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Rajendra Prasad Gupta Vs. Krishan Murari Lal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 2280 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1972All181
ActsRegistration Act, 1908 - Sections 17
AppellantRajendra Prasad Gupta
RespondentKrishan Murari Lal and ors.
Appellant AdvocateG.D. Srivastava, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN.S. Singhal, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....did not give any right of renewal but in effect authorised the tenant to enjoy the property as long as the tenant chooses. --jo ki ek kita ahata mahduda jail lave sadak pukhta sarkari dakchhin mahana kasba hapur jila meerut milkiyat wa makbuja khas farik doyam hai jisko ham farik awwal ne bagaraj istemal petrol pump minebtadaye 12-4-1963 esbi batkarur kiraya mublig 80/- rupya mahawari ke hisab se lagayat 11-4-64 esbi tak ka jare kiraya mublig 960/-nau sau sath rupya bajariye rasid mujh farik awwal kirayedar ne farik dovam malik ko de diya hai lekin kiraye name haja ajenda majid muddat aksal ke live yani minebtdaye 12-4-1964 esbi lagayat 11-4-1965 esbi tak ke liye mublig ak sau 100/- rupya mahwari yani 1200/- rupya salana kiraye par hasb shrayat jail tai pa gaya hai aur bad inkaja..........of rs. 100/-. the lease according to him was for a period of one year only and on expiry of one year's period on 11-4-1965, his status became that of a tenant from month to month and he was liable to ejectment after his tenancy was determined by notice dated 20th april. 1966. the eviction was also claimed on the ground of forfeiture for breach of a term of the agreement. the claim of the ejectment on the ground of forfeiture, however, was subsequently abandoned.4. the appellant pleaded that on a correct interpretation of the document ext. 3, he acquired rights of permanent licensee over the land in dispute and even if his status was that of a lessee, then also under the terms of the aforesaid agreement he was entitled to retain the possession of the premises so long as he continued to.....
Judgment:

J.S. Trivedi, J.

1. This is a defendant's second civil appeal directed against the judgment and decree of the Additional District Judge, Meerut.

2. The plaintiff-respondent filed a suit for possession of an enclosure specified in the plaint claiming arrears of rent and mesne profits for use and occupation till the date of delivery of possession.

3. According to the plaintiff the defendant-appellant under a deed of agreement which is Ext. 3 on record, was occupying the premises in suit on monthly rent of Rs. 100/-. The lease according to him was for a period of one year only and on expiry of one year's period on 11-4-1965, his status became that of a tenant from month to month and he was liable to ejectment after his tenancy was determined by notice dated 20th April. 1966. The eviction was also claimed on the ground of forfeiture for breach of a term of the agreement. The claim of the ejectment on the ground of forfeiture, however, was subsequently abandoned.

4. The appellant pleaded that on a correct interpretation of the document Ext. 3, he acquired rights of permanent licensee over the land in dispute and even if his status was that of a lessee, then also under the terms of the aforesaid agreement he was entitled to retain the possession of the premises so long as he continued to pay the rent.

5. The trial court held that under the terms of the lease the appellant was entitled to remain in possession so long as he continued to pay the rent and the lease being only for one year, it was not registrable. In appeal, the lower appellate court reversed the decree of the trial court holding that the lease was compulsorily registrable and as it was for a term exceeding one year and the lease not having been registered, the status of the appellant was that of a tenant from month to month; hence this second civil appeal.

6. Learned counsel for the appellant, in the second civil appeal has contended that the lease was a lease for one year with an option to renew as long as the tenant desired on the terms and conditions of the agreement Ext. 3. His contention is that the lease was liable to be renewed year after year at the option of the tenant on the terms of the original lease i.e. Ext. 3 whereas the learned counsel for the respondent has contended that the lease did not give any right of renewal but in effect authorised the tenant to enjoy the property as long as the tenant chooses. It was, therefore, in the nature of a transfer of an interest for more than a year and compulsorily registrable. He has also contended that the agreement was also compulsorily registrable because it was a lease of two years in any event and lastly he has contended that even if the right of renewal is found to flow from the terms of the agreement, then also the renewal cannot be for an indefinite period and the right of renewal would exhaust after one renewal.

