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Peruri Suryanarayanan Vs. W.L. Narsimha - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Civil Extraordinary Application No. 243 of 1924
Judge
Reported inAIR1925Bom415; (1925)27BOMLR938
AppellantPeruri Suryanarayanan
RespondentW.L. Narsimha
Excerpt:
presidency small cause courts act (xv of 1882), section 41 - ejectment suit occupant--suit tenant-sub-tenant not a tenant under sent act-bombay kent (war restrictions) act (ii of 1918).;a nub tenant is an 'occupant' within the meaning of the term as used in section 41 of the presidency small cause courts act 1882.;where a tenant sub-lets premises he becomes a landlord with regard to his own tenant, but his tenant does not come in contact with the original landlord unless there has been an assignment by which the rights and liabilities of the original tenant have been transferred to his sub-tenant, so that privity of contract arises between the landlord and the sub-tenant.;the sub-tenant is only a tenant, under the bombay rent (war restrictions) act, with regard to his own immediate..........person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for any premises and includes every person from time to time deriving title under a tenant; while the expression ' landlord' means under section 2 (c) any person for the time being entitled to receive rent in respect of any premises whether on bin own account or on account or on behalf or for the benefit of any other person or as trustee, guardian or receiver for any other person; it includes a tenant who sub-lets any premises and every person from time to time deriving title under a landlord. therefore, if a tenant sub-lets premises, he becomes a landlord with regard to his own tenant. but his tenant does not come in contact with the original landlord unless there has been an assignment by which the rights and liabilities of the.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. This is a suit filed by the plaintiffs under Chapter VII of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act to recover possession of their premises on the ground that they required them bona fide and reasonably for their own use. The premises were let by the plaintiffs to the first defendant, and the first defendant in his turn sub-let a portion of them to the second defendant. The first defendant did not contest the plaintiffs' claim and had vacated the premises in his occupation. The second defendant contested the plaintiffs' right to turn him out. The Judge appears to have dealt with the case as if there was privity of contract between the plaintiff and the second defendant, and dismissed the suit. We must consider, therefore, what is the position of a landlord when he finds himself confronted by a person in occupation holding through his own tenant.

2. Apart from any other question, it is contended that if the landlord sought to eject such a person, the suit would not come under Chapter VII of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, so that the plaintiff would have to file his suit in the High Court. But we think that such a person would be an ' occupant' according to the meaning of the word in 8 41 of the Act, and it would certainly seem unreasonable that a tenant might defeat his landlord's right of having recourse to the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, Section 41, by giving possession to a third party. Clearly, the third party becomes an occupant, and the Small Cause Court has jurisdiction to give the landlord or owner of the premises possession against such an occupant, But although such a person may be an occupant as against the owner or the landlord, it does not follow that he is a tenant within the definition of that term in Section 2 of the Bombay Rent Act. Under Section 2 (d) the expression ' tenant' means any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for any premises and includes every person from time to time deriving title under a tenant; while the expression ' landlord' means under Section 2 (c) any person for the time being entitled to receive rent in respect of any premises whether on bin own account or on account or on behalf or for the benefit of any other person or as trustee, guardian or receiver for any other person; it includes a tenant who sub-lets any premises and every person from time to time deriving title under a landlord. Therefore, if a tenant sub-lets premises, he becomes a landlord with regard to his own tenant. But his tenant does not come in contact with the original landlord unless there has been an assignment by which the rights and liabilities of the original tenant have been transferred to his sub tenant, so that privity of contract arises between the landlord and the sub tenant. Consequently the sub-tenant is only a tenant under the Rent Act with regard to his own immediate landlord, and when the owner of (he premises seeks to evict his own tenant, he cannot be opposed by the person who has been put in possession without his consent by his tenant. We think, then, that the second defendant had no right to resist the plaintiff's claim for possession of the premises. He could have resisted the claim of his own immediate landlord to eject him within the limits allowed him under the provisions of the Rent Act, but as soon as the tenancy between the plaintiff and the first defendant came to an end by the first defendant surrendering possession, then the plaintiff was entitled to possession from the second defendant who had been put in possession by the first defendant. If that were not the legal position of the parties, the result would be that a tenant could always postpone his landlord's rights if established to recover possession, by sub-letting the premises to a third party, and the landlord's right to get possession of the premises might be in definitely postponed by a series of sub lettings. We think the rule must be made absolute and the suit decreed against the second defendant also with costs in the trial Court and in this Court.


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