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Suraj Prasad Vs. Smt. Kusumlata Sinha - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1984 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1973All198
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 106 and 111
AppellantSuraj Prasad
RespondentSmt. Kusumlata Sinha
Appellant AdvocateShitla Prasad, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateRajeshwari Prasad, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....notice - section 106 of transfer of property act, 1882 - notice sent to tenant calling upon him to vacate premises and give arrears of rent - contended notice was not in accordance with law and that the one month given to vacate was not clearly thirty days - held, notice for vacating within one month from service valid. (ii) notice to vacate leased premises - section 111 of transfer of property act, 1882 - contended that notice was only for vacating leased premises - not for ending of tenancy - held, notice for vacating leased property implies end of tenancy. - - it was contended firstly by the learned counsel that the plaintiff failed to establish that she was the owner of the house in suit and the court below erred in holding that relationship of landlord and tenant existed between..........106 of the transfer of property act as amended by u. p. civil law 1954 as it was not a thirty days notice of termination of tenancy. in fact at one stage the learned counsel strenuously argued that the tenancy has not at all been terminated and there is nothing in the notice terminating the tenancy but merely calling upon the tenant to vacate the premises leased would not amount to terminating the tenancy. the learned counsel referred to an old full bench decision of this court in the case of bradley v. atkinson, (1885) ilr 7 ah 899 (fb). much water has flown down the bridge since the full bench decided that case and i need not encumber this judgment by referring to the numerous cases in which the full bench decision in (1885) ilr 7 all 899 (fb) has been considered and explained. a.....
Judgment:

K.B. Asthana, J.

1. The defendant tenant has appealed from a concurrent decree of his eviction from a house on the finding that he defaulted in payment of rent despite notice of demand having been served upon him and his tenancy having been terminated by service of a notice as required by law.

2. Admittedly the defendant appellant was the tenant of the plaintiff respondent in the house in suit. By a notice dated 4-4-1965 served on the defendant on 7-4-1965 the plaintiff asked the defendant to vacate the house and to clear off all the arrears of rent within one month after the receipt thereof. The defendant did not comply with the notice, hence the suit.

3. Amongst the pleas set up in defence was that the plaintiff was not the landlord of the defendant and that the notice to quit for terminating the tenancy was not in accordance with law.

4. Both the courts below found on the evidence on record that the defendant had attorned to the plaintiff who got the house in suit as a gift from her father and that the notice terminating the tenancy was valid and effective. The suit of the plaintiff was decreed.

5. I have heard Sri R. M. Sahai, learned counsel appearing for the defendant appellant, in support of the appeal. It was contended firstly by the learned counsel that the plaintiff failed to establish that she was the owner of the house in suit and the court below erred in holding that relationship of landlord and tenant existed between the parties. I do not find any substance in this contention. The finding recorded by the court below that the plaintiff was the owner of the house in suit is a finding of fact which has not been shown to be vitiated by any error of law or procedure. There is documentary evidence on record showing that the defendant had addressed letters to the plaintiff as the owner landlady. The learned counsel tried to argue that the inference drawn by the court below from the documentary evidence was unwarranted. I do not agree. The finding of the courtbelow is not solely based on inferences drawn from documents but based also on a consideration of oral evidence. Once the plaintiff's evidence were believed, that would fully justify the finding recorded. Mere insufficiency of evidence has never been held to be a ground vitiating a finding of fact. I , think the finding of the court below on the question of relationship of lessor and lessee between the parties is a good finding binding in second appeal.

6. Sri R. M. Sahai secondly argued that the notice served on the defendant was not in accordance with the requirements of law, hence invalid and the plaintiff was not entitled to evict the defendant, the tenancy having not been terminated. Exhibit 41 on record is a copy of the notice served on the defendant. It is as follows:--

'Registered A. D.

From Shrimati Kusumlata Sinha,W/O Shri Bind Behari SinhaTilothu House, P. S. TilothuShahabad (Bihar)

TO Shri Surai PrasadK 65/41 Gold Dinanath Borunl,Kabirchaura Road. Varanasi.

Ref:-- Arrear rent of my house No.

K 65/41 which has been let

out to you.

Dear Sir,

I am sorry to remind yon that you have not cared to pay the rent for the last five months. You are intentionally withholding payment.

I hereby serve you with this notice to vacate my premises and to clear off all the arrear rents within one month after the receipt of this notice failing which I shall proceed to take legal action against you.

This notice may be treated as a notice under law.

Thanking yon in anticipation.

dated 4-4-1965.

Yours faithfully.

Sd/- Kusumlata Sinha.'

