1. This revision petition arises out of proceedings taken by the two respondents herein under the Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction Control) Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Rent Control Act'). The two respondents are undivided brothers and they constitute a joint Hindu Family and are owners of a house bearing No. 65/66 (corresponding to new Nos. 5-2-434, 435 and 440) situate in Hyderbasti, Secunderabad. The building was let out to the petitioner herein on a monthly rental of Rs. 100/- for residential purpose a long time ago for residential purpose a long time ago i,e., the petitioner has been in occupation of the building as a tenant since the year 1948. The respondents have another building, situate in another locality called Pan Bazaar, of their own and they were using it for the residential purpose of both using it for the residential purpose of both the respondents previously. On the ground that the respondents require the building let out to the petitioner also, for their own occupation they wanted him to vacate the building. When he did not do so the petitioner under Section 10(3)(a)(i)(b) of the Rent Control Act was filed by the respondents for evicting the petitioner and to put them in possession of the building on the ground that they bona fide require it for the occupation of the 2nd respondent. Both the Rent Controller and on appeal the learned Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad, found that the respondents bona fide require the building for the occupation of the 2nd respondent and accordingly the Rent Controller ordered the eviction of the petitioner and that order was confirmed by the Chief Judge. City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad in the appeal. It is for questioning the correctness of that order the tenant has preferred this revision.
2. The facts which are either not in controversy or have been established by evidence and accepted by the Courts below and which have not be controverted at the time of hearing of this petition, are the following; In the year 1948 when the building in question was let out to the petitioner the Joint Family of the respondents consisted of the two brothers namely, the respondents herein and the mother and the respondents were still young then and were unmarried. Now both the respondents are married. the 1st respondent has his wife and five children while the 2nd respondent has his wife and four children. the mother of the respondents who is a widow is also living with them. The house which they were occupying consists of three roods, a kitchen, a bathroom, a lavatory and verandah. the respondents 1 and 2 though continue as members of a joint family without any division they have separated in mess.
3. Thus the family of the respondents has grown very much since the building in question was let out to the petitioner in the year 1948. They are having a number of children and their mother also is living with them. They are having separate messes and therefore they require separate kitchens. Under these circumstances the case of the respondents is that both the respondents with their families, are unable to manage with the accommodation available in their present building and therefore they agreed between themselves that the 1st respondent with his family members should continue to live in their present house and the 2nd respondent and the members of his family should move into the building in question. Therefore it is necessary that the petitioner should vacate the building as it is required for the occupation of the 2nd respondent and the respondent require the building bona fide for their own occupation.
4. From the facts as stated above it is absolutely clear that the respondents reasonably require the building in question for their own occupation and therefore, their requirement is bona fide. but the learned counsel Sri V. V. L. Nirasimha Rao has argued for the petitioner-tenant by laying great emphasis on the language used in the relevant provision of the Rent Control Act. he contended that as per the language used in Sec. 10(3)(a)(i)(b)of the Act the landlord who has more building than one at a particular place cannot have for his own occupation for his own occupation only one or the other of those buildings and not more than one building and if he bona fide requires some other building which is not in his occupation he can have that building only on surrendering to the tenant if it is required by him, the building which is in his occupation.
5. It is convenient to extra here the relevant provisions of Section 10 so far as they relate to residential buildings where the landlord can bona fide require his building for his own occupation even without any default on the part of the tenant. Those provisions are Section 10(3)(a)(i)(a) and (b) and Section 10(3)(c).
'S. 10(3)(a) A landlord may, subject to the provisions of clause (d), apply to the Controller for any order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building:
(I) In case it is residential buildings:
(a) if the landlord is not occupying a residential building of his own in the city, town or village concerned and he requires if for his own occupation:
(b) if the landlord who has more buildings than one in the city, town or village concerned is in occupation of one such building and he bona fide requires another building instead, for his own occupation.'
Section 10(3)(c) A landlord who is occupying only a part of building whether residential or non-residential, may notwithstanding anything in clause (a) apply to the controller for an order directing any tenant occupying the whole or any portion of the remaining part of the building to put the landlord in possession thereof, if he requires additional accommodation for residential purposes or for the purpose of a business which he is carrying on as the case may be.'
A reading of the above provisions would show that a landlord can bona fide require his residential building for his own occupation if he is not occupying (1) a residential building of his own in the city, town or village convened and he requires it for his own occupation. (2) the landlord who has more buildings than one in the city and is in occupation of one such building and he bona fide requires another building instead, for his own occupation and (3) where the landlord of the building is only occupying a part of the building requires also the remaining portion of the building as additional accommodation.
