Skip to content


Mahabir Singh Vs. Anant Ram and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 4492 of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1966All214
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 114 and 115
AppellantMahabir Singh
RespondentAnant Ram and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.J. Hyder, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN.S. Singhal, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
(i) tenancy - presumption - section 114 of evidence act, 1872 - remittance of money order in same town - court shall presume addressee shall receive money order within ten days in absence of evidence to the contrary. (ii) estoppel - section 115 of evidence act, 1872 - tenancy lasted for four years with knowledge of landlord - rent paid by sub-tenant - presumption of acquiescence - presumption not displaced by bare denial of the landlord that he had acquiesced as it is based on unexplained conduct of the landlord - held, appellant not guilty of subletting without consent of landlord. - - on this evidence both the courts below took the view that the appellant had failed to establish that the money order was tendered before the 19th of july......i am afraid that in coming to this conclusion the court did not apply its mind to material facts. the landlord had admitted in cross-examination that chhota had been living as a subtenant for four years, that he had seen him in the house during this period, that he had paid rent to the appellant in his presence, and that on occasions the rent paid by chhota to the appellant in his presence was passed on to him. on these findings, the court should have presumed from the landlord's conduct that he had acquiesced in the subtenancy. the learned judge has rightly observed that mere knowledge of sub-tenancy does not of itself establish acquiescence but in this case there was more than mere knowledge. where the tenancy has lasted for four years with the knowledge or the landlord; and.....
Judgment:

S.S. Dhavan, J.

1. This is a tenant's second appeal from the concurrent decisions of the Courts below decreeing the landlord's suit for his ejectment from a house. The plaintiff respondent Anant Ram is the owner of a house in Muzaffarnagar of which the defendant-appellant Mahabir Singh is the tenant. The plaintiff alleged that the appellant fell into arrears of rent for four months which he did not pay in spite of service of a notice of demand. He also alleged that the plaintiff had sub-let a portion of the house to two sub-tenants without his consent. The defendant resisted the suit and denied both allegations. He alleged that on receipt of the notice of demand he remitted the rent due by money order but the plaintiff refused to accept it and the remittance was returned by the post office with the indorsement that it had been refused. As regards the charge of subletting he admitted that the two persons mentioned in the plaint had stayed with him for sometime, but alleged that they were his quests and had gone away. Both tie Courts below have held that the appellant did not pay the arrears of rent within the statutory period of one month from the date of demand and that he had sub-let a portion of the house to Chhota, the second defendant. The trial Court ordered his ejectment and the Civil Judge dismissed his appeal. He has come to this Court in second appeal.

2. I have heard Mr. S.I. Hyder for the appellant and Mr. N. S. Singhal for ma respondent and also gone through the evidence. I am of opinion that the decision of the Courts below IB erroneous.

3. On the questions whether the appellant had paid or tendered the rent within one month or demand, the following facts have been proved. On the 19th of June, 1959 the appellant received the registered notice of demand. On the 9th of July he remitted the rent due by money order. This was returned to him with the indorsement of the postman that it had been tendered but refused by the respondent, but the date of refusal did not appear on it. On this evidence both the Courts below took the view that the appellant had failed to establish that the money order was tendered before the 19th of July. The appeal late Judge observed that neither the appellant nor the postman who gave evidence mentioned the precise date on which the money order was tendered, and, therefore, the appellant had not discharged the onus of proving mat the money had been offered on or about the 19th of July. I am afraid the learned Judge was in error, because he overlooked that under Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act there was a presumption that the remittance was tendered before that date. That section provides that the Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct, and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case. The section does not lay down any hard and fast rule with regard to the circumstances in which any fact or facts may be presumed to exist nor does it contain an exhaustive list of such facts, though it gives a few illustrations from various walks of life. The section, however, provides a guiding principle--namely, that the Court shall be guided by us own experience and knowledge of the common course of natural events, and public and private affairs. The learned Judge did not even consider whether on the facts of the case before him it could be presumed that the money remitted by the appellant on the 9th of July was tendered not later than the 19th of July. In my opinion, where a money order is remitted for delivery to an addressee residing in the same town, the Court should presume, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, that it was tendered in the ordinary course--at any rate, not later than within 10 days. The learned Judge relied on a decision of my learned brother Oak in Saliq Ram v. Moti Lal, 1960 All LJ 459. But the facts of that case were quite different, and the headnote of the report is misleading. The landlord and the tenant lived in the same town, and the notice of demand was received on the 10th of December and rent became payable on 10th January next. The tenant remitted the rent by telegraphic money order on the 10th of January but there was no evidence at what time of the day. It was argued on his behalf that the Court should presume, under Section 114 of the Evidence Act, that the remittance reached the landlord on the same day as the parties were living in the same town. This argument was rejected, and if I may say so with respect,lightly. It cannot be presumed, with the aid of Section 114 of the Evidence Act, that a telegraphic money order paid to the post office is likely to be delivered to the addressee on that day even if the latter lives in the same town, particularly when it is not known at what time of the day it was handed in by the sender. But the Court win certainly presume that a money order was delivered to an addressee living in the same town, in the ordinary course, within ten days of the remittance, because a delay of ten days is out of the ordinary. Disagreeing with the view of the Court below I hold that the appellant wasentitled to the benefit of a presumption under Section 114 of the Evidence Act and the Court should have presumed, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary by the landlord, that the remittance was tendered within ten days of the receipt of demand.

4. The finding that the appellant was guilty of sub-letting without the consent of the landlord is also erroneous. The appellant had contended that he had not sub-let the accommodation to any one and that Chhota and Nakli were his guests. He was partly disbelieved and the Courts below have held that Chhota at any rate was his subtenant. This finding is binding on me in second appeal. But the lower appellate Court also found that the sub-letting was without the consent of the landlord. I am afraid that in coming to this conclusion the Court did not apply its mind to material facts. The landlord had admitted in cross-examination that Chhota had been living as a subtenant for four years, that he had seen him in the house during this period, that he had paid rent to the appellant in his presence, and that on occasions the rent paid by Chhota to the appellant in his presence was passed on to him. On these findings, the Court should have presumed from the landlord's conduct that he had acquiesced in the subtenancy. The learned Judge has rightly observed that mere knowledge of sub-tenancy does not of itself establish acquiescence but in this case there was more than mere knowledge. Where the tenancy has lasted for four years with the knowledge or the landlord; and the rent has been paid by the sub-tenant in the presence of the landlord and on several occasions passed on to him by the tenant, a presumption of acquiescence will arise a presumption which will be strengthened by the fact that the landlord offered no explanation why he had waited for four years before filing the suit for ejectment on the ground of illegal sub-letting. Such a presumption will not fee displaced by a bare denial of the landlord that he had acquiesced, as it is based on the unexplained conduct of the landlord.

5. This appeal is allowed with costs. Thedecree for ejectment is set aside and the plaintiff's suit for ejectment dismissed with coststhroughout. The decree for rent shall stand,but as the plaintiff refused the rent when it wastendered, he shall pay his own costs of this partof the suit throughout.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //