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Kailash Chandra and anr. Vs. Om Prakash Sharma and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 451 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1974All350
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Uttar Pradesh (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 - Sections 7F
AppellantKailash Chandra and anr.
RespondentOm Prakash Sharma and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK.C. Saxena, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....i have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused all the three orders passed by the rent control and eviction officer, thecommissioner and the state government in my opinion the criticism levelled on behalf of the petitioners against the order of the state government is not well-founded. 4. it is an elementary principle which must be borne in mind in exercising jurisdiction under article 226 of the constitution that the court should not interfere on mere technicalities or on account of some slight omission which may be attributed to an intelligent form of the order but which has not really occasioned a failure of justice. as such the order does not suffer from any legal infirmity 5. i cannot refrain from observing that the order of the rent control and eviction officer in..........of the act for permission to sue the petitioners for ejectment. the permission was granted by the rent control and eviction officer by his order dated 22-5-1971 (annexure 4 of the writ petition). the petitioners filed a revision, which, was allowed by the commissioner, meerut division by his order dated 6-7-1971 (annexure 5 of the writ petition). thereafter respondent no. 1 preferred a representation under section 7-f of the act and the state government by its impugned order dated 24-11-1971 (annexure 6 of the writ petition) set aside the order of the commissioner and restored that of the rent control and eviction officer. thus, the permission initially accorded to respondent no. 1 for filing a suit for ejectment against the petitioners was eventually affirmed by the state government.3......
Judgment:
ORDER

M.N. Shukla, J.

1. This is a tenant's application under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for a writ of certio-rari quashing the order of the State Government dated 24-11-1971 (Annexure 6 of the writ petition) passed under Section 7-F of the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent & Eviction Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act).

2. The short facts of the case are that respondent No. 1 namely, Om Prakash Sharma is the landlord of house No. 76, Mohalla Baba Khaki in the city of Meerut. The petitioners are tenants of the said respondent and have been occupying the entire accommodation as tenants for a considerable period. In fact, the house was purchased by respondent No. 1 on 8-2-1971 and the accommodation in dispute had been in the tenancy of the petitioners since before the transfer of the house. On 30-3-1971 respondent No. 1 made an application under Section 3 of the Act for permission to sue the petitioners for ejectment. The permission was granted by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer by his order dated 22-5-1971 (Annexure 4 of the writ petition). The petitioners filed a revision, which, was allowed by the Commissioner, Meerut Division by his order dated 6-7-1971 (Annexure 5 of the writ petition). Thereafter respondent No. 1 preferred a representation under Section 7-F of the Act and the State Government by its impugned order dated 24-11-1971 (Annexure 6 of the writ petition) set aside the order of the Commissioner and restored that of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer. Thus, the permission initially accorded to respondent No. 1 for filing a suit for ejectment against the petitioners was eventually affirmed by the State Government.

3. The petitioners have challenged the order of the State Government on the grounds that it does not state the reasons for coming to the conclusions noted therein and that it completely omitted to consider the needs of the petitioner-tenants. On that basis, it was submitted that the order was vitiated. The State Government while disposing of the application under Section 7-F of the Act acts as a quasi-judicial authority and it is well established that it must state its reasons and an order granting permission must take into account the comparative needs of the landlord and the tenant. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused all the three orders passed by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer, theCommissioner and the State Government In my opinion the criticism levelled on behalf of the petitioners against the order of the State Government is not well-founded.

4. It is an elementary principle which must be borne in mind in exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution that the Court should not interfere on mere technicalities or on account of some slight omission which may be attributed to an intelligent form of the order but which has not really occasioned a failure of justice. If the overall impression created after scrutiny of the various impugned orders is that all the relevant aspects of the case were taken into consideration by the authority concerned and it did apply its mind to the material features of the case, then it is not open to the petitioner to resort to some set formula in order to get rid of an order which is not to his advantage. I am not prepared to accept the contention of the petitioners that the State Government's order in the instant case was passed without applying its mind to all the salient features of the case or that it was based on one-sided view of the matter and completely ignored the point of view of the tenant. There are different ways of recording one's conclusions and whereas it is desirable that while dissenting from the order of the immediate subordinate authority reasons for the same must be set out, it is not the requirement of law that for affirming the order of the next lower authority in the hierarchy, reasons must also be set out in as much detail and as exhaustively. There can be no legal flaw in the order of the highest authority if it fully points out the fallacy in the contrary order of the immediate lower authority and then substantially adopts the order passed by the first authority without going into minute details in support of the same. As I have already observed, the ultimate impression formed by a perusal of the last order in the present case is that the State Government was alive to the needs of the landlord and the tenants and that no consideration germane to the controversy between the parties was omitted. As such the order does not suffer from any legal infirmity