7. The learned counsel for the appellant has placed his reliance on A. C. Boyd v. A. Kreigh, (1890) ILR 17 Cal 548; Khayali v. Husain Bakhsh, (1886) ILK 8 All 198; Ram Kemprai v. Burton Son and Co. Pvt. Ltd. : [1970]2SCR140 . In case of (1890) ILR 17 Cal 548 (supra) it is laid down that 'a lease for one year containing an option of renew al for a further period of one year, is not a lease for a term exceeding one year within the meaning of Clause (d), Section 17 of the Registration Act, so as to render registration thereof compulsory.' It was also held by his Lordship of the Calcutta High Court that the tenant was entitled to claim the option or renewal. The option of renewal was given in the following terms;

'Also with option to renew for another twelve months certain.'

In (1886) ILR 8 All 198 (supra), the lease was for one year, but it contained a provision that it shall remain in force so long as the lessee or tenant continued to pay the stipulated rent. The suit of the plaintiff for possession and ejectment was dismissed by the trial court on the ground that the lease was inadmissible in evidence. In appeal the subordinate judge held that the subsequent words used in the lease were appurtenant to the future consent of the parties and the period of one year having expired, the landlord was entitled to the decree for possession. The High Court affirmed the finding of the sub-ordinate Judge holding that the appellant was only the tenant at will and on the expiry of the period of one year the landlord was entitled to eject him. That case instead of helping the appellant, supports the respondent. In the case of : [1970]2SCR140 (supra) their Lordships of the Supreme Court were considering whether a lease with an option for renewal was hit by the rule of perpetuity or not. It was laid down in that case that;

'The Clauses containing the option to get the lease renewed on the expiry of each term of ten years can by no means be regarded as creating an interest in property of the nature that would fall within the ambit of Section 14.'

8. The relevant terms of the lease in dispute which are interpreted as terms of renewal are as under:--

'Jo ki ek kita ahata mahduda jail lave sadak pukhta sarkari dakchhin mahana kasba Hapur jila meerut milkiyat wa makbuja khas farik doyam hai jisko ham farik awwal ne bagaraj istemal petrol pump minebtadaye 12-4-1963 esbi batkarur kiraya mublig 80/- rupya mahawari ke hisab se lagayat 11-4-64 esbi tak ka jare kiraya mublig 960/-nau sau sath rupya bajariye rasid mujh farik awwal kirayedar ne farik dovam malik ko de diya hai lekin kiraye name haja ajenda majid muddat aksal ke live yani minebtdaye 12-4-1964 esbi lagayat 11-4-1965 esbi tak ke liye mublig ak sau 100/- rupya mahwari yani 1200/- rupya salana kiraye par hasb shrayat jail tai pa gaya hai aur bad inkaja mayad muddat ak saal yani 12-4-1965 ke aenda ke aage ke liye yadi farik awwal kirayedar inhi sharton par ahata ko acne kabje kirayedar me rakhna challenge to rakh sakenge farik doyam ko koee ujra nani hoga ab sharayat jail ki pagvandi farikain par rahegi.

Yah ki 11-4-1964 esbi ke bad ke liye jab tak farik awwal kirayedar rahna chahega is jare kiraye mukrira vani mublig 100/- rupya mahawari kiraye me kami bashi karne ka kisi farik ko koee hak nahi hoga.'

According to the learned counsel for the appellant the right to remain in possession contained in this document is a covenant and does not confer any Interest in the property and, therefore, the document is not compulsorily registrable. He further contends that this right being in the nature of an agreement for getting the 'possession of the premises so long as the tenant-appellant continues to pay the rent, the tenant-appellant was entitled to retain possession of the premises. Learned counsel for the respondent contends that the terms are not in the nature of renewal Clause but the agreement authorises the tenant to remain in possession of the property so long as he wishes to keep the premises in his tenancy and, therefore, the agreement is in the nature of transfer of interest in the property exceeding one year and is compulsorily registrable.

