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H.C. Gupta and anr. Vs. K.V. Ramana Rao - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.C.C.A. No. 152 of 1981
Judge
Reported inAIR1985AP193
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 106
AppellantH.C. Gupta and anr.
RespondentK.V. Ramana Rao
Appellant AdvocateT. Ananta Babu, Adv. for ;Avva Satyanarayana, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateAdv. General and ;P. Nagesheshaiah, Adv.
Excerpt:
property - recovery of possession - section 106 of transfer of property act, 1882 - respondent purchased property from original owner property was leased out to appellant - appellant as director of company signed lease deed - notice for vacating leased property and handing over possession with fittings and fixture therein was issued by respondent - notice was replied by appellant in capacity of director of company - appellant denied to give back the possession and also denied that he was not tenant of property - from evidence it was proved that appellant was acting as director of company and signed lease deed - held, respondent entitled to claim possession from appellant. - - prameela reddy if she has ever paid repair bills since the building have been occupied by me .4. as the 1st.....ramachandra rao, j.1. defendants 1 and 2 have filed this appeal against the judgment and decree in o.s.no. 578 of 1979 on the file of the 1st addl.judge, city civil court, hyderabad decreeing the suit of the plaintiff for recovery of possession of the plaint schedule house together with the fittings and fixtures therein and for recovery of mesne profits from the date of suit.2. the facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows:-the suit house bearing no.6-3-347/16 dwarakapuri colony, panjagutta, hyderabad belongs to one smt. prameela reddy, examined as p.w.3 in the case. the said house waed out for a period of one year under an unregistered lease deed dt 13-4-1970 to a company purushottam traders private limited on a rental of rs.450/- per month for the building, and a monthly hiring.....
Judgment:

Ramachandra Rao, J.

1. Defendants 1 and 2 have filed this appeal against the judgment and decree in O.S.No. 578 of 1979 on the file of the 1st Addl.Judge, City Civil Court, Hyderabad decreeing the suit of the plaintiff for recovery of possession of the plaint schedule house together with the fittings and fixtures therein and for recovery of mesne profits from the date of suit.

2. The facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows:-

The suit house bearing No.6-3-347/16 Dwarakapuri Colony, Panjagutta, Hyderabad belongs to one Smt. Prameela Reddy, examined as P.W.3 in the case. The said house waed out for a period of one year under an unregistered lease deed dt 13-4-1970 to a company Purushottam Traders Private Limited on a rental of Rs.450/- per month for the building, and a monthly hiring charges of Rs.150/- for use of the fittings, articles furnishing and chattel lying on the premises at the time of the lease. The lease deed was signed by the Director H.C.Gupta, the 1st defendant, on behalf of the company. On 10-8-1978 the plaintiff purchased the house from P.W.3 under a registered sale deed. It appears that the name of the company was changed to Messrs. Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Private Limited. P.W.3 addressed a letter Ex.A-1 dt 14-8-1978 to Messrs. Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Pvt. Ltd. informing the company of the sale of the house to the plaintiff and calling upon the company to pay the rents from July 1978 onwards to the plaintiff. A copy of this letter was also addressed to the plaintiff. On 8-9-1978 on behalf of the plaintiff a notice Ex.A-2 was issued by his lawyer to the 1st defendant Sri H.C.Gupta terminating the tenancy by the end of Sept. 1978 and calling upon him to deliver vacant possession of the suit house together with all fittings and furnishing and stating that in default of his delivering possession, the 1st defendant would be liable to pay Rs.800/- and Rs.300/- per month towards the damages for use and occupation of the building and furnishings and fixtures.

