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Damodar Sharma and anr. Vs. Nandram Deviram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 39 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1960MP345
ActsMadhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1955 - Sections 4
AppellantDamodar Sharma and anr.
RespondentNandram Deviram
Appellant AdvocateA.P. Sen, Amicus Curiae;M.L. Gupta, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateP.L. Inamdar, Adv.
Cases ReferredNaresh v. Kanailal Chaudhari
Excerpt:
- indian penal code, 1890.sections 307 & 324: [lokeshwar singh panta & b.sudershan reddy,jj] assault proof - appellant allegedly dealt sickle blow to deceased - testimony of eye-witnesses showed that sudden altercation ensued between appellant and deceased - no evidence to indicate any previous enmity between parties - single blow of sickle had been inflicted by appellant on back of deceased - incised wound allegedly inflicted by appellant - however opinion of doctor proved that deceased had not died due to direct result of said injury held, appellant is therefore liable to be convicted under section 324 of i.p.c., sentence of 3 years imprisonment reduced to period undergone by appellant considering mental agony suffered by him - 23 of 1955 (hereinafter called the 1955 act) permits.....shiv dayal, j.1. while protecting tenants against their eviction from residential and non-residential accommodation, the madhya pradesh accommodation control act no. 23 of 1955 (hereinafter called the 1955 act) permits suits for eviction in certain exceptional circumstances. those exceptional grounds, e. g. default in payment of arrears of rent, causing of substantial damage, sub-letting, creating nuisance etc. are enumerated in clauses (a) to (n) of section 4, which is the prohibitory section. under clause (g), in the case of a residential accommodation, and under clause (h), in the case of a non-residential accommodation, a landlord can sue for eviction of his tenant on the ground of his requirement. section 4(h) runs thus:''4. no suit shall be filed in any civil court against a tenant.....
Judgment:

Shiv Dayal, J.

1. While protecting tenants against their eviction from residential and non-residential accommodation, the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act No. 23 of 1955 (hereinafter called the 1955 Act) permits suits for eviction in certain exceptional circumstances. Those exceptional grounds, e. g. default in payment of arrears of rent, causing of substantial damage, sub-letting, creating nuisance etc. are enumerated in Clauses (a) to (n) of Section 4, which is the prohibitory section. Under Clause (g), in the case of a residential accommodation, and under Clause (h), in the case of a non-residential accommodation, a landlord can sue for eviction of his tenant on the ground of his requirement. Section 4(h) runs thus:

''4. No suit shall be filed in any civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation except on one or more of the following grounds;

* * * * *(h) in the case of non-residential accommodation, that the landlord genuinely requires the accommodation for continuing or starting his own business or that of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him and that he or the aforesaid person of his family 'is not in occupation or any other accommodation' in the city or town for that purpose and if he was in occupation, has for sufficient reasons vacated it after the Act has been extended to that city or town:' (Underlining (here into ' ') here, as else-where, is by me).

On a plain reading of this clause, if the person for whom eviction is sought is already in occupation of any other accommodation for his business in the same city or town the suit must be dismissed.

2. When the present second appeal was heard by me, sitting singly, it was admitted by the learned counsel for the plaintiffs that they were, and tad been on all material dates, in occupation of another shop, for their business, in the same locality in the city of Gwalior as the suit shop and, further, that they, had vacated in December 1956 a third shop which they had had in their occupation for the same business. However, it was vehemently urged that their suit could not be dismissed just because they had in their occupation another shop. The argument of the learned counsel may be put this way: the mere fact that the landlord is in occupation of another accommodation in which he carries on business is not by itself sufficient to dismiss the suit; he can still succeed by establishing that the accommodation in his occupation is not equivalent to the suit shop as regards suitability in all respects.

Reliance was placed on the decision in Motilal v. Badrilal, Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 274. That was a case under Section 4(g) of the earlier enactment called the M. B. Sthan Niyantran Vidhan (Accommodation Control Act) No. 15 of 1950, (hereinafter called the 1950 Act), in which the phrase 'no other accommodation' occurred. The question before me was whether the plain and unqualified meaning of the condition 'is not in occupation of any other accommodation' in Section 4(h) of the 1955 Act could be departed from, and the words 'reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the required accommodation' could be read as implied in it. In view of the fact that the matter was of a general practical importance and of every day recurrence, I referred the case to my Lord the Chief Justice for being placed before a larger Bench. The questions before the Full Bench are these:

1. Where a landlord is in actual occupation of any other non-residential accommodation, whether of his own or belonging to a third person, is he entitled to bring a suit for ejectment of his tenant from a shop in the same city on the ground that his existing accommodation does not suit his purpose or that he requires the suit shop in order to expand his business?

2. If a landlord was in occupation of any other non-residential accommodation, whether of his own or belonging to a third person, and he vacated it without any sufficient reason after the 1955 Act had been extended to that city, is he entitled to ejectment on the ground that he requires the suit property situated in the same city to continue or start his business?

3. Whether the interpretation adopted in Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 274 can be applied to Section 4(h) of the M. B. Accommodation Control Act No. 23 of 1955?

3. Before this Bench, Shri Gupta, learned counsel appearing for the landlord, laid a great deal of stress -- and in fact this was his main point -- that the legislature in retaining the same expression ''no other accommodation' in Clause (g) and a synonymous phrase 'not any other accommodation' in Clause (h) of Section 4 of the 1955 Act, as was used in the 1950 Act, must necessarily be presumed to have employed it in the new enactment so as to carry the same meaning which was assigned to it in Motilal's case Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 274. Learned counsel relied on a passage from Crawford on Construction of Statutes at page 308:

'The construction placed upon a statute by the courts becomes a part of the statute, and hence a part of the law thereby enacted, if the legislature after ample opportunity to change a construction by the enactment of an amendment fails to do so, it gives its approval of the construction placed on the enactment by the courts.'

In reply Shri Inamdar, learned counsel for the tenant, adopted the same, argument in his favour and contended that the legislature, in altering the wording of Section 4(g) while enacting the 1955 Act, must be presumed to have not accepted such a wide connotation as was given in Motilal's case Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 274. It is stated in Craies on Statute Law (5th Edn.) at page 161:

'If Acts of Parliament use forms of words which have received judicial construction, in the absence of anything in the Acts showing that the Legislature did not mean to use the words in the sense attributed to them by the Courts, the presumption is that 'Parliament did so use them,' Cases cited in that connection are Barlow v. Teal (1885) 15 QBD 403 at p. 405 and Dixson v. Calcdonion and Glasgow and South Western Ry. Cos. (1880) 5 AC 820.

Therefore, it is to be seen whether the framers of the law while enacting the 1955 Act adhered to the same language as was employed in the 1950 Act, or departed from it and, if so, to what extent and with what implications. In order to appreciate this aspect of the matter it is necessary to go into the legislative history of this provision. Lord Lindley M.R. observed in Thomson v. Lord Clanmorris, (1900) 1 Ch. 718:

'In construing any enactment regard must be had not only to the words used but to the history of the Act and the reasons which led to its being passed. You must look to the mischief which had to be cured as well as to the cure provided.'

In Eastman Photographic Material Co. v. Comptroller General of Patents, 1898 AC 571 (576), Ear] of Halsbury said:

'My Lords, it appears to me that to construe the Statute in question, it is not only legitimate but highly convenient to refer both to the former Act and to the ascertained evils to which the former Act had given rise, and to the later Act which provided the remedy. These three being compared I cannot doubt the conclusion.'