9. A mere reading of the relevant Clauses of the agreement given above would show that the tenant is given a right to retain the possession of the property as long as he wishes to keep the same. Either it is a condition authorising the tenant to enjoy the property for an indefinite period or it is as remarked in the case of (1886) ILR 8 All 198 (supra) giving right of possession subject to the future consent of the parties. If it is the latter, the lease would be only for a period of one year and registration will not be necessary but if it is the former, then surely the agreement was compulsorily registrable. The learned counsel for the respondent has placed Ms reliance on the case of Munshi Lal v. Gopi Ballabh AIR 1914 All 120 which lays down that;

'The term of a lease for purposes of registration must be understood to mean the period for which the lessee is protected against dispossession at the will and pleasure' of the lessor, or, in other words, the length of time for which the lessee is entitled to continue in possession, provided he himself fulfils all the stipulated conditions.'

Learned counsel for the respondent has further referred the cases of Pagi Mania Jaga v. Desai Lallubhai, (1900) 2 Bom LR 488; Firm Karim Baksh v. Natha Singh. (1922) 66 Ind Cas 904 (Lah); Kishore Chand v. Dharam Pal . In the case of (1900) 2 Bom LR 488 (supra) it was laid down that;

'A rent note providing that the tenants may hold the lands as long as they continue to pay rent or perform the service, is lease of immovable property which must be registered under Section 17, Indian Registration Act, 1877.''

In the case of (1922) 66 Ind Cas 904 (Lah) (supra) while interpreting the agreement of rent which was in these words; 'I have given the shops on a rental of Rs. 3-8-0 a month. So long as tenant occupies the shops the rent shall not be raised or lowered,' it was held that the lease was for a term exceeding one year and required to be registered. In the case of (supra) it was laid down that;

'A rent note transferring lease-hold rights in the demised premises to the lessee to be enjoyed by him for as long a time as he continued to pay the rent represents demise of the premises Indefinitely subject only to the lessee continuing to pay the rent. The lease is for a period exceeding one year and requires to be registered.'

The difference between a Clause for renewal and Clause conferring right to occupy the premises so long as the tenant continues to pay the rent is that in the former case the tenant has a right to claim a renewal of the lease by execution of the fresh deed whereas in the latter case he has a right to enjoy the property on the basis of the original lease. The case reported in : [1970]2SCR140 (supra) is a case where a definite Clause for renewal was provided in the lease whereas in the present case there is no Clause for renewal of the lease. The terms authorise the tenant to remain in possession and enjoy the property so long as the tenant wishes. This Is, therefore clearly a lease for a term exceeding one year and the court below was right in holding that the deed was compulsorily registrable. The deed not having been registered, the status of the appellant on the expiry of the period of one year would be that of a tenant from month to month.

10. Even if for a moment it Is accepted that the terms enumerated above in the deed amount to a renewal Clause, then also the right of renewal cannot be exercised indefinitely. Maharaja Bahadur Sir Prodyot Coomar Tagore v. Maynuddin Mia : AIR1938Cal724 on which the learned counsel for the appellant, has placed his reliance itself lays down that the covenant for renewal cannot be exercised indefinitely. It was held in that case that;

'If the option in a lease does not state the terms of renewal, the new lease will be for same period and on the same terms as the original lease in respect of all the essential conditions thereof except as to the covenant for renewal.'

The Clauses does not contemplate for renewal again and again.

11. For the reasons given above the status of the appellant was that of a tenant from month to month and his tenancy having been determined, he was liable to be ejected from the premises in suit.

12. This appeal, therefore, has no force and is accordingly dismissed with costs. The appellant is granted six months' time to vacate the premises within which period the decree for ejectment shall not be executed. The appellant will be liable to pay the damages at the decreed rate till the date of dispossession.


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