1. The defendant-appellant has filed this appeal against the judgment and decree of the Additional District Judge, Karnal, dated June 2, 1980, whereby the decree of the trial Court passed in favour of Ranjeet Singh, plaintiff-respondent, was affirmed.
2. The plaintiff filed this suit for the grant of a mandatory injunction directing the defendants to surrender possession of the shop, in question, to him, on the allegations that Kura Ram, defendant, was his real maternal uncle. The plaintiff was in occupation of the shop, in dispute, on the G. T. Road. Karnal, as a tenant under one Nawab Sajad Ali Khan much before the partition of the country and had been carrying on the oil business therein under the name and style of Ranjit Singh & Co. of which he was the sole proprietor. It was further stated that after the partition of the country, the suit property vested in the Custodian as an evacuee property and his status as a tenant was recognised by the Custodian also. Later on, Kura Ram, defendant, joined him in his oil business as a partner and both of them then carried on the business under the name and style of Ranjit Singh & Co. in partnership till the year 1954, when the partnership was dissolved. The plaintiff further averred that from the year 1954 onwards, he and Kura Ram, defendant, carried on their individual oil business, but continued to occupy the shop, in dispute, jointly inasmuch as Kura Ram, defendant, remained in occupation thereof as a licensee. In the year 1959 the plaintiff joined service and his goods continued lying in a part of the shop. He left service in the year 1962 and started maintaining the accounts of some parties and to attend to this job by sitting in the shop. As such, Kura Ram, defendant, and the plaintiff continued using the shop, in dispute, till the year 1974. In April. 1974, Kura Ram, defendant, began to take steps with a view to oust the plaintiff from the said property and ultimately, he along with defendants Nos. 2 to 4 did not allow him to remain in occupation of the shop. Thereupon, the plaintiff revoked the licence by registered notice dated August 27, 1974, and filed the present suit on Oct. 28, 1974, for the grant of a mandatory injunction against the defendants, as mentioned above. The suit was resisted by them and it was pleaded that Kura Ram, defendant, had been in exclusive possession of the shop for more than 20 years in his own right as a tenant under the owners. The alleged licence in his favour was not admitted. It was also pleaded that Kura Ram, defendant, had taken the shop, in dispute, from Nawab Sajad Ali Khan for running the business of Ranjit Singh & Co. It was specifically denied that it was the plaintiff who was the tenant of the shop, in question, or that he carried on the business thereon under the name and style of Ranjit Singh & Co. on the pleadings of the parties, the trial court framed the following issues :--
1. Whether the plaintiff has been occupying the suit property as a tenant under Nawab Sajad Ali Khan?
2. Whether the plaintiff has been occupying his individual business as alleged in paragraph No. 2 of the plaint
3. Whether the plaintiff was allotted the suit property after the partition of the country If so, to what effect
4. Whether defendant No. 1 was inducted in the business being run by the plaintiff by the latter as a licensee If so, the effect thereof
5. Whether the plaintiff was not a tenant on the suit property as alleged in para No. 2 of the plaint If so, the effect thereof
6. Whether defendant No. 1 was always a tenant on the suit property as alleged in para No. 3 of the plaint If so, its effect
7. Whether the plaintiff has no locus standi to file the suit
8. Whether the suit is not maintainable in the present from
9. Whether the plaintiff is estopped from filing the suit by his own act and conduct
10. Whether the suit is not within time
11. Whether the plaintiff has waived his rights to file the suit by his act and conduct
12. Whether the suit is bad for mis-joinder of parties and causes of action
13. Whether the suit is correctly valued for purposes of court-fee and jurisdiction
14. Whether the defendants are entitled to special costs If so, the total thereof
Issues Nos. 1 to 6 were discussed together and it was held that the plaintiff was the tenant on the shop, in dispute, under Nawab Sajad Ali Khan. The remaining issues were found against the defendants and consequently, the suit was decreed by the trial Court. In appeal, the learned Additional District Judge affirmed the findings of the trial Court on all the issues and, thus, maintained the decree in favour of the plaintiff. Dissatisfied with the same, the defendant has come up in second appeal to this Court.
3. The only argument raised on behalf of the appellant is that the plaintiff being the statutory tenant himself could not grant a licence as he had no transferable interest in the suit property. In support of this contention, reference was made to the provisions of Section 53 of the Easements Act, 1882, which reads:
'A licence may be granted by any one in the circumstances and to the extent in and to which he may transfer his interests in the property affected by the licence.'
Section 13 of the Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973, (hereinafter called the Act), was also referred, under which no tenant was authorised to sublet the premises under him. On the other hand, on behalf of the respondent, it was submitted that no plea was taken by the appellant in the written statement that no such licence could be granted by the plaintiff. According to the learned counsel for the respondent, the respondent being the tenant on the premises, in dispute, had a transferable interest and to grant a licence in favour of Kura Ram, defendant. In any case, if the plaintiff violated any provisions of the Act, then he could be liable to ejectment under the statute, but that did not mean that no licence could be granted by him. In support of his contention, the learned counsel placed reliance on Dev Dutt Verma v. Ajit Singh, 1965 Cur LJ 341 and Municipal Committee, Ambala City v. Lal Chand, 1969 Cur LJ 589.
4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, I do not find any merit in this appeal.
5. It is not only an owner who can grant a licence, but even a person, who can transfer his interest in the property, is also competent to grant the same. It has been so held in Lal Chand's case (1969 Cur LJ 589) (Punj) (supra). Section 53 of the Easements Act, as reproduced above, inter alia provides that a licence may be granted by any person who may transfer his interest in the property affected by the licence. It could not be disputed that the tenancy rights as such are transferable. It is a different matter that if the said rights are transferred without the consent of the landlord, in writing, the tenant may incur certain liability under the Act, but the person to whom such a licence is granted cannot take the plea that the tenant had not right to grant a licence in his favour. Besides, Section 116 of the Evidence Act, 1872, reads :
'No tenant of immovable property, or person claiming through such tenant, shall, during the continuance of the tenancy, be permitted to deny that the landlord of such tenant had, at the beginning of the tenancy, a title to such immovable property, and no person who came upon any immovable property by the licence of the person in possession thereof, shall be permitted to deny that such person had a title to such possession at the time when such licence was given.'
6. The learned counsel for the appellant, relying upon Anand Nivas Pvt, Ltd. v. Anandji Kalyanji's Pedhi, AIR 1965 SC 414, contended that a person remaining in possession after the determination of his tenancy, becomes a statutory tenant and, therefore, he had no interest in the property which he could transfer. However, the abovesaid case was under the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, wherein the question involved was whether the tenant after the determination of the contractual tenancy could enforce the terms of the original tenancy whereby the right to sublet the premises was given to him. In this context, it was observed by their Lordships that with the determination of the lease, unless the tenant acquires the right of a tenant holding over, by the acceptance of rent or by assent to his continuing in possession by the landlord, the terms and conditions of the lease are extinguished, and the rights of such a person remaining in possession are governed by the statute alone. Thus, the facts of that case have absolutely no relevancy with the facts of the present case. Here, there is no dispute between the landlord and the statutory tenant, but with the tenant and his licensee who has been found to have been inducted by the tenant as such on the premises, in dispute, by both the Courts below. Once it is so held, then the licensee cannot be permitted to deny that the licensor, i.e., the tenant, being a statutory tenant was not entitled to grant the licence.
7. For the reasons recorded above, there is no merit in this appeal. The same fails and is dismissed with costs.
8. Appeal dismissed.