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T. Vamana Kini and Etc. Vs. U. Ramachandra Pai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petns. Nos. 294 and 347 of 1978
Judge
Reported inILR1984KAR379
ActsKarnataka Rent Control Act, 1961 - Sections 5, 6, 11, 21, 21(1), 21A and 25
AppellantT. Vamana Kini and Etc.
RespondentU. Ramachandra Pai
Appellant AdvocateB.V. Acharya, Adv.
Respondent AdvocatePadubidri Raghavendra Rao, Adv.
Excerpt:
- land acquisition act (1 of 1894)sections 18(1) & (3): application under section 18(1) - not being satisfied with the award passed by petitioner, respondent herein has filed an application under section 18(1) of the land acquisition act, 1894, seeking enhancement of compensation. since petitioner did not refer the matter seeking reference to the jurisdictional reference court, respondent was constrained to file application under section 18(3) (b) of the land acquisition act. along with an application under section 5 of the limitation act, 1963, for condonation of delay of two years eleven months. additional civil judge (senior division), bijapur, has allowed the said application filed by respondent and directed the petitioner to refer the petition along with the relevant documents to.....nesargi, j.1. these petitions have been placed before this bench for final disposal on an order of reference made by a learned single judge of this court on 31-1-1984.2. the question of law that is the basis of this reference is, the effect of s. 11 of the karnataka rent control act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the. act) on a proceeding instituted by a landlord of a premises under cl. (h) of the proviso to s. 21(l) of the act, seeking for eviction of a tenant residing in the said premises, making out a case that the landlord reasonably and bona fide required the premises for occupation by himself for the purpose of using the same as nonresidential premises.3. these two revision petitions have arisen out of the common order dt.10-101977 passed by the district judge, dakshina kannada,.....
Judgment:

Nesargi, J.

1. These petitions have been placed before this Bench for final disposal on an order of reference made by a learned single Judge of this Court on 31-1-1984.

2. The question of law that is the basis of this reference is, the effect of S. 11 of the Karnataka Rent Control Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the. Act) on a proceeding instituted by a landlord of a premises under Cl. (h) of the proviso to S. 21(l) of the Act, seeking for eviction of a tenant residing in the said premises, making out a case that the landlord reasonably and bona fide required the premises for occupation by himself for the purpose of using the same as nonresidential premises.

3. These two revision petitions have arisen out of the common order dt.10-101977 passed by the District Judge, Dakshina Kannada, Mangalore, in C. R. Ps. Nos. 79 and 76 of 1977 respectively. The petitioners herein were the petitioners before the District Judge. They had filed the said revision petitions against the orders dt.30-6-1977 passed by the Principal Munsiff, Udupi, in HRC No. 24 of 1974 and HRC No. 5 of 1972 respectively.

4. The undisputed facts are that the respondent-landlord owns the schedule premises and one other premises in which one Sri U. Raghavendra Krishna Bhat was residing as a tenant. The landlord filed HRC No. 3 of 1972 against Raghavendra Krishna Bhat, HRC No. 5 of 1972 against A. Suresh Kini and HRC No. 24 of 1974 against T. Vamana Kini, for eviction on the averments that he reasonably and bona fide required the schedule premises for occupation by himself as he and another person had under an agreement dt.28-10-1970 entered into a partnership styled as 'R. R. Enterprises' for manufacturing besides and marketing the same. The 21 landlord succeeded in all these petitions 25 and the tenants, namely, the present 13 petitioners and Raghavendra Krishna Bhat 10 filed the revision petitions under S. 50 of 10 the Act in the Court of the District Judge, Dakshina Kannada, Mangalore. It is stated before us that U. Raghavendra Krishna Bhat also filed a revision petition under S. 115 of the Civil PC in CRP No. 348 of 1978 which came to be dismissed on 13-11984. It is in these circumstances that these two revision petitions filed under S. 115, CPC have come up for disposal.

