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Kunwar Gopi Chand Vs. Nanak Chand - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 735 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1979All8
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 58
AppellantKunwar Gopi Chand
RespondentNanak Chand
Appellant AdvocateH.S. Joshi, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateRama Devi Gupta, Adv.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
.....to recover possession as well as the damages for use and occupation of the property let out to the mortgagor after the execution of the usufructuary mortgage. since the defendant failed to pay the rent, the mortgagee was entitled to the arrears of rent and to the possession of the mortgaged property......recital that the possession of the house was transferred to the mortgagee. the defendant took the house on rent from the mortgagee and executed a registered rent note (ext. 5) in favour of the mortgagee. the rent note was for a period of three years on a rent of rs. 500/- per mensem. on 14-12-1964, the mortgagor executed another registerd rent note (ext. 1) for payment of rent at the rate of rs. 200/- per mensem for a period of one year. on the expiry of the period of lease, the defendant continued in possession. the plaintiff-opposite party after serving a composite notice on the defendant demanding arrears of rent and determining his tenancy filed suit for recovery of arrears of rent and ejectment against the defendant. 3. the defendant contested the suit on the ground that the suit.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K.P. Singh, J.

1. This is a defendant's application in revision under Section 25 of the Small Cause Courts Act against the judgment and decree of the Judge, Small Causes, Moradabad decreeing the plaintiff-opposite party's suit for recovery of arrears of rent and ejectment.

2. On 17th December, 1949, Gopi Chand, the defendant-appellant executed a registered mortgage-deed in favour of the plaintiff-opposite party under which he mortgaged the house in dispute for a consideration of rupees 50,000/-. The mortgage-deed (Ext. 8) contained a recital that the possession of the house was transferred to the mortgagee. The defendant took the house on rent from the mortgagee and executed a registered rent note (Ext. 5) in favour of the mortgagee. The rent note was for a period of three years on a rent of Rs. 500/- per mensem. On 14-12-1964, the mortgagor executed another registerd rent note (Ext. 1) for payment of rent at the rate of Rs. 200/- per mensem for a period of one year. On the expiry of the period of lease, the defendant continued in possession. The plaintiff-opposite party after serving a composite notice on the defendant demanding arrears of rent and determining his tenancy filed suit for recovery of arrears of rent and ejectment against the defendant.

3. The defendant contested the suit on the ground that the suit was not maintainable as no relationship of landlord and tenant existed between the parties. The defendant pleaded that the mortgage-deed executed by him was not usufructuary, instead it was a simple one as the possession of the house was never transferred to the mortgagee. The rent note and the lease deed were executed only as a device to secure interest on the mortgage loan. The rent represented the interest and the rent was as reduced as Rs. 30,000 was paid towards the loan. The defendant asserted that the plaintiff was not entitled to possession of the house and he was entitled to continue in possession of the same. The trial court held that there existed relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties and the defendant was liable to ejectment as he had committed default in payment of rent. The trial court decreed the plaintiffs suit for defendant's ejectment and also for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 9950/- as arrears of rent with interest. Aggrieved, the defendant has preferred this revision.

4. Learned counsel for the defendant contended that there existed no relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties; instead the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant was that of mortgagee and mortgagor and the rent note was simply a device for the payment of interest. The possession of the house was never handed over to the mortgagee and in substance and in effect, the mortgage in question was a simple mortgage. He placed reliance on Baijnath Prasad v. Jang Bahadur Singh : AIR1955Pat357 ; Hari Lal Bhagwanji v. Hem Shanker Umiya Shanker : AIR1958Bom8 ; and Dr. Muhammad Ahsanul Tauhid v. Akhtar Hussain : AIR1960Pat106 . On the other hand, learned counsel for the plantiff-opposite party urged that since the defendant had executed a usufructuarry mortagage in favour of the plaintiff-opposite party, it was open to him to lease out the house in question to the defendant mortgagor and if there was any default in payment of rent, the mortgagee was entitled to maintain a suit for realisation of recovery of arrears of rent and ejectment against the mortgagor. He placed reliance in Feroz Shah v. Sohbat Khan ; Kuer Mohammad Ashraf Ali Khan v. Behari Lal (AIR 1937 All 478); Pyarelal v. Ram Swarup : AIR1944All221 and Lal Chand v. Nenu Ram .

