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Man Singh Vs. Ch. Bishambar Singh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 1458 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975All335
ActsUttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 - Sections 20, 39 and 40; Provincial Small Cause Courts Act - Sections 25
AppellantMan Singh
RespondentCh. Bishambar Singh and anr.
Appellant AdvocateGur Pratap Singh, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA.D. Prabhakar, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....- pending suits - sections 20, 39 and 40 of the u. p. urban buildings (regulation of letting, rent and eviction) act, 1972 - a suit under the act pending in revision cannot be said to have lapsed. - - 3. the trial court decreed the suit for ejectment as well as for recovery of arrears of rent and pendente lite and future mesne profits. clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 20 is more or less similar to clause (a) of section 3 of the old act and permits institution of a suit for eviction of a tenant from the building on the ground that the tenant is in arrears of rent for not less than four months and had failed to pay the same to the landlord within one month from the date of service upon him of a notice of demand. failure to make the requisite deposits by the defendant-tenant..........(2) of section 20 enables institution of suits for eviction of tenants from buildings on the grounds mentioned in clauses (a) to (g) thereof. clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 20 is more or less similar to clause (a) of section 3 of the old act and permits institution of a suit for eviction of a tenant from the building on the ground that the tenant is in arrears of rent for not less than four months and had failed to pay the same to the landlord within one month from the date of service upon him of a notice of demand. suits for eviction of tenants after the coming into force of the act on ground other than those enumerated in sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 20 stand barred. a suit for the eviction of a tenant even on grounds mentioned in clauses (b) to (g) of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. When this revision came up for admission before a learned Single Judge, he referred the following question for decision by a larger Bench and directed that the revision be listed for admission after the opinion of the larger Bench has been received:--

'If a building is constructed in 1964 and suit is filed in 1972 for ejectment of the tenant and the suit is decreed in 1973 by the court of Small Causes and the revision instituted in 1973 under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act remains pending till 1974 and ten years' period since the completion of the construction lapsed, can the suit be dismissed on the ground that it was barred by Section 20 of the U. P. Urban Buildings (Regulations of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972.'

2. The material facts giving rise to this revision are that on the 3rd May, 1972, plaintiff-respondent No. 1, claiming to be the landlord of the premises in question, instituted a suit in the court of the learned City Munsif. Meerut, for ejectment of the applicant and defendant opposite party and for recovery of arrears of rent end pendente lite and future mesne profits at the rate of Rs. 45 per month. In consequence of the amendment of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1387 by the Uttar Pradesh Civil Laws Amendment Act, 1972 which came into force on the 16th September, 1972, the suit came to be transferred to the court of the learned Judge. Small Causes at Meerut. The applicant and opposite party No. 2 resisted the claim on various pleas. Benefit of Section 39 of the U. P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act. 1972--hereinafter referred to as the Act--was also claimed.

3. The trial court decreed the suit for ejectment as well as for recovery of arrears of rent and pendente lite and future mesne profits. Aggrieved by the decree of the trial court, the defendant-applicant filed a revision before the learned IV Additional District Judge, Meerut. The court below upheld the finding recorded by the trial court that the premises in dispute has been constructed in the year 1964. The claim based on Section 39 of the Act was rejected since in the view of the court below the defendants were not entitled to its benefit 'because the Act itself is not applicable to the case.' In the result, the court below dismissed the revision with the modification that it was ordered that the defendants shall not ,be evicted till the 31st December, 1974.

4. As far as the question framed by the learned Single Judge is concerned, a mere reading of Section 20 of the Act makes it clear that it must be answered in the negative. Section 20 of the Act, as far as material for our purposes is in the following terms:--

'20 (1). Save as provided in Sub-section (2), or in Clause (r) of Sub-section (2) of Section 43, no suit shall be instituted for the eviction of a tenant from a build-ins, notwithstanding the determination of his tenancy by efflux of time or on the expiration of a notice to quit or in any other manner:--

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall bar a suit for the eviction of a tenant on the determination of his tenancy by efflux of time where the tenancy for a fixed term was entered into by or in pursuance of a compromise or adjustment arrived at with reference to a suit, appeal, revision or execution proceeding, which is either recorded in court or otherwise reduced to writing and signed by the tenant. (2) A suit for the eviction of a tenant from a building after the determination of his tenancy may be instituted on one or more of the following grounds, namely-