3. The 1st defendant received the said notice Ex.A-2 and sent reply through his letter Ex.A-3 dt 18-9-1978 admitting the purchase of the house by the plaintiff and stating as follows:

'It is denied that the rent of the house is Rs.400/-f plug Rs.150/- per month is the charges against furnishing and fixtures as all the furnishing and fixtures are mine and question of charges against these things does not arise. The house when taken into possession was in a dilapidated condition and required extensive repairs. The owner Smt. Prameela Reddy told the undersigned to get the same repaired as she is not in a position to spend so heavily. The total repairs including the complete mossaic flooring, plastering walls, changing the sanitary fittings, repairs and painting the doors and windows and the entire building costed in two years about Rs.20,000/- Mrs. Pameela Reddy seeing the condition of the house after repairs appreciated and in return agreed that she would not ask any enhancement of rent till 1985, as the money spent by me was quite considerable on repairs. Not only this she agreed that she will not get the house vacated from me ever but she would not pay any annual repairs which is to be borne by me. You confirm from Smt. Prameela Reddy if she has ever paid repair bills since the building have been occupied by me .'

4. As the 1st defendant failed to deliver possession, the plaintiff issued another notice Ex.A-5 dt. 1-12-1978 through his lawyer, the office copy of which is filed as Ex.A-4 terminating the tenancy by end of Jan.1979 and calling upon the 1st defendant to deliver possession of the building together with the fittings and furnishings etc., on1-1-1979. This notice Ex.A-5 was sent to the suit house where the 1st defendant has been residing. But, this was redirected to Balanagar address where the company has its factory and it was returned with the endorsement that the addressee was continuously absent for seven days. Thereafter another notice Ex.A-6 was issued on 28-12-1978 by the plaintiff through his lawyer to the 1st defendant terminating the tenancy at the end of Jan.1979 and calling upon the 1st defendant to deliver vacant possession of the building together with the fittings and furnishings on 1-2-1979 and also reiterating the claim for damages for use and occupation of the building and fu5nishings and fittings. The 1st defendant did not send any reply to this notice. Thereafter the plaintiff filed a suit on 9-7-1979 against the 1st defendant Sri H.C. Gupta for his eviction from the suit building and for recovery of vacant possession of the building together with mesne profits.

5. The 1st defendant filed a written statement denying that he had taken the building on lease either from plaintiff or his predecessor-in-title, and that the building was leased out to the company Messrs. Purushottam Traders Private Limited, the name of which was later changed as M/s Purushottam Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. and that the company was paying the rents and sometimes the Municipal tax, and that the suit filed against the 1st defendant in his individual capacity was not maintainable as he was not the tenant of the premises, and that the suit was liable to be dismissed. He also contested the claim of the plaintiff in respect of the fittings and fixtures and also the claim for damages.

6. In view of the pleas taken by the 1st defendant, the plaintiff impleaded M/s Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Private Limited as 2nd defendant and amended the plaint by including paras 3(a) which reads as follows:

'3(a). originally the suit premises was leased out by Smt. Prameela Reddy in favour of Purushottam Traders Pvt. Ltd. by an agreement dt. 13-4-1970 and said company was represented by 1st defendant. In fact, the suit house is in occupation of the 1st defendant addressed a letter to the Assistant Commissioner, M.C.H. Circle V. Hyderabad on 8-1-1973 and in the said letter the 1st defendant had categorically stated that he is residing in the suit house and he is paying the rent in respect of suit house, further 1st defendant had categorically stated that he is residing in the suit house and he is paying the rent in respect of suit house, further 1st defendant while giving reply to the legal notice on 18-9-1979 never contended that he is not the tenant of the suit premises but raised only ground that there was agreement that he will continue in the premises up to 1985 and he had carried out certain repairs and all the fittings and fixtures belong to the 1st defendant. Thus the 1st defendant is estopped from his own conduct from denying that he is not the tenant and the second defendant is tenant.

Without prejudice to the above contentions it is submitted that (because of) mere inaccuracy in the name of tenant the notice shall not be invalid, particularly when the defendant cannot have been misled to the intention of the plaintiff and a liberal construction must be put upon the notice to quit and that as such notice will be valid and tenancy is validly terminated and 1st defendant is aware and conversant with all the facts and circumstances.'