5. Admittedly, the landlord is the owner of the schedule premises. He has another premises in Car Street where he is running his cigarette business. That premises measures 22 ft x 24 ft ground floor and 22ft. X 15 ft. first floor. He has another premises which he has, on 1-8-1977, let out to one Umesh Prabhu on a monthly rental of Rs.600/-. The petitioners are tenants in the schedule premises, residing therein. The landlord has sought for eviction of the petitioners making out a case that he reasonably and bona fide required the schedule premises for occupation by him self to run the partnership business by putting the schedule premises to non-residential use.

6. The contentions of the petitioners are similar. Their substantial contention is that the landlord has made out a case of having entered into partnership with another person only with the ulterior oblique motive of getting them evicted as he failed in his attempt to secure higher rental from them. What was the contention of U. Raghavendra Krishna Bhat need not, in our opinion, be gone into in these matters.

7. As these petitions have been filed under S. 115, CPC, the scope of these petitions is limited.

8. Sri B. V. Acharya learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioners, urged that the orders of the two Courts below are vitiated because of wrong approach to the evidence and material relied upon by the parties, N misreading of Exhibits P-12 to P-16; (c) requirement of the firm for occupation is not that of the landlord, and (d) non-consideration of material evidence available in the cross examination of the landlord in regard to the alleged partnership firm styled as R. R. Enterprises.

9. We will proceed to examine these aspects in the first instance and deal with the question of law pertaining to S.11 of the Act at an appropriate stage while dealing with these aspects.

10. Sri B. V. Acharya pointed out that the two Courts below have proceeded on the basis of a presumption supposed to be available in favour of the landlord. When such a landlord approaches a Court with a prayer for eviction of the tenant, the presumption being that the request of such a landlord should be presumed to be bona fide. He pointed out that the two Courts below have placed reliance on the decisions in R. R. Paint Industries (India) P. Ltd. v. Rahamathunisa Begum (1968) 1 Mys LJ 453and Cherilal K. Wadhva v. A. Chandrasekharaiah (1969) 2 Mys LJ 564. We are unable to agree with this contention of Sri B. V. Acharya simply because these decisions have been cited by the two Courts below. We find from the discussion in the orders of the two Courts below that undue burden is not placed on the petitioners to rebut the presumption. What is enunciated in the said decisions has been stated by the two Courts below in their orders. The evidence of the landlord and the evidence of the tenants coupled with the material, documentary and circumstantial evidence have been narrated, analysed and appreciated by the two Courts below. It is in this connection that the two Courts below have adverted to the affricated decisions. The evidence of the landlord is very much supported by Ext. P-10 the deed of partnership dt. 28-10-1970. It is an undisputed fact that the landlord is already in tobacco business being a cigarette merchant having his shop in Car Street. It is available in his evidence that the partnership has been getting besides rolled and also has been in the marketing of the besides. It is nextly available in the evidence that the partner of the landlord has been taking sub contracts from manufacturers for supplying beedies to those firms. Therefore, it is plain that not only the landlord but his partner also have been in this beedies business even prior to their entering into partnership agreement as per Ext. P-10. When that so, the contention of the petitioners as highlighted by Sri B. V. Acharya that the partnership is a bogus partnership got, up only with the idea of getting evicted the petitioners from the schedule premises does not appear to be sound. Sri Acharya referred us to the cross-examination portion of the evidence of the landlord and argued that even according to the landlord the partnership, account was opened in the Car Street Branch of the Syndicate Bank, but his partner has not invested any capital and that there were no accounts available with them for having conducted the partnership business. He argued on this basis that the two Courts below have not at all taken this material into consideration while dealing with the contention of the petitioner that the partnership is a bogus partnership. We are clearly of opinion that even if this material is taken into consideration, it is not at all - possible to come to the conclusion that the partnership set out by the landlord is a bogus one particularly when his partner has not invested any capital so as to enable this partner, namely, the landlord to come out with a case that he had sufficient funds to re model the schedule premises as per the plan submitted by him to the Municipality.

