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Sital Das Vs. the State of Uttar Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit No. 7859 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1974All118
ActsUttar Pradesh (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 - Sections 3; Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulations of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 - Sections 21 and 43(2); Constitution of India - Article 14
AppellantSital Das
RespondentThe State of Uttar Pradesh and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR.N. Bhalla, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....act shall apply to all private schools in the state whether receiving any grant-in-aid from the state government or not. private school is defined in section 2(2) of the act as a recognised school established or administered by a management other than the government or a local authority. recognised means recognised by director, the divisional board or state board. thus as far as the first part of the definition of being recognised is concerned, it includes, as stated above, four directors, the divisional boards and four state boards. the second part of this definition which comes after the comma refers to any officer authorised by director or by any of such boards. the question to be examined is whether school run by the cantonment board could be said to be one run by any such boards...........in favour of the landlord. the petitioner filed a petition under section 7-f of the act before the state government and reiterated the various pleas raised by him before the rent control and eviction officer and the commissioner. the state government, by its order dated 25-10-1972, rejected the petition. the landlord thereafter moved an application under section 21 (1) of the u. p. urban buildings (regulations of letting. rent and eviction) act, 1972, for the ejectment of the petitioner from the accommodation in dispute. the prescribed authority issued a notice to the petitioner dated 13-11-1972 to show cause why he should not be evicted. thereupon the petitioner filed the above noted petition for quashing the orders of the rent control and eviction officer, the commissioner, and the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K.N. Singh, J.

1. The petitioner is a tenant of two shops in premises No. 4/143, New Hardeoganj, Belanganj, Agra. They were allotted to him under Section 7 (2) of the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act (hereinafter called the Act). The landlord moved an application under Section 3 of the Act seeking permission to file a suit for ejectment against the petitioner on the ground of personal need. The Rent Control and Eviction Officer by his order dated 25-1-1971 granted necessary permission after considering the comparative needs of the tenant and the landlord. The petitioner was afforded an opportunity to avail of the offer made by the landlord and surrender one of the two shops in his occupation within fifteen days of the making of the order. The petitioner filed a revision before the Commissioner, Agra Division, Agra, under Section 3 (2) of the Act. The Commissioner dismissed therevision but allowed one month's time to the petitioner from the date of his order to avail of the offer made to him by the landlord and surrender one of the shops in favour of the landlord. The petitioner filed a petition under Section 7-F of the Act before the State Government and reiterated the various pleas raised by him before the Rent Control and Eviction Officer and the Commissioner. The State Government, by its order dated 25-10-1972, rejected the petition. The landlord thereafter moved an application under Section 21 (1) of the U. P. Urban Buildings (Regulations of Letting. Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, for the ejectment of the petitioner from the accommodation in dispute. The Prescribed Authority issued a notice to the petitioner dated 13-11-1972 to show cause why he should not be evicted. Thereupon the petitioner filed the above noted petition for quashing the orders of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer, the Commissioner, and the State Government dated 25-1-1971, 9-8-1971 and 25-10-1972 respectively.

2. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the authorities concerned failed to apply their minds in considering the comparative need of the petitioner and that of the landlord and that the order of the State Government did not contain any reasons for rejecting the petition under Section 7-F of the Act. I have carefully looked into the orders passed by the various authorities referred to earlier and I find no substance in the grievance made by the petitioner. All the authorities appear to have carefully weighed the comparative needs of the tenant and the landlord and on being satisfied that the need of the landlord was bona fide and more pressing, permission was accorded for filing a suit for the eviction of the petitioner. The contention of the petitioner that the order of the State Govt. does not disclose any reason and independent application of mind for the rejection of the petition under Section 7-F of the Act is without any substance. It has referred to the various pleas raised by the parties and then arrived at the conclusion that no interference against the order of the subordinate authorities was called for. As the State Government affirmed the orders passed by the subordinate authorities, it was not necessary to discuss the entire evidence in detail. The order does indicate that the State Government applied its mind to the comparative needs of the parties.

3. It was next contended that the permission should not have been granted for the ejectment of the petitioner from both the shops as the offer made by the landlord indicated that his need would be satisfied by one of the shops in dispute. This argument too has no merits. It was only by way of concession and to avoid prolonged litigation that the offer was made by the landlord. The petitioner did not accept that offer. However, the Rent Control and Eviction Officer and the Commissioner offered him fresh opportunities to avail of the offer made by thelandlord but the petitioner instead of accepting the offer went up to the State Government and challenged the correctness of the orders made by the subordinate authorities. The landlord put forward a claim for the need of both the shops for starting a printing press for his disabled son but voluntarily made an offer to be satisfied with only one of the shop if it was surrendered by the petitioner without contest. That does not mean that the need of the landlord for both the shops was not bona fide.

