G. P. S. DE SILVA, C.J..
RAMANATHAN, J. AND
DR. SHIRANI BANDARANAYAKE, J.
S.C. APPEAL NO.13/96
A. NO. 740/92
C. KALUTARA NO. 363/REJANUARY 27. 1997.
Landlord and Tenant – Ejectment of tenant on the ground of reasonablerequirement – Rent Act – Section 22(1 )(b) of the Act.
The plaintiff sought to eject the defendant his tenant from the premises in suitunder section 22(1 )(b) of the Rent Act on the ground that the premises werereasonably required for occupation as a residence for the plaintiff and themembers of her family. The District Judge entered judgment for the plaintiff-respondent.
The reasonableness of the Landlord's demand to be restored to possessionmust be proved to exist at the date of the institution of the action and to continueto exist at the time of the trial.
In reversing the findings of the District Court in favour of the plaintiff, the Courtof Appeal misdirected itself on the primary facts, a misdirection which resulted ina miscarriage of justice.
APPEAL from the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
S. Ediriweera for appellant.
Ranjan Gunaratne for respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
February 13, 1997.
G. P. S. DE SILVA, C. J.
This is a tenancy action. The plaintiff instituted these proceedingson 11.12.89 seeking to eject the defendant, his tenant, from theprdfriises in suit. The ground of ejectment relied on was section22(1 )(b) of the Rent Act. At the trial, the crucial issue was whether thepremises were reasonably required for occupation as a residence for
the plaintiff and the members of his family. Upon a carefulconsideration of the evidence placed before the Court, the DistrictJudge entered judgment for the plaintiff.
The defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal; the findings of theDistrict Court were reversed and the plaintiff's action was dismissed.Hence the present appeal by the plaintiff to this Court.
The analysis, of the evidence of the plaintiff by the Court of Appealis in the following terms. “In evidence the plaintiff stated that herequired the house in question for his residence as his son had toattend tuition classes and his wife had to attend classes at theNurses Training School. However, in cross examination he stated thatin 1989, that is on the date of the institution of the action he had takensteps to sell this-house in order to purchase another house. Hehas stated that on the date on which he was giving evidence, thevalue of one perch of land in the area in which the house issituated was Rs. 12,000/- so that it clearly shows that he wanted tosell this house and in re-examination he has confirmed this by statingthat his requirement was to sell this house to purchase another•house.’’
The evidence the plaintiff gave on this point in cross examinationand in re-examination reads thus:
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I have examined the record and I find that no document dated19.12.89 has been marked in evidence on behalf of the defendant.The letters produced in evidence are S l (dated 17.12.81) 8 2 (dated23.12.87) and 8 3 (dated 8.12.81). Clearly no document of 1989 hasbeen produced by the defendant. It is thus manifest that thereference to the year 1989 in the proceedings is a typographicalerror. It is also very relevant to note that in the last question in cross-examination the plaintiff denied the suggestion made to him that thisaction was filed with the intention of selling the house for anenhanced price.
What is more, on a reading of the judgment of the District Court itis clear that the evidence of the plaintiff was that it was in 1987 thathe had the intention of selling the house. This is what the DistrictJudge says on this vital aspect of the evidence.
"dstoO) a»@G3S)5 oi®S§aOi o@® S0C3 8S3®0 ggcte adoo® S3 66 8SSaOtSte) S9® @Z 0®®.
da®. 1987 Z oOea. a§S Oi®h5®a0i 1987 Z o©@ S6e 8SS®0 9qsgJas®
S0C3) §0g. og6. ©cgoci O£o0qQ c@® SQo 96023 8®0 gQ gta. o®@ a§6 o60)SoSSoS 1989.12.11 6a Ijlaa. 0&8S ®gO 0®® S6oeft 99®8®)6C3 OSes gSoS 0®®a§6 O0O® QSdOxSZ Sea gqjp. 00 QejOcQ WfflsO ®§S ®5)0 0@® S0O 8SS®0S§®) §0c, gSaOeoa ewgSca gSoS ®§ 0003) 9006X38 ®gO oof ®goS090^ O3®305)SSO o®@ S6og5 gSS era®® 960230)60 S§a)£ oSao. o® oSSSaooS®® o^foSoOss ®§ SSg6S 6a 51 ®0 SS 03t3sx38 213 8go8 "gtS§” 6oO©6 “S.ocoSoebffl)” a®cS o^@<f)3Ss5)O03 ®§o8 SSgoS 214 6® 8Qo8. og®S 8SS6o®)0 q>®)
80S So) gtS o@® adcaj oaob g0Q)ao ocsM esxp©®."
«■ “The reasonableness of the landlord’s demand to be restored toepossession for the purposes of his business must be proved to exist
at the date of institution of the action and to continue to exist at thetime of the trial.”
On a consideration of the oral evidence of the plaintiff thedocuments marked in evidence and the findings of the District Courtit seems to me that the Court of Appeal has misdirected itself on theprimary facts, a misdirection which has resulted in a miscarriage ofjustice.
For these reasons I allow the appeal, set aside the judgment of theCourt of Appeal, and restore the judgment of the District Court. The
plaintiff is entitled to a sum of Rs. 525/- as costs of appeal.
RAMANATHAN, J. – I agree
DR. SHIRANI BANDARANAYAKE, J. – I agree
JAYASINGHE v. SOMARATNE