11. This takes us to the argument of Sri Acharya that the findings of the two Courts below are vitiated in view of misreading of Exs. P-12 to P-16. Exhibits P12 to P-16 are, letters, plan etc., submitted by the landlord to the Municipality praying for sanction for construction of a building in place of the schedule premises. One of the said documents is a challan for having credited licence fee. It is seen from the order of the learned District Judge that he has proceeded on the assumption that the plan submitted by the landlord had been sanctioned after overruling the objections put forth by the tenants as per Exs. P-17 to P-28. This assumption, as pointed out by Sri B. V. Acharya from the evidence of the landlord, is clearly an error committed by the learned District Judge. The landlord has admitted in his cross-examination that he had not received any reply from the Municipality for his request to sanction the plan and that the tenants have objected to the grant of licence in his favour. Even then, we are unable to appreciate the contention of Sri Acharya that this approach made by the two Courts below vitiates the conclusion. This material has been produced by the landlord to satisfy the Courts below about his bona fides in seeking eviction. The fact that he has taken steps in getting the plan prepared and applying for sanction to the extent that the Municipality has entertained the objections of the tenants also and the further fact that he has credited the licence fee also go to establish that he had pursued the matter quite sincerely and that too to the extent that he could do according to the provisions of law. If the Municipality has not yet considered his request, no blame can be put at his door. Therefore, the wrong assumption made by the learned District Judge and may be by the trial Court also cannot, in law affect the conclusion. In regard to the bona fides of the landlord. We hold that the landlord has satisfactorily established that he has bona fide pursued the matter and his requirement is bona fide.

12. We now proceed to consider whether the landlord has satisfied the Courts below that his requirement is reasonable also. On facts, the two Courts below have concluded in his favour after, as already narrated by us, narrating, analysing, appreciating and weighing the evidence both documentary and oral and the circumstances available in these cases. It is in this connection that the last argument of Sri B. V. Acharya based on non-consideration of material evidence regarding partnership can appropriately be gone into. As already pointed out, the landlord has admitted in his cross examination that the partnership ran for 8 months, but there are no accounts available and that his partner has not invested any capital. This attack by the tenants is only to show to the Court that the landlord has come forward with his request for the relief having an oblique motive in his mind and therefore his requirement is not reasonable. It is only on this question of requirement being reasonable or not that the impact of S. 11 of the Act on the proceedings under S. 21 of the Act, as referred to by the learned single Judge to this Division Bench, arises.

13. Sri B. V. Acharya argued that even according to the cage of the landlord, the requirement for occupation is of the firm R. R. Enterprises of which he is the managing partner and therefore occupation required is not for himself and as such Cl. (h) of the proviso to S. 21(l) of the Act would not be applicable. It has been already shown that the landlord and another have entered into a valid partnership, which was attacked by the petitioners-ten ants as a bogus one and that attack has been repelled. The landlord is the managing partner. He is not a sleeping partner. The other partner has not yet invested any capital. The partnership firm did business at least for 8 months after having opened an account in the Branch of the Syndicate Bank situated in Car Street. Evidence pertaining to that account has been produced. Now it is to be seen, under these circumstances, whether the landlord is entitled to claim eviction pursuant to the provision in Cl. (h) of S. 210) of the Act. In CRP No. 1678 of 1973, disposed of on 10-7-1974 (K.Vishwanathappa v. S. Onkarappa) this Court has held, adverting to the decision of the Supreme Court in Murlidhar v. Chuni Lal, 1970 Ren CJ 922 that a firm is not a legal entity, but is only a compendious way of describing the partners thereof and therefore occupation by a firm is only occupation by its partners, that the ingredients of Cl. (h) of S. 210) of the Act would be applicable. This decision has been approved and followed by a Division Bench of this Court in Shivayogeppa Tambake v. Seetabai (1979) 1 Kant LJ 129. It has been held therein that a landlord can seek eviction of the tenant under S. 21(l)(h) from his nonresidential premises, if such premises are required for the business of the firm of which he is a partner. This position in law is reiterated in the decision in Narasimha Bhakta v. Jayanthilal Gokuldas, : AIR1982Kant128 . No reasoning worthy of acceptance has been put before us to make us differ from the principle laid down in these decisions particularly the one rendered by the Division Bench of this Court. Therefore, we reject this contention.

