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Zakir and anr. Vs. Mohammad HussaIn Khan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 288 of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1977All476
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 106; Evidence Act, 1872 - Sections 114; General Clauses Act, 1897 - Sections 27
AppellantZakir and anr.
RespondentMohammad HussaIn Khan and ors.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....evidence act, 1872 - three notices sent through registered post on right address - report on two notices as 'refused' - report on third as 'out of station' - all three notices deemed to be properly served - valid service of notice also confirms tenancy of persons at address on which notice served. - - the plaintiff, thereafter gave another notice dated 27-8-68 to the defendants 1 to 3 which was served on the defendants but the defendants failed to vacate the said house hence the suit for ejectment of the defendants. the plaintiff amended his plaint and impleaded the heirs of subhani as well as defendants no. 4/- per month and that the plaintiff had failed to establish that the alleged notices were served on the tenants-defendants. rather on the other side, the endorsement on these..........additional commissioner, lucknow. the plaintiff, after obtaining the requisite permission, sent a notice to defendants 1 to 3 determining their tenancy. that notice was despatched by post under registered cover on 30-7-1968 which, according to the plaintiff, was refused by the said defendants and was, therefore, returned to the plaintiff as refused. the plaintiff, thereafter gave another notice dated 27-8-68 to the defendants 1 to 3 which was served on the defendants but the defendants failed to vacate the said house hence the suit for ejectment of the defendants. the suit was resisted by the defendants 1, 2 and 3 who, in their written statement, pleaded inter alia that they had taken the said premises on rent from subhani about 30 years ago and had been paying rent to him and after his.....
Judgment:

T.S. Misra, J.

1. This appeal by plaintiff arises out of a suit filed for ejectment of the defendants from the premises in question and for recovery of arrears of rent and damages. The plaintiff claimed himself to be the landlord of the house and alleged that the defendants 1, 2 and 3 were his tenants therein at the rate of Rs. 5/- per month. The plaintiff filed an application for permission to file a suit, of eviction of the defendants. That application was opposed by the defendants a, 2 and 3 was allowed on 20-7-1968. A revision filed against that order was dismissed by the Additional Commissioner, Lucknow. The plaintiff, after obtaining the requisite permission, sent a notice to defendants 1 to 3 determining their tenancy. That notice was despatched by post under registered cover on 30-7-1968 which, according to the plaintiff, was refused by the said defendants and was, therefore, returned to the plaintiff as refused. The plaintiff, thereafter gave another notice dated 27-8-68 to the defendants 1 to 3 which was served on the defendants but the defendants failed to vacate the said house hence the suit for ejectment of the defendants. The suit was resisted by the defendants 1, 2 and 3 who, in their written statement, pleaded inter alia that they had taken the said premises on rent from Subhani about 30 years ago and had been paying rent to him and after his death they had been paying rent to his widow. They also pleaded that they had not received any notice from the plaintiff. The validity of the notice was also challenged. The plaintiff amended his plaint and impleaded the heirs of Subhani as well as defendants No. 4 to 7.

2. The trial court held that plaintiff was the owner of the house in dispute, that, the rate of rent was Rs. 4/- per month and that the plaintiff had failed to establish that the alleged notices were served on the tenants-defendants. The relief for ejectment was, therefore, refused but a decree for arrears of rent up-to 30-9-1968, at the rate of Rs. 4.00 per month, was passed. The defendants Zakir and Yousuf filed an appeal from the said decree. The plaintiff filed a cross-objection. It was noticed by the appellate court below that the learned Munsif had not recorded his finding on issue No. 10 which was in the following terms:

'Whether there existed relationship of landlord, and tenant between the parties?'

The appellate court below, therefore, by its judgment and order D/- 20-7-74 remanded the case to the trial court for a fresh trial according to law. On remand the trial court accordingly decided the case afresh. It dismissed the suit for ejectment but decreed the suit for arrears of rent from 1-5-58 to 31-10-1968. On issue No. 10 it recorded a finding that there did exist relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties to the suit. From that decree an appeal was filed by the defendants. A Cross-objection was preferred by the plaintiff. The undermentioned four points were urged and pressed before the appellate court below:--

1. Whether the relationship of landlord and tenant exists between the parties?

2. Whether the permission granted by the Control of Rent and Eviction Officer under Section 3 of the U. P. Control of Rent and Eviction Act 1947 was validly granted?

