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M. Narasimha Bhakta and anr. Vs. Jayanthilal Gokuldas and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. Nos. 1813 and 2220 of 1979
Judge
Reported inAIR1982Kant128; ILR1982KAR155
ActsKarnataka Rent Control Act, 1961 - Sections 21(1) and 50
AppellantM. Narasimha Bhakta and anr.
RespondentJayanthilal Gokuldas and ors.
Appellant AdvocateB.K. Ramachandra Rao (in C. R. P. No. 1813/79) and ;B.V. Acharya (in C. R. P. No. 2220J79), Advs..
Respondent AdvocateS.G. Sundaraswamy, Adv. for ;S.R. Bannurmatt, Adv.
Excerpt:
- administrative law. administrative orders: [h.n. nagamohan das, j] administrative authorities excursing quasi judicial powers, passing adverse order without evidence or basis is not sustainable and is liable to be set aside. judicial review:held, judicial review is an integral part of the constitutional system. an authority is bound to pass reasonable order. if not, interference by high court and supreme court is permissible. - 50 of the act counsel for the tenants placed strong reliance on two decisions of the supreme court and one of this court. it is now well settled that the revisional jurisdiction of the high court is confined to cases of illegal or irregular exercise or non-exercise or illegal assumption of the jurisdiction by the sub-ordinate courts. and if the high court is.....order1. since common questions of law and facts are involved in these petitions they were clubbed and heard together.2. jayantilal gokuldas, first respondent in c. r. p. no. 1813 of 1979 and respondent in c. r. p. no. 2220179, (hereinafter referred to as the landlord) is the owner of a building known as 'jayant building' situated in the 13th ward of mangalore town. that building consists of number of shop premises. in one of such premises (bigger in size) a business concern known as 'adarsh' used to carry on (is even now carrying on) business of dealing in cloth of m/s. mafatlal group of mills. the business concern 'adarsh' belongs to a firm. the landlord's wife, daughter-in-law, and other relations are partners of that firm, the 1st petitioner in c. r. p. no. 1813/79, narasimha bhakta,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. Since common questions of law and facts are involved in these petitions they were clubbed and heard together.

2. Jayantilal Gokuldas, first respondent in C. R. P. No. 1813 of 1979 and respondent in C. R. P. No. 2220179, (hereinafter referred to as the landlord) is the owner of a building known as 'Jayant building' situated in the 13th Ward of Mangalore Town. That building consists of number of shop premises. In one of such premises (bigger in size) a business concern known as 'Adarsh' used to carry on (is even now carrying on) business of dealing in cloth of M/s. Mafatlal Group of Mills. The business concern 'Adarsh' belongs to a firm. The landlord's wife, daughter-in-law, and other relations are partners of that firm, The 1st petitioner in C. R. P. No. 1813/79, Narasimha Bhakta, is in occupation of two portions (more fully described in the application filed against him by the landlord) of Jayanth buildings as a tenant and is carrying on business in the name 'Subbhas Trading Company'. He is carrying on business of purchasing and selling of tobacco and Beedi leaves in the said premises. Another shop premises of this building is under the occupation of Dr. Joseph Zakharia as a lessee. He is said to be running a Clinic of his in this premises.

3. In the year 1969 the landlord filed three applications in the Court of the Munsiff, Mangalore, South Kanara District, for eviction of Narasimha Bhakta, Dr. Joseph Zakharia and another U. S.Nayak. Nayak was in occupation of one of the adjoining premises as a lessee. The applications against Narasimha Bhakta and Dr.Zakharia had been filed under Cls. (h) and (p) of sub-see. (1) of S. 21 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act, 1961(the Act) and were on two counts, the first one being that the premises were reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for occupation by way of an additional- accommodation by-the- aforesaid firm, 'Adarsh' concern; and the second that these two tenants had acquired vacant possession of suitable buildings. All these tenants resisted the landlord's claim and denied the averments made in the petitions filed against them.