5. I cannot refrain from observing that the order of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer in the case in hand was an elaborate and well considered order. He set out in detail the respective cases of both the landlord and the tenants. A local inspection was in the first instance made by a senior Inspector of the Rent Control Department. Later the Rent Control and Eviction Officer himself inspected the house in dispute and added aninspection note to which he adverted in his final order. The Rent Control and Eviction Officer on the basis of his local inspection and all the material evidence led by the parties before him came to the conclusion that the two grounds on which permission was claimed by respondent No. 1 were well founded. The first ground was that he was due to retire on 31-12-1972 and he wanted the house for his personal residence. The second ground mentioned by him was that the house was in a very dilapidated condition and if not renovated and reconstructed, it might crumble down and become uninhabitable. The Rent Control and Eviction Officer went into details and on the basis of his personal observation he stated in his order that the house was in a very damaged condition, that in fact two rooms were bereft of roofs and otherwise also complete renovation and reconstruction were called for. I am unable to comprehend on what basis the Commissioner while deciding the revision came to the conclusion that with normal repairs and maintenance the house was quite habitable and there was no need at all to pull it down or reconstruct it. There is also no basis for his observation that 'this has not been refuted on behalf of the landlord'. Respondent No. 1 had consistently pressed the ground that the house was in such bad repairs that it needed to be reconstructed. The result of the personal observation made by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer could not be countered by anything else on the record nor has the Commissioner, who passed a very perfunctory order in the case, alluded to any material on the basis of which he could come to a contrary conclusion. It appears he was completely misled by the ipse dixit of the petitioners.

6. The Commissioner was completely in error in rejecting the landlord's case on the ground that his need 'had not arisen at present'. Surely it is taking an unrealistic view of the situation by deferring the consideration of the landlord's needs for ejecting his tenants until he is left without a roof over his head. The fact of the imminent retirement of the landlord could not be seriously disputed. Hence, it was naturally reasonable on his part to have commenced proceedings under Section 3 of the Act. An entirely erroneous view of law seems to have influenced the Commissioner. Thus, on both these points the findings of the Commissioner were manifestly vitiated,

7. Even on the principal question, namely, whether or not the accommodation at present occupied by the respondent No. 1 was sufficient for his purpose, the Rent Control and Eviction Officerpassed a very detailed and comprehensive order which is only matched by the summary character of the Commissioner's order and the rather superficial conclusions reached by him. The Rent Control and Eviction Officer pointed out in his order that a substantial portion of the accommodation in dispute was not permitted by the petitioners to be inspected by him and that from his local inspection he was convinced that no ladies or children were staying in the premises. He came to the conclusion and in my opinion rightly, that the situation on the spot gave a lie to the petitioners' case that their three brothers with their families including ladies and children were staying in the accommodation and that their need was more pressing. The Commissioner has not referred to any material on record to justify his contrary conclusions. He has simply assumed the case of the petitioners without setting aside the categorical finding recorded by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer and certainly the Commissioner has not referred to any material which, could justify a reversal of the finding. The inference drawn by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer was that the petitioners' family consisted of only two members whereas that of the respondent No. 1 consisted of seven members and obviously the landlord's need was greater than that of the tenants. The Commissioner also did not take into consideration the Rent Control Officer's reference to the fact that the petitioners had tried to palm off an entirely different person, namely, one Ram Krishna as the third brother of the petitioners with a view to augmenting the strength of then family and bolster up a case for refusal of permission to the landlord. It is apparent from the reasons noted by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer that this was admitted on behalf of the petitioners. All these facts cannot be excluded from consideration while exercising discretion under Article 226 of the Constitution.