3. Whether the notice of eviction under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act was a valid notice?

4. Whether the respondents should be granted damages for use and occupation during the pendency of the suit and subsequent to it

3. So far as point No. 1 was concerned, the appellate court below concurred with the finding of the trial court and held that there did exist a relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties. On point No. 2 the finding of the appellate court below was that the permission granted by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer to institute the suit for eviction of defendants was valid. While discussing point No. 3 the appellate court below observed that the notices under Section 106 given to each of the defendants 1, 2 and 3 by the plaintiff on 30-7-1968 were received back by the plaintiff with separate endorsements on them. On notice Ex. 10 addressed to Shakir, the endorsement is 'refused'. On notice Ex. 12 addressed to Yousuf, the endorsement is 'refused'. On notice Ex. 11, addressed to Zakir, the endorsements made from 31-7-1968 to 6-8-1968 were that the addressee had not met and had gone out and his outstation address was not known. It was pointed out that the notice was re-fused by two of the co-tenants and thus the notice dated 30-7-1968 under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act must, be deemed to be served on them and it should also be deemed to be served on the entire body of co-tenants. The duplicate of the notice dated 27-8-1968 filed by the plaintiff was held not to have been proved. It was urged on behalf of the defendants before the appellate court below that the earlier notice dated 30-7-1968 must be held to have been waived because of another notice dated 27-8-1968. The appellate court below repelled this contention by observing that if the latter notice had been produced or properly proved, it could have been known if it showed any intention or the act on the part of the respondent No. 1 (plaintiff) to waive the first notice. Hence it was held that the second notice given on 27-8-1968 did not amount to waiver of the first notice. It was, therefore, held that the tenancy was duly determined on the expiry of the period of first notice and that the said first notice was valid. With regard, to point No. 4 the finding recorded by the appellate court below was that the rate of rent was Rs. 4.00 per month and the learned Munsif should have granted damages for use and occupation in addition to the decree for arrears of rent at the said rate up to the date of the institution of the suit as also for the period till the possession was not delivered to the plaintiff. The appeal filed by the said defendants was, therefore, dismissed and the cross-objection allowed. Thus the suit was also decreed for eviction and damages for use and occupation in addition to the decree for arrears of rent already granted by the trial court. Aggrieved, the defendants have now come up to this Court on second Appeal.

4. For the appellants only two points were urged before me; (1) that the notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act given by the Plaintiff on 30-7-1968 had not been served on Shakir, Zakir and Yousuf inasmuch as there was no endorsement of refusal on any of the envelopes containing the said notices; (2) that since no notice was served on Zakir, the tenancy was not properly determined and the relief for ejectment could not, therefore, be granted. I find no merits in either of these points.

5. In support of his first contention the learned counsel for the appellants referred me to the finding recorded by the trial. court on issue No. 7. The learned Munsif in his judgment dated 14-2-1975 had observed as follows:--

'There is no endorsement of refusal by the Postal and Telegraph Depertment so that a presumption of service could be drawn in favour of the plaintiff as against the defendants. Rather on the other side, the endorsement on these notices runs to the effect that the addressees are out of station and 'not met'. Even if the plaintiff claims endorsement of refusal, he should and ought to have proved by proper evidence, in a case like this where the plaintiff has not proved with consistent evidence that actually the notices were sent and dropped to reach to the defendants.'

