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Honraj Jethanand Sadarangani and ors. Vs. Sheth Sakharam Nemchand Jain, Aushdhalaya Trust and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies;Property
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrite Petition Nos. 2069, 2070, 2071, 2072 and 2073 of 1979
Judge
Reported in1983(2)BomCR574
ActsBombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 - Sections 13(1), 25 and 25(1)
AppellantHonraj Jethanand Sadarangani and ors.
RespondentSheth Sakharam Nemchand Jain, Aushdhalaya Trust and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR.M. Agrawal, Adv. in W.P. Nos. 2069, 2070, 2071, 2072 and 2073 of 1979 and ;N.B. Shah, Adv. in W.P. Nos. 2070 and 2073 of 1979
Respondent AdvocateJ.R. Lalit, Adv. in W.P. Nos. 2069, 2070, 2071, 2072 and 2073 of 1979
Excerpt:
.....manufacturing of medicines or pharmacy requires additional premises - evidence shows that present premises of trust are totally inadequate - need of respondent is bonafide - decree for possession properly made in each of concerned case - no merit in any of writ petitions. - - in the very nature of things and the admitted position being that the respondent is a public trust and it is engaged in the activity of manufacturing ayurvedic medicines and further having ayurvedic hospital and at least since 1962 an educational institution like ayurvedic college, admittedly, all these activities are owned and run by the trust. the evidence, which has been accepted by both the courts below, clearly shows that the property was purchased so as to have premises for the extension of these..........the courts below that for the purpose of extension of its activities and in furtherance of the trust object it seeks to re-possess the tenanted property and, therefore, it required a decree for possession under section 13(1)(g) of the act against each of the tenants.3. in the present group of petitions, it is an admitted position that there petitioners are the monthly tenants and utilising the property for the residential purposes while two of them are similarly monthly tenants but utilising the premises for the non-residential purpose.4. in this court, m/s. agrawal and shah in support of the petitions submitted three points. firstly, it was contended that the extension of the activities as was deposed to by witness shakuntala deshpande, the chief administrator of the trust could not.....
Judgment:

B.A. Masodkar, J.

1. All these five petitions arise out of a group of suits which were filed by the respondent, public trust, seeking eviction of different tenants under the provisions of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') on the ground that they needed the tenanted premises for their bona fide and reasonable use and occupation. It appears that nine suits were filed against nine tenants and all of them appealed against the decree that was eventually made. Out of the group of nine tenants, the present five petitions are filed by five tenants questioning the concurrent finding by both the courts below that the trust was entitled to a decree for possession on the ground that the trust needed the suit premises for its bona fide use and occupation and, consequently, decree is made under section 13(1)(g) of the Act.

2. The admitted facts are that the plaintiff-respondent is a registered public charitable trust. A copy of the Deed of Trust is at Ex. 51 and that shows that it has been established for the purpose of manufacturing Ayurvedic medicine without the use of alcohol and meat. Pursuant to that object and to further that object, the trust has established an Ayurvedic hospital as far back as in the year 1917 and the Deed of Trust, which is of the year 1918, refers to the said hospital and the preparation of the Ayurvedic medicines. Pursuant to the object of the trust, the trust has also established an Ayurvedic College, which is being run since about 1962. The property in which the tenants are purchased by the trust and it had been the case of the trust before the courts below that for the purpose of extension of its activities and in furtherance of the trust object it seeks to re-possess the tenanted property and, therefore, it required a decree for possession under section 13(1)(g) of the Act against each of the tenants.

3. In the present group of petitions, it is an admitted position that there petitioners are the monthly tenants and utilising the property for the residential purposes while two of them are similarly monthly tenants but utilising the premises for the non-residential purpose.

4. In this Court, M/s. Agrawal and Shah in support of the petitions submitted three points. Firstly, it was contended that the extension of the activities as was deposed to by witness Shakuntala Deshpande, the Chief Administrator of the trust could not be the object of the trust and as such the need of the trust was not bona fide. Secondly, it was contended that it was not initially the case of the trust that it wanted to pull down the structure and then re-construct the same, but it is only at the time of the evidence that such a case was developed and, therefore, there was variance between the blessings and proof. Lastly, it was contended that the reasoning of the appeal Court with regard to section 25 of the Act was erroneous if there were tenements which were subjected to the use of the type of residential one, no decree could be made when the object was to convert those premises to a non-residential purpose. Reliance was placed on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of B. Mohanbhai v. M.S.U. Mandir, : [1976]1SCR411 .

5. Now, it is indeed difficult to find merit in any of these submissions. In the very nature of things and the admitted position being that the respondent is a public trust and it is engaged in the activity of manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines and further having Ayurvedic hospital and at least since 1962 an educational institution like Ayurvedic College, admittedly, all these activities are owned and run by the trust. The evidence, which has been accepted by both the courts below, clearly shows that the property was purchased so as to have premises for the extension of these activities of the trust. The evidence of the Chief Administrator of the trust shows that there is a need to extend the premises, for the sanctioned strength of students in the college has grown and so also the need of the hospital. Similarly, the manufacturing of the medicines or the pharmacy requires additional premises. The evidence shows that the present premises of the trust are totally inadequate. If these be the facts then it can hardly be said that the trust is not pursuing the objects or that its need is not bona fide or genuine. There is no question of variance between the pleadings and proof, for it was asked to the Administrator in the cross-examination as to how the trust is going to utilise the property in the occupation of tenants and to that the Administrator replied that the tenements, which were old tenements, will be pulled down and new construction will be made. Such an answer could hardly be said to be at variance of the original case. The last submission base on section 25(2) of the Act does not assist the learned Counsel. In the very nature of things, the trust has to carry on its activity in the premises available to it and till it carries on the activities by itself, it cannot be said that the trust will not be utilising the property for its own use. The decision on which reliance was placed merely shows that the considerations of section 25 of the Act should be present to the mind of the Court while considering the question of reasonableness of the need of the landlord. It is specifically observed that whether the requirement of the landlord is reasonable or not is to be judged from all the facts and circumstances of the case and a highly relevant circumstance bearing on the reasonableness of the landlord's requirement is that the purpose for which the premises cannot be used save on pain of penal consequences. It is therefore, a question of fact in each case to find out as to whether, in view of the prohibition of section 25 of the Act, a particular decree should be made or not. The judgment does not lay down that section 13(1) of the Act is subject to the provisions of section 25 of the Act. Section 25 of the Act and the consideration thereunder are the matter for judicial consideration in each case. As the two courts below have found, the trust wants to have a maternity home, nursing home, quarters, etc., in all the suit premises and it is indeed difficult to say that there would be any breach of the provisions of section 25(1) of the Act.

6. In the result, it has to be concluded that the decree for possession was properly made in each of these cases and there is no merit in any of the writ petitions. Rule discharged in the group of all these petitions with no order as to costs.


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