4. At a certain stage of the proceeding the tenant Sri Nayak surrendered possession of his premises having entered into a compromise with the landlord.

5. On his side the landlord examined himself (P. W. 1) and one witness (P. W. 2),' who, at the relevant time, was said to be the Managing partner of the firm Adarsh. The tenants examined themselves. Both sides also relied on some documents.

6. The learned Munsiff allowed the application of the landlord filed against Narasimha Bhakta under Clause (p) of Section 21 (1) holding that he had acquired a suitable building, but denied the land lord's claim under Clause (h) of S. 21 (1) stating that his claim lacked bona fides and was unreasonable. The landlord's application filed against Dr. Zakharia came to be dismissed, the Munsiff holding against the landlord on both the grounds. Against these orders two revisions came to be preferred under S. 50 of the Act in the Court of the District Judge, Mangalore one by the landlord against the order of the Munsiff dismissing his application against Dr. Zakharia (C. R. P. No. 76 of 1975) and another by Narasimha Bhakta (C. R. P. No. 18 of 1976) against the order of the Munsiff allowing the landlord's claim under CA. (p) of S. 21 (1). The District Judge allowed the landlord's revision against Dr. Zakharia in toto and dismissed Narasimha Bhakta's revision. It is these two orders that are being challenged in the two revisions preferred under S. 115 of the Civil P. C.

7. Considerable arguments were advanced by the learned Counsel as to the scope of a revision before the District Judge under S. 50 of the Act and of a revision in this Court under S. 115 of the Code. Learned counsel for the tenants submitted that the Dist. Judge has exceeded the revisional powers conferred on him under S. 50 of the Act and, therefore, his findings were vitiated. Learned Counsel appearing for the landlord on the other hand, argued that S. 50 of the Act cannot be equated with S. 115 of the Code and the revisional power of this Court under S. 115 is much more limited and circumscribed than the revisional powers conferred under S. 50 of the Act. In support of their contention re. the ambit and scope of S. 50 of the Act Counsel for the tenants placed strong reliance on two decisions of the Supreme Court and one of this Court. S. 50 of the Act consists of three sub-sections. Sub-s. (1) confers revisional powers on the High Court against orders passed in the rent control original proceedings commenced in the Courts of the Civil Judges. Subsection (2) confers revisional. powers on the District Judges against orders in rent control proceedings initiated in the Courts of Munsiffs. Jurisdiction to try rent control cases are conferred, by separate notification issued in this connection, both on Courts of Munsiffs and also on Courts of Civil Judges and Judges of the Small Cause Courts. Re. the ambit and scope of revisional powers both these sub-sections are, in terms, similar.

8. In Dattonpant Gopalvarao Devakate v. Vittal Rao Marutirao, : AIR1975SC1111 the Supreme Court observes that:

'Though the power conferred on the High Court under S. 50 is not as narrow as the revisional power of the High Court under S. 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure it is not wide enough to make the High Court a Second Court of first appeal.'

In Ramachandra Setty v. Rajalakshmi, (1978) 1 Kant LJ 201 this Court has observed that:

'Under S.50 of the Act the High Court will not be justified to scrutinise the evidence and assess the probative value as if sitting in appeal over the judgment of the trial Judge'. In Sri Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works v. Rangaswamy Chettiar : AIR1980SC1253 , one of the decisions relied upon by the learned counsel for the tenants, the Supreme Court was dealing with the scope of S. 25 of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. While construing the said provision, which appears to be analogous in terms to sub-sections (1) and (2) of S. 50 of the Act, the Supreme Court observes that (at p. 1255):

