Narendra v Seylan Merchant Bank Ltd. and Others
fS. N. Silva C.J.)
MARY NONA AND ANOTHER
SUPREME COURTBANDARANAYAKE, J.EDUSSURIYA, J. ANDJAYASINGHE, J.
SC APPEAL NO. 78/2002CA NO. 435/89(F)
DC MATARACASE NO. 109/RE21 ST FEBRUARY, 2003
Landlord and Tenant – Judgment for the landlord – Lack of clarity in issues andapparent contradiction in the answers to issues – Judgment which is well rea-soned may be sustained notwithstanding such weakness – Long delay in deliv-ery of judgment irrelevant, if no questions of demeanor of witnesses areinvolved.
The original plaintiff instituted action in the District Court seeking ejectment ofthe 1 st defendant and the 2nd defendant on the ground that the 1 st defendantwho was the plaintiff’s tenant had sublet the premises in suit to the 2nd defen-dant.
1. Although the issues raised in the case were not very clear, and theanswers to the issues appeared to be contradictory, on the basis ofthe pleadings the matters in issue are very clear and the judgmentgave adequate reasons in conformity with section 187 of the CivilProcedure Code. In the circumstances the judgment should beupheld.
Sri Lanka Law Reports
 2 Sri L.R
2. The fact that the judgment was delivered two years after the conclu-sion of the trial did not vitiate it in view of the fact that the judgmenthas not referred to the demeanor of witnesses.
APPEAL from the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
S. Mandaleswaran with P. Peramunagama for substituted plaintiff- appellant.Vidura Gunaratne for 2nd defendant-respondent.
March, 26, 2003.
The plaintiff-appellant (appellant) instituted action in theDistrict Court of Matara seeking the ejectment of the 1st defen-dant-respondent and the 2nd defendant-respondent on theground that the 1st defendant-respondent who was the appel-lant’s tenant had sublet the premises in suit to the 2nd defendant-respondent.
After trial the learned District Judge entered judgment infavour of the appellant. In appeal, the Court of Appeal set asidethe judgment of the District Court on the grounds (1) that theissues are not clear and that it is the duty of the Court to frameissues, (2) the answers to the issues in the judgment appear to becontradictory and (3) that the judgment was dictated two yearsafter the conclusion of the trial.
On the first point mentioned above, it is seen on a readingof the pleadings and the issues, that the matters in issue are veryclear. On the second point mentioned above, namely, that theanswers to the issues given in the judgment appearing to be con-tradictory, it is seen on a reading of the judgment that any contra-dictions that may arise on the reading of the answers to theissues pale into insignificance. As far as the third point is con-cerned, namely, the judgment being dictated two years after theconclusion of the trial, it must be said that at no point in the courseof the judgment has the learned District Judge referred to the
Udugamkorale v Mary Nona andAnother (Edussuriva. J)
demeanour of the witnesses. The findings are based on the oraland documentary evidence placed before court.
It must also be mentioned that the answers to issues in ajudgment are almost always monosyllabic and are a follow up onthe matters in issue discussed, dealt with and decided in the bodyof the judgment. Hence the decision of the case must be arrivedat by a careful reading of the body of the judgment and not on a 30superficial reading of the answers to the issues.
In this connection I will refer to section 187 of the CivilProcedure Code which states;
“that the judgment shall contain a concise statement of the
case, the points for determination, the decision thereon and
the reasons for such decision”.
I have perused the evidence and the judgment of thelearned District Judge and found that there is no reason or causefor any confusion in view of the fact that the learned District Judgehas categorically held (1) the appellant had rented out the premis- 40es in suit to the 1st defendant, (2) that during the period the 1stdefendant ran a business therein the 2nd defendant had assistedthe 1st defendant, (3) that after a period of time the 1st defendanthad left and the 2nd defendant had run a business therein with-out the knowledge of the plaintiff-appellant and that therefore the1st defendant had sublet the premises to the 2nd defendant-respondent.
The learned District Judge has also set out in the course ofthe judgment the reasons for his so holding; that although the 2nddefendant claimed to have entered into a contract of tenancy with sothe plaintiff-appellant the 2nd defendant had failed to substantiatethat position by producing rent receipts or any document to provetenancy. Further, the learned District Judge has also set outtherein that he cannot accept the evidence of the 2nd defendant-respondent that even after the letter of demand had been sentthat he had been told by the plaintiff-appellant to allow the rent toaccumulate.
For the abovementioned reasons I set aside the judgmentof the Court of Appeal directing a trial de novo, and restore the
Sri Lanka Law Reports
 2 Sri L.R
judgment of the District Court. The plaintiff-appellant is also enti-tled to costs in a sum of Rs. 3150/-.
BANDARANAYAKE, J.- I agree.
JAYASINGHE, J.- I agree.
Appeal allowed; judgment ofthe District Court restored.