5. There is no dispute between the parties that after the execution of the mortgage-deed, the house in question was let out to the defendant on a rent of Rs. 500/-. Later on, a fresh rent note was executed under which the rentwas fixed at Rs. 200/-. It appears that the rate of interest on the mortgaged loan was 1% per mensem and the rent at the rate of Rs. 500/- represented the interest. Since the defendant-applicant had paid Rs. 30,000/- to the mortgagee, a sum of only Rs. 20,000/-remained to be paid. It appears that the necessity for execution of another rent note on 14th December, 1964 had arisen because the loan stood paid in part and the amount of loan was reduced to Rs. 20,000/- and the interest on that amount at the rate of 1% was Rs. 200/- per mensem. The second rent note dated 14-12-1964 was executed for payment of rent at the rate of Rs. 200/- per mensem. On these facts, the defendant has asserted that the two rent notes formed part of the same transaction and the mortgage deed was a simple one as the possession of the house throughout remained with him.

6. In Baijnath Prasad v. Jang Bahadur Singh : AIR1955Pat357 , a Division Bench of the Patna High Court held that where a mortgagor took back a lease of the mortgaged property by executing a Kirayanama in favour of the mortgagee and the rent payable under it represented the interest on the mortgage money, the mortgagor could not be deemed to be a tenant of the mortgagee and the mortgagee was not entitled to eject the mortgagor. In Ram Narain Pasi v. Sukhi Tiwari : AIR1957Pat24 , a learned Single Judge held that if the mortgagee after taking possession of the mortgaged property gives back to the mortgagor the possession of the property to ensure regular payment of the interest then the mortgage and the Kirayanama would form part of the same transaction and in such circumstances, the motgagor cannot be described as tenant and no relationship of landlord and tenant is created thereby. In Hari Lal Bhagwanji v. Hem Shanker Umiya Shanker : AIR1958Bom8 , similar view was taken by a learned Single Judge relying upon the decisions of Patna High Court in Baijnath Prasad and Ram Narain Pasi's cases. In Dr. Haji Muhammad Ahsanul Tauhid v. Shah Akhtar Hussain : AIR1960Pat106 , almost in similar circumstances as present in the instant case, it was held that wherea usufructuary mortgage was executed and the mortgaged property was leased out to the mortgagor on rent and the rate of rent represented the rate of interest no relationship of landlord and tenant existed as the lease and mortgage formed a component part of the mortgage transaction. These authorities, no doubt, support the defendant-applicant's contention.

7. Learned counsel for the plaintiff-opposite party, however, urged that the defendant-applicant had executed an usufructuary mortgage and the possession of the house in question was given to the plaintiff-opposite party. Even though, the plaintiff opposite party leased back the house to the mortgagor on rent, the nature of the usufructuary mortgage did not change-Then mortgage deed and the rent note were quite two separate transactions executed on different dates. The defendant had stated in the mortgage-deed that possession of the house had been transferred to the plaintiff and again in his rent notes dated 21-8-1950 (Ext. 5) and 14-12-1964 (Ext. 1), he admitted the possession of the plaintiff. In view of the recitals contained in these documents executed by the defendant, it is not open to him to contend that possession was not transferred or that the mortgage was a simple one. The defendant-applicant had been paying rent to the plaintiff opposite party and the relationship of landlord and tenant existed between them. It was open to the mortgagee-landlord to realise the rent and to eject the defendant-applicant on the expiry of the term of the lease or on the breach of any conditions thereof.