14. This takes us to the question of law revolving round Ss. 11, 21 and some other provisions in the Act. Section 21 appears in Part V of the Act. Part V of the Act deals with 'Control of eviction of tenants and obligations of landlords'. It is in this part only that S. 21 A has been inserted by Act No. 66 of 1976. That Section deals with 'Vacation of residential building in certain cases'.

15. Section 21 of the Act commences with the non obstante clause, so far as is relevant, reading as follows:

'21(l). Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law .......' (underlining is ours)

16. Section 2lAof the Act commences with the non obstante clause reading as follows:

'21A(l). Notwithstanding anything in this Act, on and from the date of coming into force of this section ...' (underlining is ours)

17. As both these sections deal with eviction of tenants, namely, control of eviction of tenants, it is plain that they deal with the same subject, power to be exercised under S.21A is with the Controller, while the jurisdiction under S.21 vests with the Civil Court. Section 21A provides for summary enquiry and eviction of a tenant. S. 21 provides for enquiry, which is also in legal parlance considered as summary but to be held by a Civil Court by following procedure applicable to small cause suits. In Bangalore metropolitan area it is the Court of Small Causes that is vested with this jurisdiction. In view of the affricated two non obstante clauses, it is manifest that S.21A operates by itself despite S. 21 being in the statute. In other words, only the Rent Controller has the jurisdiction and power to evict a tenant provided the ingredients of S. 21A of the Act are satisfied and a landlord is precluded from approaching the ordinary Civil Court under S. 21 of the Act. In other words, S. 21 A is entitled to precedence over S. 21 though the ingredients and the provisions are different. This reasoning flows from the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in the decision in B. Mohanbhai v. M. S. U. Mandir : [1976]1SCR411 while considering the non obstante clause in S. 13 of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act (57 of 1947) (as applicable to Gujarat).

18. Section 11 is available in Part II of the Act. Part II deals with 'Lease of Buildings'. Part II consists of Ss. 4 to 13 both inclusive. Part II in general deals with actions of the Controller and the power exercised by the Controller. Section 4 provides for intimation of vacancy by landlords. It is to be noted here that it is provided in S. 4(2) of the Act that no such intimation is, in law, necessary to be made by a landlord who has obtained an order of eviction under Cl. (h) of the proviso to S. 21(l) of the Act. In other words, an order passed by a Court after holding an enquiry under S. 21 and that too Cl. (h) of the proviso is expressly taken out of the jurisdiction of the Controller. What is to be done after vacancy is intimated under S. 4, is found in Ss. 5, 6 and 8. Section 5 vests the power of making allotment of such vacant building in the Rent Controller. Section 6 provides for some priority to be given by the Controller while allotting vacant buildings to the landlord and remaining buildings to a public authority. Section 8 is the procedure to be followed by the Controller before ordering leasing of any building for a public authority or other person. It is, when such a notification is issued by a Controller under S. 8 that persons intending to be tenants of residential buildings or non-residential buildings, are required to file their applications in the prescribed form to the Controller who will pass an order of allotment and which order will have the effect as provided in S. 10 of the Act.

19. Section 11 of the Act reads as follows:

11. Conversion of residential building: - (1) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, no residential building shall be converted into a non-residential building except with the permission in writing of the Controller.

(2) If the Controller does not within sixty days from the date of receipt of an application for permission under sub-sec. (1), pass any order on the application, he shall be deemed to have granted the permission applied for.

(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-sec. (1) shall, on conviction, be punished with fine, which may extend to five hundred rupees.

