Perera v. Perera .
Present: Nagaltng&m J.PERERA, Appellant, and PERERA, Respondent.
S. C. 155—C. B. Colombo, 29,684
Rent Restriction Act—Authorised rent—Inference from plaintiff's evidence.
The* authorised rent of premises under the Sent Restriction Act is presumedto be the rent* at which the plaintiff himself avers the premises had.’been* let.1 (1923) 5 Rec.170.* (1945) 46 N. L. R. 273.
* (1946) 47 N. L. R, 107.
NAOAMNQAM J.—Perera v. Perera
.j^PPBAL from a judgment of the Court of Bequests, Colombo.
H. W. Jayowardene, for the plaintiff appellant.
ID. 8. Jayawickretne, for the defendant respondent.
October 24, 1951. Nag aling am J.—
The plaintiff, a landlord, sued the defendant for rent and ejectment,the latter relief being based on the. footing that the defendant had beenin arrears of rent for more than one month after it had fallen due. Theplaintiff in paragraph 5 of his plaint expressly stated that he was referringto the arrears of the defendant in regard to his rent as the arrears fellwithin the meaning of section 13 (1) (a) of the Rent Restriction Ordinance,No. 29 of 1948. It must therefore, in view of the plaintiff’s own aver-ment, follow that the premises were one to which the Rent RestrictionOrdinance applied. The defendant, on the other hand, asserted that thetrue rent at which the premises had been let to him was not at Rs. 12.50as alleged by the ■ plaintiff but at Rs. 22.50. The learned Commissionerafter hearing evidence came to the conclusion, and I see no reason todiffer from him, that the plaintiff had charged and recovered rent atRs. 22.50 a month and later at Rs. 25 during a certain period as morefully set out in his judgment. There was no specific evidence before thelearned Commissioner as to what the authorised rent of these premiseswas. In that difficulty which he experienced the learned Commissionergave relief to the defendant by applying a principle of the Roman-ButchLaw based upon the doctrine of condictio indebiti. But it may be ratherdifficult to say that that doctrine applies in full or can be made to applyin full to the facts of the present case. Mr. Jayewickreme for the res-pondent, however, has cited the case of Keane v. Clarke1 a judgment ofthe Court of Appeal, where under similar circumstances the Court drewthe inference that the evidence given of the terms of letting at adate subsequent to the coming into operation of the statute could verywell be regarded as the standard rent in that case and on that basis theCourt gave relief to the tenant. I see no reason why a similar principleshould not be applied in our Courts and, applying a similar principle,I would hold that the authorised rent, in view of the plaintiff's ownallegation, must be presumed to be Rs. 12.50 a month. If it was anythinghigher than Rs. 12.50, it certainly was up to the plaintiff to have ledevidence to prove that that was so. In the absence of any such evidenceone has to proceed on the basis that Rs. 12.50 was the authorised rent.If one takes that view, then the Commissioner’s finding can be sustained,though not put on the same ground as he has put it. I would thereforeaffirm the judgment of the learned Commissioner but rest it on the basisthat the authorised rental of the premises was Rs. 12.50 a month.
The appeal fails and it is dismissed with costs.
1 (1951) A. E.R. 181.
PERERA, Appellant, and PERERA, Respondent