7. The 2nd defendant M/s Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Private Limited filed a written statement contending that the company was the tenant of the suit premises and not the 1st defendant and that no notice having been issued to the company under S. 106 of the T.P.Act terminating the tenancy the claim for delivery of possession of the building together with fixtures and furnishing etc. and for damages as not maintainable. This written statement was signed by Sri H.C.Gupta as Director on behalf of the 2nd defendant company.

8. On the aforesaid pleadings, the learned 1st Addl.Judge framed the relevant issues, the important issues being as to who was the tenant of the building in question and whether there was valid termination of the tenancy and whether the plaintiff was entitled to damages. The plaintiff examined himself as P.W.1 and his predecessor-in-title as P.W.3 and another witness as P.W.2 to speak to the rental which was offered for the building.

9. On behalf of the defendants, no documents were filed. But the 1st defendant examined himself as D.W.1. The learned 1st Addl.Judge held on the evidence that M/s Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Private Limited was the tenant but the suit premises was taken on lease for the residence of the 1st defendant in his capacity as the Director of the said company, and that the notice terminating the tenancy was valid, and that the 1st defendant was estopped by his conduct from contending that the notice of termination was not valid, and that the plaintiff was entitled to take delivery of vacant possession of the building together with fittings and fixtures and also to mesne profits at Rs.1100/- per month as compensation for damages for use and occupation, consisting of Rs.800/- per mensem being the rent and Rs.300/- per mensem being hire charges for fixtures and fittings from the date of suit till the date of possession.

10. Against the said judgment and decree, the defendants 1 and 2 preferred this appeal C.C.C.A. No.153 of 1981 and the same was heard by a Division Bench consisting of my learned brothers Chennakesav Reddy and Lakshminarayana Reddy JJ. Chennakesav Reddy, J took the view that the suit house taken on lease for the occupation of the 1st defendant as Director of the 2nd defendant company, but in the lease deed, the name of the company was shown as the lessee and not the 1st defendant for the purpose of accounts at the request of the 1st defendant, and that the notice Ex.A-2 was received by the 1st defendant, and the 1st defendant gave the reply Ex.A-3 and admitted as P.W.1 that he gave the reply as the Director of the Company and that he also admitted that he did not state in the reply notice Ex.A-3 that he was not the tenant, and that the company was the tenant, and that, on the other hand, he claimed to have spent considerable amounts for repairs to the building, and that it was clear that the 1st defendant admitted that in fact and indeed the tenancy was really between him and P.W.3 predecessor-in-title of the plaintiff, and that the 1st defendant put forward a plea in Ex.A3 that he was the tenant and not the 2nd defendant company. He also sent a letter Ex.A-10 to the Municipal Corporation stating that he was residing in the suit house and paying rent for the building and hiring charges for the furnishing and fixtures in the building. The tenancy was validly terminated by the notice Ex.A-2 and therefore there was valid notice to quit. He also found that the plea of the 1st defendant that the fittings and fixtures in the suit building belonged to him was unacceptable, in that view the learned Judge dismissed the appeal with costs.

11. On the other hand, Lakshminarayana Reddy, J. took the view that the lease deed Ex.A-9 was entered into between the 2nd defendant and P.W.3 and that the attornment of tenancy was also in favour of the 2nd defendant as evidenced by the letter Ex.A-1 written by P.W.3 and that in the original as well as the amended plaint the plaintiff claimed relief only against the 1st defendant treating him as the tenant, and that as the 2nd defendant company was the tenant, the notice to quit Ex.A-2 was not valid. He also held that when P.W.3 wrote the letter asking the 2nd defendant to pay the rents to the plaintiffs, she did no reserve any right to collect rent for the fixture, and therefore, the plaintiff would not be entitled to ask for return of the fixtures. In that view, the learned Judge allowed the appeal.

12. As there was difference of opinion between the learned Judges on the question 'whether the notice Ex.A-2 determining the tenancy was valid and effective in law' the appeal has been referred by orders of the Honourable Chief Justice to a third Judge under Cl.36 of the Letters Patent. That is how the matter has come up before me.

