rent. It is to benoted that Section 18(A) (2) (b) (ii) has laid down a minimum of thecompensation to be ordered. The minimum is 3 years authorised rent ofthe premises. Therefore in my view the reasonableness of thecompensation ordered should be considered in relation to the minimumspecified by law. in this case I note that the compensation ordered isabout 7 times the minimum specified by law. Therefore, basically, it couldnever be considered as being unreasonable.
Mr. Gunatilake submitted that reasonableness should be consideredin relation to the cost of the petitionerto secure alternative accommodation.In this regard I have to note that the petitioner has not given evidence asto what it would cost him to secure alternative accommodation. Thepetitioner has merely claimed compensation in a sum of Rs. 100,000/-without stating the basis upon which that figure was determined. Sincethe petitioner did not adduce any evidence as to what it would cost himto secure alternative accomodation the Commissioner cannot be faultedfor not considering that aspect.
It is also to be borne in mind that the other two tenants occupyingsimilar premises accepted the compensation ordered and vacated theirrespective premises.
Sri Lanka Law Reports
i19901 > Sri L.R.
In the circumstances I see no merit in the two grounds urged by thelearned Counsel for the petitioner.
The application is accordingly dismissed without costs.
Application dismissed without costs.