Per era v. Sent
1963Present: T. S. Fernando, J.
M. C. PERERA, Appellant, and S. E, SENN, Respondent.
S. C. 16911961—C. R. Colombo, 77314
Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, No. 10 of 1961—Section 13, sub-sections (2) and
(3)—Retrospective effect thereof on action relating to “ excepted premises■ Rent Restriction Act, No. 29 of 1948, s. 2 (6).
A landlord instituted action on 7th September, I960, for the ejectment of histenant from certain promises which were “ excepted premises ” within themeaning of section 2 (5) of the Rent Restriction Act, No. 29 of 1948. The RentRestriction (Amendment) Act, No. 10 of 1961, came into operation after theinstitution of the action but before its trial. One of its results was to take the-premises in question outsido the category of excepted premises.
Held, that section 13, sub-sections (2) and (3), of tho Rent Restriction (Amend-ment) Act, No. 10 of 1961, had tho retrospective effect of rendering the actionand procoodings takon subsoquont to tho filing thcroof null and void.
'(70/2) A. C. at 4 V.
T. S. FERNANDO, J.—Perera v. Serin
Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Requests, Colombo.
O.T. Sameraurickreme, for the defendant-appellant.
S. Sharvarianda, for the plaintiff-respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
January 25, 1963. T. S. PeEnando, J.—
The plaintiff (landlord) instituted this action on 7th September i960for the ejectment of the defendant (tenant) from certain premises. At thetime of the institution of the action the premises were excepted premiseswithin the meaning of section 2 (5) of the Rent Restriction Act, No. 29 of1948, in that the construction of the premises had been completed after1st March 1953. The action came on for trial on 2nd June 1961. TheRent Restriction (Amendment) Act, No. 10 of 1961, came into operationon 1st May 1961, i.e., after the institution of the action but before itstrial.
The defendant contended at the trial that section 13 of the (Amendment) ■Act, No. 10 of 1961, had the effect of rendering the action and proceedingstaken subsequent to the filing thereof null and void. The learned Commis-sioner, observing that “ excepted premises which were not governed bythe Rent Restriction Act till 1st May 1961 will not be bound by Act No. 10of 1961 ”, entered judgment for ejectment of the defendant.
One of the results of the amendment by Act No. 10 of 1961 of regulationsin the Schedule to the principal Act, No. 29 of 1948, was to take thepremises in question outside the category of excepted premises. There-fore the plaintiff became disentitled to institute any action or proceedingsfor the ejectment of the defendant as it was admitted that there was inthis oase an absence of any one of the three grounds (a), (b) and (c) speci-fied in section 13 (1) of the (Amendment) Act, No. 10 of 1961. Eor theplaintiff it was argued that, any benefit to a tenant under section 13 (11 ofthat Act was not available to the defendant. It seems to me that thatargument overlooks the effect of section 13 (2) of the Act. That sub-section enacts that “ the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be deemed tohave come into operation on the twentieth day of July, 1960, and shallcontinue in force for a period of two years commencing from that date ”.Parliament has, in my opinion, expressed beyond any doubt that anybenefit available to the tenant shall accrue from a date even anterior tothe coming into operation of the Act of Parliament. Whatever viewone may entertain about the desirability of retrospective legislation, acourt must give effect to a valid Act of Parliament the meaning of whichadmits of no doubt. Sub-sections (3) and (4) of secton 13 of the (Amend-ment) Act, No. 10 of 1961, only serve, in my opinion, to emphasize theintention of the legislature when it decided by sub-section (2) to conferthe benefits to be introduced by the amending legislation to all tenantsas from the 20th day of July, 1960.
Manuel Nadar v. Liyanarjc
Counsel for the plaintiff referred me to the cases of Seneviratne v.Perera1 and Gunaratne v. Per era2, but these authorities deal with questionsdifferent to that arising here. On the other hand, I was referred by thedefendant’s counsel to the observations of Sir Raymond Evershed M.R.(as he then was) in Hutchinson v. Jauncey3 that “ if the necessary intend-ment of the Act is to affect pending causes of action, the court will giveeffect to the intention of the legislature even though there is no( expressreference of pending actions So far as the case before me is concerned,it is to be noted that sub-section (3) of section 13 of Act No. 10 of. 1961even makes such an express reference.■ '
I would' set aside the judgment entered in the Court of Requests anddirect that the plaintiff’s action be dismissed, but without costs. Thedefendant, however, is entitled to the costs of this appeal.
Jvdament set aside.
M. C. PERERA, Appellant, and S. E. SENN, Respondent