13. Sri T. Ananthababu, the learned counsel for the appellants, contented that the 2nd defendant is the tenant of the suit buildings and not the 1st defendant and therefore, the notice to quit Ex.A-2 given to the 1st defendant is not valid and effective in law. On the other hand, it is contended by the learned Advocate General for the respondent that there was valid termination of the tenancy by the notice Ex.A-1 and that the 1st defendant is the Director of the 2nd defendant company and that the house was taken for the personal occupation of the 1st defendant as Director of the company, and that the notice issued to the Director of the Company terminating tenancy is valid and proper, and that the 1st defendant did not also dispute about the validity of the notice Ex.A-2 in his reply Ex.A.3.

14. There is no dispute that under the lease deed Ex.A.19 the Company Messrs. Purushottam Traders Private Ltd. has taken the suit building on lease for a period of one year, the name of the company was later changed to M/s Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Private Limited. Under Ex.A-1 the tenancy was attorned by the 2nd defendant in favour of the plaintiff as evidenced by the letter Ex.A-1 dt. 14-8-1978 of P.W.3 Cl.3(e) of the lease deed recites that the tenant had obtained the said house for residential purposes only. P.W.3 the previous owner of the house, stated that the 1st defendant took the suit house for his personal accommodation but at that time he requested that for accounting purposes he would show it in the name of the company, though she admitted in cross-examination that the suit premises was let out to the 1st defendant for his personal accommodation. But in the letter Ex.A-10 written by the 1st defendant on 8-1-1973 to the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, it is stated that the 1st defendant was residing in the said house, and that he was paying the rent for the building and hiring charges for the furnishing and fixtures. Admittedly, the 1st defendant is the Director of the Company. It is not the case of the defendants that the 2nd defendant company as such was residing in the suit house. On the other hand, the 1st defendant admitted that the suit premises was taken on lease for residential purposes of the Director of the Company, and that he received a legal notice in his individual capacity and gave the reply to the notice, and that the contents of the reply notice were correct. He also admitted that there was no written lease deed with the 2nd defendant company as such and there was no document showing about the change of Purushottam Traders Private Limited to Purushottam Iron and Steel Industries Private Limited. In Ex.A-3 the reply notice, he stated that 'all the furnishings and fixtures are mine' and that the owner P.W.3 allowed him to get the repairs done o the building and P.W.3 agreed not to ask any enhancement of the rent till 1985. As the monies spent by him were quite considerable and also that she would not get the house vacated by him, and that the 1st defendant should bear the charges for annual repairs. He also stated that the would abide by all the conditions which he had agreed to with P.W.3 and that it was (not) possible for him to vacate the house as he had spent a fortune on the building under an oral agreement with P.W.3 The contents of this letter coupled with his evidence as D.W.1 go to show that the 1st defendant was residing in the house only as a Director of the company and not in his individual capacity, and that he could not have been in occupation of the building except in his capacity or status as Director of the 2nd respondent company though the company was paying the tax4s and carrying out the repairs for the building but the 1st defendant was acting on behalf of the 2nd defendant company in all matters. When the notice to quit Ex.A-2 was issued to the 1st defendant , in his reply, Ex.A-3 he never raised any dispute as to the validity of the notice given to him as valid. He merely set up a plea that under an oral agreement with P.W.3, the predecessor-in-title to the plaintiff, he was entitled to continue in the house as he had spent a fortune on the building, and that P.W.3 was not entitled to ask for any enhancement of the rent till 1985, . But the alleged oral agreement was denied by P>W.3, and was not established by the defendants. Had the 1st defendant set up any plea at the earliest stage that the notice Ex.A-2 was not valid not having been issued in the name of the Company, the plaintiff would have taken appropriate steps. But, by the reply Ex.A3 the 1st defendant held out that the notice issued to him was proper, and that when subsequently the notice Ex.A6 was issued by the plaintiff's lawyer the 1st defendant did not send a reply and did not come out with any plea that the notice issued to him was not valid or proper, and that it was the company which should have been issued the notice to quit. Thus, the 1st defendant led the plaintiff to believe that the notice issued was proper and valid and it was only after the suit was filed, for the first time he came forward with the plea in his written statement that the 2nd defendant company was the lessee, and that he was not the tenant and, therefore, the notice issued to him was not valid or effective in law.