8. In Feroz Shah v. Sohbat Khan , mortgagee's right to eject the mortgagor to whom the mortgagee had let out the mortgaged property on lease was upheld. The Privy Council held that the term of the lease having expired, the mortgagee was entitled to possession and the evidence to show that the mortgage, in reality, was a simple mortgage according to the intention of the parties was inadmissible under Section 92 of the Evidence Act. In Mohammad Ashraf Ali Khan v. Behari Lal (AIR 1937 All 478), a Division Bench followingthe decision of the Privy Council in Feroz Shah's case held that where after usufructuary mortgage, the mortgagor executed a qabuleat in favour of the mortgagee by which the mortgagor retained possession of the mortgaged property on payment of rent and executed a third document whereby the mortgagor charged his equity of redemption to secure the due payment of rent, all these documents though executed on the same date, did not form one transaction. The mortgage continued to be usufructuary in nature, In Pyarelal v. Ram Swarup : AIR1944All221 , a Division Bench of this Court upheld the right of a mortgagee to recover possession as well as the damages for use and occupation of the property let out to the mortgagor after the execution of the usufructuary mortgage. In Lal Chand v. Nenoo Ram , the defendant had executed a mortgage-deed in favour of the plaintiff and delivered possession of the house to the mortgagee. On the date of the execution of the mortgage-deed, the mortgagor executed a registered qabuleat in favour of the mortgagee reciting therein that he had taken the property on lease at a monthly rent of Rs. 278/- and would vacate the house when desired by the landlord. The amount of Rs. 278/- represented the interest payable on the mortgage money. The plaintiff-mortgagee brought suit for arrears of rent and eviction of the mortgagor on the basis of the rent-note. The mortgagor contested the suit on the ground that the mortgage and the qabuleat formed part of the same transaction and the mortgage being a simple one, there was no relationship of tenant and landlord and the mortgagee was not entitled to the possession of the house. A learned single Judge repelled the mortgagor's contention on the finding that even though the two documents were executed on the same date, they did not form part of the same transaction and, therefore, the mortgagee was entitled to maintain the suit for eviction and arrears of rent against the mortgagor.

9. The above noted authorities show that there has been divergence of opinion on the question. The view taken by Patna High Court in Baij Nath Prasad and Ram Narain Pasi's cases : AIR1955Pat357 and : AIR1957Pat24 and by the Bombay High Court in Harilal Bhagwanji's case : AIR1958Bom8 are contrary to the view taken by the Allahabad High Court in Kuer Mohd. Ashraf Ali Khan's case (AIR 1937 All 478) and Rajasthan High Court in Lal Chand's case . The conflict was, however, resolved by the Supreme Court in Mathura Lal v. Keshar Bai : [1970]3SCR724 . After considering the two rival views, the Supreme Court upheld the Rajasthan view in Lal Chand's case and the view taken by the Patna High Court in Baij Nath Prasad's case and Ram Narain Pasi's case and the Bombay High Court in Harilal Bhagwanji's case was overruled. The Supreme Court held that where a usufructuary mortgage was executed in respect of a house or other property and if the same property was leased out by the mortgagee to the mortgagor to secure his interest in the property, there was no reason, why he could not file a suit for realisation of money due under the rent note. It is always open to the mortgagee to sue the mortgagor on the basis of the rent note and take possession of the property or to induct some other tenant. The mortgagor has a right to redeem the mortgage, he can always pay off the mortgagee and get back the possession but till that is done, the mortgagee has a right to obtain the possession of the property.

10. In the instant case, the mortgage-deed was executed on 17-12-1949 while the rent note was executed on 21-8-1950 and the subsequent rent note was executed on 14-12-1964. Under these two documents, the defend ant-applicant agreed to pay rent to the mortagee for the use and occupation of the house. Even if the rate of rent represented the interest, the nature of transaction remained the same and the relationship between the defendant -mortgagor and the plaintiff-mortgageecontinued to be that of tenant and landlord. Since the defendant failed to pay the rent, the mortgagee was entitled to the arrears of rent and to the possession of the mortgaged property. No doubt, it is open to the defendant to file suit for the redemption of the mortgage and to recover back the possession of the mortgaged property but unless the mortgage-deed is redemed, the defendant is not entitled to continue in possession of the house. So long the mortgage-deed continues to be in force, the mortgagee is entitled to retain the possession of the house.

11. In the result, the revision fails and is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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