And in the case of the Bengal Immunity Co. Ltd. v. State of Bihar, (1955) 2 SCR 603 (632): ((S) AIR 1955 SC 661 at p. 674) their Lordships of the Supreme Court have accepted it to be a sound rule of construction that 'for the sure and true interpretation of all Statutes in general' (be they penal or beneficial, restrictive or enlarging) four things are to be discerned and considered:--

1. What was the law before the Act was passed?

2. What was the mischief or defect for which the law had not provided?

3. What remedy Parliament has appointed and

4. The reason of the remedy.

4. I must, therefore, proceed to examine the legislative history of Section 4(g) of the 1955 Act with a view to ascertain: (1) What the legal position was on the day that the Act was passed by the legislature? (2) in what manner the corresponding Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act was altered in the later enactment? (3) what was the defect in the 1950 Act, and what was the mischief, for which the wording was modified? and (4) what are the implications of the alterations introduced in the later Act?

1. Section 3 (g) of the 'Residential Accommodation Control Ordinance, Gwalior State, No. 22 of Samvat 2003, which came into force en July 5, 1947, provided :

'3. No suit shall without the permission of the District Magistrate, be filed in any civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation except on one or more of the following grounds:

X X X X(g) 'That the landlord 'genuinely' requires the accommodation 'for his own residence'.'

Under that law only two filings, i.e., the 'purpose' and 'genuineness' of the requirement were all to be seen; the landlord was only to prove that he 'genuinely' required the accommodation 'for his own residence'. There was no third condition, i.e., of absence of an alternative accommodation.

2. This Ordinance was repealed and replaced by the Accommodation Control Ordinance Gwalior State, No. 20 of Samvat 2004. However, Clause (g) of this later Ordinance was in the same words as that of the earlier. Even on the formation of Madhya Bharat by virtue of the Sthan Niyantran (Nirantarta) Vidhan (Accommodation Control (Continuance) Act) No. 21 of 1949, it continued to remain in force in those parts of the new State which formerly comprised the Gwalior State.

3. Then the Madhya Bharat Accommodation Control Act, No. 15 of 1950 was enacted. Rendered into English, it read thus:

'4. No suit shall be filed in any civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation except on one or more of the following grounds:

X X X X(g)That the landlord genuinely requires the accommodation for his residence; and there is 'no other' accommodation for his residence in the City or town concerned.'

It is at once worthy of note that it was in this section that for the first time a third condition was introduced, so that the landlord could seek ejectment of his tenant from a residential accommodation only if it was found:

(i) that he required it 'for his residence':

(ii) that the requirement was 'genuine;' and

(iii) that there was 'no other accommodation' for his residence in the city or town concerned.

4. In Ladu Ram v. Rampal, Madh B LJ 1954 SCR 226, Khan J. (now a Judge of this Court) found an ambiguity in the phrase 'no other accommodation' used in Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act and posed a question :

'Was it the intention of the legislature to say to such a person; ''Well, now you cannot get your house back unless you comb the whole city and report that no other house is available to you to live in?' In that case, Madh B. LJ 1954 HCR 226 the obscurity was endeavoured to be removed by interpreting the words, 'no other accommodation' to mean 'no other accommodation belonging to himself'. In other words, it was held that if a landlord genuinely required the accommodation for his residence and, at the same time, there was no other accommodation 'of his own' in that city or town for his residence, he was entitled to ejectment. It seems that a similar view was taken by Kaul C. J., in Babulal v. Seth Surajmal, Second Appeal No. 224 of 1951. But when the question came for consideration before Nevaskar J. (now a Judge of this Court), in the case of Dr. Lal v. Chandmal Second Appeal No. 60 of 1951, he was reluctant to agree with the view taken in Laduram's case, Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 226 and Babulal's case, Second Appeal No. 224 of 1951. The learned Judge saw no ambiguity in the words 'no other accommodation' and he saw no justification for an abridgment of the plain meaning of those words by interpolating the words ''of his own'. Since he was inclined to favour a literal interpretation, he referred the case to the Chief Justice for Constituting a Division Bench'. That reference was considered by the Division Bench of Shinde C.J. and Dixit J. (as my Lord then was), while deciding the Special Appeal (say roughly. Letters Patent 'Appeal) in the case of Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 274. The Division Bench took a broader view. Dissenting from the view taken in Laduram's case, Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 226, it was held:

'The crucial matter which one has to consider is not whether the alternative accommodation is landlord's own or tenanted or whether the landlord is or is not in occupation of the accommodation but it is whether the alternative accommodation in occupation of the landlord or available to him is 'reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation he requires'.' And as to the phrase 'genuinely requires', it was observed :

'The word ''requires' is a stronger word than 'desires' and imports some need or necessity and does not include mere whim or fancy ....... It is thus clear that the landlord cannot claim possession as against the tenant by merely saying that it was his desire or whim or fancy to occupy a house of his own. He must show that he, in fact, needs possession of the premises and genuinely intends to occupy them. This, however, does not mean that the landlord has to establish or that the court has to determine whether the landlord is reasonable in requiring the accommodation .......It is wrong to say that ''genuinely requires' is the same as 'reasonably requires' .... His claim would no doubt fail if the Court came to the conclusion that the evidence of 'want' was unreliable and that the landlord did not genuinely intend to occupy the premises.' It may be mentioned here that before Motilal's case, Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 274 was decided on December 16, 1953, the life of the 1950 Act had been extended up to June 30, 1955, by virtue of the M. B. Accommodation Control (Amendment) Act No. 9 of 1953.

5. The 1950 Act was repealed and replaced by the Madhya Bharat Accommodation Control Ordinance No. 1 of 1955 promulgated by the Raj Pramukh of Madhya Bharat (evidently since the 1950 Act was going to expire and the legislature was not in session). This Ordinance was so to bay a true copy of the 1950 Act, all the provisions being literally the same except for necessary verbal amendments. And the whole of Section 4 of the Ordinance was exactly the same, verbatim et literatim, as it was in the 1950 Act.

6. The last mentioned Ordinance was repealed and re-enancted by the M. B. Accommodation Control Act, No. 23 of 1955 which is precisely under discussion in this case. It is common experience that when an Act replaces an Ordinance it is usually in the same language but it is remarkable here that the language of Section 4 (g) of the 1955 Ordinance was not retained unaltered in the 1955 Act. The clause now reads as follows :

' (g) In the case of residential accommodation, that the landlord genuinely requires the accommodation for his own residence 'or that of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him' and there is no other accommodation 'of his own' in the city or town concerned for such residence.'

Two significant changes were introduced: one, in the condition of 'purpose' and, two, in the condition of 'absence of an alternative accommodation'. However, three conditions were again embodied in the re-enacted clause:

(i) The 'purpose' must be for residence;

(ii) The requirement must be 'genuine';

(iii) There must be 'no other accommodation' of his own in the city for the residence of the person for whom the suit accommodation is required.

5. A comparative examination of Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act and Section 4 (g) of the 1955 Act is bound to entail the following results:

1. The language of Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act was not retained unaltered in the new Act; it was substantially modified.