The appellate court below, however, had observed as follows :--

'On notice Ex 10 which was addressed to 'Shakir, the endorsement is 'Refused'. Earlier on 31-7-1968 and 1-8-1968 the endorsement of the postal authorities was that the addressee had not met. On notice Ex. 12 addressed to Yusuf the endorsement dated 2-8-1968 is 'refused' whereas on 31-7-1968 and 1-8-1968 the endorsement is that the addressee had not met. On notice Ex. 11 addressed to Zakir the endorsement from 31st July 1968 to 6-8-1968 is that the addressee had not met and had gone out and his outstation address is not known. The counsel for the appellants had thus wrongly noted on notices Exs. 10 and 12 'No endorsement of refusal'. This fact is also wrongly mentioned in the lower Court's finding.'

6. I have perused those notices. On the notice addressed to Shakir Ex. 10, there is an endorsement 'refused' dated 2-8-1968. There is also another endorsement 'refused' in red ink. Similarly on the notice addressed to Yusuf there is an endorsement of 'refused' dated 2-8-1968 and another endorsement of 'refused' in red ink. So far as notice despatched to Zakir is concerned, there is an endorsement to the effect that the addressee had gone out and it was not known as to when he would return. There is another endorsement of 'left' on the same notice, The plaintiff had, in his deposition before the trial court, stated that the notices sent to Shakir, Zakir and Yousuf were returned to him by the postal authorities. He had filed those notices which he had sent to the said addressees by registered A. D. post. This statement of the plaintiff is not challenged. The appellate court below was, therefore, justified in reversing the finding of the trial court and it had correctly held that the notices under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act dated 30-7-1968 should be deemed to have been served on Shakir and Yousuf, Zakir, Shakir and Yousuf, who were arrayed as defendants 1,2 and 3 respectively, had in their written statement pleaded that they had taken the accommodation in question on rent about thirty years ago. Their tenancy was thus faint. It was laid down in Kanji Manji v. The trustees of the Port of Bombay, (AIR 1963 SC 468) that a notice to one of the joint tenants is sufficient. In the instant case notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act determining the tenancy of defendants 1, 2 and 3 was given by the plaintiff on 30-7-1968. The notices were sent separately to the defendants 1, 2 and 3 by registered post. The notice was however returned refused by the defendants 2 and 3 as is borne out from the enforcement of refusal referred to hereinabove. The notice addressed to Zakir was returned as he was out of station. In Ganga Ram v. Phulwati (AIR 1970 All 446) (FB) a Full Bench of this Court has held that where the registered envelope contains a correct address of the tenant and the addressee either cannot be met or refuses to take notice there appears to be no reason why the notice should not be deemed to have been properly served on the addressee. A presumption of service of such notice can be raised under Section 114 of the Evidence Act as also under Section 27 of the General Clauses Act. In the present case the notice under Section 106 of the T. P. Act should, therefore, be deemed or presumed to have been served on the said persons and their tenancy was validly determined thereby. It was, however, urged on behalf of the appellant that inasmuch as the plaintiff gave another notice dated 27-8-1969, the earlier notice dated 30-7-1968 stood waived. In support of his contention the learned counsel for the appellant referred me to the averments made in the plaint, I find no force in this contention. No doubt it has been stated in the plaint that a notice dated 27-8-1968 had also been given by the plaintiff to the defendants 1 to 3 but that fact was not accepted by the defendants. The defendants denied to have received any notice dated 27-8-1968. The alleged notice dated 27-8-1968 had also not been proved. Its contents cannot, therefore be ascertained. Waiver of notice determining the tenancy is not an unilateral act depending upon the choice or election of one of the parties. Waiver is contractual and it is not open to one of the parties to choose or elect to waive the notice to quit. In the instant case the subsequent notice dated 27-8-1968 said to have been given by the plaintiff was not proved in accordance with law. The defendants had asserted that they had not received that notice. In these circumstances the question of waiver of the notice dated 30-7-1968 could not arise.

7. No other point was pressed.

8. At the end, it was urged that the contesting defendants may be given three months time to vacate and deliver vacant possession of the accommodation in question to the plaintiff. The learned Counsel for the plaintiff-respondent submitted that the plaintiff will have no objection to the grant of a reasonable time to the defendants to vacate the premises.

9. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs. The defendants are allowed three months time from today to vacate and deliver vacant possession of the accommodation in suit to the plaintiff.


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