Plain reading of this section makes out that there is no reference to any proceeding under S. 21 or any other provisions in this Act. The section does not commence with a non obstante clause. On the other hand, it commences with the saving clause which is worded as follows: 'Save as otherwise provided in this Act'. This saving clause has to operate only in regard to the subject of conversion of a residential building into a non-residential building. We have to observe that what is a residential building and what is a non- residential building are not defined in the Act. The only other provision, which relates to conversion of a building from residential into non-residential or nonresidential into residential, is in S. 6 of the Act. Therefore, we conclude that the saving clause appearing in S. 11 of the Act, as excerpted above, applies only to S. 6 of the Act and to no other section.

20. Sri B. V. Acharya argued vehemently taking support from the decision of the Supreme Court in B. Mohanbhai v. M. S. U. Mandir, : [1976]1SCR411 that permission under S. 11of the Act has to be obtained in accordance with the therein before a residential is converted into a, non-residential premises and therefore a landlord cannot, in law, proceed under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act without obtaining such permission as, in case, the Court orders eviction, that order would be against the statutory provision in S. 11. In fact, it is this line of reasoning that appears to have appealed to the learned single Judge who has passed the order of reference. In Mohanbhai's case S. 13(l)(g) and S. 25 of the Bombay Rents Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act (as applicable to Gujarat) (hereinafter referred to as the Bombay Act) came up for consideration. S. 13(l) of the Bombay Act commences with a non obstante clause as follows

'13(l) Not with standing anything contained in this Act but subject to the provisions of S. 15.'

Section 25 of the Bombay Act totally prohibits conversion of residential premises into non-residential premises and makes it an offence. The Supreme Court held that S. 13(l) is supreme and is entitled to precedence over all other sections except S. 15 which is mentioned in S. 13 and therefore it would be wrong to approach the question as to whether S. 25 overrides S. 13 or S. 13 overrides S. 25. The Supreme Court further on held that as the very case of the concerned landlord ran into the teeth of S. 25 the requirement made out by him for occupation by himself cannot be considered as reasonable. As we understand, the principle laid down is that when it is the declared intention of the landlord that he is going to commit an offence and to do that he wants to occupy the premises it is evident that such requirement cannot be considered as reasonable requirement. Similar would be the situation even under the provisions of ' our Act. If, for example, a landlord comes to a Court under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act praying for eviction of a tenant for occupation of a premises by himself and putting forth his requirement as for the purpose of converting the premises into a non-residential one to run a gambling-den, it will have to be held that his requirement is not reasonable as, he, on his own showing, wants to commit an offence. Therefore, there being no provision similar to S. 25 of the Bombay Act in our Act does not make any material distinction or difference. Section 11 does not totally prohibit conversion of residential premises into non-residential premises. As already pointed out, it does not even make mention of S. 21 of the Act. The power to be exercised under S. 11 vests with the Controller. That operates in a separate field covered by Part 11 of the Act. S.21 operates in another field covered by Part V of the Act. The consequences that follow if a landlord does not comply with the order under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act are narrated in S. 25 of the Act which Also is in Part V. Section 25 of the Act reads as follows:

25. Recovery of possession for occupation and re-entry :- (1) Where a decree for eviction has been passed by the Court on the ground specified in Cl. (h) of the proviso to sub-see. (1) of S. 21 and the premises are not occupied within a period of three months from the date the landlord recovers possession, or the premises are re-let within one year of the said date to any person other than the original tenant, the Court may, on the application of the original tenant made within thirteen months of such date, order the landlord to place such tenant in occupation of the premises on the original terms and conditions, and on such order being made, the landlord and any person who may be in occupation of the premises shall give vacant possession to the original tenant.

(2) Any landlord who recovers possession on the ground specified in Cl. (h) of the proviso to sub-sec. (1) of S. 21, and keeps the premises unoccupied without reasonable excuse for a period of three months from the date he recovered possession and any landlord or other person in occupation of the premises who fails to comply with the order of the Court under sub-sec. (1) shall on conviction, be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.

