1. This is a petition under Section 22 of the Andhra Pradesh Buildings ( Lease, Rent and Eviction ) Control Act, 1960, hereinafter referred to as the Act seeking to revise the order of the learned District Judge, Adilabad in C. M. A. No. 18 of 1969.
2. The petitioner herein is the tenant of the respondent-landlady. The respondent filed O. P. No. 1/1968 on the file of the Rent Controller, Nirmal on 2-2-1968 under Section 12 of the Act for recovery of possession of the premises leased out to the petitioner for the purpose of repair and reconstruction. The respondent subsequently filed O. P. No. 2/1968 on 15-10-1968 for eviction of the petitioner from the suit premises under Section 10 (2) (i) of the Act on the ground that he committed wilful default in payment of rent from February 1968 to September 1968. O. P. No. 1/1968 was allowed and an appeal to the District Judge and revision to this Court were unsuccessful. Finally, the landlady took possession of the premises on 7-8-71. The Rent Controller dismissed O. P. No. 2/68 on 21-3-1969 holding that there was no wilful default in payment of the rent. The respondent preferred an appeal to the District Judge. The learned District Judge, on a consideration of evidence and the surrounding circumstances in the case, held that the petitioner committed wilful default in payment of rent and ordered eviction of the petitioner from the suit premises on 13-3-1972. The petitioner has now preferred this revision petition.
3. The first contention before me on behalf of the petitioner was that an order of eviction cannot be passed again under Section 10 of the Act as the petitioner has handed over possession of the premises in pursuance of the order passed in O. P. No. 1/68 filed under Section 12 of the Act. Before I proceed to consider this contention, it is necessary to read Sections 10 and 12 of the Act. The relevant portion of Section 10 which deals with eviction of tenant reads as follows :--
Section 10 (1) : A tenant shall not be evicted whether in execution of a decree or otherwise except in accordance with the provisions of this section or Sections 12 and 13 :
Provided that where the tenant denies the title of the landlord or claims right of permanent tenancy, the Controller shall decide whether the denial or claim is bona fide and if he records a finding to that effect, the landlord shall be entitled to sue for eviction of the tenant in a Civil Court and the Court may pass a decree for eviction on any of the grounds mentioned in the said Sections, notwithstanding that the Court finds that such denial does not involve forfeiture of the lease or that the claim is unfounded. 2. A landlord who seeks to evict his tenant shall apply to the Controller for a direction in that behalf. If the Controller, after giving the tenant a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the application, is satisfied.
(i) that the tenant has not paid or rendered the rent due by him in respect of the building within fifteen days after the expiry of the time fixed in the agreement of tenancy with his landlord or in the absence of any such agreement, by the last day of the month next following that for which the rent is payable, or xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx the Controller shall make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building and if the Controller is not so satisfied, he shall make an order rejecting the application :
Provided that in any case failing under clause (i) if the Controller is satisfied that the tenant's default to pay or tender rent was not wilful, he may notwithstanding anything in Section 11, give the tenant a reasonable time not exceeding fifteen days, to pay or tender the rent due by him to the landlord upto the date of such payment or tender and on such payment or tender, the application shall be rejected.
4. Section 12 which deals with recovery of possession by landlord for repairs, alterations or additions or for reconsideration is as follows :
Section 12 (I) : 'Notwithstanding anything in this Act on an application made by a landlord the Controller may if he is satisfied.
(a) that the building is reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for carrying out repairs, alterations or additions which cannot be carried out without the building being vacated; or
(b) that the building consists of not more than two floors is reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for the immediate purpose of demolishing it and such demolition is to be made for the purpose of erecting a new building on the site of the building sought to be demolished, pass an order directing the tenant to delivery possession of the building to the landlord before a specified dated.
2. No order for recovery of possession under this section shall be passed unless the landlord gives an undertaking that the building on completion of the repairs, alterations, or additions or the new building on its completion will be offered to the tenant who delivered possession in pursuance of an order under sub-section (a) for his re-occupation before the expiry of such period as may be specified by the Controller in this behalf.
3. In case the tenant to whom the building or the new building, as the case may be is offered under sub-section (2) by the landlord does not want to occupy it the landlord shall give notice of vacancy in writing to the authorised officer under sub-section (1) of Section 3.
4. Nothing in this Section shall entitle the landlord who has recovered possession of the building for repairs, alterations or additions or for reconstruction to convert a residential building into a non-residential building or a non-residential building into a residential building unless such conversion (is) permitted by the Controller at the time of passing an order under sub-section (1)'.
5. A plain reading of Section 10 (2) (I) will show that the eviction of tenant must inevitably follow if he is found to have committed wilful default in payment of rent. Section 12 on the other hand, deals only with recovery of possession by landlord for repairs, alterations or additions or for reconstruction. This recovery of possession is only for a limited purpose of carrying out the repairs, alterations, or additions to the building and this order under sub-section (1) is only passed on the under taking given under sub-section (2) by the landlord to the effect that he will offer the building to the tenant who delivered possession under sub-section (1) for reoccupation after the completion of the repairs. Therefore, it is clear that there is no outright order of eviction of the tenant under Section 12 as postulated under Section 10 (2) (I) of the Act. The right that has been conceded to the landlord under Section 12 is for a limited purpose and that is to enable the landlord to renovate the building and not to exclude the tenant forever under the guise of repairs or renovation of the building. Therefore, the fact that possession was delivered to the landlord in pursuance of the order under Section 12 of the Act is not a bar eviction under Section 10 (2) (I) of the Act as long as the landlord satisfied the Court that the tenant committed a wilful default in payment of rent while he continued to be a tenant in the premises. In this case, the petitioner was found to have committed wilful default in payment of rent during the period from February 1968 to September 1968 while he was in occupation of the premises as a tenant. Therefore the order of eviction passed under Section 10 920 (I) of the Act on the ground of wilful default is a valid and lawful one.
6. The Second contention advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner was that there was no wilful default committed by the petitioner in the payment of rent. The Appellate Court, on a consideration of the evidence has found that the petitioner was guilty of wilful default. There is no substance in this contention.
7. The Revision Petition therefore fails and is accordingly dismissed with costs.
8. Petition dismissed.