1. This is tenants petition against whom the ejectment application was dismissed by the Rent Controller, but allowed in appeal.
2. Indirawati, wife of Mehar Chand, the landlady and the owner of the ground floor, i.e., the demised premises, sought the ejectment of the tenants, who are the heirs and the legal representatives of the original tenant, Charan Dass, since deceased. The building is a four storeyed house situated in Mohalla Misran, Hoshiarpur. Only the ground floor thereof was let out to the tenant which was purchased by the landlady from the original owner and the landlord on March 25, 1977. The other portions of the said building, i.e., the first floor and the second floor etc. were also purchased by Amrit Lal, the son of the landlady by a separate sale deed. The ejectment of the tenant was sought primarily on the ground that she bona fide required the premises for her own use and occupation. It was pleaded that previously her husband was in occupation of the residential house situated in Gali No. 18, Kamalpur, Hoshiarpur and she was residing with him there. However, the landlord of the said house got the same vacated and consequently, she purchased the demised premises, i.e, the ground floor of the said building for her own use and occupation. It was also pleaded that she and her husband were residing with their son Amrit Lal with his permission. She or her husband had not been occupying any other residential house in the urban area concerned, nor had they vacated any after the commencement of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act. It was also pleaded that the premises show in the green colour in the plan, Exhibit A. 3, were insufficient for her requirement and for the requirement of her husband and children. The eviction application was contested inter alia on the ground that, in fact, Mehar Chand, the husband of the landlady was the owner of the entire building comprising the ground floor, first floor, second floor and the third floor and that the landlady was only a benami owner of the ground floor. Similarly, Amrit Lal was only a benami owner of the other portion. According to the tenants, Mehar Chand did not purchase the entire building as he might not have been able to get the tenants on the ground floor evicted. Thus, according to them, the requirement of the landlady was not bona fide. She was comfortably living with her husband on the first floor along with her son Amrit Lal. On trial, the learned Rent Controller found that the landlady whose name was incorporated in the sale deed, Exhibit A.1, was a benamidar and that the real owner of the demised premises was Mohar Chand, her husband. Thus, he was a necessary party and, in fact, the eviction application should have been brought by him. In view of this finding, it was held that the bona fides of the landlady in bringing the ejectment application were not established. Consequently, the ejectment application was dismissed. In appeal, the learned Appellate Authority came to the conclusion that even if it be assumed that Mehar Chand was the real owner and Indirawati was a benamidar, even then, their need of the demised premises was bona fide as they could not be tagged with their son. Amrit Lal for all times to come. It was also observed that if they choose to live apart from their son independently in a separate accommodation, there was no reason why they should be denied that right to live apart from their son independently in a separate accommodation. In this view of the matter, the eviction order was passes against the tenants. Dissatisfied with the same, the tenants have come up in revision to this Court.
3. The main argument raised on behalf of the petitioners is that having been found that Indirawati, landlady was only a benamidar and the real owner was her husband Mehar Chand, no ejectment order could be passed in her favour. According to the learned counsel, on this ground alone, the ejectment application was liable to be dismissed. In support of the contention the learned counsel relied upon Jagjit Lal v. Gurjinder Singh Arora, (1977) 79 Pun LR. 124.
4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties do not find any merit in this petition.
5. Whether the transaction of sale in favour of Indirawati, landlady, was a benami or not, was to be considered only to find out her bona fide requirement of the demised premises. In the present case as to whether Amrit Lal was also a benamidar with regard to the other portions of the building was irrelevant because that was not the subject-matter of the dispute. The demised premises are the ground floor only. Even if it be assumed for the sake of arguments, though the Appellate Authority has firmly head and rightly, that Indirawati was the real owner of the demised premises, that she was the ostensible owner thereof, even then, there was nothing wrong to hold that her requirement was not bona fide. The approach of the learned Rent Controller, in this behalf was wholly misconceived whereas the Appellate Authority, as observed earlier, has rightly come to the conclusion that even if it be assumed that Mehar Chand was the real owner of the building, even then, the requirement of the landlady was bona fide because she and husband Mehar Chand could not be forced to live with their son Amrit Lal. The judgment of this Court in Jagjit Lal's case (1977 (79) Pun L. R. 124) (supra), relied upon by the learned counsel for the petitioners is of no help to their case as it has no applicability to the facts of the present case. Besides, it was nowhere held therein that an ostensible owner was not entitled to seek ejectment of his tenant. As a matter of fact, the jurisdiction of the authorities under the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act is very limited. Under the said Act, a tenant is liable to be ejected from the premises if a landlord satisfies the statutory conditions for the eviction of the tenant therefrom. Viewed from any angle, the Appellate Authority has rightly come to the conclusion that even if it be assumed that the real owner was Mehar Chand, the husband of the landlady, even then the landlady's requirement was bona fide. Any further enquiry was irrelevant so far as the jurisdiction of the authorities under the above said Act is concerned. Moreover, any observations in these proceedings do not make Mehar Chand, the husband of the landlady, the owner of the building. The enquiry in this behalf was only directed for a limited purpose to find out if the sale deed was executed in favour of Mehar Chand, could he claim ejectment of the tenants on the ground of the bona fide requirement of the demised premises, and it was rightly observed by the Appellate Authority that he could do so in the present case.
6. No other point arises, nor has been raised.
7. Consequently, this petition fails and is dismissed with costs. However, the tenants are allowed two months time to vacate the premises; provided all the arrears of rent, if any, and the advance rent for two months are deposited with the Rent Controller within one month.
8. Petition dismissed.