2. It may be recalled that an ambiguity had been pointed out in Ladu Ram's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 226, that under the 1950 Act it was as if the landlord had1 to make a survey of the whole city and to report that there was no other accommodation for his residence. The solution which Khan, J. evolved in that case, by a process of interpretation, was to qualify the expression 'no other accommodation' so as to be restrictive of an accommodation 'belonging to himself'. Then again, in Dr. Lal's case, Second Appeal No. 60 of 1951, dealing with the construction of the words ''no other accommodation'' as meaning 'no other accommodation belonging to himself', Nevaskar J., remarked:

'It would have been desirable to have provisions of that character but what is desirable cannot always be assumed to exist and in interpreting a statute its existence will always depend upon the actual words used. When in a protective legislature (legislation?) words of wider connotation have been used their meaning cannot be abridged except where this would follow by necessary implication having regard to the words used in the Act reading the Act as a whole. In this case there is nothing in the other provisions of the Act which will indicate a restrictive connotation. Interpreting the provisions of Section 4 (g) without interpolating the words 'of his own' do not make the provisions unreasonable or unmeaning but only make it hard. But the Court of law cannot encleavour by process of interpretation to remove hardship. It is only to the Legislature that the appeal of hardship should be addressed and a suitable amendment of Law secured.' (Quoted in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274 at p. 284).

In the 1955 Act, the words 'not his own' were introduced obviously to remove that defect, taking a hint from the above observations. Under the new Act, the landlord has only to show that he has no other accommodation of his own. In other words, his suit will not be dismissed unless he has another accommodation of his own in the same city or town for his residence.

3. In the 1950 Act, the landlord could avail of Section 4 (g) only if he required the accommodation for his own residence. Even if his family was growing and he required more accommodation for instance, for the residence of his son, on his marriage or otherwise, Section 4 (g) did not come to his aid and he had to accommodate all the. members of his family in the same house. It seems to mo clear that by adding the words 'or that of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him' were added in the new Section 4 (g) to remedy such a hardship. However, the framers of the law were cautious enough in providing a safeguard that the landlord could not seek ejectment for the requirement of a person who did not belong to his family or was not residing Or to reside with him.

4. The framers, of the 1955 Act, did not altogether drop out the third condition so as to revert to the position obtaining under the 1947 Ordinance. To say that the landlord has another accommodation which is reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation claimed, is merely to say that his requirement is not real or genuine. To put it differently, such a construction only equates the third condition with the second condition ('genuinely requires'), and it renders the third condition wholly superfluous and redundant. Such an intention cannot be assumed. Therefore, the retention of the third condition in Section 4 (g) of the 1955 Act gives out the mind of the framers that the two ingredients are meant to be separately made out,

5. The legislature did not qualify the phrase 'no other accommodation'' by any expression like 'reasonably equivalent as regards the suitability in all respects to the accommodation he requires', although the decision in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, had been reported in 1954. The omission to add any such qualifying words (not even the word 'suitable' or any of its synonyms') was studious. This I say with a stronger conviction when I look at Clause (1) of the same section where the word 'suitable' is used with a purpose. Here it will not be out of place to mention that in the Indore House Rent Control Order, 1943, the words were:

'landlord......is not occupying a house of his own and is unable to secure other suitable accommodation' (quoted in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274 at p. 279). Indore was a covenanting State of Madhya Bharat. If in the new Act the legislature had intended the position which was brought about by the decision in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, they would have either left the third condition as it was, or would have added some restrictive words indicating suitability or sufficiency in that condition, or would have deleted it altogether.

6. From the words 'not his own' newly added in the third condition, one thing which leaps to the eye is that the interpretation put to the third condition in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, cannot be applied to the new Section 4 (g). If a landlord resides in a 'tenanted house' and claims the suit house on the ground that the Former is 'not reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects' to the latter, according to the decision in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, he should succeed. Likewise, it he resides in another house 'of his own' and claims the suit house on that ground, then also, according to that decision, he should succeed. And in fact, this was said in so many words in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274:

'The crucial matter which one has to consider is not whether the alternative accommodation 'is landlord's own or tenanted' or whether the landlord' is or is not in occupation' of the accommodation.' But now if that construction is put to the now Section 4 (g), the newly added words 'not his own' are made otiose. And I shall point out later that to apply Motilal's decision to Section 4 (h) is to render futile the words ''is not in occupation.''

7. When Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act and Section 4 (g) of the 1955 Act are placed side by side and the judgment in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, is read, then there is no escape from the conclusion that the Legislature clearly intended not to adopt in the new Act that position which emerged out of the interpretation given in that case to the words 'no other accommodation',

8. Whatever relief the new Section 4 (g) may afford to the landlord and whatever hardship or inconvenience it may work against him, it is free from ambiguity. There is intrinsic evidence in the wording of the new provision that the framers of the law were quite conscious of the entire situation, elaborately dealt in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, and the old provision was modified to make their intention clear and certain.

6. The framework in which Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, was decided cannot be lost sight of. Obscurity had been pointed out in Ladu Ram's case; hardship, in Dr. Lal's case, Second Appeal No. 60 of 1951. In Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, it was observed:

''There is considerable ambiguity of language in the latter part of the clause...The clause is, therefore, to be construed so as to carry out and not defeat its aim and object.'

It was because the Division Bench did not find the language of the latter part of Section 4 (g) to be clear that it entered into the question whether to give a wide or a limited interpretation to the phrase 'no other accommodation'. But for that, the Division Bench would not have embarked on any other enquiry. This was made very clear in the following observations:

'There can be no dispute about the proposition that if the language of a statute is plain and clear, then the words of the statute must be given their ordinary and natural meaning and considerations of reasonableness of the consequences are out of place in interpreting the statute. It is also well-settled that when the language of the statute is not clear and the Court is called upon to give a wide or limited interpretation to a particular expression, and when that expression is capable of alternative constructions, it is open to the Court to consider the object of the legislature and the mischief aimed at, and the Court must try and give that construction to the expression which would carry out the object and suppress the mischief.'

Now, the Legislature is to be presumed to have known the state of the law at the time an Act was passed and the change it sought to effect. In other words, the state of the law as it was before the passing of the Act can be considered to ascertain the mischief which the Legislature sought to remedy. In the present case, the legislature, at the time of enacting the 1955 Act, had before them the critical remarks in Laduram's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 226, on the phraseology of Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act; the hardship pointed out in Dr. Lal's case, Second Appeal No. 60 of 1951, together with the cure suggested, that is, amendment of the clause; and the reported decision in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274. If then the new Section 4(g) came out with significant changes, I am bound to say that the additions and omissions were intentional and full of meaning.

7. In the light of the foregoing discussion, which reveals what the framers of the 1955 Act did, and what they did not do, it is transparent:

(i) That by adding the words 'for any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him', relief was provided to a landlord with a growing, family;

(ii) That by adding the words ''not his own firstly, the possibility of an argument that the landlord was required to comb the whole city was eradicated; secondly, the third relative condition relating to alternative accommodation was confined in its application to the one belonging to the landlord; and thirdly, the liberal interpretation made in Motilal's case was avoided:

(iii) That the third condition was not omitted in the new Act, which signifies that it is one of the essential elements of the exception. In other words, it cannot be confounded with the second condition;

(iv) That no qualifying words to indicate suitability of the alternative accommodation were added; not even the lonely word 'suitable' as in Section 4 (1); nor was the third condition of the 1950 Act left as it was, so as to allow Section 4 (g) to continue to operate within the meaning attributed to it in Motilal's case; and

(v) That the interpretation which was put to the phrase 'no other accommodation' 'in Motilal's case was not adopted in the 1955 Act.