'Despite the wide language employed in S. 25, the High Court quite obviously should not interfere with findings of fact merely because it does not agree with the finding of the subordinate authority'. The Court has further observed that the t1power on the High Court under Section 25 was essentially a power of super intendance'. The learned Counsel for the landlord, on the other hand, argued that the decision of the Supreme Court dealing with S. 50 of the Act should be preferred to the decision in Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works case wherein the provision dealt with was provision not of 'the Act' but of the Tamil Nadu Act. He argued that in construing a provision of an enactment Courts normally take into consideration a total view of the Act, the intention of the legislature in making that law and the object it had to achieve and such other factors and therefore, it would be more appropriate, in the circumstances, to follow the decision of the Supreme Court directly dealing with the ambit and scope of S. 50 of the Act rather than the ratio enunciated in Sri Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works case. In this connection I am inclined to agree with the Counsel for the landlord. I have already referred to Dattopant's case. In an earlier decision In Central Tobacco Company, Bangalore v. Chandra Prakash, 1969 Ren CR 579, Construing S. 50 before its amendment, the Supreme Court has observed that the revisional powers conferred therein were 'couched in very wide terms'. After considering the various rulings touching this matter both of the Supreme Court and also of this Court, it is observed by this Court in M. K. Narayanappa. v. Geetha Stores (1980) 2 Kant LJ 347, that 'exercising its revisional powers under S. 50 of the Act it is open to the High Court to reappreciate the evidence and decide the case finally'. Of the decisions ref erred to in Narayanappa's case the decisions of the Supreme Court touching this matter and referred to above were also considered. In the circumstances, it is not possible to agree with the learned counsel for the tenants that the District Judge has exceeded his jurisdiction in dealing with the revisions referred to above.

9. At the same time it may be noted that there is no doubt that the powers of revision conferred under S. 115 of the Code on this Court are very much limited. Dealing with S. 48 of U P. Consolidation of Holdings Act (before amendment), which is in pari materia with S. 115 of the Code, the Supreme Court observes in Sher Singh v. Joint Director of Consolidation, AIR 1978 SC 1341 as follows:

'As the above section is in pari materia with S. 115 of the Civil P. C., it will be profitable to ascertain the scope of the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court. It is now well settled that the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court is confined to cases of illegal or irregular exercise or non-exercise or illegal assumption of the jurisdiction by the sub-ordinate Courts. If a subordinate Court is found to possess the jurisdiction to decide a matter, it cannot be said to exercise it illegally or with material irregularity even if it decides the matter wrongly. In other words, it is not open to the High Court while exercising its jurisdiction under S. 115 of the Civil P. C. to correct errors of fact howsoever gross or even errors of law unless the errors have relation to the jurisdiction of the Court to try the dispute itself'. (Para 6).

'The position that emerges from these decisions is that S. 115 of the Civil P. C. empowers the High Court to satisfy itself on three matters (a) that the order of the subordinate Court is within its jurisdiction; (b) that the case is one in which the Court ought to have exercised jurisdiction; or (c) that in exercising jurisdiction the Court has not acted illegally, that is, in breach of some provisions of law or with material irregularity by committing some error of procedure in the course of the trial which is material in that it may have affected the ultimate decision. And if the High Court is satisfied that there is no error in regard to any of these three matters, it has not power to interfere merely because it differs from the conclusions of the subordinate Court on questions of fact or law. A distinction must be drawn between the errors committed by subordinate Courts in deciding questions of law which have relation to or are concerned with, questions of jurisdiction of the said Courts, and errors of law which have no such relation or connection. An erroneous decision on a question of fact or of law reached by the subordinate Court which has no relation to question of jurisdiction of that Court, cannot be corrected by the High Court under S. 115'.

(Para-13).

In an earlier decision- D. L. F. Housing and Construction Co. (P.) Ltd. v. Sarup Singh, : [1970]2SCR368 the Supreme Court observes as follows:

'While exercising the jurisdiction under S. 115, it is not competent to the High Court to correct errors of fact however gross or even errors of law unless the said errors have relation to the jurisdiction of the Court to try the dispute itself. the words 'illegally' and 'with material irregularity' as used in Clause (c). do not cover either errors of fact or of law; they do not refer to the decision arrived at but merely to the manner in which it is reached. The errors contemplated by this clause may relate either to breach of some provision of law or to material defects of procedure affecting the ultimate decision, and not to errors either of fact or of law, after the prescribed formalities have been complied with'.

