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Badrilal Jagannath Vs. Digambar Jain - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 285 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1973MP272; 1973MPLJ690
ActsMadhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1961 - Sections 12
AppellantBadrilal Jagannath
RespondentDigambar Jain
Appellant AdvocateC.S. Chazed, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.L. Garg, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
- - accordingly, they noticed the present appellant to quit and, when he failed to do so, brought the suit. actually, if the tenant of each of the houses owned by the landlord is permitted to argue that he might as well bring a suit in regard to some other house, he cannot sue in regard to any house because, whichever house he selects for the purpose of the suit, will be one of several and there will always be 'other houses......control act of 1961 and the corresponding section of the act of 1955, the landlord can take non-residential accommodation only for 'the continuing or starting his business etc.. etc..' a 'pathshala' is not business and, in the instant case, the plaintiff-panchayat is not requiring the accommodation for the continuing or starling business. 7. this argument appears ingenious but is altogether fallacious. the word 'business' has always been defined in a narrow sense implying some activity often of a commercial nature intended for gain or profit and, in a broader or general sense, meaning any activity. in the act itself, accommodation has been divided into two categories; residential accommodation and what is not residential, which has been described as non-residential accommodation. the.....
Judgment:

H.R. Krishnan, J.

1. This is an appeal by the tenant-defendant in an ejectment suit which has been decreed by the concurrent judgments of the lower Courts. Besides repeating some of the arguments taken in defence in the lower Courts, the appellant has also raised two additional points which would be set out and examined presently.

2. In the town of Sonkatch, there is a society called Digambar Jain Panchayat which controls and manages two Jain temples with nine houses attached to the temples for their maintenance. In fact, the society is competent to manage the temples and properties generally for the benefit of the Digambar Jain community at that place. Most of the houses are on rent and the income is applied for the maintenance of the temples and some attached Dharmashalas and schools. One of the houses had been rented to the joint family of which the defendant-appellant is the 'Karta'. The plaintiff-panchayat found that the accommodation for school was insufficient and they were in need of a house for running a 'Pathshala' for the religious instructions to young members of the Jain community there. Accordingly, they noticed the present appellant to quit and, when he failed to do so, brought the suit.

3. The two grounds emphasized in the lower Courts are that the defendant was not the 'karta' of the joint family and the shop being run on the premises, was really the business owned by his brothers Premanarayan and Manoharlal. Evidence was led by both parties on this issue and the lower Courts have found as a fact that Badrilal was 'Karta' of the joint family business run in the name of Premanarayan Manoharlal. The licence taken out by Badrilal was found to be the final answer to this question. Any way, it is a finding of fact.

4. Secondly, it was urged that the tenancy was not one from month to month but an annual tenancy, and accordingly, the notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, was defective. The lower Courts have examined this question and found that it was a tenancy of Rs. 25/- per month. Pre-manarayan himself has categorically stated that it was a monthly tenancy. The fact that on occasions rent was paid for the whole year, does not alter the nature of the tenancy.

5. Thirdly, on the point of genuine need, the defendant had suggested that there were other houses owned by the Society which were more suitable. It appears that a school was being run for some time in a similar house but as the number of school going children had been increasing, the Pan-chayat was in need of a bigger house. To be sure, there arc several houses to choose from but the landlord has to be given the choice which house to select. Actually, if the tenant of each of the houses owned by the landlord is permitted to argue that he might as well bring a suit in regard to some other house, he cannot sue in regard to any house because, whichever house he selects for the purpose of the suit, will be one of several and there will always be 'other houses.' All that we have to see is, whether, for the purpose which should be found to be genuine, the accommodation sought would be suitable. Thai is not questioned here.

6. Fourthly, in this Court an ingenious argument is advanced. Running of a 'Pathshala' or school for religious instructions is not business. Since under Section 12 (f) of the M. P. Accommodation Control Act of 1961 and the corresponding section of the Act of 1955, the landlord can take non-residential accommodation only for 'the continuing or starting his business etc.. etc..' a 'Pathshala' is not business and, in the instant case, the plaintiff-Panchayat is not requiring the accommodation for the continuing or starling business.

7. This argument appears ingenious but is altogether fallacious. The word 'business' has always been defined in a narrow sense implying some activity often of a commercial nature intended for gain or profit and, in a broader or general sense, meaning any activity. In the Act itself, accommodation has been divided into two categories; residential accommodation and what is not residential, which has been described as non-residential accommodation. The second category is residuary one. One can define what a residential purpose is; but one cannot define a non-residential purpose except by stating that it is a purpose other than one for residence. In the second category, there may be many different purposes with nothing mutually common except that it is not just residential. In the present Section 12 (e), the law provides for the circumstances in which a landlord can sue on ground of personal requirement for residential accommodation. In Subsection (f) and the corresponding sub-section of the earlier Act, the law provides for the circumstances in which a landlord can sue for non-residential accommodation. The subsection begins and ends with 'non-residential purpose', but in between, 'the requirement for starting his business etc.', is mentioned. In other words, by business is meant whatever activity can be done in any non-residential accommodation; that is to say, the word 'business' here is used in the broad and general sense of any activity whatsoever. For the purpose of that section, that activity should be different from the mere residence by the person concerned. Thus, it is a wrong reading of the section to urge that the non-residential accommodation can be taken only for business in the narrow sense and not for business in the larger sense. By reading the word 'business'' as equivalent to any activity, we find that a non-residential accommodation can be used in any manner other than mere residence. There is, therefore, no doubt that the plaintiff Panchayat was entitled to eject the defendant on this ground of requirement for a 'Pathshala.'

8. Finally, one more point is suggested at the Bar during the hearing. This Digambar Jain Panchayat, it is urged is a public Trust and accordingly should get registration under the Public Trusts Act before bringing any suit.

9. Whatever the merits of the argument, we cannot hear it at this stage, because it has been raised for the first time in this Court, not having been raised at any earlier stage.

10. In the result, this second appeal is dismissed The appellant shall pay the costs in this Court to the respondent along with the pleaders' fee on minimum contested scale. Later : --

Counsel for parties present. It is agreed that the tenant-defendant will be allowed time till the 31st March. 1973 to vacate the accommodation. In case of failure suitable action may be taken after the 1st of April, 1973.


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