8. When confronted with this difficult situation, Shri Gupta sought to get out of it by reminding us that we were dealing with a suit relating to a non-residential accommodation and as such, were not concerned with Clause (g) of Section 4, but were called upon to expose Clause (h) of that section. Now, this was blowing hot and cold in the same breath because the sheet-anchor of his address was the decision in Motilal v. Badrilal, a case not under Clause (h) but in which it was Clause (g) alone which was considered and construed, Moreover, the two clauses being in pari materia must be harmoniously interpreted. It cannot be argued with any amount of conviction that under Clause (h) suitability of the alternative accommodation must be read as implied in the expression 'not in occupation of any other accommodation' but not under Clause (g). That aside, on analysing Clause (h) by itself the same conclusions are reached.

9. As I read it, Clause (h) of Section 4 requires three conditions to be fulfilled before the landlord can succeed in his eviction suit:

I. That he requires the accommodation for:

(a) continuing or starting his own business: or

(b) continuing or starting business of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him;

II. That the requirement is 'genuine'; and

III. That (a) he or the aforesaid person of his family is not in occupation of any other accommodation' in the city or town for that purpose; or

(b) if 'he was in occupation', has for sufficient reasons vacated it after the Act has been expanded to that city or town.

It is plain enough that the plaintiff cannot succeed if he fails cm any of these points. If the purpose for which he requires the accommodation does not fall within the purview of the first condition as, for example, if he requires it for residential purpose, or where he requires it for a friend to start business, the suit fails. He also fails if he cannot prove that the requirement is 'genuine', as contradistinguished from fictitious or faked, whimsical or fanciful. In addition to the 'purpose' of his requirement and the 'genuineness' of his requirement, the plaintiff must further establish that he has no other accommodation in his occupation for the purpose.

In this clause, words 'not his own' are not there; even so by putting another qualifying phrase 'in his occupation' the obscurity pointed out in Ladu Ram's case ( Madh B LJ 1954 HCR 226), has not been allowed to creep in. And the hardship of non-availability of suit accommodation for the business of another member of landlord's family, also does not arise here. But the framers of the law did not stop after the first two conditions. Not only that the third condition is incorporated but also that it is in an emphatic language. No qualifying word or phrase indicating suitability is affixed to the expression 'not in occupation of any other accommodation'. It follows from this that tbe occupation of any alternative accommodation by him for whom the suit accommodation is claimed, is enough, without more, to disentitle the plaintiff to eviction.

10. It was contended by Shri Gupta that a landlord could not be non-suited if the alternative accommodation in his occupation was insufficient or unsuitable for continuing his business. The argument was that the landlord might have started his business with a humble beginning but if for expanding it he required the suit accommodation, he could not be told to remain content with the existing premises. The central idea of Shri Gupta's address was that we should read the expression 'not In occupation of any other accommodation' by reference to suitability in all respects. No elaborate argument is necessary to repel such a contention if the well-known rules of interpretation of statutes are borne in mind, that is to say:

(1) A statute must be given effect to as the legislature intended, for words of the statute speak 'the intention of the legislature. It must be taken that the legislature intended what it has actually expressed. (2) Where the language is clear and explicit, ordinary meaning must be attached to ordinary words. (3) It is the duty of the Court to ascertain the intent ''of them who make it'. So long as a natural and grammatical interpretation is warranted by the plaint words, there is no question of liberal or strict interpretation. (4) A Court is not justified in stretching the language for filling up supposed gaps or omissions by adding anything or by omitting anything. (5) It is not permissible' to give a forced interpretation to the language of a statute on grounds of equity, inconvenience or hardship. (6) It is not the province of Courts to scan the policy or wisdom of the legislature. Before I proceed to apply these guiding-rules to the present case, I propose to dispose of Shri Gupta's plea of stare decisis.

He urged that the interpretation put in Motilal's case must not be departed from. Here I must confess that I am not aware of a single decision either of the Madhya Bharat High Court or of this Court where a decree was passed in respect of a non-residential accommodation under Section 4 (h) in spite of the landlord being in occupation of another non-residential accommodation in the same City for his business. I know of no such decision under Section 4(g) of the 1955 Act either. No doubt, there are some decisions under Section 4 (g) of the 1950 Act, but in all those cases the landlords were residing in tenanted houses. That aside, when the language of the new provision is substantially different, stare decisis is inapplicable.

11. The words 'not in occupation of any other accommodation' mean, purely and simply, that the landlord or that other person for whom the suit accommodation is required is occupying 'no other accommodation '. The phrase does not admit of any qualification or limitation. It is unambiguous, un-restrictive and exhaustive. It is in those words that the intention of the Legislature is deposited, clear and explicit. It is not a term of art and must therefore be construed in the popular sense (Craies, p. 153). Sufficiency or suitability is irrelevant. As soon as it is found that the person for whom the suit accommodation is required is in occupation of any other accommodation for his business in the same city, the plaintiff is out of Court.

This is the only plain meaning of the third condition in Section 4 (h) and no other construction is possible except by doing violence to its language. The Courts have primarily to look of the language employed in the section and give effect to it. In Tolaram v. Shop Inspector, AIR 1959 Madh Pra 382 the rule of literal interpretation was applied to the expression 'anyone'. It is unnecessary to cite other authorities since this is a well recognized rule of interpretation. I may, however, quote with benefit the observations of the Supreme Court in Kanai Lal v. Paramnidhi, (S) AIR 1957 SC 907:

'It must always be borne in mind that the first and primary rule of construction is that the intention of the Legislature must be found in the words used by the Legislature itself. If the words used are capable of one construction only then it would not be open to the Courts to adept any other hypothetical construction on the ground that such hypothetical construction is more consistent with the alleged object and policy of the Act.'

The expression 'not in occupation of any other accommodation' is clear and explicit. As laid down in New Plymouth Corporation v. Taranaki Electric Power Board, 1933 AC 680 (682), words in a statute must be taken to be used correctly and exactly, and not loosely and inexactty.

12. The whole endeavour of Shri Gupta was to persuade us to read in the third condition of Clause (h) words importing suitability of the alternative accommodation. But in the absence of any restrictive or qualifying words in the section, it is not possible, by a mode of interpretation, to engraft the words 'reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation required' on the phrase ''not in occupation of any other accommodation.' An interpretation which has the effect of adding certain words to an enactment must be avoided. It was observed in Mahesh Chandra v. Tarachand, AIR 1958 All 374 (FB), at p. 386 :

'It is not open to add to the words of the statute or to read more in the words than is meant, for that would be legislating and not interpreting a legislation.'

Here, particularly, having regard to all the circumstances set out earlier, it is not legitimate to suppose that the legislature left the expression obscure aS a general rule also, it is not legitimate to say that the language employed in the section is defective or that the frameis have committed a mistake. It is held in Nalinakhya v. Shyam Sunder, (1953) SCR 533: (AIR 1953 SC 148):

'It is not competent to any Court to proceed upon the assumption that the Legislature has made a mistake. The Court must proceed on the footing that the Legislature intended what it has said. Even if there is some defect in the phraseology used by the Legislature the Court cannot aid the Legislature's defective phrasing of an Act or add and amend or, by construction, make up deficiencies which are left in the Act. Even where there is a casus omissus, it is for others than the Courts to remedy the defect.'