(Head Note. Para-8)

10. While dealing with them two revisions we are required to keep in view the law laid down by the Supreme Court as to the Scope of the revisional powers of this Court under S. 115 of the Code. It may be noted that the premises that was under the occupation of Sri Nayak and the premises in the occupation of Dr. Zakaria and Narasimha Bhakta adjoining each other to the right side of the premises under the occupation of the firm 'Adarsh'.

11. While dealing with Narasimha Bhakta's case the learned District Judge found another ground to dismiss his revision. it being that the premises was a non-residential one: had been taken on lease by Narasimha Bhakta's father, and that after his death, Narasimha Bhakta cannot claim to have inherited or succeeded to the lessees' interest his father had in the premises in question. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case the learned District Judge should riot have considered this ground at all. The facts bear out that the landlord had accepted Narasimha Bhakta as his tenant subsequent to the death of Narasimha Bhakta's father.

12. In Narasimha Bhakta's case the learned District Judge formulated four points for his decision, the first one touching the landlord's claim that the premises were reasonably and bona fide required for the use of the Adarsh textile business, the second one on the question of comparative hardship, the third one on the claim of the landlord that the tenant had acquired a suitable building, and the fourth point was on the validity of the notice terminating the leases. In view of the decision of the Supreme Court in V. Dhanapal Chettiar v. Yesodalamal, : [1980]1SCR334 , the last point formulated by the District Judge is not required to be gone into. On the three earlier points formulated by him his findings are in favour of the landlord.

13. In Dr. Zakaria's case the District Judge formulated three points, the first one concerning the claim of the landlord under Clause (h) of S. 21(1) of the Act, the 2nd one on the question of comparative hardship and the third one as to his claim that the tenant has acquired alternative suitable accommodation. Here also the findings have gone in favour of the landlord.

14. While attacking the findings of the District Judge on the first point what was argued by the teamed counsel for the tenants was that the requirement of the business of the firm, assuming is genuine, should not have been taken as the requirement of the landlord within the meaning of S. 21 (1) (h) of the Act, S. 21(1)(h) and (p) read as follows:

'21. Protection of Tenants against eviction- (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law or contract, no order or decree for the recovery of possession of any premises shall be made by any Court or other authority in favour of the landlord against the tenant :

Provided that the Court may on an application made to it, make an order for the recovery of possession of a premises on one or more of the following grounds only, namely: -

(a) to (g) ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... (h) that the premises are reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for occupation by himself or any person for whose benefit the premises are held or where the landlord is a trustee of a public charitable trust, that the premises are required for occupation for the purposes of the trust* or

(i) to (o) ...... ...... ...... ......(p) that the tenant whether before or after the coming into operation of this part has built, or acquired vacant possession of, or been allotted, a suitable building'.

15. In support of their contention that the requirement of the firm's business would not, in the instant case, be the requirements of the landlord, the learned counsel appearing for the tenant placed reliance on some of the decisions of the Supreme Court and of this Court. As is clear from the narration of the facts made above the landlord's case is that his wife, daughter-in-law, and other members of the family and relations are partners of the firm which is carrying on the textile business; that that business has been expanding over the years; that it requires additional accommodation, and that to provide additional accommodation to the said concern he requires possession of these premises. Admittedly the landlord is not a partner in the firm. We have to keep these facts in the background while appreciating the claim of the landlord, scope of C1, (h) of the Act and the ratio of the various decisions relied upon by the learned counsel on either side.

16. In Shantilal Thakordas v. Chimanlal Maganlal, : [1977]1SCR341 the landlord was a partner of a firm. He claimed possession of the premises on the ground that the same was required for the use of the firm of which he was a partner. He died in the meanwhile. A new Partnership came to be constituted. Though it consisted of some of his legal representatives, it did not include his wife and one of his minor sons was not admitted to the benefits of the firm. The Supreme Court did not specifically lay down that the landlord's claim for possession of the premises for the use of a firm of which he was a partner would be his requirement within the meaning of S. 13(1)(g) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947. It denied the claim mainly on the ground that in the new partnership a minor son of the landlord, who, perhaps, along with others succeeded to the landlord's interest (including the landlord's interest in the premises in question), had not been admitted to the benefits of that firm. The Court, while construing S. 13(1)(g) of the Bombay Act referred to above, also held that married daughters and children of the deceased daughter would be members of the family whose requirement would be the requirement of the landlord within the meaning of that provision. The observation of the Supreme Court may be noted :

'Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947, S. 13(1)(g)- Requirement of occupation by landlord himself - Continuation by Lrs Karnataka Rent Control Act, 1961, S. 21 (1) (h).

If the law permitted eviction of a tenant for the requirement of the landlord for occupation as residence for himself and members of his family, the requirement is both of the landlord and the members of his family. 0n his death the right to sue survives to the members of the family of the deceased landlord. : [1973]3SCR679 , Overruled.

Married daughters and children of a deceased daughter would be members of the family.

require : Whether the requirement of the premises by the landlord for occupation by the partnership firm in which he is a partner will be tantamount to occupation by himself. i. e., the landlord?

Assuming that the requirement of the premises for the use of a partnership firm by the landlord in which he is a partner, is covered by the statute, where on the death of the landlord, a new partnership was constituted in which a minor son of the landlord had not been admitted to the benefits of the partnership, it cannot be held to be a requirement of the minor son'. (Head Note)

17. In D. N. Sanghavi and Sons v. Ambalal Tribuvan Das, : [1974]3SCR55 , the Supreme Court was dealing with a case arising under S. 12 (1) (f) of the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act. 1961. Therein the Court has observed 'the landlord cannot claim possession of a leased premises on the ground that he required to accommodate his partnership business.' The Court has further observed at paras 9, 10 and 11 as follows :

'Therefore in a suit for ejectment on the ground of need for continuing 'his business' it is necessary for the landlord to prove that the accommodation is needed directly and substantially for his occupation for the purpose of continuing or starting his business. (Para-9).

Held on facts that merely because the landlord required the accommodation for his partnership business did not fulfil the conditions of S. 12 (1) (f). If the deed of partnership, which had not been, produced, had excluded him expressly or impliedly from the management of firm's business and had made him a sleeping partner, it could not be said that the accommodation was needed directly and substantially for his occupation by way of business'. (Paras 10, 11) (Head-Note).

18. In Shivayogappa Tambake V. Seethabai, (1979) 1 Kant LJ 129, a Division Bench of this Court, after considering the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court in both the above cited cases and approving an earlier decision of this Court, observed as follows :

'A landlord can seek eviction of the tenant under S. 21 (1) (h) from his nonresidential premises, if such premises are required for business of the firm of which he is a partner.

But if the landlord is merely a sleeping partner of the firm. then he cannot seek eviction of the tenant for the requirement of the firm'. (Head Note)

19. It may be noted that the facts in all the aforesaid cases are somewhat different from the facts of the case on band. In the instant case admittedly the landlord is not a partner. Therefore, it may be necessary for us to find out as to who are all the partners of the firm and how they are related to the landlord before examining the further questions that may arise for consideration in this connection.

20. In his evidence the landlord (P. W. 1) says like this :

'There is a firm by name 'Adarsh' which is being run by my wife, daughter-in law as partners along with brother's wife and my brother's wife and others'. He further says :

'Adarsh Brothers is a registered firm. It was started in 1965-66. It has seven partners, One of the partners is my wife Lalitha Bai. Another partner is the widow of Vanmalidas by name Pushpavath Damyanthi, Manoharlal cousin's wife is also a partner. Another partner is Arvind Kumar, my brother Vanmalidas's son, Another partner is Prafulla Pravinchand's wife, that is my brother Vamnalidas's daughter-in-law. My daughter-in-law Jyothi is also a partner. My nephew Sureshchandra Dwarkadas is also a partner'.