15. The 1st defendant as D.W.1 stated that : 'the suit premises was taken on lease in 1968 for residential purpose of the Director of the company whosoever might be, including myself. This shows that the actual physical possession of the suit building is with the 1st defendant as Director of the 2nd defendant company. He also admitted that he gave instructions to the Advocate for drafting of the written statement of himself and the 2nd defendant as the Director of the company. He carried on the negotiations on behalf of the company with P.W.3 the predecessor-in-title of the plaintiff at the time the lease was entered into. He stated that he talked to the plaintiff P.W.1 prior to the purchase of the building by P.W.1 prior to the purchase of the building by P.W.1 from P.W.3. The plaintiff was, therefore, led to believe that the 1st defendant was representing the company as Director and that he was residing in the suit house as Director, and that it was therefore sufficient in fact and law to give notice to quit to the 1st defendant,. Instead of the notices Exs.A2 and A6 reciting that they were issued to the 2nd defendant represented by the 1st defendant, the notices were sent to the 1st defendant, as the 1st defendant was acting on behalf of the 2nd defendant and he was also residing in the house as a Director of the company and not in his individual capacity.

16. As the 1st defendant is in actual possession of the suit house as director of the company in order to get the relief of possession, it is necessary that both the defendants 1 and 2 should be impleaded as defendants to the suit. When the 1st defendant tool the plea in the written statement for the first time, that he was not the tenant but the company, of which he was the Director, the plaintiff took prompt steps to amend the plain by impleading the company as the 2nd defendant. The notices Exs.A2m A5 and A6 were clearly intended to give notice to the 1st defendant representing the company as Director to vacate the suit building and deliver possession of the same to the plaintiff. The 1st defendant accepted the notice Ex.A2 and sent the reply Ex.A3 and never raised a plea in the said reply that the notice was not valid or that the notice should go to the 2nd defendant. The 1st defendant could not have been in possession of the suit house in his individual or personal capacity excepting as the Director of the Company. Therefore, the 1st defendant did not state in his reply Ex.A3 that the notice given to him was not valid. He understood the notice to quit Ex.A2, as having been properly given to him representing the company as Director and also led the plaintiff to believe that the notice Ex.A2 was valid and proper. The notice Ex.A5 which was sent to the 1st defendant to the address at the suit house was redirected to the business address at Balanagar, but it was returned unserved. Thereupon the plaintiff issued another lawyer's notice Ex.A6 to the 1st defendant which was admittedly received by him but he did not choose to send any reply to the same. Having thus led the plaintiff to believe that the notices issued to him were not valid or effective in law and having further omitted to raise the plea that the 2nd defendant was the tenant and not the 1st defendant , and that the notice issued to him was not valid, it is not open to the defendants to raise the plea that the notices to quit issued by the plaintiff were not valid or effective in law. The 2nd defendant is the person to whom notices should be sent on behalf of the company and the 1st defendant having not raised any objections to the notices, it is not open to either of the defendants to contend that the notices to quit issued by the plaintiff through his lawyer to the 1st defendant were not valid or effective in law.

17. Further, it is well settled that a Director acting within the scope of his powers is an agent of the company in the eye of law. The evidence on record shows that the 1st defendant was acting on behalf of the company. He signed the lease deed, he negotiated with the plaintiff and his predecessors-in-title. He issued the reply notice Ex.A3 and he also gave instructions for drafting of the written statements. It is not the 1st defendant's case that he had no authority to receive the notice on behalf of the company. The company no doubt is a juristic person but it can only act through a human agency, that is, through a Director or Directors duly authorised in that behalf . In the instant case, the notice was issued to the 1st defendant who was residing in the suit premises by virtue of his status as Director of the company, and therefore, the notice issued to the 1st defendant must be deemed to be a notice issued to the 1st defendant as well as the 2nd defendant to vacate the premises as mentioned in the notice Exs.A2 and A6 and therefore they are proper and valid and are in conformity with the provisions of S. 106 of the T.P.Act.