Sec also Sri Ram Ram Narain v. State of Bombay, AIR 1959 SC 459, where their Lordships refused to read the words 'in the process of such acquisition' in Article 31A(1)(a) of the Constitution those words not being there. As already discussed, the omission of any qualifying words suggestive of suitability, is deliberate and that becomes all the more clear when I see Clause (1) which reads as follows;

''that the tenant after the commencement of this Act has built, acquired vacant possession of, or been allotted accommodation suitable for his residence.'

There a tenant having got an alternative accommodation can still succeed if it is found that such alternative accommodation is not suitable for his residence.

13. It was an argument that the word 'continuing' in the first condition of Clause (h) necessarily contemplated that the landlord was already in occupation of a non-residential accommodation in the city for his business. In my opinion, the word 'continuing' has neither the effect of wiping off the third condition in Clause (h) nor is it meaningless. The import of that word makes the first condition of 'purpose' wider enough to include the case of a landlord, who has already got a business in one city but wants to continue it in another city where the suit accommodation is situate. For instance, he may be carrying on business of manufacturing bidis in Jabalpur, and wants to continue that business in Gwalior, or, for that matter, a lawyer who starts practice at Gwalior may require an accommodation at Jabalpur for 'continuing' his practice there. A different construction makes the third condition meaningless and redundant as discussed later.

14. Shri Gupta laid emphasis on the word 'other' in the phrase 'any other accommodation' in the third condition and it was urged that the word wag a pronoun for the expression 'reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation required.' I find myself unable to accept that argument. In my opinion, the use of the word 'other' was only in faithfulness to the language. Dictionary meaning of the word ''other' is: 'not the same as the one in question'. The alternative accommodation spoken of in the third condition of Clause (h) is different from the suit accommodation. The word 'other' was bound to precede the word 'accommodation' when that word was used the second time to indicate another accommodation, i.e., different from the one spoken of in the earlier part of the clause.

15. Stress was also laid on the expression 'for that purpose'' and it was contended that it Was referable to the magnitude or extent of the landlord's requirement which, in a way pointed towards suitability or sufficiency. In my view, the phrase 'for that purpose' simply refers to those four purposes which are enumerated in the first condition. It may be recalled that in Clause (g) also the first condition is that of a 'purpose', that is, the requirement must be 'for residence' of himself, or of any person of his family; and in the third condition also the alternative accommodation will be a bar to the suit only if it is ''for such residence'. 'Such' refers to the purpose spoken of in the earlier part of the clause. It does not speak of sufficiency of suitability. Likewise under Clause (h), the 'purpose' of the requirement must be one of these:

(i) for continuing his own business;

(ii) for starting his own business;

(iii) for continuing a business of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside, with him; and

(iv) starting a business of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him.

Here also any idea of suitability or sufficiency cannot be implied. The words ''for that purpose' in Clause (h) are analogous to words 'for such residence' in the corresponding third condition of Clause (g). And since in Clause (h) there are four purposes spoken of, the phrase 'for that purpose'' was employed to represent them singly and to avoid their repetition.

16. In seeking the aid of the expressions 'continuing', 'other' and 'for that purpose', there is clearly perceptible an anxiety to force a certain construction on the supposition that the framers of the law could not have intended such a hardship or inconvenience to the landlord. But it appears vital to me that no 'undue strain on the words used in the section' is permissible 'in order that a construction favourable' to the landlord 'may be deduced' (with respect I have borrowed the quoted words from Kanai Lal v. Paramnidhi Sadhukhan, (S) AIR 1957 SC 907). Arguments were advanced to persuade us to be liberal in construing the section. I see no force in the persuasion, to quote the words of Sarjoo Prosad C. J., in Khagendra Nath v. Umesh Chandra, AIR 1958 Assam 183:

'There is no question of liberal or strict interpretation, so long as the interpretation is natural and grammatical and warranted by the plain words of the section. What is not permissible is to give a forced interpretation to the language of a statute, which it is not capable of bearing.' In AIR 1959 SC 459, their Lordships have laid down: 'If the language of the enactment is clear and unambiguous it would not be legitimate for the Courts to add any words thereto and evolve therefrom some sense which may be said to carry out the supposed intention of the legislature. The intention of the Legislature is to be gathered only from the words used by it and no such liberties can be taken by the Courts for effectuating a supposed intention of the Legislature.'

17. There is yet another reason for which the interpretation advanced on behalf of the appellant cannot be accepted. Suppose a landlord owns an alternative (non-residential) accommodation which is not reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation claimed. Applying the interpretation which Shri Gupta wants us to adopt, his suit must succeed irrespective of (i) whether he 'is not' in occupation thereof or (ii) 'is' in occupation thereof. This means that suitability alone is the determining factor and the words 'is in occupation' have no meaning or significance and they are superfluous, just as, on the same premises, the words 'not his own' would be in Clause (g).

It cannot be forgotten that these words which have been introduced in the new Clause (h) were presumably taken by the Legislature from the observations in Motilal's case, Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, which I have cited earlier while examining the impact of the words 'not his own'' added in Section 4 (g) of the new Act. Furthermore, to say that although the plaintiff is in occupation of an accommodation where he carries on his business, he claims the suit accommodation because the former is not as suitable in all respects as the latter, is to say that his requirement is genuine; not whimsical, not fanciful. Conversely, to say that although he is in occupation of an accommodation where he carries on his business and it is seasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation he requires, is to mean that his requirement is not genuine; it is but a whim or a fancy.

To put it differently, if the words ''reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation he requires' are read as qualifying the expression 'no other accommodation' in the third condition, it is only synchronising the third condition with the second, that is of 'genuineness'. It then comes to this that the whole crux of the suit will be 'genuineness of the requirement and it will succeed or fail on that question alone. This leads to the conclusion that the whole of the third condition in Clause (h) is redundant. Both these results are irresistible if Shri Gupta's contention is accepted. But either to say that the third condition is surplus, or to say that the words 'is in occupation' were idly inserted, is to offend a well recognised rule of construction of statutes. A section must be so read as to give effect to every word, treating nothing as a superfluity; more so when the background with which these particular provisions were enacted, is kept in view. As was observed in Kameshwar Singh v. Dharamdeo Singb, (S) AIR 1957 Pat 375 (FB),

''A statute ought to be so interpreted that, if it can be prevented, no clause, sentence or word shall be superfluous, void or insignificant,'

The Supreme Court has held in Aswini Kumar Chose v. Arabinda Bose, (1953) SCR 1: (AIR 1952 SC 369),

'It is not a sound principle of construction to brush aside words in a statute as being inapposite surplusage, if they can have appropriate application in circumstances conceivable within the contemplation of the statute.'

And in the case of State of Bihar v. Hiralal, AIR 1960 SC 47, their Lordships have laid down:

'To ascertain the meaning of a section it is not permissible to omit any part of it: the whole section should be read together and an attempt should be made to reconcile both the parts.'