5. An analysis of Section 20 makes it clear that it is prospective and is a bar merely to the institution of suits after the coming into force of the Act. The suit giving rise to the instant revision was already pending on the date when the Act came into force and is not liable to be dismissed on the mere ground that its continuance is barred by Section 20 of the Act. This, however, does not mean that Section 20 of the Act will necessarily have no effect whatsoever on the suit pending in the instant revision. Section 20 of the Act, though negative in form, permits institution of suits for the eviction of tenants from premises to which the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947--hereinafter referred to as the Old Act--applied, after the coming into force of the Act on the basis of permission obtained from the District Magistrate under Section 3 of the Old Act on its assuming finality under Clauses (i), (1) (m) or (o) of Section 43 (2) of the Act. The proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 20 also permits institution of suits for the eviction of the tenants on the determination of their tenancy by efflux of time where the tenancy for a fixed term was entered into by or in pursuance of a compromise or adjustment arrived at with reference to a suit, appeal, revision or execution proceeding which is either recorded in court or otherwise reduced to writing and signed by the tenant. Sub-section (2) of Section 20 enables institution of suits for eviction of tenants from buildings on the grounds mentioned in Clauses (a) to (g) thereof. Clause (a) of Sub-section (2) of Section 20 is more or less similar to Clause (a) of Section 3 of the Old Act and permits institution of a suit for eviction of a tenant from the building on the ground that the tenant is in arrears of rent for not less than four months and had failed to pay the same to the landlord within one month from the date of service upon him of a notice of demand. Suits for eviction of tenants after the coming into force of the Act on ground other than those enumerated in Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 20 stand barred. A suit for the eviction of a tenant even on grounds mentioned in Clauses (b) to (g) of Sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the Act may also contain an allegation that the defendant-tenant is in arrears of rent, though not for the period contemplated in Clause (a) of Section 20 (2) of the Act. Section 20 (3) of the Act requires a tenant, who is being sued for his eviction on any of the grounds mentioned in Sub-section (2) to deposit the entire amount of rent and other sums mentioned therein in the manner provided in that provision on penalty otherwise of his defence being struck off or refusal to entertain his defence. Thus a tenant who is desirous of resisting his eviction in a suit instituted on any of the grounds mentioned in Sub-section (2) must make the deposit in accordance with Section 20 (3) of the Act irrespective of the question whether he is being sued on the grounds mentioned in Section 20 (2) (a) or on any of the other grounds of Sub-section (2). While Sub-section (3) is not confined in its operation to a suit for eviction of a tenant on the ground mentioned in Clause (a) of Sub-section (2). Sub-section (4) is applicable only to suits for eviction of tenants on the ground mentioned in Section 20 (2) (a) of the Act. Sub-section (4) enables a tenant being sued for his eviction on the ground mentioned in Clause (a) of Sub-section (2) of Section 20 to save his tenancy by making deposits mentioned in that sub-section in accordance with the requirements thereof. To suits pending on the date of the coming into force of the Act in respect of buildings to which the Old Act did not apply but to which the Act becomes applicable by reason of Section 2 (2) of the Act, the provisions of Section 39 of the Act are attracted. Section 39 of the Act enables parties to such suits to amend their pleadings and to adduce additional evidence where necessary. It provides that in case a tenant makes the deposit mentioned therein within the time prescribed thereby, the suit for his eviction shall not be decreed except on any of the grounds mentioned in the proviso to Sub-section (1) or in Clauses (b) to (g) of Sub-section (2) of Section 20. Thus if a suit for eviction of a tenant from premises to which the Old Act did not apply is pending, to which the Act becomes applicable on the coming into force thereof and eviction of the defendant-tenant is being sought on grounds mentioned in the proviso to Sub-section (1) or Clauses (b) to (g) of Sub-section (2) of Section 20, the claim for his eviction may be decreed in spite of the fact that the tenant may have made the deposits contemplated by Section 39, within the time prescribed therein. Failure to make the requisite deposits by the defendant-tenant in such cases will only entail his defence being struck off or refusal by the court to entertain the defence. But if a suit is based on the ground that the tenant is in arrears of rent for the requisite period and has failed to pay the same in spite of a notice of demand and the requisite deposits have been made within the time prescribed by Section 39, the suit for eviction of the tenant will be liable to be dismissed since on account of that provision relief for his ejectment cannot be granted. In respect of buildings to which the Old Act did not apply, a landlord was entitled to institute a suit for eviction of his tenant merely by terminating his tenancy by means of a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. There need not have been any particular grounds for the claims for the eviction of the tenant, In such suits, however, damages for use and occupation would necessarily have accrued subsequent to the termination of the tenancy of the tenant. In such cases also the tenant would be at liberty by reason of Section 39 of the Act to save his tenancy by making such deposits as may be due from him on account of damages for use and occupation and costs etc. in accordance with that provision, even though there may not exist any claim for arrears of rent.

6. For the reasons given above, our answer to the question referred by the learned Single Judge is as follows:--

'If a building is constructed in 1964 and suit is filed in 1972 for ejectment of the tenant and the suit is decreed in 1973 by the Court of Small Causes and the revision instituted in 1973 under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act remains pending till 1974 and ten years' period since the completion of the construction lapsed, the suit is not liable to be dismissed on the ground that it was barred by Section 20 of the Act but it should be dealt with in accordance with Section 39 of the Act read with Section 20 thereof.'

Our answer as given above would hold good to a suit pending in revision because on account of Section 40. Section 39 of the Act would be attracted thereto.

7. The papers of this revision will now be placed before the learned Single Judge with our opinion.


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