Then he says :

'The firm of Adarsh is not a tenant under me. It has been given to the firm free of rent. There has been no agreement between the firm of Adarsh and myself. I am also going to examine Sureshchandra Dwarkadas as a witness in the case. He is also a partner of the firm Adarsh. He is a nephew of mine'.

Then, in the end, in his evidence given on 21-8-1973 he says :

'I supervise overall management of Adarsh'.

Sureshchandra Dwarkadas, nephew of the landlord and said to be the managing partner of the firm gave evidence as P. W. 2. He has stated that the landlord management of was his grand uncle (his father's uncle) and that they have not been paying any rent to the landlord for occupying a portion of this building.

21. This close inter se relationship amongst the members of that firm and also between the partners of that firm and the owner of the building is not in dispute. It is also clear that though the building stands in the name of the landlord the firm is carrying on its business in a portion of this very building without paying any rent. Besides, there is evidence to the effect that the landlord's wife, daughter-in-law, nephew and other members are partners of the firm. The landlord has also stated that he is in overall supervision of the business of this firm. Though he is not shown as a partner in the firm, it cannot be denied that he does have real interest in the business of this firm and exercises considerable control over its affairs. Regard being had to this fact, if he seeks the premises and makes out a case that the need of the business required this additional accommodation, can it not be said that that requirement would be the requirement of the landlord himself within the meaning of S. 21 (1) (h) of the Act? In Shivayogappa Tambake's case, ((1979) 1 Kant LJ 129) this Court has already held that though a sleeping partner of a firm is not entitled to recover possession of a premises standing in his name for the use of that firm 'an active partner and (who) is fully engaged in the business of the firm' will 'be entitled, provided he establishes the bona fide nature and reasonableness of the claim. In that case the ratio of the decision of this Court in CRP No. 1678/73 that 'a landlord can obtain eviction of the tenant from his premises on the ground that his firm needs the same for its own business' is approved (See (1975) 1 Kant LJ (Short Notes) 117). These views emanate from the principle that the firm is not a separate entity or person in law 'but is merely an association of individuals' and that 'the firm name is only a collective name of those individuals who constitute the firm' as observed by the Supreme Court in Dulich and Lakshminarayan v. Commr. of Income-tax, Nagpur, : [1956]29ITR535(SC) . Viewed in this way can it be denied that the need of the firm is not of that of its partners who are none other than the wife, daughter-in-law. and cousins -members of the family - of the landlord himself. While considering the scope of S. 21 (1) (h), in several of its decisions, this Court has taken the view that in appropriate cases the need of the landlord extends to the need of his or her, wife or husband, as the case may be, and also the children and dependents. I may note these observations in K. Govindarajulu v. Savithramma, (1969) 1 Mys LJ 59.

'The requirement that is contemplated in S. 21 (1) (h) of the Act is not merely the requirement of the landlord or the landlady, but also the wife or the husband as the case may be and also the children and dependants. Thus, a landlady can claim possession of the leased premises for her husband (a retired doctor) and her daughter (a doctor) who were living with her, to run a nursing home'. (Head Note).

Govindarajulu's case was followed in Gopall v. Kuppuswamy, (1970) 2 Mys LJ 524. There is also no reason to construe that the wife and children, in a case like this, should be economically dependent on the husband or father as the case may be. Further, it was argued by the learned counsel for the tenants that a distinction is required to be drawn between residential accommodation of the members of the family and non-residential accommodation as in this case. I do not think that any such distinction can be drawn. The need for additional accommodation would be the need either in the case of residential or non-residential accommodation. In one case need is shelter and in the other of sustenance and livelihood.