At the hearing I put it to Shri Gupta to think of any hypothetical case where a suit could be dismissed for non-fulfilment of the third condition on the interpretation sought by him, even though the second condition existed. He could not possibly do so because, as demonstrated above, on his construction the third condition merges in the second. It is incontestible that Section 4 is a disabling provision because it opens with the words ''no suit shall be instituted .....' and Clauses ( a) to (n) are in the nature of exceptions which take away the protection afforded to the tenant. Now it is well known that in order to avail of any exception the party seeking its aid must satisfy all the conditions which it requires. Therefore, a landlord who seeks eviction of his tenant under Section 4 (h) must establish the coexistence of all the three conditions,

18. Shri Gupta's plea of hardship and inconvenience to the landlord does at first arouse a feeling of sympathy but on a little reflection it vanishes. In the first place, it must be remembered that while construing a statute no outside consideration can be taken into account (New Piecegoods Bazar Ltd. Bombay v. Commr. of Income-tax, 1950 SCR 553 : (AIR 1950 SC 165)), Hardship and inconvenience cannot alter the meaning of the language employed by the Legislature (Commr. of Agricultural Income-tax v. Keshav Chandra, 1950 SCR 435 : (AIR 1950 SC 265)). Nor can it be assumed that the law could not be intended to be so hard. As Lord Watson said in Salomon v. Salomon, (1897) AC 22 (38):

'Intention of the Legislature is a common but very slippery phrase, which, popularly understood, may signify anything from intention embodied in positive enactment to speculative opinion as to what the Legislature probably would have meant, although there has been an omission to enact it.' (See also Lord Howard de Walden v. Inland Revenue Commr., (1948) 2 All ER 825 (830).)

And even though a Court is satisfied that the legislature did not contemplate the consequences of an enactment a Court is bound to give effect to its clear language. (Craies at page 65). Secondly, I see sufficient relaxation inasmuch as Clause (h) enables the landlord to secure a separate accommodation for every member of his family. Thirdly, if on the ground of insufficiency or unsuitability of existing accommodation, the landlord is allowed to eject his tenants, he can turn out all of them one by one, in the name of expansion and further expansion of his business. This will defeat the main object of Section 4 and the provision will be nugatory. It was faintly stated, without being argued with any vigour or conviction, that on a plain construction the provision became an unreasonable restriction and Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution was infringed. If the validity of the section was to be challenged, the objection should have been expressly and properly raised.

Whether the restraint on the landlord's right of eviction as imposed in Section 4 (h) is reasonable or not will be a matter of opinion. There is 'no abstract standard or general pattern of reasonableness'. The nature of the right, the underlying purpose of the restriction and the extent of the evil sought to be remedied will be factors to be kept in view. While enumerating the exceptional circumstances in which the protection given to the tenant is withdrawn, an anxiety is visible in the Scheme and the wording of Section 4 to see that the landlord does not, by devices or under pretext, circumvent the law and frustrate its object.

Legislative judgment of the representatives of the people in imposing these restrictions should be presumed to be reasonable. They are the best judges of the needs of the time. Their wisdom is not under scrutiny. Whether it was the principle of 'live and let live ', or whether it was the principle of 'greater hardship' canvassed in Courts of England, or whether there was some other policy which prevailed upon the law-makers, is really not for the Courts to investigate. Giving due weight to all the considerations indicated above, the third condition in Section 4 (h) of the 1955 Act cannot, in my judgment, be qualified as to mean that the alternative accommoclation must be as suitable as the suit accommodation.

On the ground of hardship or inconvenience law cannot be rewritten by the Courts through the mode of interpretation. We cannot arrogate to ourselves the function of legislature and lay down what the law should be; we can only say what the law is, and leave it to the Legislature to amend it as and when it thinks fit.

In the case of Sriniwasamurthy v. State of Mysore, AIR 1959 SC 894 which related to a taxation law, Ms Lordship S. R. Das, G. J., delivering the judgment of the Court, made a weighty and instructive remark:

'The Court has no concern with the wisdom of the legislature and it would be a dangerous precedent to allow the views of the members of the Court as to the serious consequences of excessive taxation to lead to a conclusion that the law is ultra vires'.

19. In the result, I would answer all the three questions in the negative.

Pandey, J.

20. With all due respect, I am unable to agree with the opinion proposed by my learned brother, Shiv Dayal, J.

21. Since Shiv Dayal, J. was in doubt whether the interpretation placed upon Clause (g) of Section 4 of the Madhya Bharat Sthan Niyantran Vidhan Samvat 2006 (Act No. 15 of 1950) by a Division Bench of the Madhya Bharat High Court in Madh B.L.J. 1954 HCR 274 could be accepted for construing Clause (h) of Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1955, the following thres questions were referred to a Full Bench :

(1) Where a landlord is in actual occupation of any other non-residential accommodation, whether of his own or belonging to a third person, is he entitled to bring a suit for ejectment of his tenant from a shop in the same city on the ground that his existing accommodation does not suit his purpose or that he requires the suit shop in order to expand his business?

(2) If a landlord was in occupation of any other non-residential accommodation, whether of his own or belonging to a third person, and he vacated it without any sufficient reason after the 1955 Act had been extended to that city, is he entitled to ejectment on the ground that he requires the suit property situated in the same city to continue or start his business?

(3) Whether the interpretation adopted in Madh BLJ 1954 HCR 274, can be applied to Section 4 (h) of the M. B. Accommodation Control Act No. 23 of 1955?

22. The relevant provision which we have to construe reads as follows :

'(4) No suit shall be filed in any Civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation except on one or more of the following grounds : (h) In the case of non-residential accommodation, that the landlord genuinely requires the accommodation for continuing or starting his own business or that of any person of his family bona fide residing or to reside with him and that he or the aforesaid person of his family is not in occupation of any other accommodation in the city or town for that purpose and, if he was in occupation, has for sufficient reasons vacated it after the Act has been extended to that city or town;

23. It is well established that, where the language of a statute is plain and clear, the words must be given their ordinary and natural meaning without considering the reasonableness of the consequences:

'Hardship or inconvenience cannot alter the meaning of the language employed by the Legislature if such meaning is clear on the face of the statute or the rules'. (Das, J. (as he then was) in AIR 1950 SC 265).

It is also not permissible to put undue strain on the clear language employed in a statute in order to place upon it a construction favourable to any class of persons. In the instant case, while a forced interpretation, which the words are incapable of bearing, cannot be adopted on the ground of supposed hardship to landlords, the language employed should not be dwarfed or subjected to atrophy for the reason that, unless that were done, landlords would be enabled to turn out all their tenants one by one.

24. It is true that Section 4 of the Act begins with a negative and prohibits the filing of suits for eviction of tenants except on certain grounds specified in the section. In my view, the language employed shows clearly that the section is exhaustive of the ground on which a landlord may maintain a suit for ejectment of his tenant. It does not, however, go further and cannot be so construed as to preclude landlords from taking advantage of the full amplitude of the words used to specify those grounds.

25. As I read the relevant Clause (h), a landlord may file a suit to evict his tenant from non-residential accommodation if he fulfils the following conditions :

(i) He requires the accommodation for continuing or starting his own business or that of any person of his family bona fide 'residing or to reside with him;

(ii) His requirement is genuine;

and

(iii) (a) He or the aforesaid member of his family is not in occupation of any other accommo-dation in the city or town for that purpose;

and

(b) If he was in occupation, he has for sufficient reasons vacated it after the Act was extended to that city or town.

Omitting (iii) (b) and other unnecessary details for the present, the three conditions which must co-exist to sustain a landlord's suit for securing posession of non-residential accommodation are:

(i) He requires the accommodation for continuing or starting his own business;

(ii) His requirement is genuine;

(iii) He is not in occupation of any other accommodation in the city or town for that purpose.