Reading of this section makes it manifest that no consequence in law follows if a landlord after securing an order under S. 21 (1)(h) of the Act on the ground that he reasonably and bona fide required the same for occupation by himself as he intends to convert into non-residential premises if such landlord after occupying the premises does not convert the residential premises into non-residential premises. Section 11 of the Act does not provide any period for conversion of residential premises into non-residential premises even after taking permission from the Controller. There is no provision akin to those available in Ss. 26 and 27 which operate when Cl. (j) of the proviso to S. 2 1 (1) of the Act is put into application by a landlord filing an application for eviction, applicable to Cl. (h) of the proviso to S. 2 1 (1) of the Act. Therefore, if a tenant fails to satisfy a Court that the claim of a landlord for eviction on the ground that he requires a premises reasonably and bona fide to run a business after converting the residential premises into non-residential premises, is tainted by oblique motive, then there would be no impediment in the way of a landlord incurring relief under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act when the purpose for eviction is put forward by a landlord on this ground.

21. In the decision in Peera Saheb v. K. Balachandra Rao (1971) 2 Mys U 113 -(AIR 1972 Mys 14) a learned single Judge of this Court has held that where the landlord wants to use for his nonresidential purpose his premises occupied by the tenant for his residence, it is not a condition precedent for granting a decree for eviction that the landlord should obtain the permission of the Controller for conversion to non-residential use under S.11 of the Act. Further on it is held that if the landlord obtains such permission after the decree for eviction but before he occupies the premises, there will be sufficient compliance with the requirement of S. 11. This decision has been followed in a later decision of this Court rendered by another learned single Judge in Raghavendra v. Maratha Co-operative Bank f 1977) 1 Kant U 382.

22. On the principle of law that S. 11 is not an impediment in the way of a landlord praying for relief of eviction on such a ground under S. 21 (1)(h) if the Act, we entirely agree with the reasoning in the affricated decisions. Whether a landlord has to secure permission under S.11 before occupying the premises as observed in Peera Saheb's case is, in our opinion, to be examined. Similarly, the observation in Raghavendra's case that by securing a decree under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act, a landlord gets no authority to occupy the premises and use it for non-residential purpose without written permission from the Controller, also is to be examined.

23. Section 21(1) Proviso (h) of the Act reads 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 recovery of possession of a premises on one or more of the following grounds only, namely: -

**** **** **** ****

(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 (underlining is ours)

**** **** **** ****

24. Section 21(4) of the Act reads as follows:

'21(4) No decree for eviction shall be passed on the ground specified in CL (h) of the proviso to sub-sec. (1) if the Court is satisfied that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the question whether other reasonable accommodation is available for the landlord or the tenant, greater hardship would be caused by passing the decree than by refusing to pass it.

If the Court is satisfied that no hardship would be caused either to the tenant or to the landlord by passing the decree in respect of a part of the premises, the Court shall pass the decree in respect of such part only.'

25. A landlord in order to succeed under Cl. (h) has to satisfy the Court that he reasonably and bona fide required the schedule premises for occupation by him self. In other words, the requirement of the landlord is to be reasonable and bona fide. It is from that point of view that the Court has to examine the case of a landlord. What is further to be considered on this aspect is made clear by a Division Bench of this Court in the decision in T. N. Shankara Rao v. S. A. Wajid ((1971) 2 Mys U 29). It is laid down as follows:

'The Court has to decide that the landlord's need was reasonable and bona fide after an objective assessment of the evidence in the case. The Court before deciding whether the landlord reasonably and bona fide requires the premises for his own use and occupation should take into account all relevant circumstances as they exist at the time of the hearing of the case.

If the Court comes to the conclusion that the requirement of the landlord is reasonable and bona fide, then it should proceed to examine the case in the light of S. 21M of the Act and determine whether' greater hardship would be caused by passing a decree than by refusing to pass a decree.'