7. The first objection raised was that this was a notice for payment of arrears of rent and not for termination of tenancy. Emphasis was laid on the heading which confined itself to 'arrear rent of my house No. K 65/41 which has been let out to you.' It was submitted that on its language the intention is manifest that the landlady required the payment of arrears of rent on the threat of taking legal action if the defendant did not pay. Reliance was placed on Kai-lash Saran v. Murli Manohar, 1968 All LJ 718 (719). I cannot read the notice in question as the learned counsel wants me to read it. The intention in the notice is manifest, namely, calling upon the tenant to vacate the premises and also calling upon him to pay the arrears of rent. It is the settled law in this Court that a composite notice demanding arrears of rent and terminating the tenancy is a valid notice. The termination of the tenancy or vacating the house is notmade conditional or dependent upon the failure of the defendant to pay the arrears of rent unlike the notice which was considered in 1968 All LJ 718 (Supra). Merely the heading in the notice would not be conclusive. The notice is to be read as a whole. In clear and unequivocal terms the landlady asked the tenant to vacate the house. She writes 'I hereby serve you with this notice to vacate my premises and to clear off all the arrears of rent within one month after the receipt of this notice failing which I shall proceed to take legal action.' There is no scope of misunderstanding by the defendant on the receipt of the said notice that he had to pay the arrears of rent and to vacate the premises within the time fixed in the notice. The payment of the arrears of rent and the vacating of the house was not made dependent on each other. Each action was distinct by itself to be performed by the defendant. There is, therefore, no substance in this objection to the validity of the notice.

8. The second objection was that by the notice in question assuming it was a notice to quit as worded, the termination was in praesenti and not on the expiry of thirty days as required by law. The submission was that the tenant was being asked to vacate the premises at once and not after thirty days. Learned counsel, tried to construe the wordings of the notice as if the phrase 'within one month after the receipt of this notice' did not govern the phrase 'to vacate my premises' did not govern the phrase 'to clear off all the arrear rents'. I am unable to construe the language of the notice in this manner. The phrase 'Vithin one month after the receipt of this notice** would equally govern the phrase 'vacate my premises'. Thus the notice was not a notice calling upon the tenant to vacate the premises at once or forthwith.

9. The third objection to the validity of the notice was that it did not meet the requirement of Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act as amended by U. P. Civil Law 1954 as it was not a thirty days notice of termination of tenancy. In fact at one stage the learned counsel strenuously argued that the tenancy has not at all been terminated and there is nothing in the notice terminating the tenancy but merely calling upon the tenant to vacate the premises leased would not amount to terminating the tenancy. The learned counsel referred to an old Full Bench decision of this Court in the case of Bradley v. Atkinson, (1885) ILR 7 AH 899 (FB). Much water has flown down the bridge since the Full Bench decided that case and I need not encumber this judgment by referring to the numerous cases in which the Full Bench decision in (1885) ILR 7 All 899 (FB) has been considered and explained. A notice calling upon the tenant to vacate the leased premises would always amount to a notice terminating the tenancy. Under Clause (h) of Section 111 of the Transfer of Property Act a lease of immovable pro-perty determines on the expiration of a notice to determine the lease or to quit, op of intention to quit, the property leased, duly given by one party to the other. Whether the lessor has given a notice expressing an intention that the lease will stand terminated or he by the notice calls upon the lessee to quit, that is, to leave, the legal consequence of both would be that the lease would stand determined. The provi-sions of Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act lay down the manner in which iuch a notice is to be served and fixes the time before which it has to be given. In Ram Chandra v. Lala Duli Chand : AIR1958All729 , a notice calling upon the tenant to vacate the premises let out has been held to be a notice which successfully determines the tenancy.

10. It was then contended by Sri Sahai for the appellant that since the tenant was called upon to vacate the premises within one month of the receipt of the notice by him, it was not a clear thirty days notice as required by Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. The submission was that in law the defendant as a tenant was entitled to remain in possession of the house let out for full thirty days from the date of the receipt of the notice but the demand of the plaintiff landlady for vacating the house before the completion of thirty days invalidated it. The question so posed certainly is not free from difficulty as the law regarding notices has somewhat been characterised as very technical but a Full Bench decision of this Court in Gorakhlal v. Mahaprasad Narain Singh, 1963 All LJ 829 furnishes a complete answer to this question wherein it was held that calling upon the tenant to vacate the premises within thirty days of the service of notice will be in accordance with the provisions of Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. Thus this contention on behalf of the appellant also fails. It was, however, suggested by Sri Sahai that the ratio of decision of the Full Bench in : AIR1964All260 (supra) will not help the plaintiff respondent in the instant case as the notice here called upon the tenant to vacate the house within one month and not within thirty days. The submission was that one month is not the game thing as thirty days. It appears to me to be simply an argument of despair. In common parlance the words one month always connote a period of thirty days and is understood like that. While construing the notice the court is not interpreting or construing a Statute made by the Parliament or State Legislature. Therefore, the definition of 'month' in General Glausesm Act will not be attracted.

11. For all these reasons given above I do not find any force in this appeal and dismiss it with coats.


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