26. In regard to the first condition, the word 'requires' implies that it is more under the force of personal circumstances than under the impulse of a desire that the landlord needs the premises, though the element of desire is not altogether absent. It should, however, be noticed that, in order that a landlord may claim a non-residential accommodation, he has to show that he requires it 'tor continuing or starting his own business'. The word 'continuing' is not qualified or restricted in any manner and there is no Justification for the view that it should be regarded as limited to the ''business carried on in another city or town.' Shiv Dayal, J. has himself pointed out that it is not open to the Court to add to the words of an enactment Or to read more in the words than they do or can mean. Further, the view that unless a restricted meaning is given to the word 'continuing' the third condition would be rendered superfluous is, in my view, not correct. As I would show in the sequel, it proceeds upon a particular view of the second and third conditions which is not warranted by the language. In my opinion, the expression 'continuing ..... his own business' is wide enough to include business carried on in the same city or town.

27. The secpnd condition is that the requirement must be genuine. Dictionary meaning of the word 'genuine' is as follows:

Chamber's Dictionary : Natural, native, not spurious, real, pure, sincere.

The Oxford English) Dictionary (Vol. IV): Natural, not foreign Or acquired, proper or peculiar to a person or thing, native.

Webster's New International Dictionary : Native or natural, not foreign, actually belonging to or proceeding from the reputed source having the origin or character which it bears or is claimed to have, authentic, true, pure, real, unalloyed, unadulterated. Cyclopedic Law Dictionary : Not spurious or counterfeit.

Bouvier's Law Dictionary : Not false, fictitious, simulated, spurious or counterfeit.

The word 'genuine' thus means that which proceeds from its reputed source, sincere and not false, fictitious, simulated or spurious. That this should be the meaning ascribed to the derivative 'genuinely' in Clauses ( g) and (h) of Section 4 of the Act is otherwise clearly indicated. Here it may be pointed out that the word 'genuinely' is not used in any other corresponding Act in this country or even in the English Act. In paragraphs 4 to 7 of his opinion, my learned brother Shiv Dayal, J. has traced the history of legislation relating the control of accommodation in Madhya Bharat and pointed out how the parent Act of 1950 was re-enacted in 1955 after taking into account the obscurity of language of the earlier Act and the hardships thereby created which were noticed in Madh B. LJ 1954 HCR 226, Second Appeal No. 224 of 1951, Second Appeal No. 60 of 1951 and Madh B. LJ 1954 HCR 274. In the last mentioned case, Dixit, J. (as he then was) observed :

'Now, when one looks at the language of Section 4 (g), one finds that the landlord is entitled to possession as against the tenant if he shows (1) that he genuinely requires the house for his residence; (2) and that there is not any other accommodation for his residence in the city or town. I think, I am right in translating the words ^^okLrfod :ils vko';drk gSA** as 'genuinely or bona fide requires.' It is necessary to decide first what is meant by the word 'requires'. Mr. Chitale, learned' counsel for the landlords, is right when he says that the word 'requires' is a stronger word than 'desires' and imports some need or necessity and does not include mere whim or fancy. In the decisions of the Calcutta High Court (Rekhabchand v. D' Cruz, AIR 1923 Cal. 223 and Basantlal v. P.C. Chakravarty, AIR 1950 Cal, 249) relied on by Mr. Chitale, the word 'requires' was construed while dealing with the question of bona fide requirement of certain premises for the landlord's own occupation and it was held that it involves something more than a mere wish and an element of need, to some extent at least. In the case of Naresh v. Kanailal Chaudhari, AIR 1952 Cal. 852, Chunder J. also took the view that the word 'requires' is something more than the word 'desires'. He however observed that the element of need was present in both the cases, and that the real distinction between 'desire' and 'require' lay in the insistence of that need.

It is thus clear that the landlord cannot claim possession as against the tenant by merely saying that it was his desire or whim or fancy to occupy a house of his own. He must show that he, in fact, needs possession of the premises and genuinely intends to occupy them. This, however, does not mean that the landlord has to establish or that the Court has to determine, whether the landlord is reasonable in requiring the accommodation. If the Legislature had intended that the reasonableness of the landlord's requirement should also be considered, plain, words would have been used in Section 4 (g). aS it ij, the clause used the words ^^okLrfod :ils vko';drk gSA** (genuinely requires) & not the words ^^mfpr :ils vko';drk gSA** (reasonably requires). It is wrong to say that 'genuinely requires' is the same as 'reasonably requires'. There is a distinction between the two phrases. The former phrase refers to a state of mind; the latter to an objective standard. 'Genuine requirement' would vary according to the idiosyncrasy of the individual and the time and circumstances in which he lives and thinks. Reasonable requirement belongs to the 'knowledge of the law' and means reasonable not in the mind of the person requiring the accommodation but reasonable according to the actual facts. In my opinion, in this part of Section 4 (g), the landlord is made the sole arbiter of his own requirements but ho must prove that he, in fact, wants and genuinely intends to occupy the premises. His claim would no doubt fail if the Court came to the conclusion that the evidence of 'want' was unreliable and that the landlord did not genuinely intend to occupy the premises.'

The Legislature appears to have borrowed the word 'genuinely' from the judgment in Motilal's case, Madh B. LJ 1954 HCR 274 and should, in the absence of any indication to the contrary, be regarded as having used it in the sense in which it was interpreted in that case. It is clear from that case itself that the word 'genuinely' was construed as equivalent to the word 'bona fide' and distinguished from the word 'reasonably'. The following observations are significant :

'It is wrong to say that 'genuinely requires' is the same as 'reasonably requires'. There is a distinction between the two phrases. The former phrase refers to a state of mind; the latter to an objective standard. 'Genuine requirement' would vary according to the idiosyncrasy of the individual and the time and circumstances in which he lives and thinks. 'Reasonable requirement' belongs to the 'knowledge of the law' and means reasonable not in mind of the person requiring the accommodation but reasonable according to the actual facts.'

In this background, the word 'genuinely', which speaks of a state of mind, means honestly or in good faith. An illustration will, I think, bring out the meaning more clearly. A landlord, who resides on the third floor of a rented building and has no other accommodation in the city, suffers from heart disease. He is advised by his doctor to reside on the ground floor. Accordingly he serves a notice to quit on his tenant of the ground floor of his own house. The tenant offers to pay a higher rent if he is not ejected. The landlord, in order to stay his hands, claims a still higher rent and pugree, that is to say, a lumpsum payment.

The tenant refuses to accept those demands. Thereupon, the landlord, on his own terms, enters into an agreement with another needy person to induct him as a tenant of the ground floor after it is vacated. In the suit filed to evict the tenant, he proves the above facts and the landlord produces' medical, evidence to show that his requirement is real. The suit must be dismissed because, although the landlord's requirement is real, his claim is not bona fide.

28. The third condition is that the landlord is not in occupation of any other accommodation in the city or, town for that purpose. This condition is not merely, that the landlord is in occupation of any other accommodation but is qualified by the expression 'for that purpose'. The purpose obviously is the purpose of starting or continuing his own business. Therefore, undue stress ought not) to be laid only upon the landlord being in occupation of any other accommodation, which, as defined in the Act, also includes vacant land not used for cultivation.

For example, a suit filed by a landlord to evict his tenant from a house which he requires for starting his own business cannot be defeated only on the ground that he (landlord) is in occupation of a house site and can build thereon a new house. This shows clearly that the purpose for which accommodation is required cannot be dissociated from the consideration whether the accommodation in occupation of the landlord is or is not suitable for it. Further, the purpose is not merely business generally.

