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Present: Jayewardene A.J.
MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, COLOMBO i>. APPUHAMY30—C. R. Colombo, 39,070.Municipal Council—Licence for meat stall—One month's notice—Riuhtto determine licence—Jurisdiction—Court of Requests.
Where a person holds a licence for a meat stall in the publicmarket from the Municipal Council upon the condition that thelicence should expire on a given date or at any previous date of whichone month's notice is given to him in writing,—
Held, that the Council was entitled to determine the licence by givinga month's notice.
Held, further, that where the rental for the stall was Rs. 50 permensem the Court of Requests had jurisdiction to entertain anaction for the ejectment of the stall-holder.
PPEAL from a judgment of the Commissioner of Bequests.Colombo.
H. y. Perera, for defendant, appellant.
Iieuneman (with Navaratnam), for plaintiff, respondent.
June 5, 1928. Jayewardene A.J.—
The plaintiff, the Municipal Council of Colombo, seeks to eject thedefendant from the meat stall bearing No, 2 of the Colpetty market.The defendant held this stall under licence No. 60 dated January 13,1927, marked P 1. This licence was to expire on December 31, 1927,or at any previous date after one month's due notice in writing accord-ing to the 7th condition of the licence. The plaintiff com-plains that the defendant refuses to quit after due notice.
By section 198 of Ordinance No. 6 of 1910 public markets arevested in the Municipal Council, and by section 199 the Councilmay charge such rents, tolls, and fees as to them may seem fit forthe use of or right to expose goods for sale in such markets and forthe use of shops, stalls, sheds, pens, and standings therein.
In his answer the defendant stated that he was the holder of thestall in question and that he was entitled to continue as the holderof the said stall, which was of the value of Rs. 5,000. The defendantpleaded that the Court of Bequests had no jurisdiction if the valueof the subject-matter of the action exceeded Rs. 3,000 in value. Thedefendant also pleaded that, even assuming that he was thetenant of the plaintiff, the tenancy had not been legally determined.
The issues framed were whether the plaintiff let the premises inquestion to the defendant and whether the Court had jurisdiction.
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The claim to recover rent in this case has been withdrawn withthe leave of Court.
In the first place we must refer to the contract itself to see howthe relation between the parties could be ascertained. The docu-ment P 2 is very precise. By it the defendant is licensed to holdstall marked No. 2 in the Colpetty market for the sale of beef onpayment by him of a monthly rental of Rs. 50, provided that heconforms to all the by-laws of the Municipal Council and also tocertain conditions, one of which (No, 7) was “ This licence expires onDecember 31, 1927, or at any previous date of which one month’snotice in writing signed by the Chairman of the'Municipal Councilor by any officer holding a special or general authority from himshall be given to the licensee or his agent or servant.”
In Wilson v. Turner,1 where the plaintiff was allowed by anarrangement with the defendant to erect hoarding on the forecourtof a building in Falcon road, Battersea, and also to the use of thegable end of another house in the same road for the purpose ofposting bills thereon, it was held that the efEect of the documentswas to give the plaintiff a licence which was always revocableat. any time subject to the terms of the express contract, and thatthe Court must look to the contract to see how the relation betweenthe parties could be determined. It was held that it was not atenancy from year to year, but a licence revocable at will on reason-able notice.
In the present case the licence is to expire on December 31, 1927,or on a month’s notice.
In Amerasinghe v. Abdul Sheriff 2 it was argued that so long as astall-holder was willing to pay the rent according to the authorizedscale of charges and conformed himself to the other conditions thepermission of the Chairman could not be withdrawn and must betaken to have been continued, but the Court held that the contentioncould not be sustained at all.
In Cory v. Bristow 3 the plaintiffs were granted permission by theConservators of the Thames to lay down moorings attached to whichthey might place a derrick hulk opposite the sluice at EastGreenwich, but the Conservators retained the right of causing themoorings to be removed on giving a week’s notice. It was heldby the House of Lords that the plaintiff had a right to lay downand occupy the moorings until upon a week’s notice being giventhe Conservators shall remove them from their occupation. In thelanguage of Lord Hatherby:" He is in beneficial occupation for a
term, though that term is limited by certain contingencies which
1 (1901) 1 Chan.. 578.a (1918) 5 C. W. B. 81.
3 (1877) L. B. 2 A. C. 262.
Jayewab-DENA A. J.
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may possibly determine bis interest at an earlier period ” (p. 277).So here the defendant may hold the stall for one year unless hisinterest is determined by a month’s notice.
The position of the defendant is that of a licensee. It isnow well established that even a licensee is entitled to reasonablenotice. (Mellor v. Watkins.1)
The defendant has had more than a month’s notice.
The Court of Bequests had jurisdiction to try this case. Thereis no conflict between the parties of adverse rights of posses-sion. The defendant is in occupation under the plaintiff as a licensee,and cannot be heard to say that he has an adverse right of possession.Mudiyanse v. Rahman.*
I think the judgment of the learned Commissioner is right, and Idismiss the appeal with costs.