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Dr. M.C. Batra Vs. Lakshmi Insurance Co. Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberAppln. No. 32 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1956All709
ActsSpecific Relief Act, 1877 - Sections 9; ;Uttar Pradesh (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 - Sections 7(1) and 7(2)
AppellantDr. M.C. Batra
RespondentLakshmi Insurance Co. Ltd.
Appellant AdvocateB.K. Dhaon and ;M.L. Trivedi, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateBijai Shankar, Adv.
DispositionApplication dismissed
Excerpt:
.....a portion of this floor to the reliable water supply services of india limited (herein called the supply company) at a rental of rs. ..6. the object of the section is to discourage people from taking the law into their own hands however good their title may be. 7. section 9 says nothing about the nature of i the possession enjoyed by the person dispossessed, but it has been hold in some cases that such possession must be what is called juridical possession, that is to say possession founded on some right: in that case the plaintiff had been in undisturbed possession of certain property for four years under a deed of sale which conveyed no title, the plaintiff was hold entitled to file a suit under section 9, 8. it may well be that a suit under section 9 cannot be maintained by a person..........a portion of this floor to the reliable water supply services of india limited (herein called the supply company) at a rental of rs. 75/- a month.in january 1952 the lakshmi insurance company limited (herein called the insurance company) purchased the entire premises no. 30, hazratganj, from the then owners. up to that date the rent of the first floor amounting to rs. 137/8/- had been paid by the applicant to the then owners of the premises, but from february 1952 the applicant paid to the insurance company rs. 62/8/- a month arid the supply company paid as vent the sum of rs. 75/- a month.2. on 13-10-1953, the supply company vacated the portion of the first floor occupied by it, and delivered vacant possession to a firim of contractors who had been engaged by the insurance company to.....
Judgment:

Mootham, C.J.

1. This is an application under Section 115, Civil P. C. for the revision, of a judgment of the learned Civil Judge of Lucknow dated 5-1-1955. The circumstances in which the application is made, as found by the learned Judge, are these :

Some years prior to the year 1950 the applicant became the tenant of the first Boor of premises No. 30, Hazratganj, Lueknow for which he paid a monthly rent of Rs. 137/8/-. In August 1950 the applicant, with the permission of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer, Sub-let a portion of this floor to the Reliable Water Supply Services of India Limited (herein called the Supply Company) at a rental of Rs. 75/- a month.

In January 1952 the Lakshmi Insurance Company Limited (herein called the Insurance Company) purchased the entire premises No. 30, Hazratganj, from the then owners. Up to that date the rent of the first floor amounting to Rs. 137/8/- had been paid by the applicant to the then owners of the premises, but from February 1952 the applicant paid to the Insurance Company Rs. 62/8/- a month arid the Supply Company paid as vent the sum of Rs. 75/- a month.

2. On 13-10-1953, the Supply Company vacated the portion of the first floor occupied by it, and delivered vacant possession to a firim of contractors who had been engaged by the Insurance Company to effect certain alterations in the premises. The applicant and certain other tenants objected to the work which was being done by the contractors and on 21-10-1953, without the knowledge of the Insurance Company, the applicant took forcible possession of the premises which had been vacated by the Supply Company and has since remained in occupation thereof,

3. The Insurance Company then filed a suit against the applicant under Section 9, Specific Relief Act for recovery of possession of that portion of the first floor from which it had been ousted by the applicant, and by the judgment which is the subject of the present application that suit was decreed with costs.

4. The applicant's contention in this Court is that as the Supply Company was his Sub-tenant he was entitled to take possession of the premises occupied by that Company when it vacated them in October, 1953; that as the Insurance Company had no right to possession it became, when possession was in fact delivered to it by the Supply Company, a mere trespasser and as such could not file a suit under Section 9, and that the learned Civil Judge in entertaining the suit accordingly exercised a jurisdiction not vested in him by law.