It has to be seen whether the accommodation in occupation of the landlord will serve the purpose of starting or continuing his own business. I will give two instances to illustrate my meaning. A landlord honestly wants to start the business of selling cloth which is, by the custom of that kind of trade in the city, carried on in a particular part of the city. He owns a shop in that part, which is in occupation of a tenant and a vacant house in another part of the city which is not a business locality and where the business of selling cloth cannot be carried on conveniently or profitably.

The landlord's suit for eviction of his tenant from his shop cannot be defeated on the ground that he is not a person who is not in occupation of any other accommodation in the city. The obvious reason is that although he is in occupation of another accommodation, it is not suitable for the purpose of starting the business of selling cloth. A landlord carries on the business of a grocer. Adjacent to his shop is another shop owned by him which is in occupation of a tenant. He also owns a vacant shop in a distant locality in the city where only meat and fish are sold and the grocery business cannot be conveniently or profitably carried on.

The grocery business of the landlord has grown in volume necessitating additional accommodation and he sues to evict his tenant who occupies the adjacent shop. His suit cannot be dismissed because he is not in occupation of any other accommodation which is suitable for the purpose of continuing bis grocery business. It must be emphasised that, in order to be a disability, it is not enough that the landlord is in occupation of any other accommodation in the city or town concerned. It must also be shown that the other accommodation is suitable for the particular business which he wants to start or continue.

29. Dealing with the third condition, my learned brother Shiv Dayal J. observed in paragraph 11:

'The words 'not in occupation of any other accommodation' mean, purely and simply, that the landlord or that other person for whom the suit accommodation is required is occupying no other accommodation. The phrase does not admit of any qualification or limitation. It is unambiguous, un-restrictive and exhaustive ...... As soon as it is found that the person for whom the suit accommodation is required is in occupation of any other accommodation for his business in the same city, the plaintiff is out of Court'.

I have shown that the expression 'not in occupation of any other accommodation' is not unqualified and has to be read with the expression 'for that purpose' which means for the purpose of continuing or starting the landlord's own business, meaning the particular business which the landlord wants to continue or start. This is clear from the words 'for that purpose' and there is no question of engrafting on the text other words which are not there.

30. It would appear that a peculiar meaning has been ascribed to the word 'genuinely' and on the strength of that meaning it is urged that unless the construction, which has been accepted by Shiv Dayal J., is adopted, the third condition would be rendered superfluous. I bave endeavoured to show that the word 'genuinely' means honestly or in good faith. I will give one illustration to show that even where the first two conditions co-exist, the non-existence of the third condition would lead to a dismissal of the suit.

A landlord, who carries on the business of a grocer, owns a number of contiguous shops which are tenanted and used for the same business. One of these shops, which is near the landlord's own shop, falls vacant and is occupied by him. The business of the landlord has so expanded that additional accommodation has become necessary to enable him to continue Ms business. The vacant shop is suitable for the purpose but the landlord promises to let it out to a close friend and sues to evict his tenant who occupies a shop adjacent to the landlord's shop. Here there can be no question that the landlord honestly wants to occupy the adjacent shop. His requirement is also real. But his suit to evict his tenant from the adjacent shop must fail because he is in occupation of another accommodation which is suitable for continuing his grocery business. The illustration demonstrates that the view that the third condition merges in the second is not correct.

31. The second question referred to the Full Bench relates to the construction to be placed upon the second part of the third condition. In the context, it should be properly read as follows :

'If he was in occupation of any other accommodation for the purpose of continuing or starting his own business, he has for sufficient reasons vacated it after the Act was extended to that city or town.'

There can be no question that, if the accommodation in his occupation was vacated without sufficient reasons, the landlord's suit for ejectment must fail. At the same time, it is equally clear that it is not enough that the landlord vacated any accommodation. It must further be shown that the accommodation so vacated was suitable for continuing or starting the landlord's own business. So, in the illustration given in the last paragraph, if the landlord lets out the vacant shop occupied by him to his close friend before filing his suit for ejectment, that would disentitle him to evict his tenant occupying the adjacent shop.

32. In Madh B. LJ 1954 HCR 274, a Division Bench of the Madhya Bharat High Court considered the true meaning of Clause (g) of Section 4 of the Madhya Bharat Sthan Niyantran Vidhan Samvat 2006 (Act No. 15 of 1950). It reads as follows :

'That the landlord genuinely requires the accommodation for his residence: and there is no other accommodation for his residence in the city or town concerned.'

It would be seen that this is similar to Clause (h) of the Act now in force with this difference that while this relates to accommodation for residence, Clause (h) deals with accommodation required for continuing or starting the landlord's own business. Construing Clause (g) reproduced above, Dixit J. (as he then was) observed:

'The crucial matter which one has to consider is not whether the alternative accommodation is landlord's own or tenanted or whether the landlord is or is not in occupation' of the accommodation but it is whether the alternative accommodation in occupation of the landlord or available to him is reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation he requires'.

These observations were no doubt made with reference to residential accommodation provided for in the repealed Act of 1950. Even so, I am of opinion that the principle underlying those observations is equally applicable to non-reteidential accommodation, for which provision has been made in Clause (h) of the present Act. In the toregoing paragraphs, I have shown that in a case falling under Clause (h) it has first to be ascertained objectively whether the landlord requires any non-residential accommodation for continuing or starting his business. Secondly, it has to be shown that the landlord requires it honestly or in good faith in the sense that he really wants to occupy it for the aforesaid purposes. It would be open to the tenant to show by evidence that good faith is not associated with the landlord's claim for non-residential accommodation. Finally, it must further be shown objectively that the landlord is not in occupation of any other non-residential accommodation which is suitable for the purpose oil continuing or starting his own business. In order to defeat the landlord's claim, it would not be enough to show that he is in occupation of some other accommodation. It must also be shown that the accommodation in his occupation is suitable for the purpose of continuing or starting his own business. This as the same thing as saying that it must be shown to be reasonably equivalent as regards suitability in all respects to the accommodation required for continuing or starting the particular business of the landlord.

33. I would answer the three questions referred to the Full Bench as follows:

(i) A tenant is liable to be ejected from the shop in his occupation on the ground that his landlord requires it for continuing or starting his own business unless it can. be shown that any other non-res-dential accommodation in occupation of the landlord is suitable for the purpose of continuing or starting the landlord's own business. Ejectment of a tenant cannot be had for future expansion of the business of his landlord. On the other hand, if the landlord's business has in fact grown and there is a felt need, to be determined objectively, for additional accommodation for the purpose of continuing the expanded business, the tenant is liable to be ejected.

(ii) A landlord is entitled to secure, by ejectment, non-residential accommodation for the purpose. of continuing or starting his own business in the city even if he vacated other non-residential accommodation in his occupation after the Act of 1955 was extended to his city unless it can be shown that the accommodation so vacated was suitable for the purpose of continuing or starting the landlord's own business.

(iii) The principle of interpretation adopted in Madh B. LJ 1954 HCR 274 is equally applicable to Clause (h) of Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1955.

Dixit, C.J.

34. For the reasons given by my learned Brother Pandey J. -- to which I cannot usefully add anything -- I agree that the questions referred to this Bench should be answered in the way my learned Brother has done.


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