4. In this connection a further argument was advanced that the State Government did not afford another opportunity to the petitioner to accept the offer made by the landlord and vacate one of the two shops in his possession. It was urged that the petitioner was agreeable now to surrender one of the shops to the landlord. The petitioner failed to take advantage of the offer made by the landlord and the two opportunities afforded by the subordinate authorities. He cannot be heard to complain that the State Government did not again offer him that option or that this Court should now permit him to take advantage of the offer made fey the landlord after having failed in his contest right up to the State Government.

5. It was lastly contended that the provisions contained in Section 43 (2) (rr) of U. P. Act No. 13 of 1972 are null and void being discriminatory and are hit by Article 14 of the Constitution of India and the proceedings being taken thereunder are without jurisdiction. It was urged that under the aforesaid Act if an application is made under Sub-section (a) of Section 21 (1) for eviction of a tenant in respect of any building in which the tenant is engaged in any profession, trade or calling, the Prescribed Authority while making the order of eviction shall award against the landlord to the tenant an amount equal to two years' rent as compensation and may, subject to rules, impose such other conditions as he thinks fit. On the other hand where any permission has been obtained under Section 3 of Act of 1947 and has become final and a suit for the eviction of the tenant has not been instituted, the Prescribed Authority is empowered under Section 43 (2) (rr) of the new Act to order eviction of the tenant from the building under his tenancy and the tenant can be evicted without payment of any compensation to him. In this manner a tenant against whom permission has been obtained under the Act of 1947 can be evicted under the provisions of the new Act without payment of any compensation but a tenant against whom such an order is obtained and proceedings for his eviction are taken under the provisions of the new Act, he is entitled to compensation equal to two years' rent and this results in discrimination which makes Section 43 (2) (rr) of the new Act violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

6. The true meaning and scope of Article 14 of the Constitution has been explained in several decisions of the Supreme Courtand summarised in the case of Ram Krishna Dalmia v. S. R. Teridolkar, AIR 1958 SC 538. Article 14 forbids class legislation but does not forbid classification. The principle of equality does not absolutely prevent the State from making differences between persons and things. The State has the power of classification on the basis of rational distinction relevant to the particular subject dealt with. It must, however, be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped together from others left out of the group and that differentia must have a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved by the Statute in question. So long as the classification is based on rational basis and so long as the persons falling in the same class are treated alike, there can be no question of violating the equality clause. If there is an equality and uniformity within each group the law will not be condemned as discriminatory. In enacting Section 43 (2) (rr) the intention of the legislature appears to be that where permission has been obtained under Section 3 of the old Act on any ground specified in Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2) of Section 21, and has become final and a suit for the eviction of the tenant has not been instituted, the landlord should be allowed to avail of the simple procedure prescribed under the new Act for the eviction of the tenant unfettered by any condition and without being called upon to pay any compensation to the tenant. Persons falling under Section 43 (2) (rr) who have obtained permission for eviction of the tenant after protracted litigation under the old Act, could legitimately be classified as a separate group distinct from those who obtain an order for the eviction of the tenant under Section 21 of the 1972 Act. No distinction has been made in the impugned provision between persons falling in the same class.

7. The provision for payment of compensation to a tenant who is sought to be evicted from a building in which he is engaged in any profession, trade, or calling is a new feature introduced by the 1972 Act. It was within the competence of the legislature to lay down conditions and specify circumstances under which a landlord may obtain an order for the eviction of the tenant. It is not correct to assert that by not applying such a provision to cases where permission for the eviction of the tenant had been obtained under the old Act but he was sought to be evicted under the procedure prescribed under the new Act, the provision contained in Section 43 (2) (rr) is rendered discriminatory. A date has to be specified from which such a provision would become effective and if that date is selected as the date of enforcement of the Act or the date of an order it could not be characterised as arbitrary or fanciful. As observed by Shah, J. in Hathising . v. Union of India, AIR 1960 SC 923 'the State is undoubtedly prohibited from denying to any person equally before the law or the equal protection ofthe laws, but by enacting a law which applies generally to all persons who come within its ambit as from the date on which it becomes operative, no discrimination is practised.' The same principle was reiterated in Jain Brothers v. Union of India. AIR 1970 SC 778. In that case the validity of Section 297(2)(g) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, was challenged on, the ground that the provision created a discrimination between two sets of assessees with reference to the completion of assessment proceedings on or after 1-4-1962. For imposition of penalty assessees were classified in two groups -- those whose assessment had been completed before 1-4-5962, the proceedings and imposition of penalty would be governed by the Act of 1922 whereas in case of assessees whose assessment was completed after the specified date, the Act of 1961 was to govern the proceedings for imposition of penalty. It was contended that Article 14 was attracted because the classification made was purely arbitrary depending on the accident of the completion of assessment. This argument was negatived and it was held that the classification was based on intelligible differentia having reasonable relation to the object intended to be achieved. On the same principle it must be held that if a landlord who has obtained permission under the old Act and that permission has become final, he could form a distinct class and the provisions contained in Section 43(3)(rr) of the new Act could not be condemned as discriminatory.

8. In the result the petition fails and is dismissed with costs.


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