18. Sri Ananta Babu, the learned counsel for the defendants appellants contended relying upon the rulings in Tata E.& L.Co. ltd. v. State of Bihar, : [1964]6SCR885 and H.E.M.Union v. State of Bihar : (1969)IILLJ549SC that the company is distinct and separate from its shareholders. The question for consideration in this appeal , is whether the notice to quit issued by the plaintiff to the 1st defendant is in conformity with the provisions of S. 106 of the T.P.Act or not. It is also well settled that provisions of S. 106 of the T.P.Act are mandatory. Sri Ananta Babu relied upon the ruling in Dwarka Das v. Union of India where a notice under S. 80 C.P.C. was addressed to the Governor General of India through the Secretary, Railway Board, Government of India, instead of the Secretary to the Central Government, and the said notice was held to be not valid in law. He also relied upon the rulings in Dahyabhai Patel & Co. v. Union of India, : AIR1960Ker135 where a notice under S. 80 C.P.C. was issued to the Chief Commercial Superintendent instead of the General Manager of Railways. In both the aforesaid cases, it was held that the notices were not valid in law in view of the express statutory provision of S. 80 C.P.C. requiring the issue of notice in the particular manner prescribed therein. The provisions of S. 106 of the T.P.Act are not analogous to the provisions of S. 80 C.P.C. of course under S. 106 of the T.P.Act, the notice has to be issued to the party who is intended to be bound by it. So long as the notice was sent to the party who was intended to be bound by it and the party received it and did not raise any objection as to the validity of the said notice and has led the party giving the notice to believe that it was in conformity with the provisions of S. 106 of the T.P.Act, the party receiving the notice cannot turn round and say at a later stage that the notice was not valid or effective in law.

19. Referring S. 106 of the T.P.Act, in Transfer or Property Act 6th Edition, the learned author Mulla observes as follows:-

'The rule has been to make lame and inaccurate notices sensible where the recipient cannot have been misled as to the intention of the giver. A liberal construction is therefore put upon a notice to quit in order that it should not be defeated by inaccuracies either in the description of the premises, or the name of the tenant or the date of expiry of the notice. The Privy Council has said that these English authorities are applicable to cases arising in India and that they establish that notices to quit, though not strictly accurate or consistent in the statements embodied in them, may still be good and effective in law, that the test of their sufficiency is not what they would mean to a stranger ignorant of all the facts and circumstances touching the holding to which they purport to refer, but what they would mean to tenants presumably conversant with all those facts and circumstances, and, further that they are to be construed, not with a desire to find faults in them which would render them defective, but to be construed ut res magis valeat quam pereat.'

20. In Hawtrey v. Beaufront Limited, 1946 K.B.280 it was contended that the notice to quit was bad because the addressee of the notice to quit was the Director of the company and not the company. Repelling the said contention, it was held as follows:-

'A limited company must, of course, act through agents, if it had been addressed to Beaufront Limited the document would still have had to be delivered to an agent or sent through the post to the registered office of the company, where it would have been dealt with by an agent. I think that within the rule referred to by Lord Greene M.R. in the case I have mentioned, that in a case of ambiguity the court will favour the reading of the document in such way s to give it validity. I ought to construe this notice as notice to terminate the tenancy of the limited company. It was obviously so treated by the defendants solicitors, they knew all about it.'

21. In Tulsiram v. R.C. Pal Limited, : AIR1953Cal160 a vacant plot was let out to the defendant company. The reply was issued by R.C. Pal Limited signed by R.C.Pal as Managing Director . it was contended that the Limited Company was juristic entity by itself and therefore notice to quit addressed to R.C.Pal Esqr...was a bad notice and could not be said to have terminated the tenancy of the defendant company. That contention was repelled by the learned Judge P.B.Mukherjei,J.(as he then was) on the ground that although the letter was written to the Director, it was treated as notice to the company and the reply was written by the limited company and signed by the Managing Director and that was proof enough to show that the notice to quit addressed to the Director R.c.Pal Esqr., was understood and treated as notice to the company, it was enough to hold that the notice was in fact a notice to the tenant.