21(a). The requirement and need of the landlord's wife and daughter-in-law, members of his own family, has to be construed, within the meaning of C1. (h) of S. 21 (1) of the Act, as the requirement of the landlord himself. In Mst Bega Begum v. Abdul Ahad Khan, : [1979]2SCR1 , the Supreme court was considering the case of a landlord arising under the Jammu & Kashmir Houses and Shops Rent Control Act (34 of 1966) for self-occupation of a non-residential premises. Under S. 11(1)(h) of that Act the landlord had to prove that the premises was required by him 'for his own occupation or for the occupation of any person for whose benefit the house or shop is held'. While examining the scope of this clause the Court observes at para-16 (in the end) that 'the section is wide enough to include the necessity of not only the landlord but also of the persons who are living with him as members of the same family'. In the Karnataka Act in C1 (h) the landlord has to show that he requires the building 'for occupation by himself or any person for whose benefit the premises is held or where the landlord is a trustee of -a public charitable trust, that the premises is required for occupation for the purposes of the trust'. If in the Jammu & Kashmir Act it is 'for his own occupation', under the Karnataka Act it is 'for occupation by himself'. The distinction, if any, in the words used can make no difference. They are almost analogous in terms.

21(b). At the same time we need not forget that while examining such needs the bona fide nature of the claim and the reasonableness of the same will have to be kept in view. They should be considered with the same care and caution as in the case of owner's personal claim.

22. After examining the facts and circumstances of the case before him the learned District Judge, in the two revisions referred to above, has come to the conclusion that the evidence had conclusively proved that the business of the firm 'Adarsh' needed additional accommodation for keeping more stocks, displaying the goods, and catering to the needs of the customers. It may not be appropriate for this Court to go behind that finding while examining the matter exercising its revisional powers. So also on the question of comparative hardship. The finding of the learned District Judge is that in case the request of the landlord for self-occupation of these premises is not allowed he would be put to greater hardship than the tenants if his claim is allowed. The District Judge has taken into consideration while examining this aspect, the evidence placed by both the sides including the financial and economic status of these tenants. They are not -poor and helpless people. One is a Medical Practitioner of repute and the other (Narasimha Bhakta) is a fairly big trader having his interest in several businesses. While examining the needs of the landlord in a case like this a total view of all these facts is required to be taken note of while examining the aims and objects of several Rent Control Laws in operation in different States the Supreme Court observes in v. Dhanapal Chettiar's (AIR 1970 SC 1745) (at para-15) as follows.

'It should be remembered, as we have said above, that the field of freedom of contract was encroached upon to a very large extent by the State Rent Acts. The encroachment was not entirely and wholly one-sided. Some encroachment was envisaged in the interest of the landlord also and equity of justice demanded a fair play on the part of the legislature not to completely ignore the helpless situation of many landlords who are also, compared to big tenants, sometimes weaker sections of the society'.

The observations of the Supreme Court referred to above are taken note of not to say that the landlord is poorer than the tenants but to emphasise the need to take into consideration the economic status of the tenants also while examining the claim of the landlord for self occupation of the premises.

23. Re, the claim of the landlord under Clause (p) of Section 21 (1) of the Act the finding of the District Judge is that the tenants do have suitable alternative accommodation. It is possible, if a closer scrutiny of evidence from a different angle is made one can persuade oneself, to take a different view from the one taken by the learned District Judge in this respect. But, sitting in revision under S. 115 of the Code, I feel that it may not be appropriate to do so. While examining the need of the landlord the District Judge has taken the view that he deserves the premises involved in both these petitions for the purpose for which he wants. In view of this finding the question of partial eviction is not considered. Besides this, in the light of my approval of the findings of the District Judge on the claim of the landlord under Clause (p), this question does not arise at all.

24. Thus, after examining all aspects of the matter, I am of the view that these are not fit cases for interference by this Court.

25. Therefore, both these revision petitions are dismissed. The tenants are granted time till the end of January, 1982 to vacate and hand over vacant possession of the premises in their respective occupation to the landlord.

26. Parties are directed to bear their own costs.

27. Petitions dismissed.


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