8. On the extent of the accommodation at present at the disposal of respondent No. 1 also the finding of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer was very exhaustive. He held that the landlord's family consisted of seven members who had really speaking only two rooms in their possession which could be utilised for only residence, sleeping, reading and other purposes. The said two roams coupled with the courtyard were wholly inadequate for the needs of the landlord and the tenor of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer's order is that the landlord was really in a miserable plight. The Commissioner in his revisional order without any material to support his finding held that the petitioners had large families. He did not take into consideration even the important fact mentioned by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer in his order that the petitioners could produce neither the electoral roll nor even the ration card to substantiate their contention that they had a large family. Without investigating the question as to what was the exact nature of the accommodation occupied by respondent No. 1 the Commissioner assumed that 'for the present he is living comfortably in a house requisitioned for him.' From the order of the Commissioner I am fully satisfied that he did not apply a judicial mind to the case at all. Needless to add that the Rent Control and Eviction Officer in his order had mentioned the fact that the house in which respondent No. 1 was at present residing had been made available to him by requisition, that he was a permanent resident of Meerut and in the past he had been transferred to Shahjahanpur and when he was reposted at Meerut, he was unable to secure any accommodation for his residence and in these circumstances the present accommodation which was situate in Swamipura was got requisitioned by respondent No. 1 after his retirement. Some aspects to which I have referred above demonstrate the nature of the elaborate and exhaustive order passed by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer. In these circumstances no purpose would have been served merely by repeating the findings which had been recorded by him when the State Government came to dispose of the petition under Section 7-F of the Act.

9. An order does not gain either in strength or soundness bv tautology nor do mere technicalities detract from its merit. The touchstone on which the correctness of every order must ultimately be judged is whether it is based on an application of the mind to the respective cases of the parties or whether it fails to take note of any material part of the controversy involved in the case. It is clear that the State Government has in its impugned order given specific reasons for overruling the conclusions drawn by the Commissioner. It is quite apart from the fact that the Commissioner's order was a hasty order without considering the relevant facts or properly appreciating the findings recorded by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer on every distinct point on which the parties had joined issue. Having stated the reasons for dissenting from the Commissioner's conclusions the State Government in substance affirmed the findings of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer without repeating all the details. The State Government's order opens with the remark that the Rent Control and Eviction Officerafter a consideration of all the aspects of the case had adjudged the need of respondent No. 1 to be greater than that of the petitioner. This conclusion was endorsed by the State Government and for the purpose of mere affirmance it was not necessary to give more elaborate reasons. That would not have served any useful purpose except adding to the length of the order. The State Government has also very fairly set out the respective pleadings of the parties and that in my opinion is a very important index of the fact that the authority concerned has appreciated the cases of both parties and that its conclusions are not lopsided. The impugned order of the case naturally includes the affidavits and other material which the parties had relied upon in the proceedings which commenced before the Rent Control and Eviction Officer. The petitioners have not made any grievance of the fact that there was any material evidence adduced by them which had escaped notice or that they were not permitted to file a reply to the representation by respondent No. 1 under Section 7-F of the Act. The State Government followed the procedure which ought to be followed in quasi-judicial proceedings. I am unable to hold that the petitioners were in any manner prejudiced by the procedure adopted in the case or that the order was passed to their detriment without affording them a reasonable opportunity or that their point of view had not been considered. An order of a quasi-judicial authority which gives adequate reasons for its dissent from that of the authority immediately subordinate but which does not give full reasons for affirmance of the copiously reasoned order of the authority of the first instance is not vulnerable on that account. If the impression created by the impugned order is that the authority which passed it was alive to the crucial point in the case, then such order should raise no legal cavil. After all, it is the substance of the order which matters and not the form. The use or omission of some set phraseology or conventional formula is wholly immaterial. As I have already observed, the acid test of the soundness of an order is whether it betrays a mind which has been applied to the points in controversy and lot whether it 19 a technically perfect or unexceptionable order. I am therefore, satisfied that this is not a fit case for granting any relief to the petitioners in the exercise of the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

10. In the result this writ petition fails and is dismissed with costs.


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