22. The learned Judge further held that the notice was issued to R.C.Pal as Director of the company, and that R.C.Pal was the duly authorised agent as Managing Director to receive notice on behalf of the defendant company and that the company could only receive notice through the hand of a human agency, who could be no better than the company's Managing Director and that it was not necessary for the validity of the notice, to say when a letter was addressed to R.C.Pal Esqr., that should also be stated that in his capacity as Director or Managing Director of the company and that it was so understood was evident and indisputable from the reply given by the company through R.C.Pal the Managing Director. Accordingly, the learned Judge held that the notice to quit was valid in law.

23. The aforesaid reasoning and conclusion with which I respectfully agree, squarely applies to the facts of the present case. Applying the principle laid down in the aforesaid ruling it follows that the notice to quit issued to the 1st defendant, who was the Director of the 2nd defendant company was valid and proper and satisfies the requirements of S. 106 of the T.P.Act.

24. In Dwarka Prasad v. Central Talkies, : AIR1956All187 a suit was filed by the plaintiff against the tenant the Central Talkies Limited for ejectment from a premises. It was contended by the defendant that the notice was not given to the proper tenant as the notice was addressed to the Central Talkies and not to the Central Talkies Limited. This contention was negatived by Raghubar Dayal, J holding that there was not much force in the said contention as the defendant had accepted that notice and replied to it and was not prejudiced thereby. The other learned Judge agreed with the above view of Raghubar Dayal, J. In the instant case the 1st defendant who was in occupation of the suit premises as a Director of the 2nd defendant company received the notice and replied to it and did not raise any contention that the notice to quit was not valid, and the defendants 1 and 2 are not prejudiced by the notice given to the 1st defendant, as the 2nd defendant has to receive the notice only through the 1st defendant, the Director of the company.

25. In a recent decision of the Supreme Court in Bhagabandas v. Bhagwandas, : [1977]3SCR75 the Supreme Court laid down the principles with regard to the interpretation of a notice to quit issued under S. 106 of the T.P.Act. In that case, the landlord issued a notice to quit under S. 106 of the T.P.Act on the 25th Sept.1962 calling upon the tenants to vacate the house within the month of Oct.1962 and that otherwise the tenants would be treated as trespassers from 1st Nov.1962 in respect of the said house.

A contention was raised that the notice to quit was not valid, not being in conformity with S. 106 of the T.P.Act. His Lordship Bhagwati, H. speaking for the court observed that the notice to quit issued was a valid notice and in that context his Lordship laid down the principles to be followed in interpreting a notice to quit under S. 106 of the T.P.Act;

'Now it is settled law that a notice to quit must be construed not with a desire to find faults in it, which would render it defective but it must be construed ut res magis valeat quam pereat. The validity of a notice to quit, as pointed out by Lord Justice Lindley L.J. in Sidebotham v. Hollan. (1895) 1 QB 378, ought not to turn on the splitting of a straw. It must not be read in a hyper-critical manner, nor must its interpretation he affected by pedagogic pedanticism or over refined subtlety, but it must be construed in a commonsense way. The notice to quit in the present case must be judged for its validity in the light of this well recognised principle of interpretation.'

26. In the instant case, the notice issued to the 1st defendant who was in actual physical possession of the suit house as Director of the 2nd defendant company must be construed as a valid notice to quit issued to the 1st defendant as Director of the company and to which he had sent a reply without raising any objection that it was not a valid notice issued to the company, and I hold that the notices Exs.A-2 and A-6 issued are valid notices and satisfy the requirements of S. 106 of the T.P.Act. Accordingly I hold that the notice to quit is valid and effective in law.

27. For the foregoing reasons, the appeal is liable to be dismissed with costs. The question referred is answered accordingly.

28. Appeal dismissed.


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