The assertions of fact upon which this argument is founded are denied by the Insurance Company whose contention is that in February 1952, very shortly alter that Company had purchased the building, it was agreed between the Insurance Company, the applicant and the Supply Company that the applicant and the Supply Company should thenceforth be the tenant of the Insurance Company of so much of the first floor of the building as was occupied by each of them respectively,

Effect, it is said, was given to this agreement and consequently it was the Insurance Company and not the applicant who was entitled to possession of the portion oi the first floor occupied by the Supply Company when that Company vacated it in October, 1953, The learned Judge did not think it necessary to record a finding on this question, and indeed no issue was framed on the point.

It appears from the judgment that the applicant's contention in the lower Court was that the Insurance Company never in fact entered into possession of the premises alter the Supply Company had vacated them, or that if it had done so it was by force or fraud, and that he in any case had not dispossessed the Insurance Company.

5. Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act, so far as it is material, provides that

''If any person is dispossessed without his consent of immoveable property otherwise than in due course of law, be or any' person claiming through him may by suit, recover possession thereof, notwithstanding any other title that may be set up in such suit.

Nothing in this Section shall bar any person from suing to establish his title to such property and to recover possession thereof....'

6. The object of the Section is to discourage people from taking the law into their own hands however good their title may be. What the Section does is to provide a summary remedy to a person who has without his consent been dispossessed of immoveable property otherwise than in due course of law, for recovery of possession without establishing title.

7. Section 9 says nothing about the nature of I the possession enjoyed by the person dispossessed, but it has been hold in some cases that such possession must be what is called juridical possession, that is to say possession founded on some right: see --'Arairuddin v. Maharnad Jarnal', 15 Bom 685 (A). On the other hand in - 'Tamizuddin v. Ashrub', 31 Cal 647 (FB) (B), Ghose J. said, at p. 656, that the summary remedy provided by Section 9 is applicable alike to a person whether he ,be a trespasser, a tenant or an owner of the land when he is ejected without due course of law.

In -- 'Ajodhya Prasad v. Ghasiram Premsai AIR 1937 Nag 326 (C), it was held that the possession of the plaintiff does not necessarily moan possession under a valid title for it includes possession which is excusable. In that case the plaintiff had been in undisturbed possession of certain property for four years under a deed of sale which conveyed no title, The plaintiff was hold entitled to file a suit under Section 9,

8. It may well be that a suit under Section 9 cannot be maintained by a person who is manifestly a trespasser and whose possession is of a very short duration, as in 'Amiruddin's case' (A). But that is not the case here. The Insurance Company went into possession of the premises vacated by the Supply Company peacefully; and it did so, it appears, because it considered that the Supply Coin-any had been its tenant.

It may have been wrong in law in so thinking; that question has not been determined, but we cannot say that the Insurance Company had not a sufficient possession to entitle it to file a suit under Section 9. We think that save in those cases where the nature of the possession of the plaintiff is clearly such as to result in proceedings under Section 9 defeating the purpose of that section, the title of the plaintiff is no more to be enquired into than that of the defendant.

9. We have been asked to determine the question whether the Supply Company was the tenant of the Insurance Company or of the applicant but we do not consider that we can or ought to do so. This question was not, as we have said, the subject of any issue in the lower Court, and although there is some evidence on the point on the record it is not clear that other evidence would not have been forthcoming had an issue been framed. It is also we think particularly undesirable for us to attempt to arrive at a conclusion on a question which will require consideration in the event of the applicant filing a suit to establish his title.

10. It was suggested by counsel in the course of argument (although the point finds no place in the grounds upon which the application is based) that the Insurance Company could not enter into possession of the premises vacated by the Supply Company without first obtaining the permission of the District Magistrate under the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act. We are however of opinion, in agreement with the learned Judge, that nothing in that Act prevents a landlord from receiving possession of premises from a tenant on his vacating them.

Section 7 (1) (a) imposes on a landlord the duty of giving notice to the District Magistrate of the fact of a tenant having vacated premises let to him within seven days of his having done so, but we can see no reason why the landlord should not retain possession of the premises so vacated until such time as the District Magistrate requires him by an order under Section 7 (2) to let the premises, (11) We are of opinion that this is not a casein which we should interfere with the order madeby the lower Court. The application is accordinglydismissed with costs.


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