Therefore, the Court has to consider the case of the landlord objectively to find out whither he has established that his requirement for occupation by himself is reasonable and bona fide and thereafter proceed to consider whether it would be, in view of S. 21M of the Act, reasonable on the part of the Court to order eviction in favour of the landlord. Though we have held that S. 11 does not operate as a bar to institute and continue a proceeding under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act, under such circumstances, that is, where a landlord seeks eviction of a tenant from the residential premises for the purpose of occupying it himself and putting the same for non-residential use. Absence or existence of permission under S.11 of the Act may be under the facts and circumstances of each case a relevant circumstance for being taken into consideration to decide whether the requirement of the landlord is reasonable and bona fide. It follows that this circumstance will have to be assessed along with other evidence, material and circumstances available in such a given case. This position is further strengthened by the fact that we have already noticed, that all that the landlord secured by an order under S. 21(l)(h) of the Act is a decree permitting him to occupy the premises, The provisions of S. 25, which have been already adverted to, do not entail any consequence if the landlord fails to comply with the avowed purpose that he has put before the Court while securing a decree for eviction. It has been already noticed that no period has been statutorily fixed either in S. 11 of the Act or in any other provisions of the Act requiring a landlord to secure permission from a Controller within that period. Therefore, it will have to be held that a landlord who obtains such a decree can, in law, have every right to occupy the premises and thereafter whenever he finds it appropriate, depending on the circumstances prevailing, to convert and use the residential premises into non-residential premises. He may, if the law requires it to be so, secure permission from the Controller under S.11 of the Act. We hereby make it clear that we are not going into the question as to whether a landlord, who secures a decree for eviction under Cl. (h) of the proviso to S. 21(l) for the purpose under consideration, has to obtain permission of the Controller under S. 11. We disagree with that part of the observations made in the affricated two decisions of this Court that a landlord has to secure permission of the Controller under S. 11 before occupying the premises. It is, in our opinion, appropriate to advert to one of the arguments of the learned Advocate for the petitioners. It was argued that a landlord who secures an order of eviction under S. 21.0)(h) of the Act, putting forth his requirement on the basis of converting a residential premises occupied by a tenant into a non-residential premises is not, in law, required to approach the Controller for permission under S.11 of the Act. In view of what we have reasoned and concluded earlier, we do not propose to deal with this aspect of law, as we are not called upon to do so in these cases. It is left open.

26. It was also argued that a landlord cannot in law succeed in securing an order of eviction, in such cases, unless he produces the permission granted by the Controller under S. 11 for converting a residential premises into non-residential premises. We are not much impressed by this argument because even when a landlord produces permission, a Court will have to independently hold that his request is reasonable and bona fide. Such permission will be one of, the circumstances to be assessed by the Court along with other evidence available. This aspect and the other aspect of non-existence of such permission have been already considered by us in one of the preceding paragraphs. Hence, we reject this argument.

27. In these petitions it is seen that the partnership agreement is dt. 28-10-1970. HRC No.5 of 1972 which has given rise to CRP No. 347 of 1978 was instituted in the year 1972. These revision petitions have been pending in this Court since 1979. The business that the respondent-landlord and his partner intended to commence and pursued seriously ran only for 8'months according to the evidence and could not run, presumably because of want of suitable accommodation. These are facts to be taken into consideration in deciding whether it would be reasonable to pass an order of eviction bearing in mind the provisions of S. 21(4) of the Act. The two Courts below have held that in favour of the landlord. We have no reason to disagree with that reasoning particularly in exercise of our powers under S. 115 of the Civil PC. But, at the same time, we are clearly of opinion that some reasonable time will have to be granted to the petitioners for handing over vacant possession of the schedule premises to the respondent-landlord. We consider it just to grant them time till the end of December 1984 to hand over vacant possession of the schedule premises to the respondent landlord on condition that each of the petitioners in these cases continues to pay the monthly rental as and when it accrues. We order accordingly. These revision petitions are dismissed. No costs.

28. Immediately after the dictation of this order Sri B. V. Acharya, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioners, orally prayed for issue of a certificate of fitness to appeal to the Supreme Court.

29. We do not consider that these cases involve substantial question of law of general importance and in our opinion that such question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. Hence we reject his request.

30. Petitions dismissed.


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