Irani, the, reversionary lessee called upon the second respondent to surrender possession in accordance with the conditions of his lease, but the latter declined to do so relying upon the Act and the protection which it conferred upon him. It may be mentioned that the suit was based upon the allegation that what had been leased to Venkayya originally was a vacant site without any buildings and that consequently Madras Act XV of 1946 which did not apply to leases of mere vacant sites did not apply to protect the second respondent's possession. This is the result of decisions rendered in certain proceedings between the parties to which we shall immediately refer. Irani- as representing the estate of his father who had by then died, filed a suit on the original side of the Madras High Court (C. 479 of 1947) for evicting the second respondent from the property.
C filed a writ petition before the High Court for quashing the order on the grounds that s. 13 of the Act on the State Government to exempt "buildings or class of buildings from the operation of the Act is constitutionally valid. Viswanatha Sastri-learned Counsel for the second respondent disputed before us the correctness of the decision of the High Court dated October 23, 1953, upholding the validity of s. It is manifest therefore that the point urged by Mr. The appellant filed an appeal against this judgment (Original Side Appeal 37 of 1948) which was also dismissed on July 29,1951, on the same finding. The suit was, however, dismissed by judgment rendered on April 22, 1948, on the finding that a building as well as the site had been included in the lease, which brought it within the scope and protection of the Act. 13 of the Act (Madras Buildings) Lease & Rent Control Act., 1949), to which we shall hereafter refer as the Act, in the following terms: "Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act the State Government may by a notification in the Fort St. A provision for exemption being granted from the operation of the Act by the State Govern- ment was contained in s. Thereafter the Official Assignee sold the super-structure of the theatre to one Mrs. 36,000 under a registered deed dated January 4, 1937, and he ran the cinema house from then. 280 and 286 of 1939), the High Court appointed two advocates as Joint-Receivers to administer' the property in suit. Irani offered to the Receivers to take a lease also of the property now in dispute and on which the Gaiety-theatre stood, also till April-May 1961.
Venkayya was adjudicated an insolvent and the Official Assignee of Madras in whom his estate, including the leasehold interest in the suit site vested, obtained a further lease of the property from the representatives of Sir Haji Ismail Sait who had by then died, for a period of 9 years from March 1926. Madan possessed in the super- structure and in the lease for a sum of Rs. That lease was for a period of 21 years and would have expired in or about April-May 1961.
By the date of this application Madras Act XV of 1946 had been repealed and its provisions substantially re-enacted in the Madras Buildings (Lease & Rent Control) Act, 1949, but as the provisions of the two enactments on the points which arise for decision in this appeal are identical it is sufficient if reference is made to those of the later Act.
Even while the appeal was still pending before the High Court, Irani applied to the Government of Madras for exemption of the premises from the operation of the Act.
Thereupon the High Court ordered that a lease be given to C upto May 1947, and thereafter the lease be given to 1 upto May 1961. The writ petition was dismissed by a learned Single-Judge of the High Court by order dated March 12, 1953, on the ground that the constitutional validity of s. 14 of the Constitution but that individual orders granting the exemption might be examined to find out whether such orders were within the policy and purpose of the Act or whether they were discriminatory and therefore offended Art. In this view the grounds upon which exemption was granted in each of the three cases before them were separately considered and in the appeal by the second respondent the learned Judges, after examining the reasons disclosed by the Government as to why they granted exemption in the particular case, held that those reasons were not germane to the purpose for which the,power of exemption had been vested in them and quashed the order of exemption.
The High Court offered C the option of taking the lease for 21 years but C was willing to take it only for 7 years upto May 1947. The fact that C had other business was immaterial; the Government failed to consider the question whether if C was evicted he could secure alternative accommodation where he could carry on the business which he was carrying on in the cinema house. Both the State of Madras whose order was impugned as well as the appellant Irani for whose benefit the order was passed were made respondents to this writ petition.
Before the lease in favour of C expired the Madras (Lease & Rent Control) Act, 1946, came into force which protected tenants in 22 170 possession from eviction even after the expiry of their leases. The second respondent thereafter took the matter in appeal under cl. At the time this appeal was heard the Bench had before it, two other appeals in which also the question whether s. 132 and 133(1) of the Constitution and has filed the present appeal before us.