6. Therefor in all these three classes of cases the landlord can ask the Rent Controller to evict the tenant and to put him in possession of the building if he requires it bona fide for his won occupation. Thus though the main objection enacting the Rent Control Act is to benefit the tenants, as the preamble of the Act itself would show, the object of the Act is only to prevent unreasonable eviction of tenants. The provisions mentioned above would also amply show that in enacting the Rent Control Act it is not the intention of the Legislature to put unreasonable restrictions in the use of their buildings by the landlords and the intention of the Legislature is clear that whenever a building is required for the bona fide use of the landlord he can always approach the Rent Controller to evict an unwilling tenant and to put him in possession of the building. Bona fide requirement of the landlord does not mean absolute requirement of the landlord without which it is impossible for the landlord to get on. Bona fide requirements is no other than reasonable requirement. The requirement of the tenant may be greater than that of the landlord, but being the owner so long as the right of private ownership is recognised by law, the requirement of the landlord so long as it is reasonable and bona fide and if it is for his vitiated by any oblique motive intended to harass the tenant to extract more rent or otherwise to let out to some other tenant and things like that the requirement of the landlord should be supreme.
7. As already seen above it was concurrently found by both the Courts below and it cannot be doubted that the building in question is reasonably required for the use of the 2nd respondent. the learned counsel for the petitioner laid great stress on the word 'instead' in clause (b) of Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Rent Control Act to contend that in spite of anything else when the landlord has more buildings then one when he is in occupation already of one such building he can require for his now occupation another building only instead (the stress is mine) i.e. in place of or as an alternative or as a substitute for the building which is already in his occupation. According to him there is no provisions in the Rent Control Act enabling a landlord to require another building of his own. I do not think this would have been the intention of the Legislature as in the present case when the requirement of the landlord for accommodation increases very much and when he is owning more then one building and not one of these building is reasonably sufficient for his own occupation there is no reason why he should not require and occupy one more building in addition to the one already in his occupation. From the objects and the scheme of the Act it does not appeal that would have been the intention of the Legislature. In my opinion that the word' instead' used in the above provision, in the context can only mean in addition. In this view of the matter in landlord can require more than one building for his own occupation if he bona fide requires it.
8. Even assuming that the view expressed above cannot be capable of acceptance in construing the clause (b) of Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Act. I think even clause (a) of Section 10(3)(a)(i) can be made applicable to the facts of this case. As per the provision made in the clause if the landlord is not occupying a residential building of hiss own in the city, town or village concerned and the requires it for his own occupation he can apply to the Rent Controller for an order directing the tenant to put him in possession of the building. It may be urged in this case that the landlord is already occupying a residential building of his own in the city. But it cannot be said so having regard to that facts of this case. In this case the owner of the building in question is a joint Hindu family consisting of two brothers. namely, the respondents 1 and 2 herein. The joint Hindu Family being a juridical person where a building belongs to such a family the requirement of any member of it would be the requirement of the landlord. Here the 2nd respondent requires the building in question for the occupation of himself and the members of his own family. As per the arrangement entered into between him and his brother. the 1st respondent the latter and the members of his family are to occupy the present building which is said to be in the occupation of the landlord. If that is so, there is no building for the occupation of the 2nd respondent and the members of his family. In which case it means the building is required by the 2nd respondent and he cannot be said to be occupying a residential building of his own. In this view of the matter also I am of opinion that the tenant is liable to be evicted from the building in question . It may be noted that the petition before the Rent Controller was filed both under clauses (a) and (b) Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Rent Control Act.
9. A similar view was taken in a single Judge decision of the Madras High Court in Kolandivelu Chettiar v. Koolayana Chettiar. (1961) 1 Mad LJ 184. The who decided that case was considering the matter under Section 7 (3) (a) of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. 1949 which is similar to the present Section 10(3) (a0 (I) (a) of the Rent Control Act. Section 7 (3) (a) is as follows:-
'A landlord may, subject to the provisions of clause (d), apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building:-
(I) in case it is a residential building, if the landlord requires it for his own occupation and he is not occupying a residential building of his own in the city, town or village concerned'.
10. The facts there are: The landlord has got three other buildings besides the buildings in question. The reasons for eviction all alleged in his petition are that the second son of the landlord is married and he wants to set up for his son an independent family of his own and for the said purpose he requires the building for the occupation of his sons and his personal use. Under those circumstances the learned Judge held that the landlord is entitled to apply under that the provision for eviction of the tenant on the ground that he requires the building for establishing a separate residence for his son and the fact that the son is living in the joint family house cannot be a bar to the maintainability of the application.
11. In the present case also even assuming that the time the eviction petition was filed the 2nd respondent was living long with the 1st respondent in the same building which was in their occupation, when they were having separate mess and the building which was in their occupation was not at all sufficient for the purpose of the members of both the families and it was agreed between themselves that the 1st respondent alone should occupy the building which was already in their possession it could only mean that the 2nd respondent was without a building of the own occupation. Being members of the Joint Family he is also a landlord as he has no building of his own he is entitled as provided under Section 10 (3) (a) (I) (a) of the Rent Control Act to apply to the Rent Controller for an order evicting the tenant and to put him in possession of the building.
12. It may also be added that the building now required to be vacated by the petitioner also appears to be of similar accommodation as the one now in the occupation of the respondents and therefore it cannot also be said that even that will be sufficient for the purpose of both the respondents.
13. Therefore the petitioner has rightly been ordered to be evicted from the building. Accordingly there are not merits in the revision petition and it is dismissed with costs. Time granted for dismissed with costs. Time granted for the petitioner to vacate the building is two months.
14. Revision dismissed.